What are we longing for?


Do you know what you want?

In my experience of working with young adults it seems to me that one of the most difficult things for people to name is what they really desire. Many young people (and not so young!) pursue careers and goals with energy and determination only to discover when they reach their goal that it wasn’t what they were seeking at all.

The experience of inner emptiness, loneliness, or even a nagging sense that the grass is greener elsewhere seems to be a fairly normal human experience as we go about our day to day lives. I have written before about the power of choosing and commitment in bringing us to a greater sense of inner peace and fulfillment. Knowing at a deep level what we truly desire as individuals leads us to an understanding of the person we really are, and this leads towards inner peace.

37528502-galaxyIn Advent we are LONGING for … what? who?

What is it that humanity is longing for, desiring, collectively? The easy answer is to simply say God – but what do we mean by that? What makes sense and meets the longing of all people regardless of their beliefs?

The news repeatedly shows us the terrible suffering of so many people due to war, violence, greed, exploitation, disease. Not simply people far away, but people in our own places, right beside us, maybe even ourselves.

Today’s O Antiphon – O King of the Nations – is a vision of the coming of Christ when all will be called into unity. Surely we are longing collectively for that.

Oh, come, Desire of Nations,

bind in one the hearts of all;

Oh, bid our sad divisions cease,

and be yourself our King of Peace. 


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