December is the month of Advent, the four weeks leading up to Christmas. It is a time of waiting and of longing.

Longing is the very definition of what it means to be human. We long for food, we long for friendship, we long for success, we long for meaning in life.

It seems that underneath all these longings there is something else which is deeper. We may not always recognize it, but we all long for God.

Psalm 63 puts it well:

“ O God, you are my God, for you I long;
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you
like a dry, weary land without water.”

Living as I do in Zambia there are times here when we experience the “dry weary land without water.”

Saint Augustine of Hippo wrote in his Confessions

“Our hearts are made for thee O Lord
And they will ever restless be
Until they rest in thee.” Book 1:1-2

During Advent or Christmas take time to step back for a while from the flurry of activity, get in touch with any longing or loneliness within: that experience can open you up to the mystery of God.

Father Charles Searson SJ

National Director
Pope’s Prayer Network (Apostleship of Prayer)

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