Since God created human beings, we have struggled to keep our focus on God. We wrestle with the question of “who is God” and foolishly believe some of God’s job description can be better completed by us. We wander in different directions, lose our way, think that happiness can be found elsewhere and even construct golden calves to worship. Are we simply too independent or just blatantly stubborn? It’s a good question to ask. Even with all of our silliness and distractions, God compassionately and patiently waits. He lets us assert our wills and knows that perhaps one day we will actually wake up and realize how lost we are.
“Since happiness is nothing other than the enjoyment of the highest good and since the highest good is above, no one can be made happy unless he rises above himself, not by an ascent of the body but of the heart. But we cannot rise above ourselves unless a higher power lifts us up … Divine aid is available to those who seek it from their hearts, humbly and devoutly; and this means to sigh for it in this valley of tears, through fervent prayer (St. Bonaveture).” One of the biggest human struggles is discerning what, exactly, is the highest good. We are ordered to achieve it but if we pursue it with clouded vision, we will never truly find it.
One of the greatest obstacles to God’s power and love is a stubborn, closed heart of stone. When we are fiercely determined to set our sights elsewhere for happiness or simply ride the popular currents of the day, we will never satisfy the deep ache and longing within. We know that ache well. It is precisely why we scurry all over the place, attempting to find the next best thing to take away its pain. Nothing in the created world ever can or will. We continue our journey. One day, people may wake up and realize that they are grazing in the wrong pasture and putting themselves in harm’s way. When this awakening occurs, it will be a most joyous day as we will see God’s wide-open arms waiting to receive us. “Lead me, Lord, in your path, and I will enter in your truth. Let my heart rejoice that it may fear your name (St. Bonaventure).”
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