Advent Longings

November 28th, 2016 Posted in Uncategorized

The Rolling Stones sang, “You can’t always get what you want . . . but if you try sometimes well you just might find you get what you need.” A lot of Advent is about naming what we want and, more importantly, becoming aware of what we need.

Wants and needs aren’t the same, of course, for what I truly need is on a deeper level than what I might want. I may want a comfortable home in a quiet neighborhood, but I can live without it. I can live without eating meat, but I can’t live very well without protein. I may want to be married but whether I’m married or single I definitely need relationships in which I can both give love and receive it.

In December, we often ask children, “What do you want Santa to bring you for Christmas?” In Advent the Church poses to us a deeper question: “What are the deep needs and longings of your life, which only God can fill?” Paying attention to these and presenting them to God is very important because, as St. Augustine and others tell us, frequently presenting our longings to God actually prepares us to receive God’s fulfillment of them.

In a few short weeks, we will celebrate the coming of God’s once and final answer to all human longings and desires — Christ. As we prepare to receive Christ with the joy and gratitude his coming deserves, let us be bold in presenting ourselves, our needs and our longings to God. We might indeed find that we will get what we need.

  1. 4 Responses to “Advent Longings”

  2. By Pat Ostrander on Nov 29, 2016

    A particularly apt reminder for me this year. as I go through some struggles with work and trying to discern if I am in “the right place.” I need to do a better job of presenting these struggles/longings to God, so there is a better chance of hearing the answer! (…and being open to the answer.)

  3. By Sr. Michele Ruggiero on Dec 9, 2016

    I realize that often I am not aware of my deepest longings. As I asked the question today I know that I want God, peace, holiness, and strength, all those good things. There may be more but awareness is key. The Ignatian Examen of Consciousness has made me aware of how unaware I am.

  4. By John Majka on Dec 9, 2016

    Thanks for the reflection. Came at a good time. Also, brought back many wonderful memories and blessings of the June 2014 retreat at Bellarmine. I posted this on Facebook. My family will be pleased–my brother Stan’s(of course!) middle name is Frank!

  5. By Michael Gordon on Dec 10, 2016

    Thank you for this reminder on the importance of asking God for what we may need. There are times I find myself withholding certain concerns from God. I also struggle with detachment within Ignatian Spirituality. This story is another reminder of how detachment is a gift as well.

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