5. LONGING OF THE SOUL

Hymn refrain: "My soul is longing for your peace, near to you my God."

Marcus Aurelius in The Meditations, Bk 10.34 wrote:

"A brief existence is common to all things, and yet thou avoidest and pursuest all things as if they would be eternal."

St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo in youth searched for life and happiness in creatures but with his conversion came the realization that "Thou movest us to delight in praising Thee; for Thou hast formed us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless till they find rest in Thee!" (Confessions Bk. 10:27)

In the book of psalm we read:

"O God, you are my God whom I seek;

for you my flesh pines and my soul thirsts

like the earth, parched, lifeless

and without water." (Ps 63:2)

THE SOUL NEEDS RECOLLECTION

To live in union with God man needs to tune in to God's presence in his soul. Too often man lives in the external world of the senses, his consciousness becomes scattered and energy dissipated on unnecessary diversions and pursuits.

 

St. Basil the Great wrote: "When the mind is no longer dissipated across the world through the senses, it returns to itself; and by means of itself it ascends to the thought of God." (Epistle II)

 

There is a Zen saying which states:

"With no bird singing, the mountain is yet more still." And a biblical saying: "Be still and know that I am God." (Ps 45:11) We need to let go and become silent before the mystery of God which surrounds us and is within our souls. This is especially true in the modern world which if filled with distractions (city sounds, the internet, cellular phones, beepers, television, music, and the cares of life).

St. Faustina reflecting on the soul has this to say: "In this profound silence I am better able to reflect on the condition of my soul. My soul is like clear water in which I can see see everything: both my misery and the vastness of God's graces. And owing to this true knowledge of itself, my spirit is strengthened in deep humility."

The words of Christ are as true today as they ever were:

"For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul?" (Mk 8:36)

or as Bishop Sheen used to say:

"Unless souls are saved, nothing is saved."

 

Death & the soul