Advent Reflection: Our Soul Yearns for God


My soul yearns for you in the night, yes, my spirit within me keeps vigil for you; When your judgment dawns upon the earth, the world’s inhabitants learn justice. (Isaiah 26:6 New American Bible).

Our hearts yearn for all kinds of things.  We long for wealth, prosperity, a car loan or a mortgage approval.  We could gain everything and still feel empty.  That emptiness that we feel is our desire for God.  The desire for God within our heart and soul is there by God’s initiative.  The choice we have is how we respond to that God given desire for love and pure holiness.

St. Gregory the Great wrote of an experience St. Benedict had in Book II of the Dialogues.

Long before the night office, the man of God was standing in his window, where he watched and prayed while the rest were still asleep.  In the dead of the night he suddenly beheld a flood of light shining down from above more brilliant than the sun, and with it every trace of darkness cleared away.  Another remarkable sign followed.  According to his own description, the whole world was gathered up before his eyes in what appeared to be a single ray of light.  As he gazed at all this dazzling display, he saw the soul of Germanus, the bishop of Capua, being carried by angels up to heaven in a ball of fire. (The Life and Miracles of St. Benedict, p. 71).

When we recognize the yearning of our souls is for God, everything in this world becomes insignificant.  The Holy Spirit leads us to the place of contemplative prayer, where God becomes everything that is important.

During this Season of Advent we are watching in prayer to prepare to remember that God came among us in the Word made Flesh; Jesus the Christ.  May we spend some time allowing that yearning of our souls to lead us to the refreshing waters of the presence of God in prayer and contemplation.


Br. Anselm Philip King-Lowe, n/OSB

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