If you’re not famished for spiritual things, chances are it’s not because you have feasted and are satisfied, but that you have snacked on junk food away from the true table. When your soul is stuffed with small things, there is no room for the great.
If you don’t have a hunger for God, perhaps it is because your god is your belly: “Their end is destruction, their god is the belly, and they glory in their shame, with minds set on earthly things” (Phil 3:19).
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Scripture References for The Show
Luke 1:46-55, the words of the Magnificat
And Mary said:
“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden.
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;
49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is on those who fear him
from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm,
he has scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts,
52 he has put down the mighty from their thrones,
and exalted those of low degree;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent empty away.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
55 as he spoke to our fathers,
to Abraham and to his posterity for ever.”
LOVE the Word(TM) is a method of Bible study based on Mary’s own practice. This week’s LOVE the Word(TM) exercise is based on an Augustinian*personality approach. Go on! Try it!
Listen (Receive the Word)
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst” (John 6:35).
Observe (Connect the passage to recent events.)
On a daily basis, as you approach each next meal, do you allow yourself to get hungry or do you eat something as soon as you feel the early pangs?
Practice delaying your meals to allow yourself to get hungry before you eat. As you do so, and especially as you fast this next Friday for Lent, pay attention to your hunger pangs. Ask yourself, In my world, what am I most hungry for—right now, this year, for the rest of my life? Be specific. Perhaps just the question has every hunger you’ve ever experienced surfacing, leaping out of the water like spawning salmon. You may answer: “I want a bag of potato chips.” And maybe that’s true on the surface. But what’s under that desire? Are you actually hungry, or bored or sad instead? Can a bag of chips relieve any of those deeper longings? Why are you bored? Why are you sad?
Maybe the first question is, What am I really hungry for? But to get deeper and know what we yearn for, we have to keep asking why till we get all the way to the bottom of the desire. It’s very important to know what a true hunger is, because that may actually be what God wants to give me.
Verbalize (Pray about your thoughts and emotions.)
Talk to Him about your desires and longings until you get to the bottom of what you’re really hungry for. Ask God for that, because “He rewards those who diligently seek Him” (Heb 11:6). What do you need to do to “diligently seek Him”?
Entrust (May it be done to me according to your word!)
Receive the Eucharist with the intention that God might satisfy your hunger. Pray for that intention, and thank Him for the answer to that prayer, before you see the answer, as you kneel in His presence after Communion.
*LOVE the Word(TM) exercises, vary weekly according to the four personalities, or “prayer forms,” explored in Prayer and Temperament, by Chester Michael and Marie Norrisey: Ignatian, Augustinian, Franciscan, and Thomistic.