Sunday, December 12, 2010


Being Perpetually Unfinished

Erich Hoffer writes in “The True Believer” that we can conceive of the idea of a perfect butterfly or a perfect palm tree, but the idea of a perfect human being (putting aside the Divine Savior for a moment) is a contradiction in terms: You'll never find a perfect human being. By definition a human is perpetually unfinished, always striving for something more.

And this perpetual unfinishedness, Hoffer contends, is our greatest strength because from it comes our striving, our creativity, our energy, and our ability and desire to work toward a future. But It also leaves us constantly desiring.

Want Some More?

What’s your favorite food? My favorite food is “more.” Whenever I’m asked “Would you like some more?” I always answer "Yes! I’d love some more!” That’s a parable of the human condition, isn’t it? No matter what we have, there’s always something “more” to be desired and sought for.

What Is It That We Desire?

A wise old monk once asked this question: “What is it we desire?” Then he answered it himself: “What we always desire is ‘something else.’” There is an unrelenting discontent in humans when we are not sure what we want; whatever I want, it’s not this.

What is Happiness?
Aristotle answers the question “What is happiness” in this way, “Happiness is that which everyone is looking for.” But usually we are looking in the wrong places, namely in created finite things which are not big enough to satisfy our God-sized need for meaning.

Advent and the Answer to Human Longing

During advent, the Church’s season of expectant longing and waiting, we focus our longing on the One who alone can satisfy our need for “more,” the One who, once we possess him, will end our constant search for “something else,” the One who alone is our true and lasting Happiness.

So as the advertisers and merchants are fanning the flames of our desires for various things that can be bought and sold, let us remember to look for the One who is already present in our midst in Word and sacrament, in our neighbor and in our hearts.

Let us remember, too, during this Advent season, that we need to make a leap of faith to believe that our true happiness does not lie in all those things the world promises, things that invariably leave us wanting something more or something else. But once we make that leap of faith, then peace, that peace that the world cannot give, will be ours.

And our celebration of Christmas will leave us not just satisfied but full of Joy.
...................COME LORD JESUS!

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