The world is full of ‘hungry hearts’ that are searching for joy and peace and consolation, but sometimes in the wrong places. Someone once said to me ‘I need a new woman every two years’. I didn’t quite know what to say to that. I thought perhaps he had not yet found the ‘right woman’ or maybe he had met the ‘right woman’ but he had not recognized her and so continued to look persistently for a new lover.
How do we know our hearts are hungry?
Well unlike the ache in our stomachs, the hunger of the heart manifests itself in ways that are sometimes indiscernible. Sometimes we simply feel ‘incomplete’, like something important is missing in our life even though the checklist of what we have might seem long and quite sufficient. Sometimes we fail to understand that the ‘hungry heart’ is the ‘hurting heart’ and some of the hurt that we bear quietly and persistently may have been born a long time ago in prior relationships even as early as childhood. Sometimes we are caught rather mysteriously in a ‘cycle of grief’ that we don’t fully recognize as we spiral from anger to sadness and back to anger again. Stress can build up into a hunger for peace and joy that requires that we rethink our priorities and our lifestyles.
How can the hungry heart be satisfied?
The ‘hungry heart’ or the ‘hurting heart’ has a tendency to look for solace in many of the wrong places. Some people who are today overweight may have looked for consolation in food. Some people who are addicted have looked for relief in drugs or alcohol. Some people who continue to look for a ‘new lover’ seek consolation in sexual gratification. Food, drugs, alcohol and sex can’t satisfy the ‘hungry heart’. In fact the heart that is filled with ‘sensual solutions’ only becomes hungrier and more desirous of enduring satisfaction. That’s why one drink can lead to the next and the next and the next, but intoxication does not satisfy the ‘hungry heart’; instead the heart only becomes more depressed and dissatisfied.
God to the Rescue!
God is like the lover who is persistent in His tender courtship. He is the lover who is willing to wait. He is the gentleman who keeps trying to open your eyes to all that He has to offer. He longs for you to see Him as the Holy One who will satisfy your hungry heart with HIS LOVE.
For most of my life I was a lot like the woman in the Scriptures called “Martha”.
“As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed–or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10: 38-42
Up to 40 years of age, I was preoccupied with many things; in fact ‘worrying’ was one of my ‘core competencies’. Then Jesus came to visit me through a series of miraculous encounters. I realized God was calling me and slowly I began to stop worrying as I began to trust Jesus and place my life in His hands.
Jesus called me to sit at His feet and listen to the things that were important to Him. I began studying God’s Word and reflecting on His Holy Will.
“The God of our ancestors has chosen you to know his will and to see the Righteous One and to hear words from his mouth. You will be his witness to all people of what you have seen and heard. And now what are you waiting for? Get up, be baptized and wash your sins away, calling on his name (Jesus Christ).” Acts 22: 14-16
There are many Baptized Christians who are not ‘fully engaged’ in serving God and when we are not living up to our true calling as disciples we will have a burden upon our heart.
So friends as I realized Jesus had come to find me, His lost sheep, I began to sit at His feet and listen to His Word by studying the Bible. His loving presence embraced me and began to heal me of many wounds. I had been hurt in prior relationships and I was trapped in a cycle of grief that caused me to feel anger and sorrow. God drew me closer and closer into a tender, intimate spiritual embrace where I began to see how hungry God’s heart was for the love of His people. The people God so desired to save were rejecting Him. The ‘lost sheep’ were searching for consolation in the wrong places, becoming more and more lost in sin.
To heal I needed to forgive some wrongs that had happened early in my childhood. I also had to forgive myself for all the time I had wasted by being preoccupied with the wrong things. This forgiveness that I had to give to others and even to myself was born in the Heart of Jesus. The more I studied the Word of God listening to God’s voice speaking to my conscience, the more confident I became in the greatness of God’s love.
“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever. Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story– those he redeemed from the hand of the foe” Psalm 107:1-2
The path Jesus put me on is a proven path that leads to forgiveness and salvation. The path commenced with Jesus calling me to Follow Him and Trust Him. I reflected on my whole life, praying for God’s assistance to show me all of my sins. I confessed my sins and sought God’s forgiveness and He forgave me. I returned to Church and began to receive Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. I prayed for Jesus to remain with me and guide me and help me to forgive others and He brought me to a place where I would be forever changed.
The Journey to Calvary
Jesus brought me daily to the place of His crucifixion.
I began to reflect on a daily basis on the Passion of Christ. At first it was difficult because I didn’t want to think about the price Jesus had to pay for my sins and the sins of mankind. I hesitated and Jesus encouraged me with the words, “Honour Me!”, Words spoken so gently and with such desire that I could not refuse Him.
I heard the hungry heart of Jesus calling me to ‘honour Him’ by spending time meditating on His Passion and so I did. I sought out mystical accounts of the Passion of Christ and reflected on the book: “The Dolorous Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ” by Anne Catherine Emmerich, a mystic who had visions of the Passion of Christ. I watched the film The Passion of the Christ and I cried through the whole movie and then I learned that Jesus had made a request in the 1930’s to St. Faustina that His people stop to remember Him at three o’clock (the time He died for us) with a moment of prayer and contemplation on His Passion and I decided I would do this to prove my love to Jesus.
I have been doing this for well over a decade now. I am no longer like ‘Martha’. I don’t suffer from anxiety anymore. I don’t worry; I am full of hope in the promise of Our Lord Jesus. I am a sign of God’s mercy, just a little ‘lost sheep’ who was saved by God’s amazing grace.
I have heard His voice again and again in my heart and now I hear Jesus saying, “You are Mine!”
Like a patient lover, Jesus courted me and drew me into His Sacred Heart, so deeply, so faithfully, with such passion that I could not resist Him. Like one enamored and inebriated by God’s Love I told Jesus:
“I will give you my life Lord! And I will try to share what You have taught me. And with Your Grace, I will draw them to You to remember You, Jesus, everyday at the time You died for us, 3pm, so that we can all fall in love with You, Holy One, and be One with You in a peace and joy and hope that only YOU can provide.”
Please join the peace movement that is uniting Christians in a daily prayer at the Time Jesus died for us, 3pm, each of us in our local time zones. At this time we remember the Passion of Christ and we thank Jesus for His infinite love. We pray for Jesus to send His Holy Spirit to bring all souls to repentance. We pray for the omnipotence of God to silence the forces of evil in our world as we unite in prayer and remembrance of the Passion of Christ as ONE Body of Christ at the Hour of Mercy, 3pm. We call this movement A Peaceful Revolution in the Name of Jesus Christ. Learn more!
“For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, and the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.” Psalm 107:9