Father Ed's Reflections

Seek ... O Seek ... The Lord

22 Nov 2016

SEEK ... O SEEK ... THE LORD

Why seek the Lord?  This would seem to be a natural quest for a Christian since by name we are followers of the Lord.  Nonetheless we need to ask anew, do I seek the Lord and how do I express my searching for him?  Is my seeking expressed daily, occasionally or almost never?  If a person is serious about union with the Lord one would expect a daily request for this union to be granted.  So how does one begin?

The intention to seek union with the Lord begins with a sincere and penetrating look at oneself.  Is my desire what is expected of a Christian or is it a deeply felt desire welling-up from the depths of my heart for union?  If it is emanating from deep within then to spend quiet time daily, longing, desiring, asking for intimacy, it is the beginning of the inner quest.

In the beginning of this quest no immediate change will necessarily be noticed but the searcher will move imperceptibly to recognise the Lord in all facets of life.  He will be noticed in persons, events and in the ordinary existence most of us live and experience.  The heart will be filled with a love “known” rather than felt.

There will be an accompanying wish to do the Lord’s will in all things, even a striving to overcome self-will in order to do the Lord’s will.  This movement is not simple as, on the one hand, we do not always see our own will at work, on the other hand, it is not always easy to discern God’s will in our lives.  The struggle consists in a dying to self so as to live for God and for others.

Recently in the Masses of the time after Easter, one opening prayer gave food for thought to an earnest searcher for union.  It went, “Lord, teach us to know you better by doing good to others.  Help us to grow in your love and come to understand the eternal mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection.”  This seems surprising until we recall that St. John wrote, “The Person who says he loves God and does not love his neighbour is a liar.”  Harsh words but the converse is true, the one who truly loves his neighbour loves God since the Lord is present in every person, indeed in everything that exists.  Love of God and love of neighbour go together and true union with the Lord embraces these basic counsels of the Lord.  In a few works the desire for intimacy with the Lord is to be expressed frequently, the desire to do his will in all things becomes dominant, love of neighbour is an evident sign that true union is beginning in the searcher’s heart.

Sometimes a person may wonder if God seeks union with us.  People feel unworthy, unconvinced, and maybe even fearful of getting too close to the Lord.  The great feasts of the Sacred Heart and Corpus Christi celebrated in June surely reveal the depth of God’s love.  The heart is the symbol of love, God’s love is manifest in Christ, in his heart, which cries out, “I have loved you with an everlasting love, therefore have I drawn you, showing mercy to you.”  His heart, his Eucharist, are the most evident signs of his love and his call for union – a gift granted to the person who truly seeks day in, day out, and never doubts God is good, God is love.  The call is to:-

Seek the Lord,
Seek to do his will,
Seek to act with gentleness, humility and compassion

Holy Spirit, Lord of light
From the clear celestial height
Thy pure beaming radiance give.

Come, thou Father of the poor,
Come with treasures which endure;
Come, thou light of all that live!

Thou, of all consolers best,
Thou, the soul’s delightful guest,
Dost refreshing peace bestow;

Thou in toil art comfort sweet;
Pleasant coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.

Light immortal, light divine,
Visit thou these hearts of thine,
And our inmost being fill:

If thou take they grace away,
Nothing pure in man will stay;
All his good is turned to all.

Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour thy dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away:

Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.

Thou, on us who evermore
Thee confess and thee adore,
With thy sevenfold gifts descent:

Give us comfort when we die;
Give us life with thee on high;
Give us joys that never end.

 

Father Edward Wood SSS
Blessed Sacrament Congregation, St Francis’ Church
326 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, 3000, Australia
Tel:  (03) 9663 2495
October 2016 (Reprinted)