As I continue with my vacation I offer you a modified article from CatholicLink English (twitter @catholiclink_en) written by Garrett Johnson. HUNGER FOR INFINITY – OCTOBER 13, 2017
From the moment that we were called into existence, we received a call to cross the desert of life. And no one can make it without water. Thus, we can summarize our existence with two words: “I thirst.”
From the wailing of birth to the silence of death, we experience an overwhelming urge to satiate this thirst. Evidently, we not only thirst for water, but also for recognition, affection, for gestures of love: a motherly embrace, a paternal caress, a lover’s glance, a kiss of veneration, or simply a word of salutation. This thirst, this desire that defines us is healthy, good, and beautiful. The challenge is to discern what really satisfies our desire and what simply is meant to move us forward.
We come upon all sorts of “water fountains” (i.e. sources of affection, recognition, etc.). These are meant to give us strength, courage, sustenance for the journey. They become harmful, however, when we latch on to these temporary water supplies and abandon the journey forward. God never intended these “water fountains” to carry enough water to satiate our thirst. When we make them end points and place our faith and hope in them our lives begin to feel unfulfilled and hopeless.
This is what happens every time we forget that our thirst can never be completely satiated with the “bottles” or “fountains” of this world. Even beautiful and healthy relationships can become obstacles when we begin to burden others with expectations that only God can fulfill. There is really only one healthy option: follow the signs towards the source of all water fountains, those signs of conversion, spiritual growth, and purification that God places on our path.
Unfortunately, that trail ahead isn’t always so inviting and it seems easier to just stay where we are. This is when we start drinking sand and convince ourselves that it’s water. Every time we resort to false sources of affection and self-affirmation, we start drinking sand. This can include a wide range of things: gossip or insulting someone in order to feel better about oneself, filling one’s need for affection and affirmation in activities that misuse and abuse our sexual nature. Or every time we act simply to gain the approval from others: spending all of our energy for results so that others applaud us, lying in order to pander to another, dressing immodestly to attract attention, etc. Or all those medicines that we use to anesthetize the pain: alcohol, drugs, endless hours of video games or binge-watching series. The list goes on. They take the edge off for a brief while. But if you listen to your heart afterwards, it will be clear enough that you are drinking sand. Our thirst is infinite; nothing other than the Living Water can quench it. We must seek for it (Him)! This is the life-or-death option that we must take every day. Every time we refuse to move on, we only become weaker. When Christ says that we must lose our lives to gain it, it is because we have to let go of the temporary sources of water in our life in order to receive the gift of his eternal gift of water. When speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus says: “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13-14).
Those who persevere on the journey are promised an eternal source of living water that dwells within them. This water changes the fear of losing into the security of eternal receiving, the spirit of possession transforms into the spirit of grateful giving. This is the great lesson passed on to us by the saints: once they moved from temporary springs to THE Eternal water, they too became like springs of living water, pouring themselves out endlessly to fill the empty hearts of those weary travelers who passed by.