“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied"
(Jesus of Nazareth)
There is a hunger and thirst deep within our soul. It has a longing and a craving that needs to be met one way or the other. Some of the most beautiful and most satisfying things of life happen when we meet the hunger of our soul in truly satisfying ways. On the contrary, we get disillusioned and disappointed when we try to satisfy our souls with junk-food, not real soul food. Admittedly, junk-food can be a convenient bite on the run, but it rarely satisfies our body´s nutritious needs. So also, for every true need of the soul, there is both a satisfying way and a pseudo-way of meeting that need.
Soul Love The soul has a craving for relationships and love. It thrives on feeling connected and rooted in deep relationships, with a sense of true acceptance and belonging. In all ancient religions and cultures, the soul has been understood as belonging to and being part of all creation – and connected in a spiritual way, to other living souls. The notion of an individual soul, is a postmodern invention (see previous blog on soul love).
Now, in our individualistic and postmodern culture, many are not able or willing to invest in these kinds of relationships and they seek to meet the need for soul love and connection in pseudo ways. We seek approval and recognition as a substitute for affirmation and love. Achievements and possessions become ways to seek acceptance and appeal. Status become the pseudo need of our soul. Researches and marketing gurus have long discovered how to capitalize on these pseudo love-drugs and enslave people into thinking that material status brings soul satisfaction.
Soul rest “O my soul! Return and relax. Come to your true rest” (Psalm 116:17).
In most spiritual ages and cultures, the habit of rest and recreation by solitude, meditation and prayers have been practiced for millennia (see previous post on soul rest). It takes quietness and rest to restore our soul. It takes quietness to feel ourselves, our bodies and emotions and to examine our paths. After a long day of duties, we long for resting and refreshing our souls. As we seek to unplug ourselves, we usually end up plugging into some kind of electronic media, news, entertainment or other digital distractions. While these can be nice to have they rarely satisfy our souls craving for true rest.
“My soul thirsts for God, for the living God” (Psalm 42:2).
While there are many ways to fulfill the craving needs of our souls, both legitimate and more dubious ones, if we do not satisfy our Spiritual needs, the soul will remain thirsting. Our soul longs to be connected to something greater than ourselves. To find strength, hope and faith beyond itself. It longs to be able to reflect quietly on the most important questions of our lives. And it longs for the quite listening for answers to those questions, deep within ourselves, our surroundings and within the Spiritual realm.
We have a thirsty soul and a hungry heart. But how do we go about meeting those needs? Take a time today and reflect on those things and listen to the words of a person who is perfectly able to sympathize with us:
“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst” (John 6:35).