Awakening the Desire for God – Part 1

Authored by Sr. Hyacinthe DeFos Du Rau in Issue #31.4 of The Sower

How can catechesis awaken desire for God? This question is especially relevant at a time where the practice of the Catholic Faith in the Western world tends to depend less on cultural and family values and more on personal adherence. How can catechesis foster this personal adherence through awakening desire for God?

Although there are few references to desire for God and its importance in catechesis in the documents of the Magisterium, they are all unanimous in pointing to desire for God as an essential element of human life whose finality, at once personal and universal, is found in God. The most important statement is at the very beginning of the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

‘The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for.’1

This desire for God is therefore inseparable from the ‘“desire for true happiness’2 and resounds when man is faced with making moral choices. This desire for happiness finds an earthly fulfilment when the Beatitudes are taken as a rule of life.3 Moreover, it is this desire for happiness, this desire for the coming of the kingdom of God, which prompts our prayer and petition to God,4 and it is out of desire to see ‘the Face of the Lord’ that we enter into prayer and into the liturgy.5

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