July 27, 2008

What to Wish For

What do you ask for when you pray? If God spoke to you physically, directly and let you ask for anything you wanted, what would you ask? What is really of value?

In the first reading today, Solomon has just that chance - to ask God for any one thing he wants. And what is his answer?
Give your servant, therefore, an understanding heartto judge your people
and to distinguish right from wrong. (1 Kings 3:9)

When St. Thomas Aquinas was asked the same question by God, he replied only three words - "Only Yourself, Lord". 1, 2

There are so many things we want in this life, so many things we believe we need. There is, however, only one thing that is truly important, and St. Thomas put it succinctly. That is the end of the faith journey we are all on. That is our destination and the ultimate possession we seek - our "pearl of great price" (Matt 13:45-46) - whether we know it or not, whether we admit it or not. That is why our hearts are restless, as St. Augustine wrote - because God has made us and directed us toward Himself.3

1. Aquinas, Western Philosophy in Theological Perspective, Boston University. Online, accessed 7/27/08.
2. Calhoun, D. Thomas Aquinas. Ancient & Medieval Church History. Covenant Seminary. Online, accessed 7/27/08.
3. Augustine. Confessions. 1-1.

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