Inspirational thoughts and random writings from the alumni and friends of Quad-Cities Christian Writers Conference.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Longing Heart

By Sr. Jeannette Doran, OCD

The human heart hungers for God. And our hearts are truly restless until they rest in God. With fear that our needs will not be met, we search in empty places for what will satisfy us. This continues the cycle of trying to fill ourselves with fruit from bare branches. One will not find lasting happiness. The longing in our hearts can only be filled with God.

John of the Cross writes that “the center of our soul is God”. In taking moments of quiet to enter into our inner depths and seek God, peace will penetrate our being.

Yet we say in our chaotic world how is it possible to find a real silence? The noise of news blares from all corners of our immediate world. This can draw us so quickly into the almost daily reports of roadside bombs in Afghanistan, and gun violence in families and cities across our country. How can one find this quiet space?

Personally, I've begun to realize interior peace is attainable, even if world wars exist. St. John of the Cross writes in the third book of The Ascent of Mount Carmel that peace and tranquility are such blessings that even if the whole world were to come to an end this should not disturb our peace. Victor Frankl wrote of his experience in the Nazi concentration camps. He reflected that when one focused on some gift of beauty each day such as the sight of the rosy hue of mornings light, one could survive and find meaning in life. Many who lived severe atrocities survived because they learned to do just this. We learn that even in seemingly unbearable circumstances we can cry out to God in the center of our soul.

It does take practice not to allow oneself to be overwhelmed in darkness but this can be done in becoming aware of the beauty in our lives. Awareness comes when we take time to touch the velvet rose petals and grasp the lovely lilies, to gaze at the gentle sky-blue pinks of dawn and the vibrant red-orange hues at sunset. It is realized when we understand why the deer longs for refreshing water surrounding us each day. The more we taste and see what beauty envelopes us we praise God for these gifts surrounding us each day. Above all when we fill our minds and hearts with holy thoughts, our serenity will be guarded and moment by moment we can hold on to a lasting joy. It is possible for the longing in our hearts for God to be satisfied.


  1. Beautiful post, Sister Jeannette. You always challenge me to go deeper into the amazing life God offers those who seek Him.

  2. I agree with Gail. Beautiful and challenging post, Sister Jeannette.