Hungering for Holiness

Image by Gerhard G. from Pixabay

Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after justice:

for they shall have their fill.

Matthew 5:6

In classical philosophy, and in sacred scripture, justice is more (but never less!) than giving to each his due. Or rather, justice looks beyond what is owed in a mundane reckoning.

Since every being, consciously or unconsciously, seeks its preservation and perfection, true justice is nothing less than providing what is requisite for the perfection of every being—and above all those beings, like human beings, created in the image and likeness of the One truly perfect Being.

While those who are poor in spirit are blessed to perceive that nothing matters in comparison to God, those who hunger and thirst after justice—that is, after the perfection God makes possible for them, and desires them to attain—are blessed to see the goal for which the sacrifice of lesser goods is eminently worthwhile.

St. Paul, chastising his body and refraining from all things that he might receive an incorruptible crown (1 Cor. 9:25-27), is a model of poverty and hunger rightly combined.

Since we are spiritual and social beings, our own perfection is impossible without the love of God, the only true Good, and of our neighbor, whose share in that Good is part of our own.

Though it is imperative that we curb our unruly desires for created things, seeking and using them only insofar as they are useful in the service of God, it is equally imperative that we stoke our desire for God and his justice.

No matter how much fuel we throw on that fire, its heat will never exceed the measure of God’s infinite goodness.

And with the hunger for holiness, unlike the hunger of the world, the greater we allow our desire to grow, the greater the abundance with which our bountiful Lord will fill us on that glorious day!

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