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Yearning, we all do it—whether for a new bicycle, for the phone to ring, for the healing of a break-up, or for restoration to health.  Woven into this feeling is a pseudo hope, even perhaps a flight into fantasy or theft. How well I remember stealing the faux-gray suede wallet at a downtown store, related in an earlier blog.

But there’s a spiritual kind of yearning that empties the heart of the inessential, that demands reigning wayward instincts, that activates patience and discernment, and that reorients the psyche toward experiences of critical new learning.

Such leaves stretchmarks upon the psyche, hankers for the unknown that alone will satisfy, and thirsts for the unquenchable.

Old Testament texts abound with examples. Whenever yearning’s grip is too much, the waiting, too ambivalent, I turn to the psalms or the Book of Job for help: The Ancients had experienced this pull, as well, and recorded their experience.

Then you will call, and I will answer you, you will yearn for me the work of your hands, says Job to Yahweh (14:15). Such references His Unconditional love for us, and for those preparing for the physical death of their bodies, an extreme consolation. 

In these Heart-whispering blogs, I’ve given way to the many faces of yearning, only to have waited out another lull with its subtle diminishment. And more purification and spiritual growth are still to come.

At 4 A.M., I awoke with this awesome dream:

I stand alone atop a steep hill as soft breezes caress my cheeks. Pinpricks of jeweled tones stud the night sky like a Moroccan shawl.

I perceived the dream as a gift from Creator God; its colors were flickering, inviting. Never have I experienced anything as beautiful—like screening the entrance into eternal life.

I’m grateful.

O King of the nations, and their desire,

the cornerstone making both one:

Come and save the human race,

which you fashioned from clay.

On December 22, 2020, the sixth O Antiphon addresses the longed-for Messiah as King of the Nations, as drawn from Isaiah 2:4; 9:7; 28: 16-17; 69:8; and Ps 118:22.

A composite of metaphors constitutes the next short prayer. The Israelites’ King would be like none other. Associated with this image were magic and supernatural powers, supreme consciousness, the virtues of sound judgment and self-control, and the ability to govern. All peoples would welcome his influence and corresponding harmony and prosperity.

The King would also become their cornerstone, an image of solidarity, of configuration upon which the structure depended; without its precise placement among the other stones, it would crumble. It also reflected the King’s strength and resiliency of character to counter the resurgence of evil.

The petition in the Antiphon suggests the Israelites’ desperation over repeated failure—as if only a new creation could bring about the desired changes needed to restore their identity as the Chosen Ones of Yahweh. Just as the Genesis story narrated Yahweh fashioning Adam from the slime of the earth, so the Israelites expressed willingness to be molded anew.

And not only is the imperative Come repeated, but the plea for salvation, as well—it has become my own.

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