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 | By Father Charles Irvin

Spiritual Hunger

We are all aware of the hunger that plagues our world, and the struggle of many to access clean water. We should give generously to agencies that bring food, water and vital supplies to those who hunger and thirst. But there are others who hunger and thirst in their hearts and souls. We shouldn’t neglect them either.

Teens, for instance. They hunger for recognition. They thirst for love and attention. They want to be taken seriously, and have respect shown them. How do we relate to them?

Then there are the elderly who spend lonely days and nights alone or in nursing homes waiting for visits from children, grandchildren and friends. They, too, hunger and thirst.

Are you the owner of a business or do you supervise others in the company where you work? Try to be aware of those employees under your watch who are perhaps longing for a good word from you, waiting for your appreciation for their dedication and efforts.

Spouses need to hear a “good word” from one another from time to time. A spouse can never be told enough that you love him or her. The same for your kids. Your mom and, yes, your dad may be hungering and thirsting for your appreciation of all they do for you, and to hear those magical words “I love you” fall from your lips. Hugs don’t hurt either.

And don’t forget priests, the parish secretary and others who minister to you in your parish. They hear plenty about what’s wrong in the Church. You have no idea what a good word or two can do for them. Your good word may inspire them to strive even harder to preach well and to serve you better.

Those who hunger and thirst are all around us, some much closer than we may think. Certainly, we all are busy and concerned about many things. But let’s you and I spend a moment or two thinking about those we know and love who may be hungering and thirsting for some love and attention we can give them.

Remember that when we die and meet Jesus, he is going to take the measure of us. He’s not going to measure our heads; he’s going to measure our hearts.