At a weekday Mass at UST the other day, the celebrant (our head of Campus Ministry, who always manages to say something in his homily that speaks to me) opened his homily by asking why it is that we are so fascinated by falling snow or by a star-filled sky. Or why is it that we are so delighted by magic. These tendencies reflect, he suggested, our inherent desire to reach beyond to the transcendent. We are, he said (using a phrase I instantly fell in love with), drawn to divinity.
His words resonated deeply with me. I remember at a very young age having an intuitive sense that there must be something more, something beyond this physical existence. A sense that, however good one’s life here on earth might be (I would lie in bed and play out in my mind the best I could imagine), that it would be somehow incomplete, not enough, unless there was something beyond this, something more than this. I was much too young to use words like transcendence or even divinity. But I had a felt sense of exactly what the priest was talking about.
St. Augustine expressed this thought in his oft-repeated line, “God, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you.” We don’t always have words for the feeling. But if we sit in the silence, we feel a yearning, a yearning that simply cannot be satisfied by anyone or anything other than God. We are, by our nature, drawn to divinity.