Filling the existential void PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 23 July 2016 13:40

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

Many of us are familiar with those famous words of St. Augustine: “Our hearts are restless till they find rest in you.” These words indicate that we are actually made for God who created us in his image and likeness and to be children of his through his grace which he gives us abundantly.

That’s why there’s actually a natural longing that we have for God.

Thus, the Catechism teaches that “the desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God.” Besides, “God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for.” (CCC 27)

The problem is that we can tend to deceptively pacify that longing, at least for a while, with our own versions of God or with a series of  worldly things. This is where we can talk about the so-called “existential void,” that many philosophers and thinkers of our time have already acknowledged and yet cannot be clear yet as to how it can be filled. Only God can fill that void, God who is everything to us.

The problem is that in our effort to look for God, we find it hard to have a God outside of ourselves, that is, a God who transcends our senses, feelings and understanding. We want a God who is under our power. If we cannot fully know or understand him, then he cannot be God.

As a consequence, people who do not believe in God or who has another god aside from the true God, behave in an alienated way. They can entertain themselves with all sorts of earthly things, but joy and peace will continue to elude them. They can fake that joy and peace, but sooner or later, the falsity just cannot cope with the challenges, issues, problems in life.

At least in ancient biblical times, the false idols were easily recognized. They were clearly man-made, graven images that had mouths that did not speak, ears that did not hear, eyes that did not see. Though they managed to mesmerize people for a while, it did not take long to expose them to be false.

Today’s gods are more subtle. They are not objects that one can see and touch. They too appear to be spiritual. They seem to have mouths that speak, ears that hear and eyes