Our greatest need PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 19 May 2018 13:14



ST. Augustine’s book, “De civitate Dei’ (The City of God), talks about two cities that are formed by two loves: the earthly city by the love of self, even to the contempt of God, and the heavenly city by the love of God, even to the contempt of self. He postulates that in the end, we have a choice as to whom to love: God or ourselves.

Of course, theoretically it should be God whom we should love, since he is the very source, pattern, power and end of love. “Deus caritas est,” as we are told in the first letter of St. John. (4,8)

But we always have the uncanny tendency to negate that ideal and love ourselves instead of God. This is what we have to be most aware of and do something about. This is going to be lifelong struggle for us.

And the reason for that is because we often misuse our freedom, that God-given endowment that enables us to choose and to love. Instead of referring the exercise of our freedom to God always, we many times just refer it to our own judgments and estimations. It’s this freedom that would determine whether we are with God or just by our own selves.

The challenge is how to make us feel that our greatest need is, in fact, God whom we ought to love first and last. He is the greatest good that we can aim at, infinitely better than any earthly good we can find in ourselves and in the world.

That is why Christ, when asked what the greatest commandment was, simply said that it is to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” (Mt 12,29)

But many times, we do not see this fact, this plain truth.

It could be because we can think that we do not feel the need for God as much as feel the need for food, air, money, prestige, progress, etc.

It is actually a wrong reasoning to have, since all our material, natural and human needs are provided for by God in the first place. If there is no God, there would be no food, no air, no water, no money, no prestige and progress, etc.

Of course, there is also that tendency to think that things simply depend on us because we are increasingly capable of doing and accomplishing things. As if God has nothing to do with our capabilities!

We need to correct these anomalies and should really pause for time to time to consider certain basic and indispensable truths about ourselves. We are creatures of God who is a Father to us and who provides us with everything.

Our greatest need is actually God. He not only provides us with our material, earthly and human needs. He gives us what is truly and ultimately necessary for us—our own salvation, our own reconciliation with God our Father whom we have wronged with our sins.

He gives us the grace that will definitely make us the image and likeness of God, adopted children of his.

We should find ways to make us feel not only our constant need for God, but also our immediate need for him. That’s because very often, we get carried away by the drama and the twists and turns of our earthly life. As a result, we often are confused and lost, or simply so mesmerized and affected that we fail to see things properly.

We need to wage some kind of revolution within ourselves to correct the errors of our times so that we will always feel the need for God and the urge to correspond to that need. This may be a tall order, but it is not impossible at all! With God, everything is doable and achievable.