Our heart’s deepest longing

By Engr. Carlos V. Cornejo

Deep inside us we have a longing that no created thing in this world could satisfy.  From this premise C.S. Lewis derived his argument for the existence of God and heaven.  Here are his exact words from his book, Mere Christianity: “Creatures are not born with desires unless satisfaction for these desires exists. A baby feels hunger; well, there is such a thing as food. A duckling wants to swim; well, there is such a thing as water. Men feel sexual desire; well, there is such a thing as sex. If I find in myself a desire which no experience in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that I was made for another world.”  And that is why there is Heaven, because our desires are always much greater than what this world can offer.  As a line in Robert Browning’s poem says, “A man’s reach must exceed his grasp or else what are the Heavens for.”

Imagine if that deep desire in us would not be fulfilled then this would be a cruel world indeed.  God would then be a cruel God for giving us a desire that cannot be fulfilled.  It would be making us thirsty with no water to quench our thirst.  Heaven gives meaning to Earth or to our existence here on Earth especially in relation to the most dreaded things we experience here on earth: death, evil and suffering.  Here’s what St. Paul says if there is no hope of heaven or the resurrection, “If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised.”  (1 Cor 15:32) And because our suffering and sacrifices here on earth if offered up to God have a value in the next life, then we can bear it.  That is why our beloved kababayan martyrs St. Lorenzo Ruiz and St. Pedro Calungsod offered up their lives for God because Heaven is worth all our sacrifices here on earth.

If life on earth is not a road to heaven, then it is a merry-go-round minus the merry.  It would be like an Old Mutt and Jeff comic strip that shows little Jeff standing next to a pile of stones in the center of a busy highway at night.  There’s a lantern on top of the pile of stones.  Mutt comes along and asks, “Hey Jeff, did you put that lantern there?” “Yes, Mutt” “What for?”  “To warn the cars so they don’t hit this pile of stones.”  “Good thinking, Jeff.  But did you put the stones there too?”  “Yes, Mutt.”  “What for?”  “To hold the lantern up of course.”  The lantern is for the pile of stones and the pile of stones is for the lantern.  Our life too can become useless and senseless going around if we don’t see the purpose of our life here on earth.  If this is the only life we have and one day everything goes down the drain, then we might as well follow the hedonist principle, “Let us drink and be merry for tomorrow we will die” as St. Paul has said in his letter to the Corinthians. (1 Cor 15:32) Unfortunately, some people live that way, not believing in the next life and not preparing for it, as Blessed Bishop Fulton Sheen would say, “Saints never deny Hell; they fear it.  Unrepentant sinners never fear it, for they deny it exists.”

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