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Chapter 1. My Soul Longs for You, O God • 3

People have always asked fundamental questions: Who am I? Where did

I come from? Where am I going? Why do I need to struggle to achieve

my goals? Why is it so hard to love and be loved? What is the meaning

of sickness, death, and evil? What will happen after death?

These questions relate to human existence. They also move one to

ask questions about the divine because they pertain to God’s existence.

When asked with ever deeper reflection, they uncover an inner sense of

longing for God. They challenge our minds, but the mind’s answers are

not always sufficient. We must also become aware of the mysterious

yearning of the human heart.

God has planted in every human heart the hunger and longing for

the infinite, for nothing less than God. St. Augustine, a theologian from

the fifth century, said it best: “Our heart is restless until it rests in you”

(St. Augustine,

The Confessions

, bk. 1, chap. 1, 1; cf. CCC, no. 30).

How is our quest for God awakened? God first pursues us; this spurs

us to search for him for whom we were made. The



three paths through which every person can come to God: creation, the

human person, and Revelation. In the next chapter, Revelation will be

presented as the greatest and most essential path to God. He is discov-

ered also through creation and through the mystery of our inner life.


The heavens declare the glory of God.

—Ps 19:2

Ever since the creation of the world, his invisible attri-

butes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be

understood and perceived in what he has made.

—Rom 1:20

St. Augustine asks us to look at the beauty of the world and let it open us

to God. “Question the beauty of the earth, question the beauty of the sea

. . . question the beauty of the sky. . . . All respond, ‘See, we are beautiful.’