About 2,000 fellow Angelenos and I spent the morning in prayer at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels. We began at 6:30 am with the rhythm of the Rosary. We heard angels’ voices coming through the Carmelite Sisters as they sang us through Mass. Truly the choir of angels came out during the communion song when the granddaughter of two of the original prayer breakfast organizers sang “How Beautiful,” in memory of her grandfather. She was a conduit of God’s love and she touched our souls through the vibration of sound – a beautiful way to begin this very special day.
As the morning continued we all gathered in the Cathedral Courtyard to enjoy breakfast. After Archbishop Gomez blessed the One Nation Under God United in Prayer Bracelets that we gifted each person in attendance, the event’s keynote speaker Bishop Barron spoke about the longing of the heart. His words were so impactful that I scribbled notes on my paper napkin so I could share them with you.
“BECAUSE YOU HAVE MADE US FOR YOURSELF, AND OUR HEARTS ARE RESTLESS TILL THEY FIND THEIR REST IN THEE.” – St. Augustine.
This my friends is truth and as St. Thomas Aquinas shared, as humans, we try to fill this longing of the heart with substitutes for God. However, the more we try to fill it with substitutes, the more empty we feel and it becomes a chase, an addiction, rather than peace and fulfillment. The four substitutes St. Thomas Aquinas identifies are wealth, power, pleasure, honor. We say to ourselves, “If I fill my life with enough of these things I will be happy.” But it becomes an infinite cavern. The more we dump in, the more we lose and we run faster, scared to run out, chasing for more. Yes, wealth makes us wealthier, power makes us powerful, fame makes us famous, but happiness only comes when we surrender to the will of God and allow God to seize us and use us as His instrument of love. According to Bishop Barron, “Thomas Aquinas said that if you want to see the perfect exemplification of the beatitudes, you should look to Christ crucified. The saint specified this observation as follows: if you want beatitude (happiness), despise what Jesus despised on the cross and love what he loved on the cross.” Come seek the will of God and when you do, you will be grounded in God and in the will of Christ. From this point, you will know what to do with wealth, power, pleasure and honor – surrender to the will of God, allow Him to flood your heart with love and then you will live in true freedom, free from attachment, free from addiction, free to be who you are born to be, free to become a summit of divine grace. – Amy