From the Lips of Babes

“Who is that?”

“That is Jesus on the cross.”

“Why is He all beat up?”

“He loved us so much that he came all the way from heaven to suffer and die to save us, even when we killed Him.”

“Why did people kill Him.”

“They didn’t like that He told them that He was God, even though He is.”

“Where is God?”

“God is in heaven, and He is right here in front of us in the Eucharist.”

“I don’t see God. I don’t see Him! Why can’t I see God! I want to see God! I want to see Him!”

As the little boy began pounding on the floor and screaming this over and over during Eucharistic adoration, I wasn’t sure whether I should be troubled or edified. The boy at the Bible camp I’m working at this summer followed a different route of questions than St. Thomas in his Summa Theologiae, but he reached the same conclusion: the deepest desire of the heart of man is to see God. Either way, the boy certainly put the “restless” in St. Augustine’s quote: “Our hearts are restless, Lord, until they rest in thee.”

Yet the child’s insistence is a good reminder to all of us: it really stinks that we don’t see God. It can be tempting to think of Augustine’s quote merely as a reference to his past, to think that he used to be restless but, once converted, rested in God. And yet, in this life we still do not see Him. In this vale of tears, there can be no perfect rest.

The only consolation I could offer to the rightly inconsolable child was to point to the Eucharist. I could not say, “Look there, you can see God,” because, in fact, we can’t; the sense of sight is utterly foiled. All I could say is “God is right here,” and, feeling the want of sight myself, in my heart join him:

“I want to see God! I want to see Him!”

Image: Image: Raphael, detail from Sistine Madonna

From Dominicana Journal