Today's reading: Psalms 58-63 (59-64)
Psalm 62 (63), another one of the Psalms read during every Orthros service, is the ultimate example of the desire for God. In this prayer, we see that David thirsted for God (vs. 1), that he valued the love of God even above his own life (vs. 3). Do we love God in this way?
A recent saint of our Church, St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia, said many beautiful things about desiring God. In the book, Wounded by Love, which contains a biography of St. Porphyrios and many of his collected sayings, he offers many valuable lessons on this important topic.
"If you are in love, you can live amid the hustle and bustle of the city centre and not be aware that you are in the city centre. You see neither cars nor people nor anything else. Within yourself you are with the person you love. You experience her, you take delight in her, she inspires you. Are these things not true? Imagine that the person you love is Christ. Christ is in your mind, Christ is in your heart, Christ is in your whole being, Christ is everywhere. …
One thing is our aim — love for Christ, for the Church, for our neighbour. Love, worship of, and craving for God, the union with Christ and with the Church is Paradise on earth."
This is a beautiful passage, but many times we simply don't find ourselves in this situation. We can't always honestly echo the prayer of David, saying to God, "Your steadfast love is better than life." Maybe we're at a place where we don't desire God, but we want to desire God. St. Porphyrios himself felt similarly. He recognized the truth of 1 John 4:19, "We love because He first loved us," and trusted that whatever efforts he made would be magnified by the love of God.
"As for myself, poor soul…what can I say… I’m very weak. I haven’t managed to love Christ so very fervently and for my soul to long for Him. I feel that I have a very long way to go. I haven’t arrived at where I want to be; I don’t experience this love. But I’m not discouraged. I trust in the love of god."