Noted Catholic thinker G. K. Chesterton once observed that animals are satisfied to be what they are. A bird can creatively build a nest, but once the nest is built, the bird “is satisfied and sings aloud with satisfaction.” The human being is different, however. A human will think about design and style. He will choose between many equally satisfactory options. And he will always be seeking ways to improve his knowledge.
According to Chesterton, understanding this distinction between humans and animals “is enough for most of us” (The Everlasting Man, 1.1). But many of us are still unsatisfied. Certainly, we can find happiness in this world. Marriage, the birth of a child, a fulfilling job, learning something new—these are all paths that can bring us happiness.
But even with all of these paths, we can still long for something more, and that longing keeps us unfulfilled. We sense that there is more to life. Something inside us tells us that our hearts will remain restless until we find our rest in God, as St. Augustine has said.
A Divine Exchange. At the Last Supper, Jesus told his disciples that the Holy Spirit would guide them into “all truth. . . . He will take from what is mine and declare it to you” (John 16:13, 15). He also promised that when this happened, they would be filled with joy (16:22). The message couldn’t be clearer: God wants to reveal himself to us.
We want to look into this word “revelation” this month. We want to look at three ways God reveals himself: through creation, through Scripture, and through the Church’s Sacred Tradition. We want to look at how Jesus is knocking at the door of our hearts and asking us to open ourselves up more fully to him and his revelation (Revelation 3:20).
When we open the door and invite Jesus in, a divine exchange happens. Jesus takes our meager efforts, our weak faith, our attempts at obedience, and he exchanges them with a sixty- and ninetyfold blessing.
In my own life, I have found that when I open the door to Jesus, my faith comes alive. The truly good news of the gospel is that I can know him personally and intimately as I set aside time for him. I can have a greater conviction about who I am as a child of God, and that inspires me to press on toward my heavenly goal.
I am certain that I am not alone in this. I believe that the Holy Spirit wants to open your eyes as well, whether you are the holiest person on earth or the weakest member of your parish.
So let’s pray that the Holy Spirit will give all of us “a spirit of wisdom and revelation” (Ephesians 1:17). Let’s pray that the eyes of our hearts will be enlightened, so that we can know “the hope that belongs to his call, . . . the riches of glory in his inheritance” and “the surpassing greatness of his power” (1:18, 19).