Longing seems like such a useless emotion. It doesn’t make the thing longed for come any faster. It seems to only make the one who longs unsatisfied, frustrated even. It’s not what one could call a ‘peaceful’ feeling, but one that upsets stability, seeming to condemn the present because it does not contain the future longed-for thing or person. It makes the person who feels it unsettled, aware of their incompleteness, their unhappiness, and of their inability to bring about what is desired. Who needs it!

And yet, the psalm response this last day of the Church year asks us to focus on the longing of our hearts, the cry “Mar ana tha!” The good thing about this longing is it reminds us that, while we look to find God in all things here, the fullness of God is ahead, in the future. So perhaps we can put up with a little frustration right now.

What are the longings, the desires of your heart?

—Fr. Dennis Dillon, S.J. serves as pastoral minister at St. Mary Student Parish in Ann Arbor, MI. He is also an avid stamp collector and accomplished magician.