An Empty Space

A Reflection by Fr. Kevin Obrien, SJ

St. Ignatius believed that our deepest desires are God-given. To long for intimacy with God or others, or to thirst for wisdom, justice, or peace is to encounter God in a very real, utterly human way.

So it’s good to pray with these desires, but it’s not always easy to pray this way. As we get in touch with our deepest desires, we realize they’re unfulfilled. We feel empty. But in the emptiness is an invitation.

St. Augustine intuited that God leaves desires unfulfilled for a time so that our longing stretches the capacity of our soul to receive more than we can imagine now. So let’s not rush too quickly from this spot, but enjoy the expectation of the unimaginable fulfillment of our longings that God desires for us.

Fr. Kevin Obrien, SJ

Fr. Kevin Obrien, SJ

Fr. Kevin O'Brien, SJ, is the vice president for mission and ministry at Georgetown University. The former lawyer-turned-Jesuit is also the author of The Ignatian Adventure, an award-winning guide to the Spiritual Exercises.

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