Those who Hunger and Thirst for Righteousness

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The only thing left to do sometimes is to pray that what justice can’t repair, love will. — Paula Huston.

on what that mighty word righteousness means.

Righteousness - It's a word  I hardly ever use in ordinary conversation except when I rebuke myself or others,
(nearly always politicians) for being self-righteous-
The peacock standing proud is the image here !

Thinking of the type of righteousness that might be relevant:
How many of us would even consider going on Hunger Strike for a cause we believed passionately in ?

Then there is the righteousness of living in a way that does no harm!!

those who hunger for righteousness Pictures, Images and Photos
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The kind of righteousness in the beatitudes is nothing to do with wanting to experience some kind of short lived and unsustainable spiritual high.

It may be a thirst and hunger to transform our language of desire from the want of a consumer, trapped in the seductions of the marketplace to one that embraces the sacred life giving space of the Kingdom of God.

It is  marked by poverty of spirit, grief over personal failings, outrage over personal and global social injustices, abuse of human rights global environmental degardation and a meekness that we have to admit we cannot always be brave enough or capable enough to fight and that often if we do we will fail.

Physical and spiritual appetites are normal to healthy human beings. 

Yet neither the body nor the soul is self-sustaining. 

Both must be fed regularly. 

Just as physical hunger is a sign of physical health, so the insatiable spiritual longing and hunger for God's word to prevail is a sign of spiritual health. 
The dry periods, when we no longer feel spiritual but resolve to continue to try and live the Christian life  may paradoxically be the moments of greatest spiritual strength.

Dissatisfaction has an important place in our soul and this beatitude reminds us to cultivate it.

Ultimately it is dissatisfaction that helps us set our sights on God and heaven. The fact is that we have a dissatisfaction, a thirst that is so deep that this world can’t even come close to quenching it. Our thirst is infinite but the world is finite.

Jesus met a woman from Samaria at a well. She came because she was thirsty. But the Lord taught her, and us, “Everyone who drinks from this well will be thirsty again“ .The well is this world which can never satisfy us for long. How could a finite world quench an infinite longing? Of course we are dissatisfied. A puny little universe can never hope to fill a God-sized hole in our hearts.
Jesus goes on to teach her and us, “But whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst and the water I shall give will become a spring of water welling up to eternal life” 

God knows the real us. He sees the mixed impure motives behind some of what we do. 
He also sees the longing for righteousness behind it all and in that longing for righteousness He pronounces the longing blessed and promises that it shall be satisfied.
But we need to find  sacred space in this increasingly secular world to feel our thirst, to listen to our dissatisfaction and not suppress them.
We need to cultivate them and let them speak: “I hunger, I thirst, I long.” This beatitude tells me the fuller meaning of these basic sensual urges. So what these basic desires are actually  saying, “ It’s not really about sex, or popularity, or a new car, computer or some creature comfort. It’s God….

It is a great comfort to know that God meets us at the point of our aspiration, not our achievement. He is more concerned with  intention than success. Few of us will be spiritual giants in our lives but we can still stand on the shoulders of those who continue to show us the way. 

Someone once suggested that the Beatitudes should be put in the London Underground as a poster. It is a sad fact that we cannot even do this these days because it may "offend" others.  But it is comforting to know that no matter how far short we fall from perfect righteousness, God will reward our hunger and thirst.

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled." Maybe not in this world but someday, somewhere !!

Links to more  reflections below

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