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“All of us are born into this world with a deep and insatiable longing for Paradise. Perhaps we are not even aware of it. Most of us bury it beneath the mire of our passions; we try to satisfy this pure and holy desire with the trinkets and amusements of this fallen world. We become as ships tossed to and fro, as wanderers amid the wasteland of this life, consumed by a gnawing hunger for we know not what. But no matter how we might try to slake our endless, unquenchable desire, we all — like the Prodigal Sons that we are — always end up finding ourselves enslaved to our passions, perishing with hunger, and very, very far away from home.” (Hieromonk Gabriel) 

“Man has a relentless hunger for material gain, which he thinks will insulate him from misfortune; but wealth is false security. This deluded quest for self-sufficiency is described elsewhere as virtual atheism (Ps 11:4, 5). The yield is not security but death and destruction. There is no security other than in God.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Habbukuk 2:10)

“The difficulty with a materialist account of reality is its total indifference to every form and instance of suffering as well as its emptiness of meaning (perhaps the greatest suffering of all). It is little wonder that entertainment (as a form of escape) is such a strong feature of our culture. It assuages the boredom of an empty world. The classical Christian witness, though, is that the world is not empty. It is filled with a depth of meaning and witness, of presence and signification. As clearly as we are wired for hunger, for fear, for sight and sound, so we are wired for transcendence. Without it, our lives begin to shrink and we fail to thrive.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“The young man [the Prodigal Son] had once had everything. But his rebellious spirit and his desire for the world caused him to squander every last cent. You know sin is never isolated. It pervades our mind and heart. It pervades our being. He ran away to sin and “experience the world.” But one thing built on another and he quickly lost his senses. He found himself working for a man who didn’t care for him. Had the man cared for him, he would have fed the young man, but he did not. So the young man in his desperation contemplated eating the swine’s food. This is how sin reduces the stature of a man and makes him like a slave. Yet, there was still hope. God used the young man’s troubles and trials to bring him to a deep hunger. Through this hunger, we are told that the young man “came to himself.” (Fr. James Guirguis)

“This world operates on a very limited dimension of reality. Meanwhile, change occurs all around us, giving and then taking away. Perhaps we are so fascinated with everything this life offers that we forget about the kingdom of God. However, there is still hope. Christ stands before us, offering us the dimension of eternity. Never mind what is past; let it go. God’s reign cuts across the grain of our deceptive and disrupted existence. At this very moment, the unchanging Lord Jesus is here. We weep because we fail to perceive His presence. We accept our poverty and hunger for Him, so that we can be fed from His table. We rejoice today and leap for joy, for our reward may still be great in heaven. Only the false delusion of well-being blocks our way and sends us astray.” (Dynamis 12/6/2023)

“Let me allow God to turn my emotional hunger into spiritual hunger for Him as I try to avoid pathways that lead only to my numerous cravings.” (Archpriest Steven John Belonick)

“When the Lord came to the Samaritan city of Sychar (Jn 4:4-43), He and the disciples stopped near Jacob’s well. While the disciples go “away into the city to buy food” (vs. 8), an extensive conversation takes place between the Lord and a woman who has come to draw water. As the discussion is ending, the disciples return with food. The disciples urge the Lord, “Rabbi, eat” (vs. 31). He replies, “I have food to eat of which you do not know” (vs. 32). They are puzzled, and so the Lord Jesus explains, “'My food is to do the will of Him Who sent Me, and to finish His work’” (vs. 34). Teaching and doctrine are what nourish the Lord. Something in us hungers for a kind of food that no bread in this world can ever satisfy, for “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from of the mouth of God” (Mt 4:4). The words of God and His holy doctrine are the “bread of the kingdom” that we receive (Lk 14:15) – although often we are able to take only the milk of doctrine, not its strong meat (1 Cor 3:2). Still, our spirits hunger and thirst for the word of God and for good teaching. “Blessed are these who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled” (Mt 5:6).” (Dynamis 12/17/2021)

“By his [St. Peter] admonition about desiring the milk of the word [1 Peter 2:2] he touches those who come on willingly and with contempt to listening to sacred readings, unacquainted with that thirst and hunger of which the Lord says, ‘Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled’ [Matthew 5:6]. And therefore they attain rather slowly the perfect growth of salvation at which they can be fed with the solid food of the word, that is, perceive the divine secrets and accomplish greater good.” (St. Bede)

“And it would be a great lie to tell searching souls: ‘Go to church, because there you will find peace.’ The opposite is true. She tells those who are at peace and asleep: ‘Go to church, because there you will feel real alarm about your sins, about your perdition, about the world’s sins and perdition. There you will feel an unappeasable hunger for Christ’s truth. There instead of lukewarm you will become ardent, instead of pacified you will become alarmed, instead of learning the wisdom of this world, you will become foolish in Christ.” (Jim Forest, Mother Maria Skobtsova)

“When presented with a freshly baked apple pie, you could react in two ways. One way is that you look at it and believe it’s an apple pie. You believe that apples and sugar and flour went into the making of it and that it went through a process of baking to be ready for you to eat. You even believe that it tastes good. This is to objectively believe that the pie exists and that it’s a good, tasty apple pie. But another way to react is that you take a bite. As you eat the pie, you receive it. You know that the pie exists, but you have more than objective knowledge because you’re taking it in. You subjectively experience the pie as more than an object existing on the table; you enjoy its pleasant taste and texture, and your hunger is satisfied. The pie is no longer outside of you; you’ve received it, and as you digest it, it becomes one with you! When we believe into Christ, we can taste Him and take Him into us. This is much more meaningful, and even crucial, than merely thinking about Him and believing that He is real.” (Witness Lee)

“Some men attain great esteem in this world—their accomplishments are significant in the eyes of men. But at the end of their lives, how many of these men rest in peace? How many of these men satisfy that deep hunger each of us has for purpose, meaning, and significance?” (Patrick Morley)

“Give man everything which he desires and he will enjoy it for a while, but afterwards he will become indifferent to it, because he feels that something else, much more elevated, is missing. Is it not in that way that the child, too, enjoys every new toy until it grows hungry? Then it abandons the toy and looks for food. A certain inextinguishable inner hunger for truth, joy, and peace in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17) torments our soul and does not give us peace, even among the best pleasures of life and among the most enviable achievements in the world. This blessed hunger is a hunger for God.” (Archimandrite Seraphim Aleksiev of Bulgaria)

“If you experience a feeling of hunger or thirst, and wish to eat and drink, think of the hunger or thirst of the soul (it thirsts after righteousness, for justification, Christ, for sanctification), which, if you do not satisfy your soul may die from hunger, crushed by the passions, weakened and exhausted; and in satisfying your bodily hunger, do not forget to appease, above all and before all, your spiritual hunger, by conversing with God, by heart-felt repentance for your sins, by reading the story and precepts of the Gospel, and especially by the communion of the Divine Mysteries of the Body and Blood of Christ. “ (St. John of Kronstadt)

“Deep within every mortal heart lies a created hunger for the heavenly mountains of God’s presence.” (Michael Phillips)

“The enjoyment of God is insatiable, and the more anyone tastes and eats, the more he hungers.” (Pseudo-Macarius)

“Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness see the presence of God and His Kingdom as the most important thing in life.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Matthew 5:6)

“ ‘Blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.’ (Mt. 5:6). The terms righteousness or the righteous that we read often in Sacred Scripture and spiritual reading are frequently ill-understood. Firstly, it is not something merely external or superficial or as defined in the dictionary as simply being "morally upright." Our Lord starts out this beatitude by connecting righteousness with hungering and thirsting for it. This means that righteousness must come from the depths of our spirit, that is to say the center of our minds and the depths of our hearts.” (Father George Morelli)

“Our Lord is only with those who need Him. When we lose our daily need for Him, then our souls become satisfied with the world. A man who does not hunger does not eat, and so one who does not hunger for God cannot partake of His goodness. This is why the Church has always urged us to participate in spiritual exercises like fasting and almsgiving, that we might stir up within ourselves the hunger for God. This hunger, this desire for God, will draw us closer to Him.” (Metropolitan Joseph)

“Union with God is what we seek. It is what we hunger for.” (Marlena Graves)

“For most of human history, people lived in the same place their whole lives. They grew up together, knew one another, married each other, and died together in villages, towns, and cities. Today we are free to move from one place to another, and the disintegration of the nuclear family, extended family, and communities is becoming commonplace. We hunger for this closeness and a sense of true community, yet find fewer opportunities to build community together.” (Father Barnabas Powell)

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