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…and the desire for God

In the Greek language, both Modern and Ancient, truth is aletheia (αλήθεια) and this word is derived from a + Lethe (α+λήθη) which mean non-forgetfulness. In Greek thought, therefore, truth is that which cannot be forgotten. It is not forgotten because it does not change. A lie is invented and, in all likelihood, will soon be forgotten since it does not correspond to reality, whereas the truth remains the same.

Having accepted that all that exists, the whole universe and ourselves within it are due to God’s creative act we can explain the nostalgia man feels for God, who remains “the same yesterday, today and tomorrow” (Hebr. 13, 8) and who is Truth itself. Christ has clearly said it:  “I am the truth” (John 14,6).

Our very existence is grounded in God. Deep within our heart we have the nostalgia of Paradise lost and of the happiness to be in God’s friendship. Whether consciously or subconsciously this desire to find God permeates us and prompts us to move upwards, that is to be attracted to all that is true, good, virtuous and beautiful.

It is the Spirit of God who moves us. “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you to all truth” (John 16, 13).


In defense of the above there is, also, the etymological origin of the word man / human being in Greek, anthropos (άνθρωπος); according to certain linguists this word is derived from two words, namely ano + throsko (άνω + θρώσκω) meaning to be looking up / upwards (ano=up and throsko= to contemplate, to look). In Greek threskeia (θρησκεία) means religion.

As language follows  thought, in the Greek way of thinking the human being is the creature that looks upwards, contemplates, looks over the world surrounding him, further, beyond his horizon, beyond heaven. Man is the creature which is religious, i.e. the creature which searches for the truth, for God and for a relation with Him.

The desire for God is written in the human heart, because man is created by God and for God; and God never ceases to draw man to himself. Only in God will he find the truth and happiness he never stops searching for:

The dignity of man rests above all on the fact that he is called to communion with God. This invitation to converse with God is addressed to man as soon as he comes into being. For if man exists it is because God has created him through love, and through love continues to hold him in existence. He cannot live fully according to truth unless he freely acknowledges that love and entrusts himself to his creator.1

 In many ways, throughout history down to the present day, men have given expression to their quest for God in their religious beliefs and behaviour: in their prayers, sacrifices, rituals, meditations, and so forth. These forms of religious expression, despite the ambiguities they often bring with them, are so universal that one may well call man a religious being.

Catechism of the Catholic Church, ch. 1, §27

click here to read this in Greek

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