Heart's Longing

Father Andy Davy, MIC, pastor of St. Mary Parish in Plano, Illinois, also writes poetry. Here, we share some of his work and his commentaries on that work in the latest installment of a series.


The Ache

In every ache of the human heart

We wait for the One

Who promised from the start

To light our path,


But lost to the numb

That comes from pain,

We can’t see clearly—

There’s too much rain!


Yet wait in the ache we must.

For courageous is he

Who sunbathes in the trust

Of wood.


Enduring the scorch

And not the splash

Of water fled fleeing the lash

Into comfort’s desire and longing,

When soul jumps to pooling

The immediacy ... not the victory.


Let fiery torch

Painful yet joyful

Perch on the wood of the Cross.


Trusting the maker of heart and soul,

I remain in the ache

I must face the hole.


For when I stay in this space with Thee

Cling not to fleeting desire!

Rather let desire’s ache

Journey to He.


 “The Ache” speaks of the temptation we often have to grasp at a momentary comfort or pleasure, when we experience the existential “ache” of the heart.  Our heart cries out to be filled, but there is a pain and suffering when we find that nothing in this life save God alone can satisfy the deepest longings of our heart. The temptation to settle for the immediate and quick release creates a false sense of satisfaction, and we find ourselves numbing and shrinking the deep holy desire of the heart. We grab on something to complete that longing … only to find ourselves deeply unhappy. This poem speaks of the courage we need to "remain in the ache,” and not come down from the cross prematurely. Only through remaining in the ache does the promise of God come to fulfillment: “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Ps 37:9). Let the cross be seen as a gift to reorder our desires towards the holy longing they will be satisfying in. And the Eucharist is our bridge into desiring Heaven once again.  

"The entire life of a good Christian is a holy desire” (St. Augustine)