Metropolitan Nikolaos of Mesogaia and Lavreotiki (Greece) talks about material desires and the hidden need of contemporary people.
Metropolitan Nikolaos (Hatzinikolaou):
“The demand is for money. The demand is to meet everyday needs. That is right and proper, very natural…. Because we have a body, we are concerned… But it comes with a great deal of tension because there is no faith. We can’t hope that everything here will be put to rights unless our hope is fixed where it should be. And we lose it. So, the fundamental demand is for material goods, a way to meet everyday reality…
There is no intense demand for a spiritual presence. That is the need, the hidden need, and the great injustice that is done to us. We understand deprivation when we’ve got nothing to eat. We are not aware of any lack when we don’t have God in our lives. It’s terrible. As if there is no need for God. But the need for God is greater than the need for air. It’s greater than the need for food. I know that what I’m saying now seems very strange. But the big mistake is that it sounds strange when it is really self-evident: God is missing.
So, this is what we have to give, as the Church, to ourselves as a conviction and then we need to get it out… We will give a plate of food, certainly. But that is not enough. We need to give God! The living God! We don’t want to give an experience of grace, we want to give grace. The Church gives grace, it doesn’t give an experience of grace. Grace produces experiences. Grace is the aim.”