Longing for God


By the very fact that we are created in the image of God, we continuously long for Him – waiting to be satiated by His presence. ‘This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins’ (1 John, 4:10).

“God waits for us. In Jn. 4 . Jesus meets the Samaritan woman – he was waiting for her at the well. ‘Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden’ (MT. 11, 28.). We can come to him because He is already waiting for us, He is the One who makes himself available to us.

“There is OUR WAITING FOR THE LORD: ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the Lord’, (Is. 55, 8).

“It is an active waiting – by being open to His time and His ways, here and now. ‘Yesterday has gone, tomorrow has not yet come and we have only today to make him known, loved and served’ (St. Teresa of Calcutta).

“Waiting to see Him at work in our lives entails a lot of faith, patience and perseverance – ‘The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground, and should sleep and rise night and day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he knows not how…’. (Mk 4. 26 – 27).

“Waiting is welcoming, recognising, and meeting the person in front of us, being fully present to him/her. BUT we need the light of FAITH and the LIGHT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT to see Jesus in that person: like John, who was open to the Holy Spirit and could say to Peter, ‘it is the Lord’ (Jn, 21. Verse 7). It is not easy to see Jesus in “difficult” children, in the drug-addict, in the person that tries to control or manipulate.

“‘We need to be pure of heart to see Jesus in the person of the poor. Therefore, the more repugnant the work, or the more disfigured or deformed the image of God in the person, the greater will be our faith in loving devotion in seeing the face of Jesus and lovingly ministering to Him in the distressing disguise’. (St. Teresa of Calcutta).

“‘Let us beg our Lady to lend us her heart so beautiful, so pure, so immaculate, her heart so full of love and humility tat we may be able to receive and carry Jesus with the same sentiments with which she received him and carried Him’. (Missionaries of Charity’s Prayer Book).”


Make time to reflect

It comes natural to us to see God in that which is good and beautiful, but, sometimes the persons we meet might not meet these criteria. Sometimes, the people we meet can suffer from jealousy, pride, egoism, and unforgiveness. But the Missionaries of Charity speak to us of the joy and the beauty that lie in also loving such persons. Indeed, they even tell us that it is in loving those who are difficult to love, that we grow and mirror Jesus the most!

  • Take a moment to reflect upon this and upon those persons in your life whom you think need the most love.
  • Where do you seek to meet with God?
  • Who are the people in whom you find the opportunity to meet God? How are you letting God meet you? God, too, is longing for you!

Longing for a Sign


Sometimes you seem too perfect, always just beyond my grasp.

     I wonder if I’ll ever truly know you, or start to understand what lies hidden in your depths.

Sometimes I feel too weak for you, like I’m unworthy of your strength.

     You built your house on the rock; I’m a tower toppled over by thunder and rain.

Sometimes you shine so brightly I fear you might snuff out the shadows in my heart.

     So I hang halfway between the shadows and you, betting my soul on a coin toss.

Dreading how good you might make me,

     I keep you at arm’s length, seeking shelter below the trash heap.

Yet in my despair I desire you,

     And though I have dug my hole deep, I still look to the sun when it’s cold.

And so I wait for a sign, because signs are all that I know.

     And when the nights grow long and the days lose their light,

          And I have been torn up and scattered,

I seek out your warmth and await the new dawn, that I may be born once again.

This is the experience of someone who finds himself caught between two polarities, and waits for a sign to take a leap of faith. Sometimes we fear change, even when we’re deeply in need of it.

Make time to reflect

  • Are there any areas in your life where you know what you must do, but delay it out of a reluctance to let your old self go?
  • How do you reconcile the conflicts that arise within yourself?
  • Are you truly in need of a sign, or are you resisting the signs that have already been given to you?

Longing to See Her Face

“In various phases of life, we have to enter a process of waiting whether we like it or not. I must admit that I am not always capable of doing so. However, this time around, I cannot try to wait any less by paying for fast shipping or asking someone to pick up an item for me. This kind of waiting is completely new to me: that of a child. This is a kind of waiting that is unrelenting in its lessons of life.

“Personally, this waiting is exciting, joyful, and gives me a strong sense of gratitude for the new life unfolding. I wish the next few months would pass as quickly as possible so I can finally meet our little one and see her face! However, among the positive emotions, there is also an element of anxiety, of doubt for what I cannot see or control; for what is unknown.

“These are the moments that help me realise that, in life, I cannot have control over everything, and the desire for control can also work against me. While these emotions may be mixed and I always prefer to be content and calm, they are the same emotions that draw me to the presence of God. They humble me to open my eyes to relinquish control and offer what I have in my heart and mind to Him. These are the moments that remind me of how God was faithful to me in previous experiences through which I have learnt that He is truly providential and patient. Reflecting on the past helps me build a sense of gratitude, while at the same time giving me the courage to continue to live in the present and offer my future to the Lord.

“In all of this, I find the courage to wait. Most of all, I come to understand that waiting is an inevitable journey, both an external and an internal one. It is a process within myself, with my loved ones, and with God.

“During this waiting, I decided to choose a particular song to listen to in quietness and prayer: ‘Not in a Hurry’, by Will Reagan. This is a song which I enjoy playing to my baby, especially now that I have learnt that babies hear sounds outside their mothers’ bodies at 27 weeks. Whilst praying with the mentioned song, I continue to grasp the importance of sitting with my emotions, patiently, before the Lord. I understand that this is a process that takes time and that I need to accept it with a spirit of gratitude and humility. Even though at times, it is not always easy to appreciate each and every moment, this period is helping me to understand that this waiting is an attitude which in return provokes more opportunities to think, reflect, and act with a sense of responsibility.”

Have a listen to ‘Not in a Hurry’ by Will Reagan, and make the most of it by reciting a verse or two in your prayer.

This is the experience of a 25 year old Maltese female who is counting the days to see the face of the one she is carrying.

Make time to reflect

  • We might not be expecting a child at the moment. However, what face am I eager to see? Various authors in the Bibles, especially Psalmists, express their desire to see the face of the Lord, a term which in other words means to enter in a deeper communion to discover something more of God.
  • How are you desiring to know God better?
  • The narrator lets her adverse emotions be a vehicle to draw herself to God. How do you make use of such emotions?
  • In times of doubt, she recalls experiences in which the Lord was faithful to her in the past. What are some of your experiences in which you find refuge?

Longing for Change

“The experience of travelling to another country is a transformative one. It helps you embrace the unknown and appreciate the diversity of the world around. This experience helped me overcome my fears and doubts. It helped me discover a strength and resilience I never knew I possessed.

“But to go a bit back, my wait to come to Malta was filled with both excitement and anticipation. I had always dreamed of visiting the beautiful island. I couldn’t wait to explore its rich history and culture. I also looked forward to enjoying the warm weather and stunning beaches, the ancient Megalithic Temples, the medieval city of Valletta, and the Blue Grotto. I also wanted to try some of the local food! My wait became a canvas upon which dreams were painted, each stroke adding enthusiasm to the anticipation. But for me, waiting was also a stressful and anxious experience. Indeed, as I prepared to embark on my first trip abroad, I found myself wrestling with a wave of emotions. The excitement was real, but I was also anxious about the language barrier, worried about getting lost or making a fool of myself. I was also concerned about cultural differences and the possibility of offending someone inadvertently. Doubts accompanied me throughout. Questions swirled in my mind, casting a shadow over my excitement.

“Through it all, however, I felt God’s presence and guidance. There were many times when I felt discouraged and hopeless, but God always gave me the strength to keep going. One way in which God helped me was by providing me with opportunities to connect with other people who were also waiting to move to Malta. These connections were a source of great comfort and support for me. We were able to share our experiences, and to encourage each other through difficult times. God also helped me by giving me the strength to face my fears and doubts. There were many times when I was afraid that my dream of moving to Malta would never come true; but God reminded me that He was with me and that He would never leave me or forsake me.

“Throughout, I had been praying to Mother Mary as I regularly recited the Holy Rosary. I also never missed Holy Mass. There were also many verses from scripture that struck me and accompanied me on my journey. One of the most important is Philippians 4:6-7: ‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’ This verse has been a source of great comfort as it reminds me that I can always turn to God for help and that His peace is more powerful than any worry or trouble that I could ever face.

“Another verse that has been important to me is Romans 8:28, which says: ‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.’ This verse has helped me to see that even in the midst of difficult times, God is still working for my good. He is using all of my experiences, both good and bad, to shape me into the person He wants me to be.”

This is the experience of Arslan, a young adult from Pakistan who left his country to seek a better future.

Make time to reflect

  • Do you resonate with any of his longings? What is that change which you are currently longing for?
  • He recalls a time in which excitement was overcome by anxiety and stress. What steals your excitement and joy in life?
  • The narrator acknowledges God’s providence as he met other people with whom he could share such a life-changing experience. Are there any people who remind you of this providential attribute of God?
  • He finally concludes that God uses all experiences, both good and bad, for his very own good. What do you make of this statement? Which area in your life needs to better listen to Romans 8:28?

Longing: A Reflective Resource for Advent

This year, the Malta Catholic Youth Network has collaborated with Lifelong Catechesis to explore the attitude of longing during the Advent season. Whether you are simply searching, in this journey of faith without belonging to any particular community, or or already part of a group, we extend an invitation for you to delve into these reflections either independently or with your community.

We have met four categories of people in Malta who are all longing for something in one way or another. We encourage you to explore their stories, finding resonance and acknowledging your own experiences of longing. In this liturgical period of Advent, consider redirecting your yearnings towards Christ, turning this season into a transformative journey of spiritual growth.

Click here to download a print version.

Ġirja ma’ Salm 23

Ġirja ma’ Salm 23 huwa sett ta’ riżorsi, maqsum f’ħames sessjonijiet, intenzjonat għal żgħażagħ minn 14-il sena ’l fuq. Ħossok liberu li temenda d-diskors jew il-format tas-sessjonijiet. Fuq kollox, dan il-ktejjeb huwa gwida għalik bl-għan u bit-tama li l-parteċipanti jsiru iktar midħla tas-Salm u jidħlu f’iktar intimità ma’ Ġesù.


Hawn taħt, tista’ taċċessa l-immaġini u l-mużika meħtieġa għal kull sessjoni mniżżla fil-ktejjeb.

Sessjoni 1

Sessjoni 2

Sessjoni 3

Sessjoni 5


‘ERBGĦIN’ is a Lenten reflective resource produced by MCYN in collaboration with Lifelong Catechesis, intended to be used with young people during Lent.

As the title of this project suggests, all sessions revolve around the number 40 as inspired by the 40 days of Lent. We do not have many books in the Bible which consists of more than 40 chapters. In view of this, 2 out of 4 sessions would be reflecting on Isaiah 40 and Psalm 40. As observed, there is an additional session following the 4 sessions to be held during Lent. This added reflection should take place during the first days of Easter so as to manifest how the Easter celebration can redeem the 40 days of Lent.

All sessions have been recorded in Maltese in audio-visual format which you may access on YouTube. You may also download all content and reflections in writing in both English and Maltese so that you would be able to amend the content or format according to your group’s needs.


Whilst wishing you a blessed time of Lent and Easter, we promise you our prayers. Should you require further information, do not hesitate to contact us via email on: [email protected]

Pentecost: Prayer Space

For the feast of Pentecost in which we celebrate who we are as Church, in collaboration with Spiritual Development in Schools, we are providing you with a prayer space to animate with your groups/communities. The ultimate aim of this project is to better our understanding of who we are in unity with each other as Church, and our dependency on the Holy Spirit who makes sense of our frailties.

On this feast of Pentecost, we express our gratitude for your work and tangible presence with adolescents and youths within our communities. Related artistic audio-visual content will be reaching you all in the coming week. Stay tuned!

This Christmas, Make Room

I can only imagine the attentiveness of parents just before the woman gives birth. Many parents prepare the famous hospital bag weeks – if not months – before the delivery day, to make sure they are fully equipped when the moment arrives. I believe that Joseph and Mary were just as mindful before Jesus was born, while also being filled with joy and excitement. These are undoubtedly memorable moments cherished by many which make everything else seem irrelevant.

During these delicate moments, the last thing that I would want to think of  is a 30-minute telephone survey by one of some statistic agencies – which have a tendency to test my nerves every so often. Joseph and Mary were not exempt from such statistical exercises; their government had in fact demanded their participation a few days before the delivery. The only difference was that the couple had to embark on a 33–hour journey between Nazareth and Bethlehem to enrol themselves. I must thank Google maps for the 33-hour calculation, though this might have been slightly different knowing the vulnerability of Mary in her last pregnancy days (if not hours) and the accompaniment of a poor donkey.

The couple had to leave their home in this vulnerable situation in order to foster responsibility and  be lawful citizens.
NB: The Romans had not been a corruption-free authority either.

Am I willing to leave my comfort zones to meet my obligations towards the state/superiors?

Knowing Joseph’s profession, I can only imagine what he had been preparing to ensure that  baby Jesus received a warm welcome to planet Earth. The simplest preparation that comes to mind is a comfy bed where the mother and child could rest. Yet, he had to leave everything behind to participate in such census, and the selfless woman who had just accompanied Elizabeth in her pregnancy now found herself on a physically and emotionally challenging journey with Joseph – without the warmth of that bed which her husband had planned for baby Jesus and without the warmth of their relatives’ presence.

Would I be able to sit with my own self in moments of vulnerability without being distracted by my possessions?
Would I be able to acknowledge and trust God amid my suffering?

The time for Mary to deliver arrived, and we all know how the rest of the story unfolded. The most comfortable piece of furniture found by the carpenter was nothing less than a manger, and the ones who had accompanied the couple during these joyful moments were none other than some sheep and the poor donkey. I cannot imagine how the couple must have felt at  that  point, after being stripped of all their plans and desires, and finding themselves in a place far from luxurious or fit for a rising king – a cave. A human disappointment. Nevertheless, God still finds His delight, especially now that He could start engaging with His beloved children through an embodied medium, in the simplest form of communication: newborn’s cry.

Am I aware of God’s wish to reach out to me today?

Aspiring to build a space for Jesus  to dwell in is wonderful; however, are these dreams  replacing  my thirst to meet Him? Am I so preoccupied with being sinless or with my works, that I am forgetting that this is a two-way relationship?

May this story humble us in the realisation that Jesus brings life when and wherever He wants to. He does not require us to be fully equipped; rather, He requires us to have an expectant heart. God did not choose a carpenter to satisfy His needs to sleep in a luxurious bed; rather He chose Joseph for who he was. Mary was not chosen because she was a skilful mother; He chose her because of who she was.

In the same way, God wants to encounter me and you today, not because of what we can offer, but because of who we are, for He is in love with us, despite our disappointments or failed plans. Just as He wanted to journey with Joseph and Mary, He wants to walk the journey of life with me and you.

How can I make room for Jesus this Christmas?