It was long time ago when I heard a story of little boy who had been saved from hunger by his distant relatives and it has always
made me wonder about a spiritual reality that is called “Holy Hunger”.
In this true story, the boy with his mother was adopted by remote relatives in the neighboring village that had not been affected by
the famine so much as the rest of the area. It says that when they arrived in the relatives’ house the grandfather told the youngest
son to go and bring ten or fifteen loves of bread and put around the little boy who was constantly crying and repeating that he is
They say that he took few bites from the first few loves and kept crying and continued to repeat that he is hungry paying no attention
to the bread.
Mother Teresa in one of her visits to United States has mentioned that there are more hungry people in New York than in Calcutta.
Perhaps there are hungry and homeless people in the largest city of a country that provides material aid to almost all of the
underdeveloped countries of the world but I am sure that Mother Teresa had noticed a different kind of starvation, a hunger of
spiritual nature in the busy streets of Manhattan.
We humans are psychosomatic beings (beings of physical and spiritual nature) but most of the time we forget that we are made of
body and soul together. Body and soul are inseparable—a body without a soul is a corpse, and soul without a body is a ghost. Both
require daily bread and nutrition to stay alive and healthy.
If we do not feed either of them, we become like the starving boy of the story who had reached to a degree in his hunger where he
could not even eat when there was sufficient food in front of him. This is a situation when a wise nutritionist or a doctor would be
required and who perhaps would not recommend hard food but may be juice or fruits for the time being.
Speaking of the same phenomenon in the realm of spiritual nutrition, St. Paul uses a different metaphor saying: “I gave you milk to
drink. I didn't give you solid food because you weren't ready for it. Even now you aren't ready for it. (1 Corinthians 3:2)
Mother Teresa’s concern and St. Paul’s solution apply to all of us, to those who are in the Church and those who are not. We all can
be suffering the same “Holy Hunger” if we do not feed ourselves not only physically but also spiritually on a daily basis.
The danger of “Holy Hunger” is not only in death by starvation but also in death by food poisoning. Speaking of such death, Jesus
tells to his disciples: "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God." (Luke 9-60)
The kingdom of God that is like banquet where there is both milk and solid food not only for those who were invited but also for
those who were picked up from the streets, who did not even have garments for the banquet.
Let us be like the disciples who were told to go and proclaim the kingdom of God, let us be like the good servants in the banquet
who having been fed from the table of the Lord went out and shared the Good news of the abundance of the food in the house of the
|Give us this day our daily bread.