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The Living Water

February 28, 2016 by  
Filed under Carmelite Spirituality, Dan Burke, Divine Intimacy, Lent

The Living Water

Third Sunday of Lent

Presence of God– O Jesus, my soul thirsts for You, the source of living water; grant that I may draw near You and drink!

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Jesus stated on several occasions that He was the fountain of living water for all who believed in Him and He invited souls to draw near this spring because, as He said to the Samaritan woman, “He that shall drink of the water that I will give him, shall not thirst forever” (John 4:13). The most solemn invitation to drink from this fountain, however, was given by Jesus, during the last year of His ministry, to the crowd which thronged the Temple on the Feast of Tabernacles. Standing erect in the midst of the crowd, He said in a loud voice: “If any man thirst, let him come to Me and drink. He that believeth in Me … within him shall flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37-38). The thirst of which Jesus was speaking is the thirst for truth, for justice, the thirst for peace and true happiness, and above all the thirst for God, the keen, ardent desire for Him. The soul who has tried to drink at the spring of earthly delights has found that they do not serve to quench its thirst; instead, if they have given the soul a tiny drop of truth, justice, peace, and joy, they have left it more thirsty than before. Only then does the soul understand that God alone is the fountain which can quench its thirst. But what is this water of which Jesus declares that He is the source and which He promises to all? It is the life-giving water of grace, the only water capable of quenching our thirst for the infinite, because, by making us sharers in the divine nature, it permits us to enter into intimate relations with God; it permits us to live with the Trinity dwelling in our soul; in a word, it opens the door to divine intimacy.

St. John Chrysostom teaches: “When the grace of the Holy Spirit enters a soul and is established there, it gushes forth more powerfully than any other spring; it neither ceases, dries up, nor is exhausted. And the Savior, to signify this inexhaustible gift of grace, calls it a spring and a torrent; He also calls it gushing water, to indicate its force and impetus.” The power of grace is so great that it can cast the soul into God and bring it to divine intimacy and union, first in this life, by faith and love, and then in heaven, by the Beatific Vision.


“O Truth, light of my soul, do not permit the darkness to frighten me. You have allowed me to walk in it, and now I am in obscurity. But even from the darkness, yes, even from there, I have loved You. I have sinned, and I have remembered You. I have heard Your voice behind me, inviting me to come back; I heard it with difficulty because of the noise of my rebellious passions. Here I am again at Your spring, burning with thirst. Let nothing hold me back henceforth! Let me drink at Your spring, and live ….

“‘As the heart pants after the fountain, so does my soul sigh for You, Lord! My soul thirsts for You, O God, the living source; when shall I go to appear in Your presence?’ O fount of life, vein of living water, when shall I reach the waters of Your sweetness in this desert land, dry and full of rocks, and see Your power and glory, and quench my thirst with the waters of Your mercy? I thirst, O Lord, I thirst for You, living fountain.

“O fire that ever burns and is never consumed, enkindle me! O Light that shineth ever and is never veiled, illumine me! Oh! if I could only burn with Your flame, O sacred fire! How gently You burn; how secretly You shine; how wonderful it is to be enkindled by You! Woe to those who do not burn with Your love! Woe to those who are not illumined by You, O true Light that enlighteneth every man, O Light that filleth the world with Your brightness!

“I give You thanks, who illumine me and deliver me, for You have enlightened me and I have known You. Late have I known You, O ancient Truth; late have I known You, O eternal Truth! You were in the light and I was in darkness, and I did not know You, for I had no light without You, and without You, there is no light!” (St. Augustine).



Note from Dan: These posts are provided courtesy of Baronius Press and contain one of two meditations for the day. If you would like to get the full meditation from one of the best daily meditation works ever compiled, you can learn more here: Divine Intimacy. Please honor those who support us by purchasing and promoting their products.

Art: Thirst, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1886; Mortally Wounded Brigand Quenches His Thirst, Eugène Delacroix, circa 1825; both PD-US author’s life plus 100 years or less, Wikimedia Commons. Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, mirror from open source material.

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About Dan Burke

Dan is the President of the Avila Foundation, the parent organization of, the Avila Institute for Spiritual Formation, and Divine Intimacy Radio, author of the award-winning book, Navigating the Interior Life - Spiritual Direction and the Journey to God, and his newest books Finding God Through Meditation-St. Peter of Alcantara, 30 Days with Teresa of Avila, Into the Deep and Living the Mystery of Merciful Love: 30 Days with Thérèse of Lisieux. Beyond his "contagious" love for Jesus and His Church, he is a grateful husband and father of four, the Executive Director of and writer for EWTN's National Catholic Register, a regular co-host on Register Radio, a writer and speaker who provides online spiritual formation and travels to share his conversion story and the great riches that the Church provides us through authentic Catholic spirituality. Dan has been featured on EWTN's Journey Home program and numerous radio programs.

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  • Paul Diemert

    I took a priest along with me to visit a friend in the hospital that was dying from throat cancer. When father asked my friend if he wished to take advantage of this visit and reunite with God and the Church, he responded that he would be delighted. This response came as a surprise, and my friend was reconciled and received the blessings of the sick.

    The cancer had not permitted swallowing anything for weeks, but after receiving the sacraments, the patient drank a full glass of water. He became quite animated and excited, claiming this gift was the living water that Jesus promised in the Scriptures. While he was still proclaiming this miracle, we left the hospital, and when I got home, my wife told me the hospital called to inform us that my friend had died. What a great privilege to see the workings and power of the Sacraments!

    • LizEst

      Wow, Paul! Thanks for your witness. My mother had Parkinson’s which, besides the shaking as you may know, stiffens the body. She was not able to smile. After receiving the Eucharist one day while our pastor was here, she smiled the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen on her in my life. What a gift this Living Water truly is! God bless you and yours!

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