Today’s Saint

Daily Journey with the Saints

April 17 | Hungry

Saint Stephen Harding


What are you hungry for?

We are all hungry for something. Figuring out what we are really hungry for is one of the great spiritual quests of life.

There are so many different types of hunger. There is, of course, the natural hunger for food. Some people are hungry for comfort; others are hungry to belong; still others for success, safety, adventure, security, travel. To be human is to be hungry. Do you know what you are hungry for?

Saint Stephen Harding was hungry for a rigorous discipline that would bring him closer to God. 

Stephen was a monk at a Benedictine monastery that adhered to the Rule of Saint Benedict very loosely. Stephen was hungry for a more authentic monastic life. So he, along with a couple of other saints, founded a new monastery at Cîteaux in 1098. This was the birth of the Cistercian Order, also known as the Trappists—the same order Thomas Merton would later belong to. 

Saint Stephen Harding followed his hunger, and it led him to great heights. He personally mentored many great saints, including Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, one of the most influential theologians of all time. 

It takes an incredible spiritual awareness to work out over time what we are really hungry for. We may think that our hunger is for one thing, but once we have had our fill of that thing, we discover that the hunger is still there and deeper than ever.

What is the purpose of hunger? Every yearning we experience as human beings is a yearning for something more complete. The ultimate spiritual awareness leads us to understand that every yearning is in some mysterious way a yearning for God.

So, here are some crucial questions: What are you hungry for right now? What is God saying to you through your hunger? How is he using that hunger to lead you to Him?

The hunger in your soul is a good thing. Follow where it leads.


The hunger in my soul is a good thing. I will follow where it leads.

This reflection is brought to you from book title.

Patron Saint of: Apátistvánfalva, Hungary

Feast Day: April 17

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