Some words ought to come with a prize just for saying them, and concupiscence is one of them. It’s a fancy way to say greed or lust, particularly lust for worldly things including carnal things. The Latin root is less prurient, meaning “to long for intensely.” The English version of the word comes through French and dates back to the last Middle Ages, the earliest written references being theological and derogatory.

The concept of intense longing came up this week on Mary Balogh’s Facebook page, where she shared the Welsh term “hireath” meaning soul-deep longing. In the writings of family systems guru John Bradshaw, the same idea of ineffable longing is embodied in the term, “homecoming.”

It’s what I feel when I listen to the third movement of Brahms’ Third Symphony.

Interesting, isn’t it, that longing seems to be a universal human condition, but we do judge ourselves for what or whom we long for.

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2 comments on “Concupiscence

  1. That was very interesting Grace. I’ve never ever heard of the words “Concupiscence”. I think that I will just stick with the layman’s term of greed or lust. I’ve not heard of Mary’s word “Hireath” either. I’ll probably forget what these words mean by the end of the day. 🙂