August 28, 2017

Saint Augustine on Loving God Belatedly

Saint Augustine

Saint Augustine is numbered among the four great Doctors of the Western Church He was one of the most brilliant minds of ancient Christendom. His influential contribution to theology, especially in clarifying the dogmas of the Trinity, grace, and the Church, have enriched the Faith immensely. Here are his thoughts about loving God belatedly over the false idols and things of the world.

Too late came I to love you, O Beauty both so ancient and so new! Too late came I to love you - and behold you were with me all the time...
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You called and shouted and burst my deafness. You flashed, shone, and scattered my blindness. You breathed odors, and I drew in breath and panted for You. I tasted, and I hunger and thirst. You touched me, and I burned for Your peace.
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The soul is torn apart in a painful condition as long as it prefers the eternal because of its Truth but does not discard the temporal because of familiarity.
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I was in misery, and misery is the state of every soul overcome by friendship with mortal things and lacerated when they are lost. Then the soul becomes aware of the misery which is its actual condition even before it loses them.
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Late have I loved you, beauty so old and so new: late have I loved you. And see, you were within and I was in the external world and sought you there, and in my unlovely state I plunged into those lovely created things which you made. You were with me, and I was not with you. The lovely things kept me far from you, though if they did not have their existence in you, they had no existence at all. You called and cried out loud and shattered my deafness. You were radiant and resplendent, you put to flight my blindness. You were fragrant, and I drew in my breath and now pant after you. I tasted you, and I feel but hunger and thirst for you. You touched me, and I am set on fire to attain the peace which is yours.

Renew in your Church, we pray, O Lord, that spirit with which you endowed your Bishop Saint Augustine that, filled with the same spirit, we may thirst for you, the sole fount of true wisdom, and seek you, the author of heavenly love. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who reigns with you, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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