Three 20-something women trying to figure out what it means to be lay, Catholic, and modern all at once.

August 30, 2009

Augustine cont'd

I wanted to add a little note about my love for St. Augustine, which I developed as a graduate student. I took a class on the saint taught by an absolutely wonderful Augustinian priest and scholar who passed away long before his time last year. I know he left me and a dear friend of mine from the program with a deep thirst for more Augustine in the future.

A few things that have stayed with me are the fact that Fr. M said that Augustine believed that our family, extended family, and friends are the souls that God providentially puts in our lives so that we might help them get to heaven. It's an interesting way to look at family who we love (although don't always like). God has chosen them for us, even if we wouldn't choose them ourselves. I wish I had the citation of the work, but it was just a passing comment that stayed with me.

The other thing that I want to post is his famous acclamation of the Lord in Book X of The Confessions.

Late have I loved you, Beauty so ancient and new,
late have I loved you!
Lo, you were within,
but I outside, seeking there for you,
and upon the shapely things you have made I rushed headlong,
I, misshapen.
You were with me, but I was not with you.
They held me back far from you,
those things which would have no being
were they not in you.
You called, shouted, broke through my deafness;
you flared, blazed, banished my blindness
you lavished your fragrance, I gasped, and now I pant for you;
I tasted you, and I hunger and thirst
you touched me, and I burned for your peace.

What a stunning masterpiece of a song of praise to the Lord who seeks each of our hearts with such fervor. Augustine reminds me that my deepest longings to be loved by someone here are already filled beyond measure by the One who seeks me endlessly. Late have I loved you...

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