Thursday, August 28, 2008

St. Augustine



"O eternal truth, true love and beloved eternity. You are my God. To you do I sigh day and night. When I first came to know you, you drew me to yourself so that I might see that there were things for me to see, but that I myself was not yet ready to see them. Meanwhile you overcame the weakness of my vision, sending forth most strongly the beams of your light, and I trembled at once with love and dread.

I sought a way to gain the strength which I needed to enjoy you. But I did not find it until I embraced "the mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who is above all, God blessed for ever." He was calling me and saying: "I am the way of truth, I am the life."

Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would have not been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed you fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace."

-from the Confessions of Saint Augustine

Most people (and I'm pretty sure you do too!) probably already know about he outline of St. Augustine's life (his mom stormed heaven with her prayers for him, then he became converted then became a bishop sometime later...)... so I'm not going to post that part about him. :-) But if you'd like to, you can read about him here. (and that's also the quote and pic source)

For those of you who just can't read the Confessions by St. Augustine, the book, The Restless Flame by Louis de Wohl is a good one about him to start with. It's about his story before he became converted, and some several years after he did. In that book the title, "the restless flame" really does suit him :-D. "Our hearts were made for You, O Lord, and they are restless until they rest in you." In one of his writings, it could be summed up like that.

Act of Hope prayer by St. Augustine
For your mercies' sake, O Lord my God, tell me what you are to me. Say to my soul: "I am your salvation." So speak that I may hear, O Lord; my heart is listening; open it that it may hear you, and say to my soul: "I am your salvation." After hearing this word, may I come in haste to take hold of you. Hide not your face from me. Let me see your face even if I die, lest I die with longing to see it. The house of my soul is too small to receive you; let it be enlarged by uou. It is all in ruins; do you repair it. There are thing in it - I confess and I know - that must offend your sight. But who shall cleanse it? Or to what others besides you shall I cry out? From my secret sins cleanse me, O Lord, and from those of others spare your servant. Amen.

Saint Augustine of Hippo

4 comments:

Pueo said...

The Restless Flame was a wonderful book! I'd would love to read his Confessions and other books one day. :-)

Charity Therese said...

Haha... actually now I'm in line to read the Confessions of his. :-)
Some quotes that he said were actually kind of funny too!

Marie said...

I save this wonderful Saint's book from the incinerator, can you believe it! The Catholic library burns old books!!! Waaaaaa.

I MUST read it oneday:).

Peace to you Charity Therese:)

Marie xooxoxox

volker said...

Hi,
do you know who first prayed "veni sancte spiritus"?
Thanks