Friday, April 25, 2008

Reflecting on Augustine's Conversion (Feast: April 27)

The Soliloquy of St. Augustine:

Belatedly I loved thee, O Beauty so ancient and so new, belatedly I loved thee. For see, thou wast within and I was without, and I sought thee out there. Unlovely, I rushed heedlessly among the lovely things thou hast made. Thou wast with me, but I was not with thee. These things kept me far from thee; even though they were not at all unless they were in thee. Thou didst call and cry aloud, and didst force open my deafness. Thou didst gleam and shine, and didst chase away my blindness. Thou didst breathe fragrant odors and I drew in my breath; and now I pant for thee. I tasted, and now I hunger and thirst. Thou didst touch me, and I burned for thy peace.

In today's world people are hungry for spirituality, hungry for truth, for beauty. We so often turn to the created things of this world to find them. Augustine, from his own search, tells us to look no further than in ourselves and each other for the God we seek. Learn from the created things of the world as they cry out"God made us." Learn from the human relationships around us that GOD IS LOVE and MERCY, look inside ourselves and listen to the truth, we are created in God's image with God's spirit in us and "YOU ARE VERY GOOD!"

O Lord, you have made us for thyself and our hearts are restless until they rest in you! -St. Augustine

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Earth Day: St. Augustine and Creation Spirituality

Today, Earth Day, might better be served by quoting St. Francis, no? NO! Actually, St. Augustine stands as one of the first of the Doctors and great mystics to appreciate what God created in the world as a means to understand God's creative LOVE.

As the world finally begins to wake up to the serious crisis that we have caused in mistreating the planet for selfish gain, the words of Augustine help us see the sacred beauty of what God made and why we need to care and love it back!

"But also heaven and earth and all within them, behold, they bid me on every side to love you, nor do they cease telling this to all...I asked the earth and it said: 'I am not he.' I asked the sea and the deeps and they answered: 'we are not he.'... I asked the blowing breezes and the entire air with its inhabitants said: 'we are not he, nor are we the god you seek.' And I said to these all, 'Tell me about my God, then.' And they exclaimed in a loud voice, 'HE MADE US!'
-Confessions, X, 6

Let us pray,

God, womb of holy life, in all that you create, you put the stamp of your love, most perfectly in ourselves. By your incarnation you proclaim all creation is good and humans are very good. Let us show our love for you and each other in caring for the beauties of the world. Let us listen carefully and cultivate life in every corner of creation that we may hear their praise of you, HE MADE US!

Through Christ, Thy Word, by whom all creation was made. Amen