Thursday, August 28, 2008
St. Augustine and a Longing for God
Many in the Church today will be speaking about St. Augustine and his great conversion. It is perhaps the most famous conversion in the history of the Church. Although that was the major turning point in his life, today we do not only have to remember our own conversions or those who we hope will be converted. There is much more to Augustine. In particular I believe he can be a comfort to us on our spiritual journey. Especially in our desire for holiness. Take these words from his Confessions "You breathed your fragrance on me; I drew in breath and now I long for you. I have tasted you, now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace." These few lines teach us that it is normal to have a longing in our hearts and souls for closer union with God. It is normal in a certain way to have some level of dissatisfaction in our lives. For that is what draws us closer to our Lord. Our hearts are thus set on fire by his Most Sacred Heart and we burn for his Peace. Just like this great Saint Augustine. The fire and the longing, the panting, hunger and thirst of our souls are not born of our past or present sins, nor of our weaknesses or failings. Instead it comes from Jesus' Revelation of his Loving Mercy. From the Holy Spirit drawing us into an encounter with His Merciful Love that touches us in the very depths of our souls. Lighting a flame that burns deeply and passionately that will only be fulfilled in complete union with Him in Heaven. This is how Blessed Mother lived when the Holy Spirit overshadowed her and she conceived Jesus in her virginal womb. Thus in humility she did the Father's will. Mary is our model and example. If like Augustine we follow her we will live with the great longing in our hearts and souls, and we too will find Peace.