Thursday, August 28, 2014

Augustine - St. Paul and St. Josemaria Escriva

 “O eternal Truth, true Love, and beloved Eternity, you are my God, and for you I sigh day and night. As I first began to know you, you lifted me up and showed me that, while that which I might see exists indeed, I was not yet capable of seeing it. Your rays beamed intensely on me, beating back my feeble gaze, and I trembled with love and dread. I knew myself to be far away from you in a region of unlikeness, and I seemed to hear your voice from on high: “I am the food of the mature: grow, then, and you shall eat me. You will not change me into yourself like bodily food; but you will be changed into me”.

  “Accordingly I looked for a way to gain the strength I needed to enjoy you, but I did not find it until I embraced the mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, who is also God, supreme over all things and blessed for ever. He called out, proclaiming I am the Way and Truth and the Life, nor had I known him as the food which, though I was not yet strong enough to eat it, he had mingled with our flesh, for the Word became flesh so that your Wisdom, through whom you created all things, might become for us the milk adapted to our infancy.[1]

Late have I loved you, O Beauty so ancient and so 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 not have been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You breathed your 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.”[2]

          Blogger: Every conversion from self to help another is a transformation into Christ. Such a conversion on the occasion of work and ordinary life is called secularity. And so St. Paul’s, “I live, no, not I; Christ lives in me,” (Gal. 2, 20), Augustine’s “late have I loved You,” and Escriva’s “Christ’s life is our life” are the same teaching. Add to that Benedict XVI’s conviction that this conversion away from self is the deep meaning of the act of faith: “belief… has always been a decision that… demanded a turnabout by man that can only be achieved by an effort of the will.”[3]

[1] Confessions, 10, 18
[2] Confessions, 10, 27.
[3] J. Ratzinger, Introduction to Christianity, Ignatius [1990] 25.

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