Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Our heart is restless, Lord...


Icon by Nancy Oliphant


Today is the feast of St. Augustine (August 28) whose mother's feast (Monica) was celebrated yesterday.  You'll find a thumb-nail sketch of his life here.

Augustine is my patron saint. (The Gaelic for Augustine is Aibhistín {awv-ish-teen} which comes into English as Austin.) I remember that when I was a child my father (also named Austin, after his uncle in Ireland) would sometimes call me Aibhistín.

In the icon above you'll find a quote from Augustine which is often found in my own writing. Today's saint wrote the prayer below just after his own baptism.  It's a favorite of mine and one I return to often - and always when on retreat. Perhaps you will make these words part of your prayer as we celebrate St. Augustine.
Too late, have I loved you,
O Beauty ever ancient, ever new,
too late have I loved you!

You were with me, and I was not with you;
I was away,
running after beautiful things which you created;
things which could have no existence except for you,
and yet they kept me from you.

Then you called, you cried out,
and you pierced my deafness.
You enlightened, you shone forth,
and now my blindness has vanished.

I have tasted you;
now I hunger and thirst for you.
You breathed your fragrance upon me;
I drew in breath and now I long for you.
You have touched me, and I am on fire
with the desire of your embrace.




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