I know I most likely posted this same excerpt from St Augustine's Confessions last year on this saint and Doctor of the Church's feast day, but it truly is one of my favorites and one of the most beautiful in the entire work.
When I first read them, I could identify with them somewhat in thinking of my own return to God.
Most of us who leave our faith and return have a person or persons who has prayed for our repentance. In the case of Augustine, it was his mother Monica. In my own case, it was the prayers of a very good friend who first extended the invitation to me to return, as well as the prayers of my daughter in heaven.
It took a long time for me to return, so with St Augustine I also say to Our Lord Late Have I Loved Thee...
Late have I loved you, Beauty so ancient and so new, late have I loved you!
Lo, you were within,
but I outside, seeking there for you,
and upon the shapely things you have made
I rushed headlong – I, misshapen.
You were with me, but I was not with you.
They held me back far from you,
those things which would have no being,
were they not in you.
You called, shouted, broke through my deafness;
you flared, blazed, banished my blindness;
you lavished your fragrance, I gasped; and now I pant for you;
I tasted you, and now I hunger and thirst;
you touched me, and I burned for your peace.