Saturday, August 28, 2010

Late But Steadfast Love


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.

4 comments:

Colleen said...

That is one of my favorite quotes from St Augustine. It speaks to me, too. Thanks. Hugs!

Mary333 said...

So beautiful! Love those "wicked saints"! They write with such passion!

Robert B said...

... and in my case, it was the prayers of my dear deceased mother in Heaven. Those of us who have returned always have someone who brought us back I think. ... In Jesu et Maria

Karinann said...

Thanks everyone.
Robert- you had your own St Monica! And yes I agree those of us who return have many prayers leading us home!

Closing Prayer

Psalm 45: Canticle of Love to the King

My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
You are fairer than the sons of men;
Grace is poured upon Your lips;
Therefore God has blessed You forever.

Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One,
In Your splendor and Your majesty!
And in Your majesty ride on victoriously,
For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness;
Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.
Your arrows are sharp;
The peoples fall under You;
Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.

Your throne, O God, is forever and ever;
A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;
Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You
With the oil of joy above Your fellows.
All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia;
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad.
Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies;
At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.