violette

violette
Heart's ease - an infusion was said to help mend a broken heart

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Ever ancient, ever new

I was 27, and overwhelmingly caught up in the adventure of seeking and finding God when I first picked up Augustine's Confessions. In there, I found an echo of my own story, summed up in his powerful poem Late have I loved you.

Today, on his feast, I re-read those words, and remember my own journey. I remember that restlessness, that search for "more", before I knew that the "more" I was seeking was God. Like Augustine I searched for God, for fulfilment, outside myself, in created things, before the search took me, unawares, within, into deeper depths than I could ever have imagined. I remember that moment when God broke through, overwhelming me with his Love, requiring a response... and then, like Augustine, I too found myself saying "I have tasted you, and now I hunger and thirst for more..."

The rest, as they say, is history! - and you can read more about where the journey has taken - and continues to take - me on our vocations and province websites (links on the right). It's still an amazing adventure!

Late have I loved you,
O Beauty ever ancient, ever 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 flashed, you shone,
and you dispelled my blindness.
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 comments:

  1. Whenever you write anything like this it always sounds exactly like me. I too sought fulfillment in the things the world has to offer and in the end it was to numb the pain of the emptiness that came as a result. Strangely, I also in that dark and empty world felt a deep inner awareness of a force greater than me protecting me. It was inside of me and outside of me. So in my cocky way I flirted with danger. It was only much later when I had hit rock bottom and in my pitiful desperate state cried out to God, I realised all the time that God had been there walking beside me. Walking through it all waiting for the day I would finally surrender and fall helplessly in to his waiting arms. I was almost without hope in those days. In fact I think I could say that I could actually feel it leaving me and I was aware even then that I losing something (moving me further away from)that was the source of all light in my life even though I couldn't name what that thing was. Later when I did receive that deep inner revelation of God's love for me I knew then that the choices I had made to live the way of the world was separating me from God and the Holy Spirit had been weeping for me because I was so loved and yet I couldn't know it. I was destroying my life.

    In those days it was saints like Augustine (who I had a love affair with for a long time) and Mary Magdalene that were the source of encouragement and hope that I could (by the grace of God) change my life. I'm not there anymore in that place, but I am grateful to my ancestors that have gone before me who have shown me that what I read in the bible about being a new creation in Christ (2 Cor 5:17) and all things being possible for God (Matt 19:26) is true because they showed me the glory of God.

    I am still at the very beginning of my journey and Love is my vocation, to experience it, to know it, to reveal it, to demonstrate it. I can see how far His amazing love love has brought me, how it has transformed me, my life and my deepest desire is to show the broken hearted (like I was) how much there is waiting for them if only they dare to trust, even the smallest amount. If they would take my hand and let me lead them to Jesus. If Jesus will let me be His witness.

    When I think of how far I still have to go....well, I look at people like you who show me daily what is possible if I continue to deepen my faith and allow my heart to be transformed by His love.

    Amen.

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  2. "If Jesus will let me be His witness" - I'm sure he will, with pleasure! And his grace will enable you to transform your "shadow side" into the channels of his love

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