Monday, July 26, 2004

Augustine Day by Day by Day by Day -- July 22-25

July 22 -- Our End

"Our prayer is 'Make known to me, O Lord, my end.' The end is where we are going to stay. When we left our houses, our end was to come to church. Again, from here each of us has the end of going home. We end in the place we are going to.

"So now here we all are, engaged in life's pilgrimage, and we have an end we are going toward. Toward what are we going? Toward our home country. What is our home country? Jerusalem, mother of the faithful, mother of the living!"

-- Sermon 16A, 9

Prayer. You, the Omnipotent and the Good, care for each of us as if each was your sole care, and for all as for one alone!

-- Confessions 3, 11

July 23 -- Love, the Guardian of Virginity

"Hence, it is God alone who both gives virginity and protects it. And God is Love! Love, therefore, is the guardian of virginity, but humility is the dwelling place of this guardian. He indeed dwells there who said that the Holy Spirit rests on the humble, the peaceful, and the one who fears his words. Humble spouses more easily follow the Lamb than proud virgins."

-- Holy Virginity 51, 52

Prayer. Walk along the path of sublimity with the feet of humility.

-- Holy Virginity 52, 53

July 24 -- The Needs of the Church over Contemplation
If the Church should request your services, do not accede to this request out of a desire to get ahead, nor refuse it moved by pleasureful idleness. Obey God, rather, in simplicity of heart, submitting yourselves humbly to him who directs you.

Neither should you prefer your peaceful leisure to the needs of the Church. If there were no people to minister to her as she gave birth, not even you would have found a way to have been born.

-- Letter 48, 2

Prayer. Lord, those are your best servants who wish to shape their life on your answers rather than shape your answers on their wishes.

-- Confessions 10, 26

July 25 -- My Purpose Is to Reach My God
Fervently, I seek my God in the material things of heaven and earth, and I do not find him. I seek the reality of him in my own soul, and I do not find it. Yet I am determined to seek my God.

In my yearning to understand and look into the invisible things of God by means of created things, I pour out my soul within me. I have no other purpose henceforth but to reach my God.

-- Commentary on Psalm 41, 8

Prayer. I call upon you, my God, my Mercy, my Creator. I had forgotten you, but you held me ever in your sight.

-- Confessions 13, 1

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