Sunday, August 29, 2004

Augustine Day by Day - August 26-29

August 26 - The Inner Voice

“Consider this great mystery. The sound of my words strikes the ears, and the Master is within! Do not suppose that any human is the teacher of another. We can admonish by the sound of our voice; but unless there is one who teaches on the inside, the sound we make is futile. I, for my part, have spoken to all; but those to whom the Anointing within does not speak, those whom the Holy Spirit within does not teach, go back untaught.

-- Sermon on 1 John 3, 12

Augustine: a Catholic Pentecostal?

Prayer. Instruct me, Lord, and command what you will. But first heal me and open my ears that I may hear your words.

-- Soliloquies 1, 5

August 27 - Caught Up in Ecstasy

"Now, while my mother and I were thus talking of God's wisdom and pining for it, with all the effort of our hearts we did for one instant attain to touch it. Then we returned to the sound of our own tongue, in which words must have a beginning and an end.

"We said: If in the silence of all earthly things God alone spoke to us, not by them but by himself, would not this constitute to 'enter into the joy of the Master'?"

-- Confessions 9, 10

Augustine: a Catholic Pentecostal!

Prayer. Lord, let those who understand, praise you. And let those who understand you not, praise you too.

-- Confessions 11, 31

August 28 - For You I Am the Bishop

"Believe me, brothers and sisters, if what I am for you frightens me, what I am with you reassures me. For you I am the bishop; with you I am a Christian.

'Bishop,' this is the title of an office one has accepted to discharge; 'Christian,' that is the name of the grace one receives. Dangerous title! Salutary name!"

-- Sermon 340, 1

Prayer. Lord, whether prosperity smiles or adversity frowns, let your praise be ever in my mouth.

-- Commentary on Psalm 138, 16

"PTLA!" _Praise the Lord Anyway_ by Frances Hunter, a charismatic classic and one of the first Christian books my mom got for me as I became a serious believer in early adolescence. Cheesy title and cheesy prose, but rock-solid truth!

August 29 - Love -- The Distinguishing Sign

"Love is the only sign that distinguishes the children of God from the children of the devil. To prove this, let them all sign themselves with the cross of Christ. Let them all respond: Amen. Let all sing: Alleluia. Let all build the walls of churches. There is still no way of discerning the children of God from the children of the devil except by love!"

-- Sermon on 1 John 5, 7
Class, your homework is the following: Love one another! Your homework for tomorrow night is the following: Love one another! Keep practicing until further advised. Now please your teacher alone; I'm still trying to figure out the homework too.

Prayer. Come to my aid, O God, the one eternal, true reality! In you there is no strife, no disorder, no change, no need, no death, but supreme harmony, supreme clarity, supreme permanence, supreme life.

-- Soliloquies 1, 1

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