Thursday, April 8, 2010

A lesson on love from a very wise church father

So it has been awhile since I lasted posted. This is not for lack of material to write on. It is because I currently have a research paper due tomorrow night by midnight. I am for the most part done. I still need some advice from a friend before I submit it. You see in seminary they look at every aspect of your paper. It is not like undergrad where some profs didn't even bother to read it. No, I have to be extremely tedious in my writing for this degree. It's a good thing I like to write, and I am thankful that this paper is actually on an interesting subject. Saint Augustine was an outstanding man and a prolific writer. I can't wait to be done with this class so that I can actually read his works without looking for paper material. I have thoroughly enjoyed the parts of Confessions that I have read while writing this paper. Today as I was finishing up some research I came across this section in the latter part of Confessions. The majority of this book is about Augustine's life before his conversion, now as I am nearing the end of the book he writes about his relationship with his now Savior.
This short segment on the love he has now for his Savior is raw, intimate, and extremely honest. He says,
"But what do I love, when I love You?
Not beauty of bodies, nor the faint harmony of time.
Not the brightness of the light, so welcome to our eyes,
Nor sweet melodies of varied songs,
Nor the fragrant smell of flowers, and ointments and spices.
Nor manna and honey, nor the embrace of arms in fleshly pleasure.
None of these I love when I love my God.
Yet this love is a kind of light and melody and
fragrance and meat and embrace.
When I love my God, the light, melody, fragrance, meat,
and embrace is experienced by my inner man.
Love shines into my soul, where space cannot contain it.
Love speaks with sound that does not fade into silence with time.
Its smells are not disperses in breath, and its tastes do not grow stale.
Love clings, and its satisfaction does not break my connection to the experience.
This is it which I love,
When I love my God."
Beautiful isn't it!!!
I love that His love cannot be contained. I love that His love never satisfies me, it always leaves me wanting more. I love how it never grows old, it never fades, it never grows stale. Oh to love the way He loves me. If only I could grasp just how much He really does love me. I'm pretty sure that were I to fully see His love that it would kill me, but I wouldn't mind that, really. I can't wait to be in His presence. To see Him face to face, to be held in His arms, to hear Him say my name. How I long to be rid of my flesh that so often draws me from Him. How He can go on loving me is a mystery that I will never understand. I do not deserve any of it. I deserve to be abandoned by Him, I deserve His full wrath, I deserve to die and live without Him. Ah, but there is grace, grace the sweetest word I know, and one that I will never fully understand. I wish I gave it more freely. I am glad that He does not give it the way I give it. I am so thankful for His love, for His grace that enables Him to love me. There is no one, nothing that I love as much as I love my God, my Father, my Abba, my All.

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