Bread on the Trail

Bread on the Trail


All my hope lies in your great mercy: Saint Augustine, bishop

Bishop of Hippo AugustineWhere did I find you, that I came to know you? You were not within my memory before I learned of you. Where, then, did I find you before I came to know you, if not within yourself, far above me? We come to you and go from you, but no place is involved in this process. In every place, O Truth, you are present to those who seek your help, and at one and the same time you answer all, though they seek your counsel on different matters.

You respond clearly, but not everyone hears clearly. All ask what they wish, but do not always hear the answer they wish. Your best servant is he who is intent not so much on hearing his petition answered, as rather on willing whatever he hears from you.

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.

When once I shall be united to you with my whole being, I shall at last be free of sorrow and toil. Then my life will be alive, filled entirely with you. When you fill someone, you relieve him of his burden, but because I am not yet filled with you, I am a burden to myself. My joy when I should be weeping struggles with my sorrows when I should be rejoicing. I know not where victory lies. Woe is me! Lord, have mercy on me! My evil sorrows and good joys are at war with one another. I know not where victory lies. Woe is me! Lord, have mercy! Woe is me! I make no effort to conceal my wounds. You are my physician, I your patient. you are merciful; I stand in need of mercy.

Is not the life of man upon earth a trial? Who would want troubles and difficulties? You command us to endure them, not to love them. No person loves what he endures, though he may love the act of enduring. For even if he is happy to endure his own burden, he would still prefer that the burden not exist. I long for prosperity in times of adversity, and I fear adversity when times are good. Yet what middle ground is there between these two extremes where the life of man would be other than trial? Pity the prosperity of this world, pity it once and again, for it corrupts joy and brings the fear of adversity. Pity the adversity of this world, pity it again, then a third time; for it fills men with a longing for prosperity, and because adversity itself is hard for them to bear and can even break their endurance. Is not the life of man upon earth a trial, a continuous trial?

All my hope lies only in your great mercy.



Advertisement
Comments Post the First Comment »
post a comment

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

Saint Gregory the Great: St Thomas and Healing the Wounds of our Disbelief
My Lord and My God! In a marvellous way God’s mercy arranged that the disbelieving disciple, in touching the wounds of his master’s body, should heal our wounds of disbelief Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. He was the only disciple absent; on his

posted 10:55:59am Jul. 01, 2012 | read full post »

A Sermon by St Augustine on St John's Gospel: Behold, I shall save my people.
‘No-one can come to me unless the Father draws him.’ You must not imagine that you are being drawn against your will, for the mind can also be drawn by love. Nor should we be afraid of being taken to task by those who take words too literally and are quite unable to understand divine truths, and

posted 11:06:00am Oct. 13, 2011 | read full post »

A Letter of St Clare to Blessed Agnes of Prague on Christian Contemplation
Consider the poverty, humility and charity of Christ Happy the soul to whom it is given to attain this life with Christ, to cleave with all one’s heart to him whose beauty all the heavenly hosts behold forever, whose love inflames our love, the contemplation of whom is our refreshment, whose gr

posted 12:43:42pm Aug. 11, 2011 | read full post »

St Cyril of Jerusalem on the Church as the Bride of Christ
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tJ_UL6vQlqs&playnext=1&list=PLB1C512E777D9B420 [/youtube] From The Catecheses of St Cyril of Jerusalem, an early fourth century Bishop and Doctor of the undivided Church: "The Church is called ‘Catholic’: such is the proper name of the ho

posted 10:50:57am Jul. 28, 2011 | read full post »

St Ambrose: God's temple is holy, and you are his temple
An explanation of Psalm 118 by St Ambrose My father and I will come to him and make our home with him. Open wide your door to the one who comes. Open your soul, throw open the depths of your heart to see the riches of simplicity, the treasures of peace, the sweetness of grace. Open your heart

posted 12:38:44pm Jul. 07, 2011 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.