Sunday, July 17, 2005
a random thought from st. augustine of hippo
To this God we owe our service – what in Greek is called latreia – whether in the various sacraments or in ourselves. For we are his temple, collectively, and as individuals. For he condescends to dwell in the union of all and in each person. He is as great in the individual as he is in the whole body of his worshippers, for he cannot be increased in bulk or diminished by partition. When we lift up our hearts to him, our heart is his altar. We propitiate him by our priest, his only begotten Son. We sacrifice blood stained victims to him when we fight for truth ‘as far as shedding our blood’. We burn sweetest incense for him, when we are in his sight on fire with devout and holy love. We vow to him and offer to him the gifts he has given us, and the gift of ourselves. And we have annual festivals and fixed days appointed and consecrated for the remembrance of his benefits, lest ingratitude and forgetfulness should creep in as the years roll by. We offer to him, on the altar of the heart, the sacrifice of humility and praise, and the flame on the altar is the burning fire of charity. To see him as he can be seen and to cleave to him, we purify ourselves from every stain of sin and evil desire and we consecrate ourselves in his name, For he himself is the source of our bliss, he himself is the goal of all our striving. By our election of him as our goal – or rather by our re-election… we direct our course towards him with love (dilectio), so that in reaching him we may find our rest, and attain our happiness because we have achieved our fulfillment in him. For our Good, that Final Good about which the philosophers dispute, is nothing else but to cleave to him whose spiritual embrace, if one may so express it, fills the intellectual soul and makes it fertile with true virtues.
(From the City of God)
Posted by gwb at 10:03 PM