St Augustine on desire for God.
Friday 17 February 2012 Articles

I was struck by the second reading of the Office of Readings this morning. St Augustine writes on desire for God. If you don’t have a copy of the office, it can be read here. (This is a slightly different version to the one in the Office book)

One paragraph that jumped out at me was this:

“The whole life of a good Christian is a holy desire. What you desire you cannot see yet. But the desire gives you the capacity, so that when it does happen that you see, you may be fulfilled.”

This is a good reading to have going into Lent. If desire for God is at the heart of my Lenten fasting and prayer my eyes will remain on Christ, even through I find things difficult. Of course I am inconsistent in my faith. A couple of days in and my desire will be less for Christ and more for cheese and chocolate. Yet these will never fulfill for very long (really good cheese might satisfy for a couple of minutes.) My desire for God is there so that I might be satisfied for eternity. It will be fulfilled. Lent will be part of the purifying of that desire, when I become aware of where my desire is for less important things. My deepest desire is for God. As St Augustine says:

“And when we say ‘God’ what have we said? That one syllable contains all that we hope for. Whatever is in our power to say less than he, let us stretch ourselves out towards him so that when he comes he may fill us. ‘We shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is'”

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