St. Augustine and the Desire of the Heart

In today’s Office of Readings,  St. Augustine comments on the first Letter of John.  He speaks of our task as Christians to desire the vision of our future likeness with the Risen Jesus.

My translation from the Italian:

“And since you cannot now have this vision,  your task is to desire it.  The entire life of a fervent Christian is a holy desire. That which you then desire, yet do not see…renders you capable to be filled up when the time of the vision arrives.

“If you must fill an container and you know that much more will be given to you than the container can hold, you seek to increase the capacity of the sack, bag or whatever other container may be used.  Enlarging it, you increase its capacity.  In the same way, you do so regarding your capacity for God.

“Making yourself wait, the intensity of your desire intensifies, with desire the spirit expands, and expanding it, it is made more spacious and capable.

“We search, therefore, to live in a climate of desire because we must be filled….what do you do in this life if you haven’t arrived at the fullness of desire?…. to be filled we first need to be emptied.  Suppose God wants to fill you with honey?  If you are filled with vinegar, where will he put the honey?  The vase needs to be emptied of that of which it is filled, and more, it needs to be cleaned….to be suitable to receive something else…. we speak of honey…..this is called God.” (Tratt. 4, 6; PL 35, 2008-2009)

A wonderful meditation today. 

Expand our hearts and spirits through ardent desire.  Empty ourselves of “vinegar” to receive the “honey”.  Through desire, we come closer to God.  The vision of who we are destined to be, “Which eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it entered the heart of humankind” (1 Cor 2:9) is the focus of our desire today.

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona, Minnesota.
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