Monday, August 27, 2012

St. Augustine

"You cleanse the outside of cup and dish, but inside they are full of plunder and self-indulgence." Mt 23:25

Self indulgence is one of our most common faults and sins. Not content with doing for others, we find a way to pamper ourselves, especially when we have been hurt or ignored. St Augustine is a perfect example of this. He tells us this in his own words, "I became to myself a wasteland." (Confessions) Lost in a wilderness of senseless self seeking and pleasure, Augustine writes, "I foamed in my wickedness as the sea and, forsaking thee, followed the rushing of my own tide, and burst out of all thy bounds."

The Confessions of Augustine is not only the most widely read autobiography in the Christian West, it reads as well today as it did 1600 years ago. Full of a brutal honesty, the Confessions makes us pause and realize the depth of our own futile grasping after pleasure and inner peace at any price. St Augustine's life, though cluttered with sin and silliness, is at the same time full of hope and promise. When Augustine finally stops and listens to God, especially with the help of St. Ambrose, everything changes. His life fills up with an authentic light, a faith that is pure gift and a promise that God, if only we give him a chance, can help us change in ways we could never imagine.

Today, stop running and ask God for help.

Who or what has helped you let go and let God do God's work in you?

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