Sunday, July 11, 2010

Augustine--starving for spiritual food

John 6:35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst."

The following Quote is from Chapter 3 from Augustine's Confessions. It struck me because of the vivid language he uses to describe how he was trying to fill a spiritual emptiness with worldly pleasures, that in turn defiled him.

I came to Carthage, and a frying pan of sinful loves was spitting all about me. I was not yet in love, but I was in love with love; such was my inner need that I hated myself for not being more in need. I was looking for something to love, in love with love and hating the safety of a path free from pitfalls; for inside I was starving for lack of inner food--you, my God--and yet starving as I was, I felt no hunger. I felt no lack of the foods that do not perish, not because I was full of them, but because the more empty I was, the more nauseating I found them. For this reason my soul was sick; covered with sores (Lk 16:20), it turned itself outwards, pathetically eager to scratch itself with the touch of sensible objects. But if these objects had no soul, they would not be loveable. Loving and being loved was sweeter to me if I could also enjoy my lover's body. So it was that I defiled the well of friendship with the filth of concupiscience, and clouded its clear light with the infernal fog of lust; crude and boorish as I was, my vanity was so excessive that I longed to be smart and sophisticated. I rushed headlong into love, seeking to be swallowed up in it. O God ever merciful to me, what gall you in your goodness smeared over my sophisticated pleasures; for I was loved in return, and came secretly to know the chains of carnal enjoyment. Gladly I was enmeshed in those bonds of woe, and let myself be beaten with iron rods blazing with jealousy and suspicions, with fears, anger and quarrels.


French Bean & Coffee Bean said...

I really needed to read this. Thank you.

-French Bean

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