Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Augustine at the table

While Cody performed repetitive math beside me, I poured into my "Confessions of Saint Augustine." Book Four amazingly has remitted a kinship tie between him and myself, one of journey in which experience, desire, longing for love and knowledge and deep friendship rolled up into a ball on a similar route. It makes me so happy to know this! I am loving his analysis on the true 'essence' of things and how that becomes uncovered to the searcher, or the found, or the redeemed. I feel like I've been on a similar journey to him. Some of the things in Book Four just make me smile in recognition. Yes! I've put everything into a person before, into friendships, into a timeframe that the body senses, into the temporary. Into the Grecian Urn always running and never catching beauty that saddens. Into the wretched doom of the fleeting good moment. Into the ballgame. Into the conversation over wine.
Good things, but they rend the soul with "pestilent longings" and a desire to "repose in the things that are loved." Things that are loved can never offer longlasting repose, though. We're always faced with their end, except in the concept/ideal/reality of God whose eternal hope outshines and remains untarnished for the person who agrees to give up falsity, or brief inherent-hope in things that don't last. Oh, that last statement would be unpopular to many I know and to the old me. Yet, honestly, why not enjoy both -- what God has created to be good (friendships, conversation, etc) and His eternal reaching for us to become whole in Him who offers "serene rest"? The decision to face Him, though, comes first, and then the rightful enjoyment that is not unbalanced.
We need him badly in our psyches. Our psyches beg for the care of the Other-reality. Wholeness.
Anyway, as you can see, I'm excited about Augustine. He talks the Everyman in a lovely, intelligent, experienced way.
Clutching the book and the hope in Missouri,

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