My Lenten Discovery

FOOTSTEPS AND FINGERPRINTS

Every year during the period of Lent I open myself to different ways of observing the 40-days Lenten journey.  This year I am reading and reflecting on St. Augustine’s Confessions, a book of reflections written during his journey from youthful days of recklessness and sin to his conversion to Christ and the differences this made in his life.

I am only about halfway through his book and have highlighted many thoughts that have led me to moments of deep reflection.  May I share some of them with you.

“We learn better in a free spirit of curiosity than under fear and compulsion.”

“True beauty is seen by the inner eye of the soul, not by the eye of the flesh.”

“Time never stands still, nor does it idly pass without effect upon our feelings or fail to work its wonders on the mind.  It came and went, day after day, and as it passed it filled me with fresh hope and new thoughts to remember.”

“Evil is nothing but the removal of good until finally no good remains.”

The following words by Augustine are taken from Book IV, II.  They spoke to me on why we must always listen to the word of God.  I believe his advice to be particularly relevant this Lenten season.

“My soul, you too must listen to the word of God.  Do not be foolish; do not let the din of your folly deafen the ears of your heart.  For the Word himself calls you to return.  In him is the place of peace that cannot be disturbed, and he will not withhold himself from your love, unless you withhold your love from him.

“Make your dwelling in him, my soul.  Entrust to him whatever you have, for all that you have is from him.  Now, at last, tired of being misled, entrust to the Truth all that the Truth has given to you and nothing will be lost.

“All that is withered in you will be made to thrive again.  All your sickness will be healed.  Your mortal body will be refashioned and renewed and firmly bound to you, and when it dies it will not drag you with it to the grave, but will endure and abide with you before God, who abides and endures forever.”

And he concludes these thoughts by saying: “For your almighty power, O Lord, is not far from us, even when we are far from you.”

I pray that these few excerpts of St. Augustinian wisdom will spur your Lenten meditations in preparation for the holy season of Easter.