In last night’s Christian Devotional Classics (Evangelical Seminary) a fellow student shared how much he appreciated Gungor‘s “lifting” of the words of Augustine’s Confessions in Late have I loved you. As you may remember Augustine’s Confessions won ESN’s Best Christian Book of All Time and this is a beautiful selection from the text.
Belatedly I loved thee, O Beauty so ancient and so new, belatedly I loved thee. For see, thou wast within and I was without, and I sought thee out there. Unlovely, I rushed heedlessly among the lovely things thou hast made. Thou wast with me, but I was not with thee. These things kept me far from thee; even though they were not at all unless they were in thee. Thou didst call and cry aloud, and didst force open my deafness. Thou didst gleam and shine, and didst chase away my blindness. Thou didst breathe fragrant odors and I drew in my breath; and now I pant for thee. I tasted, and now I hunger and thirst. Thou didst touch me, and I burned for thy peace. — Augustine. Confessions. Book Ten, Chapter 27. Newly Translated and edited by Albert C. Outler. Philadelphia: Westminster Press  (Library of Christian Classics, v. 7). Accessed 6/3/2013.
Have you come to love the “Beauty so ancient and so new” or have you “rushed heedlessly among” the beautiful things [made] out of dust, failing to give them their proper place? As you engage in your daily academic endeavors, do you pant, hunger, and thirst for the Creator, i.e., come to know God even more richly? Are you part of a community which encourages you and provides accountability toward that end?
Note: To dig into the Emerging Scholars Network Facebook Wall series built around readings from Christian Devotional Classics, check out “Evil behaviour injures. . . .”.
About the author:
Tom enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa and their four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he teaches adult electives and co-leads a small group), among healthcare professionals as the Northeast Regional Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), and in higher ed as a volunteer with the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). For a number of years, the Christian Medical Society / CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine was the hub of his ministry with CMDA. Note: Tom served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship / USA for 20+ years, including 6+ years as the Associate Director of ESN. He has written for the ESN blog from its launch in August 2008. He has studied Biology (B.S.), Higher Education (M.A.), Spiritual Direction (Certificate), Spiritual Formation (M.A.R.), Ministry to Emerging Generations (D.Min.). To God be the glory!
Thank you so much for that excerpt. How beautiful! Some writings truly are timeless.
Tom Grosh IV says
You’re welcome. Amen. To God be the glory!