Thursday, August 28, 2008
Reading for three reasons
You know how we can read books just for the sake of reading them? So we can try to impress others with how smart we are? I've fallen prey to that way too many times and I really can't stand to see it in myself or others. I have three primary reasons for reading 1) Drawing closer to God. 2) Gaining More knowledge of the world around me. 3) To have fun. And impressing people will never be one of them. Because I happen to read things all the time that are altogether unimpressive.
With that said... "The Confessions" certainly falls into the first two categories and at times wanders into the third. I never imagined a book this ancient could be so current. His honesty is comforting and challenging at the same time. It reminds us that sin is very real, and God's grace has always been, and always will be, the means to destroy it.
Here's a couple excerpts of St. Augustine pouring his heart out to God.
"Do not hide your face from Me; let me die so that I may see it, for not to see it would be death to me indeed."
"God, You are most high, excellent, most powerful, omnipotent, supremely merciful and supremely just, most hidden yet intimately present, infinitely beautiful and infinitely strong, steadfast yet elusive, unchanging yourself though you control the change in all things, never new, never old, renewing all things yet wearing down the proud though they know it not, ever active, ever at rest, gathering while knowing no need, supporting and filling and gaurding, creating an nurturing and perfecting, seeking although you lack nothing. You love without frenzy, you are jealous yet secure, you regret without sadness, you grow angry yet remain tranquil, you alter your works but never your plan, you take back what you find although you never lost it; you are never in need yet you rejoice in your gains, never avariocious yet you demand profits. You allow us to pay you more than you demand, and so you become our debtor, yet which of us possesses anything that does not already belong to You?"