Friday, March 31, 2006
Friday, March 24, 2006
I was talking to somebody the other evening who feels trapped by the life they own, that has been carved out by chance and little decisions. There were regrets and there were good things. Sadly there was also the feeling that nothing could be changed. Augustine was deeply changed by his encounter with God - and later reflected on the regret he felt at having taken so long to realise that a revolutionary, refreshing change was possible. Augustine knew the mixing of sadness and relief that characterises so much of modern life, he realised that much of his regrets flowed from playing with the beautiful things in this life, which only exist becasue of the beautiful God who made them. He prayed to the God who changed his regrets into wonderings-
"Too late did I love You, O Beauty, so ancient, and yet so new! Too late did I love You, For You were inside, and I was outside, and there did I seek You; I, unattractive, rushed heedlessly among the things of beauty You made. You were with me, but I was not with you. Those things kept me far from You, which, unless they were in You, could not exist. You called me, you shouted at me, and forced open my deaf ears. You shone light and chased away my blindness. Thou gave fresh air, and I drew in my breath and I do pant after You. I tasted, and I hunger and thirst. Thou did touch me, and I burned for Your peace."
Confessions Book 10 Chapter 27
Just opened blogging - finally replacing the now old fashioned and cumbersome (!) art of sending friends interesting news clippings found on net!
Grace City - from Augustine's monumental book 'City of God'. Most people have heard of Plato and Aristotle - and know that in some vague undefined sense they said things that today still shape the way our world works. Few people realise there was another man, living around the same time, in Africa. He was a philosopher and wrote on topics such as time, beauty, history, love, virtue and music. His insights were as profound as those of Plato - arguably more so. As he approached the end of mid life, Augustine became a follower of Jesus. He completed the book he was writing on music - and went on to become the ancient writer who left us the most words - many still untranslated though the ones that we can read shaped Western civilisation.
In our modern day time and thought have become flattened out, as one writer put it we need the 'Poetry in a Prose flattened world.' Augustine had a perspective on life that may help inject some of that poetry back into the net - and into life.
As I continue to study Augustine at post graduate level, this blog will be a forum to share some thoughts from him, and to comment on issues utilising his insights. A fringe benefit to myself is that the blog may encourage me to keep working on the studies when the footnotes get too small!