“Late have I loved You. You searched for me, I looked for you. What took me so long?” These lyrics are from a current day song by Matt Maher, but they echo the words of St. Augustine as written in his Confessions.
Reflecting on the Gospel of today (Luke 5:27-32), in which Jesus says: “I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners,” St. Augustine comes to mind. St. Augustine is such a great saint because he fell so far down close to hell that when His Lover Christ called him back out of that dark abyss, after he finished the race on earth, he was raised to that same height in glorious Heaven, as Christ had poured grace upon grace into his soul!
In today’s Meditation, St. Catherine of Sienna says: “No, He finds a delightful way– the most sweet and loving way possible; for He sees that the human heart is drawn by love as by nothing else, as it is made of love. This seems to be why humans love so much, because they are made of nothing but love, body and soul. In love God created them in His own image and likeness, and in love father and mother conceive their own children, giving them a share in their own substance.”
What I find profound about St. Augustine’s conversion is that he was looking for love in women because he unknowingly saw the traces of God’s beauty stamped in them. When he realized this in his conversion, it brought him to the ultimate clarity that God’s beauty and love was the Ultimate Beauty and Love, Who bestowed all such beauty and love into all of Creation, most especially His very daughters. This made St. Augustine realize that he was attracted to women because they showed him God– but that to truly love them, he had to see women the way that their Creator saw them: with pure love, and not as objects (lust).
“I was looking outside…” are the following words to the Matt Maher song. Yes, St. Augustine was looking outside because God has stamped His Most Lovely image and likeness in all of Creation, and especially in humans, His crowning glory. As children of God, we often forget that He loves us, cherishes us, and prizes us so: we were made by Him, and we are His crowns!
However, we do not respond to Perfect Love perfectly. By no means. Our sinful nature (which, however, can be strengthened by grace and by living virtuously!) inclines us to hurt He Who is love and He Who loves us perfectly. Yet He still loves us as a Father and allows us to share in His Love, and even co-create life with Him in our own domestic churches; in them, we are called to image His Triune Nature! O, how merciful and loving and romantic is Our Lord!
St. Catherine of Siena says that we are “made of nothing but love, body and soul.” I see my entire life as this amazing Love story where God seeks me, whispers for me, calls out my name! My body was made to glorify Him; my soul was made to glorify Him. I was made in love for Love.
Love has met me through faces of other people, and through the hearts of other people, family and friends; and, in a holy courtship now, I have never more strongly felt such love that images this eternal exchange of Love that is the Holy Trinity. I now more deeply understand the immense love of the Holy Family, but moreover, that infinite, endless, unrelenting, powerful, passionate love that is Our Triune Lord!
May we never forget to see God in one another, hidden (all over) in those around us, and most especially in those we love. Satan most strongly tempts us not to love God and not to love the people whom we truly love the most. He wants to divide us, but Christ wants us to be one– this is precisely what we are in the reality of Holy Communion. Let us always win this spiritual battle with LOVE!