Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Late Have I loved Thee... &Weekly Q&A


The Office of Readings makes no bones about letting us know that it's not Easter anymore. A few days ago we were in heaven with St. John, praising the Lamb who was slain with the heavenly choir, every tear wiped away.
By Monday--plunged down to earth, way down, sitting on the ash heap with poor Job as he scrapes his boils.

This is of the few times I really envy the folks who keep with the pre-Vatican II liturgy, because they are observing an Octave of Pentecost, lingering for a whole 'nother week to reflect on the joy of the Holy Spirit. Letting people down more gently into this vale of tears.

On the other hand, the second readings feature St. Augustine, who has plenty of consoling and encouraging things to say. Today, in fact, is just about the most beautiful passage written by an author known for beautiful passages. The creme de la creme of Augustinian beauty:

Late have I loved you, O beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! You were within me, but I was outside, and it was there that I searched for you. In my unloveliness I plunged into the lovely things which you created. You were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would not have been at all. You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness. You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my blindness. You breathed your fragrance on me; I I drew in breath and now I pant for you. I have tasted you; now I hunger and thirst for more. You touched me, and I burned for your peace.

That passage moves anyone who has had a conversion, a reversion, a deepening of faith, a struggle with any particular sin, or a call to a vocation or path in life that was initially resisted. It's nice to see it in its full context in today's Office of Readings.

Okay...Any Q&A for me?
I have a big announcement coming up next week, by the way.


5 comments:

  1. How is it that I've never come across this passage from Augustine until now?!!

    And...how long are you going to keep us in suspense about your announcement?

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    1. Tee hee. That's for me to know and for you to find out.

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  2. Do you happen to know if there is a listing of which Psalms are in the MP and EP (I think there are 82). On a similar note, which Psalms are left out (I think there are three).

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  3. Christopher, there's an appendix in the back of the breviary listing which psalms are in there. I counted once long ago, and it was in the 80s but I forget the precise number. Psalms 57,82, and 107 are left out altogether, also a couple verses of a few other psalms. As you probably know, this was due to particularly vengeful cursing of enemies or graphic violence. This omission remains controversial, and is one reason some prefer to use the pre-Vatican II Office. I can see both sides of the problem, but am happy to use what the Church has given us. I am glad that the lovely, bittersweet psalm 137 does not have to end with a recommendation to bash the heads of Babylonian babies against the sidewalk! It's true there are ways to see this all as metaphors, but sometimes its easier to not have to make that effort at all!

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    1. Thanks! I was hoping there might be something that listed if you only did only the hingepins...

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