"Come back to your heart"
"Come back to your heart, and from there go to God. Short will be the path if you come back to your heart... You are troubled by what is happening outside of you, and you are lost" (Semon 311,13).
The how-to for the quest of God is summarized in these few sentences. In the turmoil and the deafening noises of our world, the Augustinian path invites us, for starters, to make silence. Not a "shelter" silence, or a silence filled with angst. No, but rather a silence filled and inhabited, sensitive to the light breeze, to the tenuous wind that crosses our existences. Often, we need to ask ourselves, like Augustine: "where is God?" We look for Him outside, while we need to dig deeper inside. Those first steps may be difficult: at the likeness of the ambitious young man of Carthage, we escape, we flee, relentlessly, not caring much about ourselves, and hurting others in our wake. This is when an inner voice sounds in our soul: "Do not stay on the surface: dive into yourself, enter the inside of your heart. Search your soul carefully." (Sermon 53,15)
Such a quest may take long. It may last most of one's existence. The wisdom is not easy to acquire. Augustine needed to learn how to listen, to be able to understand his calling and redirect his life toward God: "Love spiritual riches and you will be satisfied. You will easily discover the source if you open your heart: your treasure is your God, and when He enters a soul, He enlarges it." (Sermon 177,3)
To be continued...
Prayer to come back to our heart
Augustine finds Christ by finding the path to his heart. We are sometimes lost in our troubled, noisy world. But this agitation may as well be ourselves trying to escape and flee.
Lord our God, grant us not to fear our heart, to stand in truth under your eyes, and to see your work in our life.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
Artwork: Saint Augustine in his study, by Vittore Carpaccio, 15th century.
Take a moment to treasure up all these things and ponder them in your heart (cf Luke 2,19)
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone. Col 4:6