Wednesday, February 23, 2005

MH - To Half and Half Not

While you're waiting for the next installment on Distributism (and I won't tell you when it will be; the suspense will keep you coming back for more!), here's some very good stuff from Dawn on how we are all social creatures, as we look to others to enrich our relationship with God. By all means read the whole thing, but here's an excerpt:
St. Augustine is best known for two sayings addressed to the Lord. One is, "You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You."

The other: "Let me be chaste—but not yet."

Those two lines are intimately connected. Put them together, and you have the human condition. We long for fulfillment in our relationship with God, but we are tempted instead to seek it in relationships with others. In that "but not yet," I especially hear the desire to not only be unchaste, but to avoid taking the long view of any potential relationship. It's much easier in the short run to dive in without thought to the spiritual and emotional consequences.

I believe the answer is to seek in our relationships with others—especially with a spouse or hoped-for future spouse—the kind of relationship which we could bring before God and not be ashamed. The kind that would be to His glory.

That hits it right on the head - the problem with contemporary culture. Always acting in the short term, not willing to look at the consequences of our actions. It also brings home the point that our human interactions are designed not for physical fulfillment, but spiritual. And, as she notes at the end, even that fulfillment is inexact, since the ultimate fulfillment comes when we are reunited with Our Lord and Creator in Heaven.

I'm particularly fond of Augustine's writings on this since he understands our weaknesses, having indulged in them himself. As we struggle through the temptations that come our way in our sensual-sated culture - not just sexual temptations, but all temptations of the senses - be assured that St. Augustine is ready and willing to listen to us and to intercede on our behalf with his prayers. St. Augustine and St. Michael: powerful partners in our daily lives.

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