Lord, I never wanted to be separated from You.

A Reflection on St. Augustine (August 28)

Today, we celebrate the feast of our Holy Father St. Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church. One of his famous lines goes “our heart is restless until it rests in God”, but many of us may have allowed our hearts to be "anesthetized"; no longer a heart of flesh so to speak; but a heart of stone, as a line of one popular song goes, “kung ako’y muling iibig sana di maging katulad mo, tulad mo na may pusong bato”, no longer in love, and no longer in search for God.

Augustine was educated by his mother Monica in the Christian faith, but as he grew he moved away from it. He studied; he had fun that even led to an immoral life; he knew ‘intense’ love; and began a brilliant career as a teacher. He had arrived in every way. But in his heart, there remained the restlessness of the search for the profound meaning of life.

His autobiography called “The Confessions” is a story of how he went from looking for love in all the wrong places to being found by God Who is Love Himself. Here’s how St. Augustine put it:  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.”

Augustine went on looking for happiness, for God, in the things of creation...and all along, God was very near...in fact, within him. Restlessness always seeks the good of others. It always pushes us forward to go out and encounter the others without waiting for the others to tell us what they need. To have a restless heart means to be always in love.

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