Searching for God – Beauty Ever Ancient

“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 have not 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 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. ” St. Augustine of Hippo

Late have I loved you…

I think these words from St. Augustine are among the most beautiful I have ever read. There is within these words a sense of a deep spiritual longing – a desire for something other than what lies outside of himself. Augustine has been searching for something that was hidden “Created things kept me from you” – inside he had a deep longing – a longing for the presence of God. The Divine presence becomes no longer absent – without reach – “You breathed your fragrance on me” – and now his soul desires to taste and see the beauty of God.

If your a visual person like me – you see the world through its natural beauty. The visual beauty of God’s creation touches you – catches your breath – helps you to pray as you contemplate God’s creation. Beauty is all around – the birds – the movement of the wind – the warm rays of the sun on your cheek. Art, music, poetry, and literature all express beauty.

Augustine speaks of God as beauty – ever ancient – and yet ever new…