Very slowly I’ve been working my way through The Confessions by St. Augustine. Surprisingly, it’s my first full read of this classic. I’ve tried to plow through other translations in the past – but found them very laborious. Then, through our wish list, we received the Ignatius Critical Edition, translated by Maria Boulding, OSB, and edied by David Vicent Meconi, SJ. WONDERFUL!!! The translation is top-notch, and the footnotes are helpful and insightful.
If The Confessions is on your summer reading list, I highly recommend this particular edition. If it’s not on your summer reading list, well, perhaps it should be 🙂
I am trying to finish ‘er up, so I can pass the book on to Sr. Augusta – who now has St. Augustine as her new Patron (especially with his feast day coming up at the end of August)! However, I just keep reading and re-reading the part on memory (don’t worry – I’ll finish it soon!)! FASCINATING! What an incredibly brilliant, enlightened, penetrating mind this Saint has! – and what a lively, sensitive, and deeply loving and attentive heart!
Enjoy this familiar excerpt from the Confessions (from the Book on Memory), noting the superior translation:
Late have I loved you, Beauty so ancient and so new, late have I loved you!
Lo, you were within, but I outside, seeking there for you,
and upon the shapely things you have made I rushed headlong,
You were with me, but I was not with you.
They held me back far from you,
those things which would have no being
were they not in you.
You called, shouted, broke through my deafness;
you flared, blazed, banished my blindness;
you lavished your fragrance, I gasped, and now I pant for you;
I tasted you, and I hunger and thirst;
you touched me, and I burned for your peace.
When at last I cling to you with my whole being there will be no more anguish or labor for me, and my life will be alive indeed, because filled with you. But now it is very different. Anyone whom you fill you also uplift, but I am not full of you, and so I am a burden to myself…..This is agony Lord!…See, I do not hide my wounds; you are the physician and I am sick; you are merciful, I in need of mercy. Is not human life on earth a time of testing?”