Desert Nuns

The Confessions

Photo on 2015-06-25 at 11.35 #5

Ferg doesn’t really like when we have our nose in a book! – He would much rather be the center of attention!! (see bottom left of pic)

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 352px-Antonio_Rodríguez_-_Saint_Augustine_-_Google_Art_Projectsummer 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,
I, misshapen.

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?”

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3 Responses to “The Confessions”
  1. Cecilia Lamb says:

    I would really love to get the book The Confessions of St Augustine you mentioned. Pray for a safe trip for my Granddaughter and family. They are coming for a visit. Thank you

  2. Phyllis says:

    I like that translation; this is my favorite from the New Saint Joseph People’s Prayer Book:
    Too late have I loved you,
    O Beauty so ancient O Beauty so new,
    too late have I loved you!
    You were within me but I was outside myself,
    and there I sought you!
    In my weakness
    I ran after the beauty
    of the things you have made.
    You were with me,
    and I was not with you.
    The things you have made kept me from you –
    the things which would have no being
    unless they existed in you!
    You have called, you have cried out,
    and you have pierced my deafness.
    You have radiated forth,
    you have shined out brightly,
    and you have dispelled my blindness.
    You have sent forth your fragrance,
    and I have breathed it in,
    and I long for you.
    I have tasted you,
    and I hunger and thirst for you.
    You have touched me,
    and I ardently desire your peace.

  3. I too am reading confs… agree with all.. would like your thoughts on Constantine’s sword – written by a priest ? You decide. all of my love and prayers. You and the sisters were my road to catholic church in 2003. Praise God forever……char

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