Fired by love's urgent longings, I am his rocketman.

You Called

“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; yet if they had not been in you they would not have 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.”  (Confessions of St. Augustine)
From time to time we read something that enables us to see who we are, where we have come from and where we are going, all at the same time.  This passage from St. Augustine does that for me.  “Late have I loved you…late have I loved you!”  I know so much time has passed; so many opportunities to love and serve you have come and gone.  My soul aches to recapture the time and to repay what I have stolen from you.  
Like Augustine, you were within me, but I searched for you in things outside of you.  In my unloveliness, I plunged into lovely things all made by you.  But I did not look for you in them.  Rather I ran from you and tried to hide in the lovely things you created.  I was afraid of your beauty, fearful of your love.  Deep down I knew you wanted me, all of me.  I was willful, selfish and bent to go my own way.  But “[y]ou were with me, [though] I was not with you.”  The more I resisted, the more you drew.  
“You called, you shouted, and you broke through my deafness.  You flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my darkness.”  I closed my ear, but you opened it with your splendid words,  Word of God.  I ran for a long time, but “[w]here shall I run from your love?  Or where shall I flee from your presence?  If I ascend to heaven, you are there …If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the farthest parts of the sea, even there your hand will lead me and your right hand will hold me.”  (Psalm 139:7-10)  I was covered in darkness, but “[y]ou flashed, you shone, and you dispelled my darkness.”  For “[i]f  I say, ‘Let only darkness cover me and the light about me be night,’ even the darkness is not dark to you, the night is as bright as the day; for darkness is as light with you.”  (Psalm 139:11-12)  You opened my eyes and now I see you “O Beauty Ever Ancient”.
“You breathed your fragrance on me” and it is irresistible.  All other scents have disappeared, while yours alone lingers and grows stronger.  I drew breath from you Holy Spirit and now I pant for you.  I tasted you, the Bread of Life and you have become my food.  You increased my desire; now I hunger and thirst for more of you — Living Water.  Only you, Jesus, can satisfy me.  You touched me Holy Fire; I have been to the Flame and now it burns in me.
“Late have I loved you…” but not too late.  For with you “one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day”.    Therefore, I am full of hope because you take what little time I have to give and multiply it.  So too I am confident in your mercy for you are a generous master, who rewards those laborers who work for one hour at the end of the day the same wage as those who worked all day in the scorching sun.  For with you the “last will be first and the first last”.  (Matthew 20:1-16) Even though I have loved you late, I will not love you little.  You may have all of me “good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over…” with love.  (See Luke 6:38) 
  

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