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WEDNESDAY HOMILY: Set on Fire Like Saint Augustine

By Fr Samuel Medley, SOLT
August 28th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Ever try teaching chastity to a teen, correcting a person who is hurting many, or consoling a person who is suffering in the wake of immeasurable loss?  Without the love of God, these things are impossible or perhaps even futile.  It is only the Spirit of the living God, that lives and sings in the hearts of disciples that can ignite this fire in others.

HYTHE, KENT, UK (Catholic Online) - A Saint, a sinner, a poet, a philosopher, an author, a father, a bishop, a doctor of the Church, a father of the Church - there are so many ways to look at the saint for today.  Yet above all, he is Christ's.  He is a disciple, or perhaps he, like St John the beloved, would describe himself as the disciple whom Jesus loved.

For a sinner the greatest thing about the Lord Jesus is that He identified Himself and revealed Himself to the lost.  For St Augustine of Hippo, this was the greatest thing about Jesus Christ, which came through almost on every page of his writings.  He never got over the fact that God called him out of darkness into his marvelous light.  However great and noble, lofty and poetic his writings may be - he never stopped rejoicing in the very simple truth that he is loved by God.

"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 now I hunger and thirst;   you touched me, and I burned for your peace."

The world today needs people who are in love with God, or rather witnesses who reveal themselves as disciples whom Jesus loves.  The only thing that can break through the complexity and the confusion of the people of our time is the simple and holy Love of God. 

Ever try teaching chastity to a teen, correcting a person who is hurting many, or consoling a person who is suffering in the wake of immeasurable loss?  Without the love of God, these things are impossible or perhaps even futile.  It is only the Spirit of the living God, that lives and sings in the hearts of disciples that can ignite this fire in others.

This is the fire of St Augustine, his song, his instruction, his beautiful Latin poetic praise of God, his mystagogy and catechesis, his heart and soul - the Love of God.  This is why he has such appeal to disciples of every age and every land.  He is a man on fire with God's mercy.

There is great need for apostles of our age to be on fire with this love, to first burn brightly with it and then share it like fire that catches others.

May the prayers of St Augustine, St Monica, and Our Lady help us to be on fire with the Love of God and to share it with all.

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Father Samuel Medley, SOLT, is a priest of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity, and is based in Hythe, Kent, United Kingdom.  He speaks to groups around the world on Blessed Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body.  Visit his homily blog http://medleyminute.blogspot.com or his blog on the Church's teachings on marriage and family life http://loveandresponsibility.org

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