Turning Point for Augustine

 “Give me chastity and continence, but not yet.” Augustine, Confessions VIII, 7.

“Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” Romans 13:14

Stalking in the garden in the heat of the moment,
Reflecting on complexity of voluntary movement,
Slunk in listless and leaden despair,
Tangled, contorted and tearing his hair,
Rapping his head and wrapping his knees,
Rabidly ravaging under the trees,
Wanting to wait and waiting to want,
Weighing the longing of laying and font,
Augustine hears the Word of the Lord
Drifting, insisting the voice of a child:
“Tolle, lege: take it and read.
 Tolle, lege: take it and read.”
Vocative discourse spoken by God,
Evocative sing-song challenge of a child.
Turning and turning he opens to read
The Word of the Lord in the words of St Paul:
“Lust and debauchery, revelry, rivalry,
Now is the time to wake from your sleep.”
Eloquent professor professes his call.
Now, no procrastination, delay;
Later is now, tomorrow today.

Graham Kings, Signs and Seasons: A guide for your Christian journey (London: Canterbury Press, 2008) p.9.

2 thoughts on “Turning Point for Augustine”

  1. Not alone for alliterative language is this a three wow wonder of words. The quotation is the germ of its satisfying form. May these lines find the ear of a composer who hears and listens to it.

  2. WOW!! WOW! WOW!
    So powerful , very real . when we say “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” is that really possible? it is certainly possible to request that “may the mind of Christ the saviour live in me from day to day” We think about the holy armour the breastplate the sword, all to protect us from the complexity of involuntary movement , for that comes from the effects of the mind, If Christ is in our thoughts and in our thinking, we may be our own harshest critic but we can honestly know that we have not just put Jesus Christ on, but rather he has guided us from within. yES! it is most urgent that Jesus is seen and heard, and it needs to be now and today for we are not sleeping partners in the business of faith.. What a great poem ..

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