• Sarah Raad


“Late have I loved You, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved You!” (Saint Augustine).

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ MMXIX (Howard David Johnson)

I was working with a student the other day, covering some basic physics in relation to Newton’s third law – that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. And as I was teaching that scientific content, it occurred to me that while this is true in the physical world, it is also true in the spiritual world too…

You see, when Christ suffered His agony in the Garden of Gethsemane, His agony was aggravated because He could see – through His Divine Nature – the reactions that were generated through each and every sin ever committed since the beginning of time. For example, He could see that a parent’s momentary impatience with their child could cause him to be an impatient adult. Being impatient, he may argue more with his wife, and she may become more easily offended by him. This could cause her to sin and swear at him while she is arguing with him, which may cause him to punish her by cutting her off emotionally, which may lead to divorce.

Now, of course, I am generalising. I am not – even for a moment – suggesting that parents punish themselves if they are momentarily impatient with their children, but what I a reflecting upon is the idea that Christ – God – saw the consequences of every single one of our imperfections during His Passion and death. And in seeing the consequences, He saw the ACTIONS and the REACTIONS and He saw this as compared with His PERFECT plan for creation – that was disrupted through the evils of sin.

When Saint Augustine was a young man, he enjoyed a life of sin and debauchery. He would pray, “Lord, give me chastity and continence, but not yet.” And Saint Augustine continued in that prayer for 31 years, while his mother persevered in prayer for him. And finally – more than three decades after she commenced prayers for her sinful son, Saint Monica’s prayers were answered, and Saint Augustine converted and became Bishop of Hippo and a doctor of the Church.

And Saint Augustine worked hard to atone for the sins and consequences of his earlier life… And he prayed, “Late have I loved You, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved You! You were within me, but I was outside. You were with me, but I was not with You. 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.”

And I pray that prayer of Saint Augustine, because I too was Late to Love Him, who is my Beloved… And the consequence of that is that He suffered more for love of me… ““Late have I loved You, O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved You!”

For with prayer, I stand on Holy Ground where everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.

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