The mind that strays from God is miserable, says St. Augustine. Only love can lead the mind back to God, and to a real understanding of man’s place as a created being.
The further the mind goes from God—not in space, but in affection and lust after things below him—the more it is filled with foolishness and misery. So by love it returns to God—a love that places it not beside God, but under him. And the more ardor and eagerness there is in this return, the happier and more elevated the mind will be, and with God as its only governor it will be at perfect liberty.
Thus it must know that it is a created being. It must believe the truth: that its Creator always possesses the inviolable and unchangeable nature of truth and wisdom. It must confess, considering the errors from which it wants to be delivered, that it is liable to folly and falsehood.
But then again, it must be careful not to be separated from the love of the other creature—that is, of the visible world—or from the love of God himself, which sanctifies it for lasting happiness.
No other creature, then—for we are creatures ourselves—separates us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
–St. Augustine, Morals of the Catholic Church, 15
IN GOD’S PRESENCE, CONSIDER . . .
Does my mind put itself under God, or do I try to put myself beside him?
Father, when I have fallen away from you, help me gain back my footing, and let me not be tempted again away from the true path.
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