Tag Archives: Beauty

O Beauty Ever Ancient, Ever New


I couldn’t sleep. So I found a moment, spending time with one of my favorites, on his feast day. We were walking through how St. Augustine Florida got its name. And of course, our Lord brings me His peace, in teaching me that rivals and political fighting have always been things of worldly souls.

Don Pedro Menéndez de Avilés was sent by Spain (Catholic) to protect Spanish interests as international rivalries began to play out across the Atlantic. France (Huguenots) were to be expelled. In finding this, quite interesting by the way, it brought me comfort in the way in how when we look at our past, in Truth, the more things change, the more our Lord stays the same.

“In retrospect, the decision to name the town St. Augustine seems to have been a fitting one. During its history of over 450 years, the town, like its namesake, has experienced its share of struggles. St. Augustine has been burned and looted on several occasions by pirates, hostile natives and rival Europeans. It has changed hands from country to country four times(!). During the civil rights movement, it was the location of numerous protests and counter attacks.”

And yet, remained named St. Augustine. How many attacks have we, the Church faced over the 2000 year history? How many struggles? And yet, she remains because our Lord remains.

“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. Created things kept me from you; yet if they had not been in you they would have not 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.”

St. Augustine of Hippo, pray for us

And now, rest.

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Imagine a tree next to a stream. You see it in its splendor, full of leaves and giving its fruit to any passerby. Its bark thick and protecting it from insects. What you don’t see are the vastness of its roots, digging deep beneath the earth, anchoring it to the ground and foraging for nutrients to feed what is above. Although the tree itself may be only 15 or so foot tall, its roots can branch off double that size. Such are the gifts that God gives to us. They are so numerous and vast, we tend to overlook them and seek the easy things, that are visible.

A very good Priest helped me copy some sign up sheets for our Adoration chapel a few weeks ago. It was copied on a different colored paper then what was in the copy machine. When the copies were complete, he reached into the copy machine and without looking, pulled out all the colored paper placed on top of the white paper. He snickered and said to me, “What are the chances”. I didn’t say anything. I wanted to ponder it.

I will now. What are the “chances”, you were born, allowed to grow up, discern the Priesthood, CHOOSE the Priesthood, attend the Seminary, graduate from the Seminary, become a Parish Priest, be moved to my Parish, myself, move to San Diego from Chicago, run back to the Catholic Faith, locate to this particular parish, become the Captain of our Adoration Chapel that you become the Spiritual Director of and help me substantially in my faith, we end up working together on the same project and you copy sign in sheets for me at that particular second in time? No chances. Divine providence and a lot of unseen grace. Now, what are the “Chances” this was all written before we were born? 100%.

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