Anticipating the Eternal Communion

Lenten Reflections 2015: Readings from Augustine

Augustine often made the point that the gifts of God are never diminished when shared with others. Here he speaks about preparing for such a common share in the Kingdom.

“But they provoked him with their plan” (Ps 105[106]:43). This is what the Psalmist said above: “They did not wait for his plan” (v. 13). A human being’s plan is destructive of him if it leads him to seek his own interests and not God’s (Ph 2:21). When we enter into our inheritance, which God himself is for us, when he deigns to offer himself for our enjoyment, when we are in the company of the saints, we will not suffer the narrowness that comes from loving our private possessions. When that most glorious city comes to possess God’s inheritance where no one dies, no one is born, it will have no citizens who rejoice individually in their own possessions, because God will be all things for all (1 Cor 15:28). Anyone who in this exile faithfully and burningly desires that communion gets used to preferring common possessions to private possessions, not seeking his own interests, but Christ’s. Otherwise, thinking of himself and making plans for himself, he will provoke God with his plans. Instead, hoping for what he does not see, he will run away from the things that only seem to make him happy, and he will patiently await that unseen eternal goal and will follow the plan that leads to the promises of God whose help he prays for while being tested here. Thus he will be humble in his confessions and not like those of whom it is said, “And they were humbled in their wickedness.” (EnPs 105[106], 34; PL 37, 1415-16)

Rev. Joseph A. Komonchak, professor emeritus of the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America, is a retired priest of the Archdiocese of New York.

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