The Path

Lent 2014: Readings from Augustine

Beloved, we now are children of God, and it has not yet appeared what we shall be; we know that when it does appear, we shall be like him because we shall see him as he is” (1 Jn 3:2). This is a great promise, and if you love it, follow. “I love it,” you say, “but where shall I follow?” If the Lord your God had said to you, “I am truth and life,” then, desiring truth, lusting for life, you would seek the path by which you could reach them, and you would say, “Truth is a great thing, life is a great thing, if only my soul could get there!” Do you seek where? Listen to him saying first, “I am the path.” Before he told you to what you were to go, he told you how to go: “I,” he said, “am the path.” The path to what? “And the truth and the life.” First he told you how you were to go, then he told you where you were to go. “I am the path; I am the truth; I am the life.” Abiding with his Father as truth and life, he put on the flesh and became the path. Don’t tell yourself, “Struggle to find the path by which to get to truth and life.” Don’t say this to yourself. Lazybones, get up; the path itself has come to you, and he has awakened you from sleep. If he’s awakened you, get up and start walking. Perhaps you’re trying to walk and you can’t because your feet hurt. Why do your feet hurt? Was it because greed required you to run across a rough patch? Well, God’s Word heals lame people, too. “But,” you say, “My feet are fine, but I don’t see the path.” Well, he enlightens the blind, too. (In Ioannem, 34, 9; PL 35, 1656)

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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