Saturday, April 23, 2005

God vs. Sex

This is about Augustine, this is pretty amazing.
"I was astonished that although I now loved you . . . I did not persist in enjoyment of my God. Your beauty drew me to you, but soon I was dragged away from you by my own weight and in dismay I plunged again into the things of this world . . . as though I had sensed the fragrance of the fare but was not yet able to eat it."

What I want you to notice here is the emergence of the phrase, "enjoyment of my God." Augustine now conceived of the quest of his life as a quest for a firm and unshakable enjoyment of the true God. This will be utterly determinative in his thinking about everything, especially in his great final battles with Pelagianism near the end of his life forty years from this time.

He knew that he was held back now not by anything intellectual, but by sexual lust: "I was still held firm in the bonds of woman's love." Therefore the battle would be determined by the kind of pleasure that triumphed in his life. "I began to search for a means of gaining the strength I needed to enjoy you, [notice the battlefront: How shall I find strength to enjoy God more than sex?], but I could not find this means until I embraced the mediator between God and men, Jesus Christ."

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