St Augustine of AfricaRealise that the one who made you the promises is truthful and trustworthy.

He hasn’t yet shown you everything, because it isn’t yet time for him to do so.

He has already shown you a great many things, though.

He promised you his Christ, and he gave him; he promised his resurrec­tion, and he gave it; the very afflictions and disasters piled one on top of the other in human affairs, he foretold and has shown.

How much is left? What was promised has been fulfilled, what was foretold has been fulfilled.

And are you on tenterhooks that perhaps what’s left may not happen?

What should really frighten you would be not seeing fulfilled what has been foretold.

There are wars, there are famines, there are tribula­tions, there’s kingdom against kingdom, there are earthquakes, there’s calamity piled on calamity, there’s no lack of scandals, charity is cold, there’s plenty of wickedness.

Read all this up, it’s been foretold. Read, observe that everything you see happening has been foretold, and believe that you are eventually going to see what hasn’t yet come about, counting up all the things that have.

And do you, when you see God presenting you with what he has foretold, refuse to believe that he is going to give you what he has promised?

It’s precisely what has got you upset that ought to give you grounds for trusting him.

If it’s the end of the world, then it’s time to quit the world, not to love the world.

Look, the world is in a state of turmoil, and everyone loves the world!

Suppose the world were at peace? How you would cling to a beautiful world, seeing how fervently you embrace a world in a mess!

How eagerly you would gather its flowers, seeing that you don’t pull your hand back from its thorns!

You don’t want to leave the world, the world leaves you, and you follow the world.

So let us purify our hearts, dearly beloved, and not give up the virtue of endurance, but rather gain wisdom and hold on to the virtue of restraint.

Toil passes away, rest is coming; deceptive delights pass away, and the good is coming which the faithful soul has been longing for, and for which every pilgrim exiled in the world is fervently sighing:

the good home country, our heavenly home, our home with the angelic peoples, our home country where no citizen ever dies, where no hostile alien gains admittance, our home where you will have God as your everlasting friend, and where you need fear no enemy.

Augustine of Hippo (354-430:  Sermon 38, 10-11;  from the Monastic Office of Vigils, Saturday of the 27th Week of Ordinary Time, Year 1.

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