Not Yet?

28 Aug

“Lord, make me chaste — but not yet.”  ~ St. Augustine

Today we celebrate the feast of St. Augustine.  This follows on the heels of yesterday’s feast day for St. Monica, his mother.  Monica spent many years praying for the conversion of her pagan son, Augustine, as well as her pagan husband Patricius.  Eventually, her prayers were answered as first her son and later her husband became Christians.

When Augustine was still in his wilder early life, he began to feel the effects of his mother’s prayers and the pull of God to conversion.  While appealing to him intellectually, Augustine knew that a change to Christianity would entail more than an intellectual change.  Conversion would necessitate a complete conversion of mind and body.  That was something that Augustine was not prepared to do, at least not initially.  That was why he began to make his fervent prayer to God.  “Make me chaste — but not yet.”

How many times have our prayers been much of the same to God?  We might realize that we need to do something or to change somehow.  At first, we think about it intellectually.  Later, we might pay it lip service.  However, there comes a time when we have to “jump into the deep end of the pool” and actually do that which we are called to do.

We cannot merely pay lip service to God in our prayers.  We have to ask God for the grace to go all in.  Augustine showed us that by his life.  He may have begun as an errant child, teen, and young adult.  However, there came a moment in his life when he gave himself over completely to God and that moment changed him forever.  Becoming a responsible Christian, he also later became a bishop in the Church and was ultimately proclaimed a Doctor of the Church.

God calls us to conversion.  Do we tease Him with prayers that end in “but not yet” or are we willing to go all in and allow God to change us as necessary?

FAITH ACTION:  If you have been asking God for the grace to change but holding out on the actual attempt to do so, let go and allow God to come into your life in a deeper way today.