September 29

By faithfulness we are collected and bound up into unity within ourselves, whereas we had been scattered abroad in multiplicity.
   – Saint Augustine

Sensory pleasures are only nickel-and-dime satisfactions. It is only when we don’t have a wider frame of reference that we believe they hold out the promise of great pleasure. When we widen our horizons to encompass a greater breadth of life, we can evaluate these pleasures more shrewdly.

Some of the greatest saints and mystics experimented with their senses rather freely in their earlier days. Augustine himself admits to having painted ancient Carthage red. But when they reach a state of unlimited compassion and concern for others, they say, “Those were mere pennies. Now I am in possession of limitless wealth.”