Thursday, October 1

Let My Love Song Sing To You - Part 2 of Augustine Meditation

But what is this jubilation, this language-less praise that sounds as mere gibberish and absurdity? We know that the angels in Heaven are praising God for eternity, unending “Holy, Holy, Holy.” Yet, these are words that man in his human nature has imparted to angelic praise. However, the praise with which the angels extol the greatness of the Lord must not be limited by human words. These words can never suffice to capture His magnificence, even in His condescension to the level of man. For “How do the angels enjoy him? As he is.” 

Human language is tainted with heightened knowledge of evil in addition to a radically inadequate knowledge of good. This is why it is never enough to extol the Lord with my words alone. My very life must be a harmonious love song, a duet of deed and word together praising my Beloved. “Let us sing a new song not with our lips but with our lives.”  

I receive a glimpse of eternity when I praise in tongues. I step for a moment outside of the box this finite world places on me, with its restrictions of spoken word and rational dignity. I join the angels in praise, unconcerned with what the judgment of the world might be, caring only to praise the Lord as David did, with reckless abandon. 

I do not “ for words, as if [I] could find a lyric which would give God pleasure.”  I rather place my entire song at His mercy, seeking only to present my best before Him, a perfect performance of pure love. I cannot give Him any less then my best. Anything less is not good enough, not worthy of the Ears that hear it. I “must sing well” because I do not ever “want [my] voice to come harshly” to this Master musician.  

Of itself, my praise is already so beneath Him, that only through His grace is my song acceptable and even delightful to His ears. But I cannot lean on that hope alone and not do my own part to be as worthy as I can be. I must always prepare myself to approach the throne of grace, bringing the song of my heart before my King and my God. 

This song of jubilation is one not bound by the earth, by its limitations of sound and sense. It is praise unintelligible to the world, to all that belongs to the world, and even to my own ears. This lack of understanding brings such a profound degree of selflessness to my praise. I am able to take my eyes entirely off myself, fixing them intently upon Him. Only then will my full gift of heart praise be properly offered. 

The beauty of language-less praise in tongues is its universality. It is the gift of the Spirit extended without fail to all, only awaiting their receptivity to the Spirit’s movement in their hearts. Jubilation thus radiates from each soul exulting, understood by none except by the One who is worthy to know the most intimate secrets of the heart. 

Having become so happy that words can no longer express what they feel, these souls open to full praise discard the restricting syllables. They break into a simple sound of joy, of jubilation. Such a cry of joy is a sound signifying that the heart is bringing to birth what it cannot utter in words. Now, who is more worthy of such a cry of jubilation than God himself, whom all words fail to describe? If words will not serve, and yet you must not remain silent, what else can you do but cry out for joy? Your heart must rejoice beyond words, souring into an immensity of gladness, unrestrained by syllabic bonds. 

How merciful a God, that He does not demand the praise that is rightfully His, a praise that I am not able and never will be able to give Him. He rather is content with and delights in the meager, pitiful offerings that I bring with all the love in my heart, all that I am able. It is enough, because it is a love song offered by the helpless heart of a child, soaring on the very breath of the Spirit to God.

To Be Continued...

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