This saying of St Augustine is very misunderstood. It does not mean “plunge into life protected by some vague fuzzy feeling of luvvy-duvvy goodness and certitude, and all shall be well”. DOH! Sadly, the world is full of misguided people who “can do no wrong”, as they see it, yet leave a trail of destruction behind them. I know this, because I am often one of them
The key word is the first one: Love.
Love is the final state attained by spiritual practice. In Love, one is so united to Almighty God that one finds oneself walking with Him at all times, and in all places as if with one’s hand in His, or carried in His arms. In Love, one is protected from all worldly wickedness, one can be in the presence of the greatest evil and be unaffected by it, indeed one will work great good works:
And these signs shall follow them that believe: In my name they shall cast out devils: they shall speak with new tongues. They shall take up serpents; and if they shall drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them: they shall lay their hands upon the sick, and they shall recover.
Love is an uncommon state, and is an unearned gift from God. Love is a state of complete selflessness, one’s little self having been eclipsed by God Himself. Jesus spent His whole earthly life in this state, and continues to do so in His Glorified life. It was His Love that drew people to Him, empowered His miracles and propelled Him through His sacrificial passion and death.
Sadly, Love has many counterfeits, too many to detail. Counterfeit love is always betrayed eventually by its viciousness, cruelty and lies. St Paul says it best:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes,what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
Almighty God, let me forsake all other pursuits here below, if only Thou will grant me Thy Almighty and Beautiful Love. Amen.