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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Discovering the What and Who of Our Eternal Home

By St. Augustine
What are You then, my God? What, but the Lord God? For who is Lord but the Lord? Or who is God except our God? Most high, most good, most potent, most omnipotent; most merciful, yet most just; most hidden, yet most present; most beautiful, yet most strong, stable, yet incomprehensible; unchangeable, yet all-changing; never new, never old; all-renewing, and bringing age upon the proud, and they know it not; ever working, ever at rest; still gathering, yet lacking nothing; supporting, filling, and overspreading; creating, nourishing, and maturing; seeking, yet having all things. You love, without passion; are jealous, without anxiety; repents, yet grieves not; are angry, yet serene; change Your works, Your purpose unchanged; receive again what You find, yet never lost; never in need, yet rejoicing in gains; never covetous, yet tough on usury. You receive over and above, that You may owe; and who has anything that is not Yours? You pay debts, owing nothing; remit debts, losing nothing. And what have I now said, my God, my life, my holy joy? Or what can any man say when he speaks of You? Yet woe to him that speaks not of You, since mute are even the most eloquent without You.

Oh! That I might rest in You! Oh! That You would enter into my heart, and inebriate it, that I may forget my ills, and embrace You, my sole good! What are You to me? In Your pity, teach me to utter your goodness. Or what am I to You that You demand my love, and, if I do not give it, are obsessed with me, and threaten me with the most grievous afflictions? Is it then a great anguish to not love You? Oh! For Your mercies’ sake, tell me, O Lord my God, what You are to me. Say to my soul, “I am Your salvation”. Speak, so that I may hear. Behold, Lord, my heart is open before You; open also my ears and say to my soul, “I am Your salvation”. After this, let me make haste, and take hold of You. Hide not Your face from me. Don’t let me die — but I will die — but only let me see Your face. (The Confessions by St. Augustine, Book I)
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