Thursday, September 26, 2013

What, then, are you, my God?

From Augustine's Confessions:

What, then, are you, my God?
What indeed, if not the Lord God?
For who is the lord besides the Lord; who is God besides our God?
Highest and best, most mighty, most almighty; most full of mercy and justice, most hidden and most present with us, most lovely and most strong. 

You are abiding and unsearchable; you change all things, but are yourself unchanging; you are never new and never old, yet you renew all things and bring the proud to their old age unawares.

You are always at work and always at rest; you gather to yourself, though you lack nothing.

You bring together, fulfill, and protect; you create, nourish, and bring to completion.

You seek, when you are short of nothing.
You love, without the fever of passion.
You are jealous and fear no rival.
You repent but do not regret; you are roused to anger, and remain calm.
You change your works, but your counsel is unchanged. 
You take back what you find, yet you had never lost it.
You are never in need, yet you rejoice in riches; never grasping, yet you demand a return from us. 

For you we preform works beyond our duty, to put you in our debt; but who has anything that is not your own?

You repay debts, but are no one's debtor; you remit them, and suffer no loss. 
And yet what have we said of you, my God, my life, my holy Sweetness? What can anyone say, in speaking of you? But woe to those who keep silence concerning you - who speak so much, and say so little!

[Confessions 1.4.4]

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