|St. Augustine's Prayer|
|Written by Michael Fones|
|Monday, 01 March 2010 14:07|
Here is a brief excerpt from St. Augustine's Soliloquies. Are they prayer, petition, a monologue, or part of an ongoing dialogue? I would imagine the saint himself would reply, "Dialogue, of course." God seems to speak to Augustine through the ubiquitous and easily overlooked simpleness of natural events, as well as the events that unfold from his free choices. Everything speaks to Augustine of God.
I love this glimpse into the passion of the saint for God. May we desire such passion ourselves this Lent!
Whatever has been said by me, Thou the only God, do Thou come to my help, the one true and eternal substance, where is no discord, no confusion, no shifting, no indigence, no death. Where is supreme concord, supreme evidence, supreme steadfastness, supreme fullness, and life supreme. Where nothing is lacking, nothing redundant. Where Begetter and Begotten are one. God, whom all things serve, that serve, to whom is compliant every virtuous soul. By whose laws the poles revolve, the stars fulfill their courses, the sun vivifies the day, the moon tempers the night: and all the framework of things, day after day by vicissitude of light and gloom, month after month by waxings and wanings of the moon, year after year by orderly successions of spring and summer and fall and winter, cycle after cycle by accomplished concurrences of the solar course, and through the mighty orbs of time, folding and refolding upon themselves, as the stars still recur to their first conjunctions, maintains, so far as this merely visible matter allows, the mighty constancy of things. God, by whose ever-during laws the stable motion of shifting things is suffered to feel no perturbation, the thronging course of circling ages is ever recalled anew to the image of immovable quiet: by whose laws the choice of the soul is free, and to the good rewards and to the evil pains are distributed by necessities settled throughout the nature of everything. God, from whom distil even to us all benefits, by whom all evils are withheld from us. God, above whom is nothing, beyond whom is nothing, without whom is nothing. God, under whom is the whole, in whom is the whole, with whom is the whole. Who hast made man after Your image and likeness, which he discovers, who has come to know himself. Hear me, hear me, graciously hear me, my God, my Lord, my King, my Father, my Cause, my Hope, my Wealth, my Honor, my House, my Country, my Health, my Light, my Life. Hear, hear, hear me graciously, in that way, all Your own, which though known to few is to those few known so well.
Henceforth You alone do I love, You alone I follow, You alone I seek, You alone am I prepared to serve, for You alone are Lord by a just title, of Your dominion do I desire to be. Direct, I pray, and command whatever You will, but heal and open my ears, that I may hear Your utterances. Heal and open my eyes, that I may behold Your significations of command. Drive delusion from me, that I may recognize You. Tell me whither I must tend, to behold You, and I hope that I shall do all things You may enjoin. O Lord, most merciful Father receive, I pray, Your fugitive; enough already, surely, have I been punished, long enough have I served Your enemies, whom You have under Your feet, long enough have I been a sport of fallacies. Receive me fleeing from these, Your house-born servant, for did not these receive me, though another Master's, when I was fleeing from You? To You I feel I must return: I knock; may Your door be opened to me; teach me the way to You. Nothing else have I than the will: nothing else do I know than that fleeting and falling things are to be spurned, fixed and everlasting things to be sought. This I do, Father, because this alone I know, but from what quarter to approach You I do not know. Do Thou instruct me, show me, give me my provision for the way. If it is by faith that those find You, who take refuge with You then grant faith: if by virtue, virtue: if by knowledge, knowledge. Augment in me, faith, hope, and charity. O goodness of Yours, singular and most to be admired!<