« AnteriorContinuar »
OF CALLING UPON GOD
believe without a preacher?" And "they shall praise the Lord that seek Him." For they that seek, shall find Him,"3 and those who find shall praise Him. I will seek Thee, O Lord, calling upon Thee; and I will call upon Thee, believing in Thee; for Thou hast been preached to us. My faith, O Lord, calls on Thee, that faith which Thou hast given to me, with which Thou hast inspired me, through the Incarnation of Thy Son, through the ministry of Thy preacher.4
That the God Whom he invokes is in him, and
ND how shall I call upon my God, my God and Lord? For when I shall call upon Him, I shall be calling Him to come to me. And what room is there in me, where my God may come into me? where God may come into me, the God Who made heaven and earth? Is there, then, O Lord my God, anything in me, that can contain Thee? Do heaven, indeed, and earth, which Thou hast made, and in which Thou hast made me, contain Thee? or, because whatever exists cannot exist without Thee, does it follow that whatever exists contains Thee? Since, then, I also exist, why do I ask Thee to come to me, when I could have no being, unless Thou wert already in me? For I am not now in hell, and yet Thou art even there. For "if I go down into hell, Thou art 3 Matt. vii. 7.
1 Rom. x. 14.
2 Ps. xxii. 27.
4 He refers to the preaching of S. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan. See Bk. V. chap. xiii.
THE DIVINE IMMENSITY
there." Therefore I could not exist, O my God, I could not have any being, unless Thou wert in me; or, rather, I could not have any being, unless I were in Thee, "of Whom are all things, by Whom are all things, in Whom are all things."2 Even so, O Lord, even so. Whither then do I call Thee, when I am in Thee? or, whence canst Thou come to me? For whither can I withdraw myself beyond heaven and earth, that there may be intervening space through which my God may come to me, Who hath said, “I fill heaven and earth"? 3
God is so wholly everywhere, that nothing
heaven and earth contain Thee, since Thou
fillest them? or, dost Thou fill them, without exhausting Thyself, since they do not contain Thee? And when heaven and earth are filled, where dost Thou pour what remains of Thee? or, hast Thou no need to be contained by anything, Who containest all things, seeing that what Thou fillest, Thou fillest by containing it? For the vessels which are filled by Thee, do not sustain Thee; since, although they were broken, Thou wouldst not be poured forth. And when Thou art "poured out "4 upon us, Thou art not cast down, but Thou raisest us up; neither art Thou Thyself scattered, but Thou gatherest us. But Thou Who fillest all things, fillest Thou all things with Thy whole self? or, since
1 Ps. cxxxix. 8.
3 Jer. xxiii. 24.
2 Rom. xi. 36.
4 Acts ii. 18.
IN GOD OPPOSITE ATTRIBUTES
all things cannot contain Thee wholly, do they contain a part of Thee, and all at once the same part? or, does each enclose its own part, the greater more, the smaller less? Then is there one part of Thee greater, and another less. Or art Thou wholly everywhere, and does nothing contain Thee wholly?
The Majesty of God and His Perfections, are
HAT art Thou then, my God? what, I ask, but the Lord God? "For who is Lord but the Lord? or who is God save our God?" O most High, most Good, most Powerful, most Omnipotent, most Merciful and most Just, most Hidden and most Present, most Beautiful and most Strong, Stable yet Incomprehensible; changeless Thyself, yet changing all things; never old, never new; making all things new, and making old the proud, and they know it not; "2 ever working, ever at rest; gathering, and not needing; upholding, and filling, and overshadowing; creating and nourishing and perfecting; seeking, yet never lacking anything. Thou lovest, without passion; Thou art jealous, without alarm; Thou repentest, without sorrow; Thou art angry, without emotion; Thou changest Thy works, without ever altering Thy design; Thou receivest back what Thou findest, without ever having lost; Thou art never poor, yet rejoicing in gains; never avaricious, yet exacting usury;3 Thou receivest over and above, that Thou 'Ps. xviii. 31. 2 Job ix. 5. 3 Matt. XXV. 27.
HE PRAYS FOR PARDON FROM GOD
mayest be indebted, and yet—who has anything which is not already Thine own? Thou payest debts, owing nothing; Thou forgivest debts, losing nothing. And what is all that has been said, my God, my life, my sweet and holy joy? or what can any say, when one speaks of Thee? And woe to those who are silent about Thee; since but dumb are even those who speak much.
He seeks the Love of God, and Pardon for his
H! that I might find rest in Thee. Oh! that Thou wouldest come into my heart, and inebriate it, that I may forget my troubles and embrace Thee, my only good. What art Thou to me? Let Thy Mercy suffer me to speak. What am I to Thee that Thou commandest me to love Thee, and art angry with me unless I do love Thee, and dost threaten me with great miseries? Is it then a slight one not to love Thee? Ah me! tell me, for Thy Mercies' sake, O Lord my God, what Thou art to me. Say unto my soul, I am thy Salvation." So speak, that I may hear. Behold, the ears of my heart, O Lord, are before Thee; open them, and "say unto my soul, I am thy Salvation." Let me run after this voice, and lay hold on Thee. Hide not Thou Thy Face from me. die, that I may see Thy Face, lest I die.
Narrow is the house of my soul for Thee to
enter into it; let it ruinous; rebuild it.
be expanded by Thee. It is There is in it that which is 1 Ps. xxxv. 3.
offensive in Thy sight, I know and confess; but who shall cleanse it? or, to whom else should I cry but to Thee-" Lord, cleanse Thou me from my secret faults, and from those of others spare Thy servant." “I believe, and therefore do I speak ;"2 Lord, Thou knowest. "Have I not confessed against myself my offences unto Thee, my God; and Thou hast forgiven the wickedness of my heart?" I do not contend in judgment with Thee,4 Who art the Truth; I do not wish to deceive myself; "lest mine iniquity lie to itself." Therefore I do not contend in judgment with Thee; "for if Thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquity, O Lord, who shall abide it?""
He describes his Infancy; he praises the Providence of God and His Eternity.
UT suffer me, nevertheless, to address Thy Mercy -me, "dust and ashes." Yet suffer me to speak, since it is Thy Mercy I address, not scornful man. And Thou, perhaps, mayest scorn me, but then, "Thou wilt return and have compassion on me."8 And what is it I want to say, O Lord my God, save that I know not whence I came into this, I cannot tell whether to call it dying life or living death? And the consolations of Thy Mercies awaited me, as I have been told by the parents of my flesh-by my father and by her who bore me; for I have no remembrance