Saturday, June 17, 2006

Augustine's Confessions: His Doctrine of the first few books.

When you speak do you clearly communicate who God is in His attributes in some way? When you journal or write does the language ooze of God's character to communicate to others who God is? We could take a lesson from Saint Augustine's Confessions. If we spoke this way people would know who God is, and they would understand the humility it takes to show how weak and dependent we are on Him.
“You are my God, my Life, my holy Delight, but is this enough to say of you? Can any man say enough when he speaks of you? Yet woe betide those who are silent about you! For even those who are most gifted with speech cannot find words to describe you.” [Pp. 23]

“Why do I mean so much to you, that you should command me to love you?” [Pp. 24]

“It did not come to me from them but, through them, from you, because you, my God, are the source of all good and everywhere you preserve me (2 Kings [2 Samuel] 23:5).” [Pp. 25]

“You have existed from before the very beginning of the ages.” [Pp. 26]

“Time, as well as everything else, exists in you. If it did not, it would have no means of passing.” [Pp. 27]

“No one but you can do these things, because you are the one and only mould in which all things are cast and the perfect form which shapes all things, and everything takes its place according to your law.” [Pp. 28]

“Intelligence which you, my God, gave to me.” [Pp. 29]

“And yet I sinned, O Lord my God, creator and arbiter of all natural things, but arbiter only, not creator, of sin.” [Pp. 31]

“But you, who take every hair of our heads into your reckoning [Matt 10:30], used for my benefit the mistaken ideas of all those who insisted on making me study; and you used the mistake I made myself, in not wishing to study, as a punishment which I deserved to pay, for I was a great sinner for so small a boy. In this way you turned their faults to my advantage and justly punished me for my own. For this is what you have ordained and so it is with us, that every soul that sins brings its own punishment upon itself.” [Pp. 33]

“O Lord, for you teach us by inflicting pain, you smite so that you may heal, and you kill us so that we may not die away from you.” [Pp. 44]

“My God, though you are the only Master, true and good, of its husbandry.” [Pp. 45]

“For such things are attractive and have beauty, although they are paltry trifles in comparison with the worth of God's blessed treasures.” [Pp. 48]

“It is true that the pears which we stole had beauty, because they were created by you, the good God, who are the most beautiful of all beings and the Creator of all things, the supreme Good and my own true Good.” [Pp. 49]

“For you alone are God, supreme over all.” [Pp. 49]

“Yet no one is to be feared but God alone, from whose power nothing can be snatched away or stolen by any man at any time or place or by any means.” [Pp. 49]

“Extravagance masquerades as fullness and abundance: but you are the full, unfailing store of never-dying sweetness.” [Pp. 50]

“No innocence is greater than yours. You are innocent even of the harm which overtakes the wicked, for it is the result of their own actions.” [Pp. 50]

“Yet you have supreme knowledge of all things.” [Pp. 50]

“Safety is assured nowhere but in you.” [Pp. 50]

“There is not place whatever where man may hide away from you.” [Pp. 50]

“My real need was for you, my God, who are the food of the soul, I was not aware of this hunger.” [Pp. 55]

“My God must be the Keeper of my soul, the God of our fathers, who is to be exalted and extolled for ever more.” [Pp. 56]

Pine-Coffin, R.S. [Translator and Introduction] Saint Augustine Confessions. Penguin Books Ltd., London; 1961.

This is one of the more impacting books that I've read. He goes deep!

No comments: