I haven’t put much on the blog recently – a reflection on the exahusting nature of life right now. In the midst of all that is going on in terms of family and attempts to study I also want to try and find time to pray and to reflect on God. To help me do this I’ve turned back to a book I first read after extracts from it had been used in a summer series on the Psalms at a church I attended, and then which I read and discussed while at Regent as well. The book is Augustine’s Confessions – an intriguing mixture of autobiography and reflection, some wonderfully profound and other sections more obscure. I thought that for the blog I would semi regularly put up extracts from Chadwick’s translation set out in a semi poetic way rather than just prose quotes (an idea I got from the summer series on the Psalms). I have (at least in this first one) taken the liberty of missing out a line or two here or there where I thought it somewhat confusing or distracting (apologies to any Augustine scholars out there). I put it up in the hope that it will help you also to ponder the greatness, glory, compassion and mercy of our God.
Confessions I iv (4)
Who then are you, my God?
What, I ask, but God who is Lord?
For “who is the Lord but the Lord”,
or who is God but our God?”
And most just,
Yet most intimately present
Perfection of both beauty and strength
Stable and incomprehensible
Immutable and yet changing all things
Never new, never old
Making everything new
Always in repose
Gathering to yourself
But not in need
Supporting and filling and protecting
Creating and nurturing and bringing to maturity
Even though to you nothing is lacking
You recover what you find,
Yet have never lost.
Never in any need
You rejoice in your gains
You pay off debts though offering nothing to anyone;
You cancel debts and incur no loss
But in these words
what have I said, my God, my life, my holy sweetness?