Christ Jesus, my redeemer

758px-augustine_of_hippo_sandro_botticelli
Augustine of Hippo by Sandro Botticelli via Wikimedia Commons

Who am I? What kind of man am I? What evil have I not done? Or if there is evil that have not done, what evil is there that I have not spoken? If there is any that I have not spoken, what evil is there that I have not wanted to do?

But you, O Lord, are good.  You are merciful.  You saw how deep I was sunk in death, and it was your power that drained dry the well of corruption in the depths of my heart.  And all that you asked of me was to deny my own will and accept yours.

But, during all those years, where was my free will?  What was the hidden, secret place from which it was summoned in a moment, so that I might bend my neck to your easy yoke and take your light burden on my shoulders, Christ Jesus, my Helper, and my Redeemer?

How sweet all at once it was for me to be rid of those fruitless joys which I had once feared to lose and was now glad to reject! You drove them from me, you who are the true, the sovereign joy.  You drove them from me and took their place, you who are sweeter than all pleasure, you who outshone all light yet are hidden deeper than any secret in our hearts.

At last my mind was free from the gnawing anxieties of ambition and gain, from wallowing in filth and scratching the itching sore of lust.  I began to talk to you freely, O Lord my God, my Light, my Wealth, my Salvation.

St. Augustine of Hippo, 354-430
Confessions Book IX, lightly edited

_____________________

When I kept silent,
my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
For day and night
your hand was heavy on me;
my strength was sapped
as in the heat of summer.

Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
my transgressions to the Lord.”
And you forgave
the guilt of my sin.

Therefore let all the faithful pray to you
while you may be found;
surely the rising of the mighty waters
will not reach them.
You are my hiding place;
you will protect me from trouble
and surround me with songs of deliverance.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s