Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Come on now, little one

"get away from your worldly occupations for a while, escape from your tumultuous thoughts. Lay aside your burdensome cares and put off your laborious exertions.

"Give yourself over to God for a little while, and rest for a while in Him.

"Enter into the cell of your mind, shut out everything except God and whatever helps you to seek Him once the door is shut.

"Speak now, my heart, and say to God, 'I seek your face; your face, Lord, I seek.' [Ps. xxvi]

"Come then, my Lord God, teach my heart where and how to seek you, where and how to find you. . . . . Lord, turned in as I am I can only look down, so raise me up so that I can look up.

"'My iniquities heaped on my head' cover me over and weigh me down 'like a heavy load' (Ps. 37:5). Dig me out and set me free before 'the pit' created by them 'shuts its jaws over me' (Ps. 67:16).

"Let me see your light, even if I see it from afar or from the depths.

"Teach me to seek you, and reveal yourself to this seeker. For I cannot seek you unless you teach me how, nor can I find you unless you show yourself to me. Let me seek you in desiring you, and desire you in seeking you. Let me find you in loving you and love you in finding you.

"I acknowledge, Lord, and I give thanks that you have created in me this your image, so that I can remember you, think about you and love you. But it is so worn away by sins, so smudged over by the smoke of sins, that it cannot do what it was created to do unless you renew and reform it.

"I do not even try, Lord, to rise up to your heights, because my intellect does not measure up to that task; but I do want to understand in some small measure your truth, which my heart believes in and loved. Nor do I seek to understand so that I can believe, but rather I believe so that I can understand. For I believe this too, that 'unless I believe I shall not understand' [Is. vii.9]. "

From the Proslogion by St. Ambrose

Chapter I
A Rousing of the Mind to the Contemplation of God