| print this
God's searching presence, Augustine undertakes to plumb
the depths of his memory to trace the mysterious pilgrimage
of grace which his life has been--and to praise God for
his constant and omnipotent grace. In a mood of sustained
prayer, he recalls what he can of his infancy, his learning
to speak, and his childhood experiences in school. He concludes
with a paean of grateful praise to God.
"Great art thou, O Lord, and greatly to be praised; great
is thy power, and infinite is thy wisdom."
And man desires to praise thee, for he is a part of thy
creation; he bears his mortality about with him and carries
the evidence of his sin and the proof that thou dost resist
the proud. Still he desires to praise thee, this man who
is only a small part of thy creation. Thou hast prompted
him, that he should delight to praise thee, for thou hast
made us for thyself and restless is our heart until it
comes to rest in thee. Grant me, O Lord, to know and understand
whether first to invoke thee or to praise thee; whether
first to know thee or call upon thee. But who can invoke
thee, knowing thee not? For he who knows thee not may
invoke thee as another than thou art. It may be that we
should invoke thee in order that we may come to know thee.
But "how shall they call on him in whom they have not
believed? Or how shall they believe without a preacher?"
Now, "they shall praise the Lord who seek him,"
for "those who seek shall find him,"
and, finding him, shall praise him. I will seek thee,
O Lord, and call upon thee. I call upon thee, O Lord,
in my faith which thou hast given me, which thou hast
inspired in me through the humanity of thy Son, and through
the ministry of thy preacher.