Tuesday, December 29, 2015

St. Augustine, Confessions, Book 1

What, then, are You, O my God-what, I ask, but the Lord God ?
 For who is Lord but the Lord? or who is God save our God (Ps. 17:32) ? Most high,
most excellent,
most powerful,
most omnipotent ;
most piteous and most just;
most hidden and most near;
most beautiful and most strong, stable, yet contained by none;
unchangeable, yet changing all things;
never new, never old;
making all things new,
yet bringing old age upon the proud without their knowing it (Job 9:5);
always working, yet ever at rest;
gathering, yet needing nothing;
sustaining, pervading, and protecting ;
creating, nourishing, and developing;
seeking, and yet possessing all things.
You love, yet do not burn;
are jealous, yet free from care;
You repent, yet do not suffer;
are angry, yet serene;
You change Your ways, leaving Your plans unchanged;
You recover what You find, without ever having lost it;
You are never in want, while You rejoice in gain;
never covetous, though requiring interest.'
That You may owe, more than enough is given to You;
yet who has anything that is not Yours?
You pay debts while owing nothing;
and when You forgive debts,
You lose nothing.
Yet, O my God, my life, my holy joy, what is this that I have said ? And what does anyone say when He speaks of You? Yet woe to them that keep silence, seeing that even they who say most are like the dumb."


My own translation (by Edward Bouverie Pusey, public domain) uses the thy and art and shouldest,  which isn't that difficult, but I looked for more current English.  Then I rearranged the spacing; looks like a nice poem or liturgy.

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