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Friday, April 21, 2006

From Anselm's Proslogion

I ran across this at the Brendan Center Website. It really spoke to me about the tension I feel on this journey between knowing what I am called to and how far I am from it. God has made us for relationship with him, I know him yet I know him not in the way both he and my own heart longs for. I am torn even in the midst of my longing.

Come now, insignificant man, fly for a moment from your affairs, escape for a little while from the tumult of your thoughts. Put aside now your weighty cares and leave your worrisome toils. Abandon yourself for a little to God and rest for a little in Him. Enter into the inner chamber of your soul, shut out everything save God and what can be of help in your quest for Him and having locked the door seek Him out. Speak now, my whole heart, speak now to God: 'I seek Your face, O Lord; your face I seek'.

Come then, Lord my God, teach my heart where and how to seek You, where and how to find You. Lord, if You are not present here, where, since You are absent, shall I look for You? On the other hand, if You are everywhere why then, since You are present, do I not see You? But surely You dwell in 'light inaccessible'. And where is this inaccessible light, or how can I approach the inaccessible light? Or who shall lead me and take me into it that I may see You in it? Again, by what signs, under what aspect, shall I seek You?

Never have I seen You, Lord my God; I do not know Your face. What shall he do, most high Lord -- what shall this exile do, far away from You as he is? What shall Your servant do, tormented by love of You and yet cast off 'far from Your face'? He yearns to see You, and Your countenance is too far away from him. He desires to come close to You, and Your dwelling place is inaccessible; he longs to find You and does not know where You are; he is eager to seek You out and he does not know Your face.

Lord, You are my God and my Lord, and never have I seen You. You have created me and re-created me and You have given me all the good things I possess, and still I do not know You. To put it bluntly, I was made in order to see You, and I have not yet accomplished what I was made for.

Anselm, Proslogion 1
Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109) was the outstanding Christian philosopher and theologian of the eleventh century.

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