Wednesday, May 25, 2011

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God and Man

Given the free time I have in my hands, I've started reading Confessions by Augustine anew. It's a treat for the soul. I haven't really finished it in 2009, but at least I got to the part where Augustine, still in Carthage, was trapped in the erroneous doctrines espoused by the Manichees. He was struggling then with theosophical questions, the answers to which were not being addressed properly by the leaders of the false sect.

I left my paperback in Manila, so I've resorted to reading an ebook, the one translated by Edward Bouverie Pusey. The language sounds archaic, with the "Thee's" and "Thou's," and I had read the first few parts with difficulty. But once I got used to it, I found the translation quite beautiful. The copy is available for free at Project Gutenberg.

I'm sharing a beautiful paragraph from Book VII. Augustine, having been launched into manhood, wonders at the mystery of the Diety and Humanity of Jesus Christ. He writes,
Then I sought a way of obtaining strength sufficient to enjoy Thee; and found it not, until I embraced that Mediator betwixt God and men, the Man Jesus Christ, who is over all, God blessed forevermore, calling unto me, and saying, I am the way, the truth, and the life, and mingling that food which I was unable to receive, with our flesh. For, the Word was made flesh, that Thy wisdom, whereby Thou createdst all things, might provide milk for our infant state. For I did not hold to my Lord Jesus Christ, I, humbled, to the Humble; nor knew I yet whereto His infirmity would guide us. For Thy Word, the Eternal Truth, far above the higher parts of Thy Creation, raises up the subdued unto Itself: but in this lower world built for Itself a lowly habitation of our clay, whereby to abase from themselves such as would be subdued, and bring them over to Himself; allaying their swelling, and tormenting their love; to the end they might go on no further in self-confidence, but rather consent to become weak, seeing before their feet the Divinity weak by taking our coats of skin; and wearied, might cast themselves down upon It, and It rising, might lift them up.
Here is Augustine's response to this awesome truth:
O my God, let me, with thanksgiving, remember, and confess unto Thee They mercies on me. Let my bones be bedewed with Thy love, and let them say unto Thee, Who is like unto Thee, O Lord? 

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