You are great, O Lord, and greatly to be praised.
Great is your power, and infinite is your wisdom.
You are worthy of our praise,
though we are but a speck in your creation.
You awaken our hearts to delight in your praise.
You made us for yourself,
and our heart is restless until it rests in you.
St. Augustine of Hippo, 354-430, Confessions, Book I, Chapter 1
As swimmers dare
to lie face to the sky
and water bears them,
as hawks rest upon air
and air sustains them,
so would I learn to attain
freefall, and float
into Creator Spirit’s deep embrace,
knowing no effort earns
that all-surrounding grace.
~Denise Levertov “The Avowal”
Do I truly trust what holds me up, like the hawk gliding in the air or the swimmer afloat on water?
Instead I work restlessly to earn something tangible to rely on, putting my faith in all the wrong things in my search for comfort, for wholeness, for purpose, for identity and meaning.
But that’s not what God’s plan requires. That is not what He asks of me. I don’t have to earn anything through my effort.
I am sought out. I am held up. I can rest in Him and stop searching restlessly.
I am only asked to open up to receive His all surrounding and endless grace.
O Beauty ancient, O Beauty so new
Late have I loved Thee and feebly yet do.
Though you were with me, I was not with You.
Then You shone Your face and I was blind no more
My heart searches restlessly and finds no rest ‘till it rests in Thee.
O Seeker You sought for me, Your love has found me;
I am taken by thee.
I sought this world and chased its finer things,
Yet were these not in You, they would not have been.
My ceaseless longing hid the deeper truth,
In all my desirings, I was desiring You.
Lord, in my deafness You cried out to me.
I drew my breath and now Your fragrance I breathe
O Fount of Life, You are forever the same;
O Fire of Love, come set me aflame.
~Daniel Purkapile, “Prayer of St. Augustine”