03 September 2013

In Thanksgiving for a Good Confession

"O Lord, my God, I had reached the gates of death, but You placed Yourself between them and me, so that I could not pass through them.  O my Savior, You have often rescued me from bodily death when I was seriously ill or exposed to danger.  You knew, Lord, that if death had surprised me then, my soul would have been cast into hell and I should have been damned forever.  Your mercy and Your grace prevented me, and saved both my body and soul from death.  You have done all this and much more for me, O Lord, my God!

"Now, O light of my soul, my God, life by which I live, I give You thanks: to You do I offer my thanks, though I am poor and worthless and unworthy to receive Your benefits.

"I was once among the sinners whom You saved.  To give others an example of Your most benign mercy, I shall declare Your great favors.  You saved me from the deepest pit of hell once, twice, thrice, a hundred times, a thousand times.  I was ever tending toward hell, and always You drew me back when, if You had so willed, You could have justly damned me a thousand times; You did not will to do so, because You love souls and dissimulate the sins of men so that they may do penance, O Lord, most merciful in all Your ways.

"Now I see and by Your light I know all this, O Lord my God, and my soul faints away when it considers the greatness of Your mercy.  My whole life, which was perishing in my misery, has been revived by Your mercy.  I was wholly dead and You restored me wholly to life.  May all that is in me be Yours then, henceforth, for I give myself wholly to You!"

--Saint Augustine

No comments: