He Is the Life of the life of my soul

TolleLege

non dubia sed certa conscientia, domine, amo te: percussisti cor meum verbo tuo, et amavi te. sed et caelum et terra et omnia quae in eis sunt, ecce undique mihi dicunt ut te amem, nec cessant dicere omnibus, ut sint inexcusabiles. altius autem tu misereberis cui misertus eris, et misericordiam praestabis cui misericors fueris: alioquin caelum et terra surdis loquuntur laudes tuas. quid autem amo, cum te amo? non speciem corporis nec decus temporis, non candorem lucis, ecce istis amicum oculis, non dulces melodias cantilenarum omnimodarum, non florum et unguentorum et aromatum suaviolentiam, non manna et mella, non membra acceptabilia carnis amplexibus: non haec amo, cum amo deum meum, et tamen amo quandam lucem et quandam vocem et quendam odorem et quendam cibum et quendam amplexum, cum amo deum meum, lucem, vocem, odorem, cibum, amplexum interioris hominis mei, ubi fulget animae meae quod non capit locus, et ubi sonat quod non rapit tempus, et ubi olet quod non spargit flatus, et ubi sapit quod non minuit edacitas, et ubi haeret quod non divellit satietas. hoc est quod amo, cum deum meum amo.

et quid est hoc? interrogavi terram, et dixit, `non sum.’ et quaecumque in eadem sunt, idem confessa sunt. interrogavi mare et abyssos et reptilia animarum vivarum, et responderunt, `non sumus deus tuus; quaere super nos.’ interrogavi auras flabiles, et inquit universus aer cum incolis suis, `fallitur Anaximenes; non sum deus.’ interrogavi caelum, solem, lunam, stellas: `neque nos sumus deus, quem quaeris,’ inquiunt. et dixi omnibus his quae circumstant fores carnis meae, `dicite mihi de deo meo, quod vos non estis, dicite mihi de illo aliquid,’ et exclamaverunt voce magna, `ipse fecit nos.’ interrogatio mea intentio mea et responsio eorum species eorum. et direxi me ad me et dixi mihi, `tu quis es?’ et respondi, `homo.’ et ecce corpus et anima in me mihi praesto sunt, unum exterius et alterum interius. quid horum est unde quaerere debui deum meum, quem iam quaesiveram per corpus a terra usque ad caelum, quousque potui mittere nuntios radios oculorum meorum? sed melius quod interius. ei quippe renuntiabant omnes nuntii corporales, praesidenti et iudicanti de responsionibus caeli et terrae et omnium quae in eis sunt dicentium, `non sumus deus’ et, `ipse fecit nos.’ homo interior cognovit haec per exterioris ministerium; ego interior cognovi haec, ego, ego animus per sensum corporis mei, interrogavi mundi molem de deo meo, et respondit mihi, `non ego sum, sed ipse me fecit.’

nonne omnibus quibus integer sensus est apparet haec species? cur non omnibus eadem loquitur? animalia pusilla et magna vident eam, sed interrogare nequeunt, non enim praeposita est in eis nuntiantibus sensibus iudex ratio. homines autem possunt interrogare, ut invisibilia dei per ea quae facta sunt intellecta conspiciant, sed amore subduntur eis et subditi iudicare non possunt. nec respondent ista interrogantibus nisi iudicantibus, nec vocem suam mutant, id est speciem suam, si alius tantum videat, alius autem videns interroget, ut aliter illi appareat, aliter huic, sed eodem modo utrique apparens illi muta est, huic loquitur: immo vero omnibus loquitur, sed illi intellegunt qui eius vocem acceptam foris intus cum veritate conferunt. veritas enim dicit mihi, `non est deus tuus terra et caelum neque omne corpus.’ hoc dicit eorum natura. viden? moles est, minor in parte quam in toto. iam tu melior es, tibi dico, anima, quoniam tu vegetas molem corporis tui praebens ei vitam, quod nullum corpus praestat corpori. deus autem tuus etiam tibi vitae vita est.

Not with doubting, but with assured consciousness, do I love
Thee, Lord. Thou hast stricken my heart with Thy word, and I loved
Thee. Yea also heaven, and earth, and all that therein is, behold,
on every side they bid me love Thee; nor cease to say so unto all,
that they may be without excuse. But more deeply wilt Thou have mercy
on whom Thou wilt have mercy, and wilt have compassion on whom Thou
hast had compassion: else in deaf ears do the heaven and the earth
speak Thy praises. But what do I love, when I love Thee? not beauty
of bodies, nor the fair harmony of time, nor the brightness of the
light, so gladsome to our eyes, nor sweet melodies of varied songs,
nor the fragrant smell of flowers, and ointments, and spices, not
manna and honey, not limbs acceptable to embracements of flesh. None
of these I love, when I love my God; and yet I love a kind of light,
and melody, and fragrance, and meat, and embracement when I love my
God, the light, melody, fragrance, meat, embracement of my inner man:
where there shineth unto my soul what space cannot contain, and there
soundeth what time beareth not away, and there smelleth what breathing
disperseth not, and there tasteth what eating diminisheth not, and
there clingeth what satiety divorceth not. This is it which I love
when I love my God.

10.6.9
     And what is this? I asked the earth, and it answered me, “I am
not He”; and whatsoever are in it confessed the same. I asked the
sea and the deeps, and the living creeping things, and they answered,
“We are not thy God, seek above us.” I asked the moving air; and the
whole air with his inhabitants answered, “Anaximenes was deceived,
I am not God. ” I asked the heavens, sun, moon, stars, “Nor (say they)
are we the God whom thou seekest.” And I replied unto all the things
which encompass the door of my flesh: “Ye have told me of my God,
that ye are not He; tell me something of Him.” And they cried out
with a loud voice, “He made us. ” My questioning them, was my thoughts
on them: and their form of beauty gave the answer. And I turned myself
unto myself, and said to myself, “Who art thou?” And I answered, “A
man.” And behold, in me there present themselves to me soul, and body,
one without, the other within. By which of these ought I to seek my
God? I had sought Him in the body from earth to heaven, so far as
I could send messengers, the beams of mine eyes. But the better is
the inner, for to it as presiding and judging, all the bodily messengers
reported the answers of heaven and earth, and all things therein,
who said, “We are not God, but He made us.” These things did my inner
man know by the ministry of the outer: I the inner knew them; I, the
mind, through the senses of my body. I asked the whole frame of the
world about my God; and it answered me, “I am not He, but He made
me.

10.6.10
     Is not this corporeal figure apparent to all whose senses are
perfect? why then speaks it not the same to all? Animals small and
great see it, but they cannot ask it: because no reason is set over
their senses to judge on what they report. But men can ask, so that
the invisible things of God are clearly seen, being understood by
the things that are made; but by love of them, they are made subject
unto them: and subjects cannot judge. Nor yet do the creatures answer
such as ask, unless they can judge; nor yet do they change their voice
(i.e., their appearance), if one man only sees, another seeing asks,
so as to appear one way to this man, another way to that, but appearing
the same way to both, it is dumb to this, speaks to that; yea rather
it speaks to all; but they only understand, who compare its voice
received from without, with the truth within. For truth saith unto
me, “Neither heaven, nor earth, nor any other body is thy God.” This,
their very nature saith to him that seeth them: “They are a mass;
a mass is less in a part thereof than in the whole.” Now to thee I
speak, O my soul, thou art my better part: for thou quickenest the
mass of my body, giving it life, which no body can give to a body:
but thy God is even unto thee the Life of thy life.

Confessiones, Bk 10.6

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~ by Alypius on August 29, 2009.

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