Who Has Anything but What You Have Given

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O Lord my God, most merciful,
most secret, most present,
most constant, yet changing all things,
never new, and never old,
always in action, yet always quiet,
creating, upholding, and perfecting all,
who has anything but what you have given?
or what can any man say when he speaks about you?
Yet have mercy on us, O Lord,
that we may speak to you, and praise your Name.

Source: Jeremy Taylor, 1613–67 (from St Augustine) in in Daily Prayer.

Taylor’s version, in traditional English:

O LORD my God, most merciful,
Most secret, most present,
Most constant, yet changing all things,
Never new, and never old,
Ever in action, yet ever quiet,
Creating, upholding, and perfecting all,
Who hath anything but of thy gift?
Or what can any man say when he speaketh of thee?
Yet have mercy upon us, O Lord,
that we may speak unto thee, and praise thy Name.

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Adoration

O good and omnipotent God,
you care for every one of us
as if you cared for each alone,
and you care for all as if all were one!
Blessed is the one who loves you,
and who loves his friend in you,
and who loves his enemy for you.
For with you, we lose none dear to us,
to whom all are dear.
You, our God,
made heaven and earth and fill them,
and by filling them you create them.
Your law is truth, and truth is yourself.
I see the things of this earth pass away,
and I see other things take their place,
but you remain forever.
Therefore, my God and Father,
to you I entrust all I have received from you,
for then, I can lose nothing.
You, O Lord,
have made me for yourself,
and my heart can find no rest
until it rests in you.
Amen.

Source: Augustine of Hippo, fourth century

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

Perfect Love

Grant me, even me, my dearest Lord,
to know you, and love you, and rejoice in you.
And, if I cannot do these perfectly in this life,
let me at least advance to higher degrees every day,
until I can come to do them in perfection.
Let the knowledge of you increase in me here,
that it may be full hereafter.
Let the love of you grow every day more and more here,
that it may be perfect hereafter;
that my joy may be full in you.
I know, O God, that you are a God of truth,
O make good your gracious promises to me,
that my joy may be full;
to your honor and glory,
with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign,
one God, now and forever. Amen.

Source: Augustine of Hippo, Fourth Century

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

The Holy Spirit

O Holy Spirit, Love of God,
pour out your grace,
and descend plentifully into my heart.
Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling,
and scatter there your cheerful beams.
Dwell in that soul that longs to be your temple.
Water that barren soil, overrun with weeds and briars,
and lost for lack of cultivating,
and make it fruitful with your dew from heaven.
Come, refreshment of those who languish and faint.
Come, Star and Guide of those who sail in the tempestuous sea of the world. You are the only Haven of the tossed and shipwrecked.
Come, Glory and Crown of the living, and only Safeguard of the dying.
Come, Holy Spirit, in your great mercy, and make me fit to receive you. Amen.

Source: Augustine of Hippo, Fourth Century

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

For Refreshment

O Lord our God,
let us find hope under the shadow of your wings.
You will support us,
both when little,
and even to gray hairs.
When our strength is from you, it is strength.
When our own, it is weakness.
We return to you, O Lord,
that our weary souls may rise towards you,
leaning on the things which you have created,
and passing on to yourself,
since you have wonderfully made them;
for with you is refreshment and true strength. Amen.

Source: Augustine of Hippo, fourth century

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

Adoration

O good and omnipotent God,
you care for every one of us,
as if you cared for each alone,
and you care for all as if all were one!
Blessed is the one who loves you,
and who loves his friend in you,
and who loves his enemy for you.
For with you, we lose none dear to us,
to whom all are dear.
You, our God,
who made heaven and earth and fill them,
and by filling them you create them.
Your law is truth, and truth is yourself.
I see the things of this earth pass away,
and I see other things take their place,
but you remain forever.
Therefore, my God and Father,
to you I entrust all I have received from you,
for then, I can lose nothing.
You, O Lord,
have made me for yourself,
and my heart can find no rest
until it rests in you.
Amen.

Source: Augustine of Hippo

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

Note: Many published prayers attributed to Augustine contain some form of the words “our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”

Communion with God

O how will I call on God,
my God and Lord,
since when I call for him,
I will be calling him into myself?
And what room is there within me,
where my God can come into me?
Where can God come into me,
God who made heaven and earth?
Is there, indeed,
O Lord my God,
anything in me that can contain you?

Do then, heaven and earth,
which you have made,
and in which you have made me,
contain you?
Or because nothing which exists could exist without you,
does therefore whatever exists contain you?
Since then I too exist,
why do I seek that you should enter me.
I would not be if you were not in me.
Why? Because I am not gone down in hell,
and yet you are there also.
For if I go down into hell,
you are there.
I could not be then,
O my God,
could not be at all,
if you were not in me;
or rather,
unless I were in you,
of whom are all things,
by whom are all things,
in whom are all things!
Even so, Lord, even so.
From where should I call you,
since I am in you?
Or where can you enter me?
For where can I go beyond heaven and earth,
that there my God should come into me,
who has said, “I fill the heaven and the earth”?

O God,
the vessels which you fill do not contain you,
since though we were broken,
you were not poured out.
You are not cast down,
but you uplift us.
You are not scattered,
but you gather us…. Amen.

Source: Augustine of Hippo

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

This prayer is based in part on Psalm 139.