Who is this God I worship?

Since I’m teaching on Augustine’s Confessions tomorrow, I thought I’d post one of my favorite pieces from Book 1. Confessions opens with Augustine praising this amazing God who has pursued him so graciously and transformed his life so completely. And, here is where he just breaks out in stunned admiration of God’s incomprehensible perfection.

“You, my God, are supreme, utmost in goodness, mightiest and all-powerful, most merciful and most just. You are the most hidden from us and yet the most present amongst us, the most beautiful and yet the most strong, ever enduring and yet we cannot comprehend you. You are unchangeable and yet you change all things. You are never new, never old, and yet all things have new life from you. You are the unseen power that brings decline upon the proud. You are ever active, yet always at rest. You gather all things to yourself, though you suffer no need. You support, you fill, and you protect all things. You create them nourish them, and bring them to perfection. You seek to make them your own, though you lack for nothing. You love your creatures, but with a gentle love. You treasure them, but without apprehension. You grieve for wrong, but suffer no pain. You can be angry and yet serene. Your works are varied, but your purpose is one and the same. You welcome all who come to you, though you never lost them. You are never in need yet are glad to gain, never covetous yet you exact a return for your gifts.” (Confessions 1.4).


About Marc Cortez

Theology Prof and Dean at Western Seminary, husband, father, & blogger, who loves theology, church history, ministry, pop culture, books, and life in general.

Posted on September 20, 2011, in Early Church, Theology Proper and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Marc: The Confessions of St. Augustine, I still have my own copy from when I was Confirmed Roman Catholic (a gift from my great Uncle, RIP). My copy is 1954, London Burns & Oates. It still has the dust jacket (now in a Demco or mylar cover). I have read it often over my years!

  2. I love this and nearly everything by Augustine. There’s a great passage in book 1 where Augustine is playing around with the idea of whether or not we actually invoke God to come down, and he uses approximately seven different forms of the word ‘invoco’ within the space of appox. ten lines. I remember translating it last year – it was my first realization of what a master rhetorician he was in the midst of being an engaging thinker. I hope that you and your class have a great time with Confessions!

  3. I like your post. God is Supreme

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