Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Me and the Thousand Year Old Monk

Saint Anselm and JJ, eye to eye across a millennium.

There's nothing new under the sun. For a long time, people have experienced the "weight" of the Infinite Mystery who transcends everything and to whom we belong in the depths of our being. In Jesus, Christians know that the Mystery becomes our companion, but if we are paying attention we realize that there are no cheap answers in this companionship.

About a thousand years ago, Saint Anselm wrote down his prayers and his searching for God. He was a monk more than a philosopher, and he knew his own poverty. He knew that the road of staying with Jesus was full of an intensity of searching and sorrow, pain and longing, begging, and burning desire.

So not long after the previous post, I came across a selection from a prayer by Saint Anselm. It gave me some new words from a great pilgrim who has gone before me on the same road, long ago.

O my God
teach my heart where and how to seek You,
where and how to find You.
You are my God and You are my All
and I have never seen You.
You have made me and remade me,
You have bestowed on me
all the good things I possess,
Still I do not know You.
I have not yet done that for which I was made.
Teach me to seek You.
I cannot seek You unless You teach me
or find You unless You show Yourself to me.
Let me seek You in my desire,
let me desire You in my seeking.
Let me find You by loving You,
let me love You when I find You.