Song of My Soul – A Morning Prayer

“And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” ~ Isa. 6:5, English Standard Version

Father in heaven, creator of my soul and body, by your breath I have breath. I can speak because you spoke me into existence. My lips shape sounds because you first uttered forth your eternal Word. But I am impure, by sin both original and volitional fallen from the plan of your creation. My speech discords with your harmony; I am out of step with your rhythm. My words land flat or shrill on those I love. I am altogether out of tune. Have mercy. Give grace.

Jesus, Messiah, to whom else shall I go? Only you have the words of life. Only you give counterpoint to the violent noise of this world. You resolve every broken chord, but not by force. You entered into the driving rhythm and were broken by it. It could not dampen you. After a dramatic pause, you transposed its key. Bestow on me your righteous melody.

Spirit, overflow of love and joy, be the wind in my lungs. Correct my erring notes. Carry my tones. May they enter soft and sweet on troubled souls, climactic and triumphant upon the weary, elegant and alluring upon the disillusioned. Meld my aria into your choir of souls, your church in every place that sings the tragedy and victory of the lamb. Sustain me forever. Amen.

Published in: on November 3, 2011 at 8:40 am  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

An Inspired Invocation

Near the beginning of hisĀ  Soliloquiorum duo libri, Augustine offers an invocation to God. I call it “inspired” because of the density of Scriptural quotations and allusions. Those who view Augustine primarily as a Neoplatonic philosopher ought to consider the exegetical undercurrent that runs through all his works, even in this early philosophical one. I count at least nine Scriptural references in this portion of the invocation:

God, through whom we conquer the enemy, it is you whom I beseech; God through whom it has been granted us that we should not perish utterly; God by whom we are reminded so that we might remain on guard; God through whom we separate good from evil; God through whom we flee evil and pursue good … God through whom ‘death is swallowed up in victory’; God who converts us; God who strips us of that which is not and clothes us with that which is; God who makes it possible for us to be heard; God who fortifies us; God who leads us into all truth … God, who sees to it that ‘to those who knock it will be opened’; God who gives us the ‘bread of life’; God through whom we thirst to drink, and after that drink we will thirst no more; God who brings to the world the knowledge of sin, and of justice, and of judgement; God through whom we condemn the error of those who think that there is no merit in souls before your eyes; God, through whom we are not enslaved to ‘weak and needy elements’; God, who cleanses us and prepares us for our heavenly reward: come to me in your kindness.” (Sol. 1.3; trans. by Lewis Ayres)

Published in: on March 14, 2011 at 12:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,