St. Augustine, trans. Henry Chadwick

Oxford University, 1992

pp. 4-5

Augustine is a vastly learned scholar and a deep-souled Christian man, utterly devoted to the God he sometimes calls “my sweetness.”  Few published Christian prayers to God can address God with the same power and beauty as Augustine could.  So this, very early in the Confessions, as Augustine lets us overhear what he thinks of God: “Most high, utterly good, utterly powerful . . . most merciful and most just, deeply hidden yet most intimately present . . . stable and incomprehensible, immutable and yet changing all things, never new, never old . . . always active, always in repose, gathering to yourself but not in need . . . you love without burning, you are jealous in a way that is free of anxiety . . . you will a change without any change in your design . . . You pay off debts, though owing nothing to anyone; you cancel debts and incur no loss.  But in these words what have I said, my God, my life, my holy sweetness?  What has anyone achieved in words when he speaks of you?