Late Have I Loved You

220px-sandro_botticelli_050Late have I loved you,
Beauty so ancient and so new,
late have I loved you!

Lo, you were within,
but I outside, seeking there for you,
and upon the shapely things you have made
I rushed headlong,
I, misshapen.
You were with me but I was not with you.
They held me back far from you,
those things which would have no being
were they not in you.

You called, shouted, broke through my deafness;
you flared, blazed, banished my blindness;
you lavished your fragrance,
I gasped, and now I pant for you;
I tasted you, and I hunger and thirst;
you touched me, and I burned for your peace.

Source: St. Augustine of Hippo, 354-430, Confessions, X, 27

Source of this version: http://www.deeper-devotion.net/augustine-confessions.html

Also found here: The Oxford Book of Prayer, ed. Appleton, © 1985, 1992

“Now I pant for you” may be a reference to Psalm 42:1

“I tasted you” may be a reference to Psalm 34:8

Graphic by Sandro Botticeli from Wikipedia.com.

Another version, freely modified from Prayers of the Early Church, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1953

For Illumination

Late have I loved you,
Eternal Truth and Goodness.
Late have I sought you, my Father!
But you did seek me,
and when you shined forth on me,
then I knew you and learned to love you.
I thank you, my Light,
that you have shined on me,
and taught my soul what you wanted me to be,
and turned your face in pity to me.
You, Lord, have become my Hope,
my Comfort, my Strength, my All!
In you my soul rejoices.
The darkness vanished from before my eyes,
and I saw you,
the Son of Righteousness.
When I loved darkness, I did not know you,
but wandered on from night to night.
But you led me out of that blindness.
You took me by the hand and called me to you,
and now I can thank you,
and your mighty voice which has penetrated to my inmost heart. Amen.

The House of My Soul

220px-sandro_botticelli_050O God,
you are the light of every heart that sees you,
the Life of every soul that loves you,
the strength of every mind that seeks you.
Help me to continue steadfast in your holy love.
Be the joy of my heart;
take it all to yourself,
and remain there.
The house of my soul is narrow;
enlarge it that you may enter in.
It is ruinous, O repair it!
It displeases your sight.
I confess it, I know.
But who shall cleanse it,
to whom shall I cry but to you?
Cleanse me from my secret faults, O Lord,
and spare your servant from strange sins.

Source: St. Augustine

Source of this version: Freely modified from  Prayers of the Early Church,  ed.  J. Manning Potts,  The Upper Room, Nashville, Tennessee, © 1953 (Public domain in the U.S.)

Also found here: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/resources/liturgy/lent/the-house-of-my-soul-is-narrow-st-augustine-of-hippo/

Also quoted in The One Year Book of Personal Prayer, © 1991 Tyndale House Publishers (April 3)

The last two lines quote Psalm 19:12-13

A Prayer of Thanksgiving and for Strength

We give you thanks upon thanks,
O Lord our God,
Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
by all means, at all times, in all places.
For you have sheltered, assisted,
supported, and led us on
through the past times of our lives,
and brought us to this hour.
O good and loving,
grant that we may pass this holy day,
and all the times of our lives, without sin,
with all joy, health, salvation,
sanctification, and fear of you.
O Lord God, drive away from us
and from your holy Christian and apostolic Church
all envy, all fear, all temptation,
all the working of Satan,
and all conspiracy of wicked men.
Supply us with things good and profitable.
In whatever ways we have sinned against you,
in word, deed, or thought,
pass over in your love and goodness.
Do not forsake us, O God,
for we hope in you.
Lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one
and from his works;
by the grace, compassion, and goodness
of your only Son. Amen.

Source: The Divine Liturgy of St. Mark

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

Also quoted in The One Year Book of Personal Prayer, © 1991 Tyndale House Publishers (January 16). Also in http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0718.htm