Who Has Anything but What You Have Given

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O Lord my God, most merciful,
most secret, most present,
most constant, yet changing all things,
never new, and never old,
always in action, yet always quiet,
creating, upholding, and perfecting all,
who has anything but what you have given?
or what can any man say when he speaks about you?
Yet have mercy on us, O Lord,
that we may speak to you, and praise your Name.

Source: Jeremy Taylor, 1613–67 (from St Augustine) in in Daily Prayer.

Taylor’s version, in traditional English:

O LORD my God, most merciful,
Most secret, most present,
Most constant, yet changing all things,
Never new, and never old,
Ever in action, yet ever quiet,
Creating, upholding, and perfecting all,
Who hath anything but of thy gift?
Or what can any man say when he speaketh of thee?
Yet have mercy upon us, O Lord,
that we may speak unto thee, and praise thy Name.

 

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Perfect Love

Grant me, even me, my dearest Lord,
to know you, and love you, and rejoice in you.
And, if I cannot do these perfectly in this life,
let me at least advance to higher degrees every day,
until I can come to do them in perfection.
Let the knowledge of you increase in me here,
that it may be full hereafter.
Let the love of you grow every day more and more here,
that it may be perfect hereafter;
that my joy may be full in you.
I know, O God, that you are a God of truth,
O make good your gracious promises to me,
that my joy may be full;
to your honor and glory,
with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign,
one God, now and forever. Amen.

Source: Augustine of Hippo, Fourth Century

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

 

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The Holy Spirit

O Holy Spirit, Love of God,
pour out your grace,
and descend plentifully into my heart.
Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling,
and scatter there your cheerful beams.
Dwell in that soul that longs to be your temple.
Water that barren soil, overrun with weeds and briars,
and lost for lack of cultivating,
and make it fruitful with your dew from heaven.
Come, refreshment of those who languish and faint.
Come, Star and Guide of those who sail in the tempestuous sea of the world. You are the only Haven of the tossed and shipwrecked.
Come, Glory and Crown of the living, and only Safeguard of the dying.
Come, Holy Spirit, in your great mercy, and make me fit to receive you. Amen.

Source: Augustine of Hippo, Fourth Century

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

 

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For Refreshment

O Lord our God,
let us find hope under the shadow of your wings.
You will support us,
both when little,
and even to gray hairs.
When our strength is from you, it is strength.
When our own, it is weakness.
We return to you, O Lord,
that our weary souls may rise towards you,
leaning on the things which you have created,
and passing on to yourself,
since you have wonderfully made them;
for with you is refreshment and true strength. Amen.

Source: Augustine of Hippo, fourth century

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

 

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Communion with God

O how will I call on God,
my God and Lord,
since when I call for him,
I will be calling him into myself?
And what room is there within me,
where my God can come into me?
Where can God come into me,
God who made heaven and earth?
Is there, indeed,
O Lord my God,
anything in me that can contain you?

Do then, heaven and earth,
which you have made,
and in which you have made me,
contain you?
Or because nothing which exists could exist without you,
does therefore whatever exists contain you?
Since then I too exist,
why do I seek that you should enter me.
I would not be if you were not in me.
Why? Because I am not gone down in hell,
and yet you are there also.
For if I go down into hell,
you are there.
I could not be then,
O my God,
could not be at all,
if you were not in me;
or rather,
unless I were in you,
of whom are all things,
by whom are all things,
in whom are all things!
Even so, Lord, even so.
From where should I call you,
since I am in you?
Or where can you enter me?
For where can I go beyond heaven and earth,
that there my God should come into me,
who has said, “I fill the heaven and the earth”?

O God,
the vessels which you fill do not contain you,
since though we were broken,
you were not poured out.
You are not cast down,
but you uplift us.
You are not scattered,
but you gather us…. Amen.

Source: Augustine of Hippo

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

This prayer is based in part on Psalm 139.

 

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For Light

O let the Light,
the Truth,
the Light of my heart,
not my own darkness,
speak to me.
I fell off into that,
and became darkened;
but even then,
even then I loved you.
I went astray, but remembered you.
I heard your voice behind me,
calling me to return,
but scarcely heard it,
through the raging of the enemies of peace.
See now,
I return in distress and panting after your fountain.
Let no one forbid me!
I will drink of this and live.
Do not let me regard my life as my own.
For myself, I lived ill.
I was death to myself,
but I revive in you.
Do you speak to me,
do you communicate with me?
I have believed your Books,
and their words are most full of mystery. Amen.

Source: Augustine of Hippo

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

 

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For Grace

We ask not of you, O Father,
silver and gold,
honor and glory,
nor the pleasures of the world.
Grant us grace to seek your Kingdom
and your righteousness,
and give us what we need for body and life.
Behold, O Lord, our desire.
May it be pleasing in your sight.
We present our petition to you through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who is at your right hand,
our mediator and Advocate,
through whom you sought us that we might seek you;
your Word, through whom you made us and all things;
your only Son, through whom you call us to adoption,
who intercedes with you for us,
and in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge;
to him, with you and the Holy Spirit,
be all honor, praise, and glory, now and forever. Amen.

Source: Augustine of Hippo

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

 

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Praise

You are great, O Lord,
and greatly to be praised;
great is your power,
and your wisdom is infinite.
We would praise you without ceasing.
You call us to delight in your praise,
for you have made us for yourself,
and our hearts find no rest until we rest in you;
with the Father and the Holy Spirit
all glory, praise, and honor be to you,
both now and forevermore. Amen.

Source: Augustine of Hippo

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

 

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Obligation to Others

O Lord, our Savior,
you have warned us that you will require much
of those to whom much is given.
Grant that we who have so great a heritage
may strive together more abundantly
to extend to others what we so richly enjoy.
As we have supported the labors of others,
by working with them,
in their turn others may support us in our work,
to the fulfillment of your holy will;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Augustine of Hippo

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

 

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