Reflection on the Word in our Worship
"Great art thou, O Lord, and greatly to be praised; great is thy power, and infinite is thy wisdom." And man desires to praise thee, for he is a part of thy creation; he bears his mortality about with him and carries the evidence of his sin and the proof that thou dost resist the proud. Still he desires to praise thee, this man who is only a small part of thy creation. Thou hast prompted him, that he should delight to praise thee, for thou hast made us for thyself and restless is our heart until it comes to rest in thee. Grant me, O Lord, to know and understand whether first to invoke thee or to praise thee; whether first to know thee or call upon thee. But who can invoke thee, knowing thee not? For he who knows thee not may invoke thee as another than thou art. It may be that we should invoke thee in order that we may come to know thee. But "how shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? Or how shall they believe without a preacher?" Now, "they shall praise the Lord who seek him," for "those who seek shall find him," and, finding him, shall praise him. I will seek thee, O Lord, and call upon thee. I call upon thee, O Lord, in my faith which thou hast given me, which thou hast inspired in me through the humanity of thy Son, and through the ministry of thy preacher.
-St. Augustine, The Confessions, Book 1, Chapter 1
The Collect for the Third Sunday in Lent
Heavenly Father, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you: Look with compassion upon the heartfelt desires of your servants, and purify our disordered affections, that we may behold your eternal glory in the face of Christ Jesus; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
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7 The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; *
the testimony of the Lord is sure, and gives wisdom to the simple.
8 The statutes of the Lord are right, and rejoice the heart; *
the commandment of the Lord is pure, and gives light to the eyes.
9 The fear of the Lord is clean, and endures for ever; *
the judgments of the Lord are true, and righteous altogether.
10 More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; *
sweeter also than honey, than the drippings from the honeycomb.
11 Moreover, by them is your servant taught, *
and in keeping them there is great reward.
12 Who can tell how often he offends? *
O cleanse me from my secret faults.
13 Keep your servant also from presumptuous sins,
lest they get the dominion over me; *
so shall I be undefiled, and innocent of great offense.
14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be always acceptable in your sight, *
O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.