January 18, 2009

To Speak of God

"Since, then, thou dost fill the heaven and earth, do they contain thee? Or, dost thou fill and overflow them, because they cannot contain thee? And where dost thou pour out what remains of thee after heaven and earth are full? Or, indeed, is there no need that thou, who dost contain all things, shouldst be contained by any, since these things which thou dost fill, thou fillest by containing them? For the vessels which thou dost fill do not confine thee, since even if they were broken, thou wouldst not be poured out. And, when thou art poured out on us, thou art not thereby brought down; rather, we are uplifted. Thou art not scattered; rather, thou dost gather us together. But when thou dost fill all things, dost thou fill them with thy whole being? Or, since not even all things together could contain thee altogether, does any one thing contain a single part, and do all things contain that same part at the same time? Do singulars contain thee singly? Do greater things contain more of thee, and smaller things less? Or, is it not rather that thou art wholly present everywhere, yet in such a way that nothing contains thee wholly?"

St Augustine, The Confessions, Book One, Chapter 3
To me this speaks of a God of completion, not of contradiction. It speaks of a God of harmony and order, not of dissonance and confusion. A God of loving us to life, not leaving us to death. I will be the first to admit that I do not find Augustine easy neither to read nor understand, but for some reason, this passage seemed so very clear.

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