Unless You Teach Me How

I beseech you, Lord; let me not sigh in despair, but let me breathe hopefully again. I beseech you, Lord: my heart is made bitter with desolation; sweeten it with your consolation. I beseech you, Lord: in my hunger I began to seek you; let me not depart from you empty. I have come to you starving; let me not leave unsatisfied. I have come as a beggar to one who is rich, as a pitiful wretch to one who has pity; let me not go back penniless and despised. If indeed “I sigh before I eat” (Job 3:24), grant that I might eat after I sigh. Lord, I am bent in doubt; I can only look down. Raise me up so that I can turn my gaze upwards. “My sins are heaped up over my head” and entangle me; “like a heavy burden” they weigh me down (Psalm 38:4). Extricate me; lift my burdens, “lest like a pit they swallow me up” (Psalm 69:15). Let me look up at your light, whether from afar or from the depths. Teach me how to seek you, and show yourself to me when I seek. For I cannot seek you unless you teach me how, and I cannot find you unless you show yourself to me. Let me seek you in desiring you; let me desire you in seeking you. Let me find you in loving you; let me love you in finding you.

Anselm in Proslogion, Ch. 1

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