Wednesday, 9 March 2011
Today is Ash Wednesday, and so the beginning of Lent. I always like to use Lent as a reflective period in a variety of ways and, in particular, to do some appropriate reading. This year I have decided to read Augustine's "Confessions". I have had a copy of the book for many years - indeed, I used to put the date I obtained a book in the inside cover and this one carries the date of 20/4/77 - but I have never got round to reading it. Near the beginning (Book 1, Section 4) there is a great segment which describes the contrasting greatness of God - "You are unchangeable and yet you change all things. You are never new, never old, and yet all things have new life from you. You are the unseen power that brings decline upon the proud. You are ever active, but always at rest. You gather all things to yourself, though you suffer no need. You support, you fill, and you protect all things. You create them, nourish them, and bring them to perfection. You seek to make them your own, though you lack for nothing. You love your creatures, but with a gentle love. You treasure them, but without apprehension. You grieve for wrong, but suffer no pain. You can be angry and yet serene. Your works are varied, but your purpose is one and the same. You welcome all who come to you, though you never lost them." That - is the wonder of God!