Sunday, February 7, 2010

vocab

When chat rooms and IM became popular I dimly worried that we would eventually lose our rich vocabulary and ability to express complex things in ordinary conversation, finding our conversation reduced to ... IDK, but AISI, nothing but LOL or ROFL -- GTG!

Obviously this is not happened yet (although I have actually heard people say lol (and they were clearly not doing so)). But has something similar happened in the church? Have we lost our ability to talk about and to God? I was so excited when I first read this passage a few years ago in Augustine's confessions that I copied the whole thing down. Here is someone who can talk about the complexity and wonder of God. It's a long passage but I'm going to post it here in its entirety. I encourage you to try praying it.
What, then, is the God I worship? He can be none but the Lord God himself, for who but the Lord is God? What other refuge can there be, except our God? You, my God, are supreme, utmost in goodness, mightiest and all-powerful, most merciful and most just. You are the most hidden from us and yet the most present amongst us, the most beautiful and yet the most strong, ever enduring and yet we cannot comprehend you. 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, yet 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. You are never in need yet are glad to gain, never covetous yet you exact a return for your gifts. We give abundantly to you so that we may deserve a reward; yet which of us has anything that does not come from you? You repay us what we deserve, and yet you owe nothing to any. You are my God, my Life, my holy Delight, but is this enough to say of you? Can any man say enough when he speaks of you? Yet woe betide those who are silent about you! For even those who are most gifted with speech cannot find words to describe you. (Book 1, Section 4)

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