Faith Seeking to Understand

Let me look up to your light, even from afar, even from the depths. Teach me to seek you and I ask that you reveal yourself to me when I seek you because I cannot seek you unless you teach me and I cannot find you unless you reveal yourself to me.

Lord I acknowledge and thank you that you have created me in your image. You did it so that you will always be in my mind and so that I will love you. But your image in me has been consumed and wasted by my vices. It is obscured by the smoke of wrong-doing. Now I cannot fulfill the purpose for which you created me unless you renew my entire life.

I do not presume, O Lord, that I could have a full grasp of your greatness. I know I could never reach that level of knowing. But I do desire to understand a certain degree of your truth which my heart believes and loves.

I do not try to understand so that I may believe. Instead, I seek to believe so that I may understand because unless I believe, I know that I will never understand.

–Adapted from St. Anselm’s Proslogium and Monologium.

Here’s the proper English translation from the original:

Be it mine to look up to thy light, even from afar, even from the depths. Teach me to seek thee, and reveal thyself to me, when I seek thee, for I cannot seek thee, except thou teach me, nor find thee, except thou reveal thyself. Let me seek thee in longing, let me long for thee in seeking; let me find thee in love, and love thee in finding.

Lord, I acknowledge and I thank thee that thou hast created me in this thine image, in order that I may be mindful of thee, may conceive of thee, and love thee; but that image has been so consumed and wasted away by vices, and obscured by the smoke of wrong-doing, that it cannot achieve that for which it was made, except thou renew it, and create it anew.

I do not endeavor, O Lord, to penetrate thy sublimity, for in no wise do I compare my understanding with that; but I long to understand in some degree thy truth, which my heart believes and loves. For I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe,—that unless I believed, I should not understand.