Awake, And Christ Shall Give You Light

From Augustine’s Confessions [8.5.12]

Thus with the baggage of the world I was sweetly burdened, as one in slumber, and my musings on you were like the efforts of those who desire to awake, but who are still overpowered with drowsiness and fall back into deep slumber.  And as no one wishes to sleep forever (for all men rightly count waking better)–yet a man will usually defer shaking off his drowsiness when there is a heavy lethargy in his limbs, and he is glad to sleep on even when his reason disapproves, and the hour for rising has struck–so was I assured that it was much better for me to give myself up to your love than to go on yielding myself to my own lust.  Your love satisfied and vanquished me, my lust pleased and fettered me.  I had no answer to your calling to me, “Awake, you who sleep, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.”  On all sides, you showed me that your words are true, and I, convicted by the truth, had nothing at all to reply but the drawling and drowsy words: “Presently; see, presently.  Leave me alone a little while.”  But “presently, presently,” had no present and my “leave me alone a little while” went on for a long while.  In vain did I “delight in your law in the inner man” while “another law in my members warred against the law of my mind and brought me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.”  For the law of sin is the tyranny of habit, by which the mind is drawn and held, even against its will.  Yet it deserves to be so held because it so willingly falls into the habit.  “Wretched man that I am!  Who shall deliver me from the body of this death” but your grace alone, through Jesus Christ our lord?

Advertisements

About this entry