a digital library of Unitarian Universalist biographies, history, books, and media

Donate to Harvard Square Library

Sign Up for Updates



Everlasting God, in whom we live and move and have our being: You have made us for Yourself, and hearts are restless until they rest in You.


Great are You, O God, and greatly to be praised; great is Your power, and Your wisdom infinite. We who are but a particle of Your creation, praise You. You awaken us to delight in Your praise; for You made us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.

What are You then, my God? Most high, most good, most omnipo tent; most merciful, yet most just; most hidden, yet most present; most beautiful, yet most strong; stable, yet incomprehensible; unchangeable, yet all-changing; ever old, ever new; supporting, filling, and overspread ing; creating, flourishing, and maturing; seeking, yet having all things. You, O God, are my life, my joy, my health.


O God, the Light of the heart that sees You,
The Life of the soul that loves You,
The Strength of the mind that seeks You:
May I ever continue to be steadfast in Your love.
Be the joy of my heart;
Take all of me to Yourself, and abide therein.
The house of my soul is, I confess, too narrow for You.
Enlarge it that You may enter.
It is ruinous, but do repair it.
It has within it what must offend Your eyes;
I confess and know it,
But whose help shall I seek in cleansing it but Yours alone?
To You, O God, I cry urgently.
Cleanse me from secret faults.
Keep me from false pride and sensuality
That they not get dominion over me.


O Love of God, descend into my heart;
Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling,
And scatter there Your cheerful beams.
Dwell in the soul that longs to be Your temple;
Water that barren soil overrun with weeds and briars
And lost for lack of cultivating.
Make it fruitful with Your dew.
Come, dear Refreshment of those who languish;
Come, Star and Guide of those who sail amidst tempests.
You are the Haven of the tossed and shipwrecked.
Come now, Glory and Crown of the living,
As well as the Safeguard of the dying.
Come, Sacred Spirit;
Come, and fit me to receive You.

Augustine (354–430) is the best-known figure in the development of western Christianity. He is credited with framing the concept of just war. After starting his career as one of the best rhetoricians in the Latin world, Augustine converted to Christianity, gave up his career, and devoted himself to the priesthood. Even after being appointed Bishop of Hippo, he lived a monastic life. One of his many writings, Confessions, is a classic of world literature.

Series Navigation<< Aristophanes: Elixir of NationsMarcus Aurelius: Unto the Universe >>
Categories: Poetry, Prayers & Visual Arts