Anselm of Canterbury: With an Unwearying Love Thou Shouldst be Mindful of God Monday, Apr 22 2013 

Anselm_of_Canterbury,_sealAwake, my soul, awake! show thy spirit, arouse thy senses, shake off the sluggishness of that deadly heaviness that is upon thee, begin to take care for thy salvation.

Let the idleness of vain imaginations be put to flight, let go of sloth, hold fast to diligence.

Be instant in holy meditations, cleave to the good things which are of God: leaving that which is temporal, give heed to that which is eternal.

Now in this godly employment of thy mind, to what canst thou turn thy thoughts more wholesomely and profitably than to the sweet contemplations of thy Creator’s immeasurable benefits toward thee.

Consider therefore the greatness and dignity that He bestowed upon thee at the beginning of thy creation; and judge for thyself with what love and reverence He ought to be worshipped.

For when, as He was creating and ordering the whole world of things visible and invisible, He had determined to create the nature of man, He took high counsel concerning the dignity of thy condition, forasmuch as He determined to honour thee more highly than all other creatures that are in the world.

Behold therefore to what greatness thou wast created, and again consider what manner of love thou oughtest to render therefore.

Let Us make man, saith God, in Our image, after Our likeness.

If thou art not aroused by this word of thy Creator, if thou art not at so unspeakable a goodness of condescension in Him towards thee, set all on fire of love towards Him, if thy whole heart is not inflamed with longing after Him, what shall I say? Shall I count thee asleep, or rather dead?

[…] God if, considering that He is good, we study to be good; if, knowing that He is righteous, we endeavour to be righteous; if, beholding His mercy, we give ourselves to mercy.

But how can we be in His image. Hearken. God is mindful of Himself, understandeth Himself, loveth Himself.

And thou too, if thou after thy measure art mindful of God, understandest God, lovest God, then wilt thou be in His image; for thou wilt be striving to do that which God ever doth.

Man ought to make this the end of all his life, to be mindful of the Chief Good, to understand it and to love it; to this should every thought, every motion of the heart be bent, be whetted, be conformed:

that with an unwearying love thou shouldst be mindful of God, understand God, love God, and so for thy health set forth the dignity of thy creation, wherein thou wast created after the image of God.

Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109): Meditations, 1,1. 

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Anselm of Canterbury: Through Mary All Creation is Blessed and the Creator is Blessed by Creation Saturday, Dec 8 2012 

Anselm_of_Canterbury,_sealBlessed Lady, sky and stars, earth and rivers, day and night – everything that is subject to the power or use of man – rejoice that through you they are in some sense restored to their lost beauty and are endowed with inexpressible new grace.

All creatures were dead, as it were, useless for men or for the praise of God, who made them. The world, contrary to its true destiny, was corrupted and tainted by the acts of men who served idols.

Now all creation has been restored to life and rejoices that it is controlled and given splendor by men who believe in God.

The universe rejoices with new and indefinable loveliness. Not only does it feel the unseen presence of God himself, its Creator, it sees him openly, working and making it holy. These great blessings spring from the blessed fruit of Mary’s womb.

Through the fullness of the grace that was given you, dead things rejoice in their freedom, and those in heaven are glad to be made new.

Through the Son who was the glorious fruit of your virgin womb, just souls who died before his life-giving death rejoice as they are freed from captivity, and the angels are glad at the restoration of their shattered domain.

Lady, full and overflowing with grace, all creation receives new life from your abundance. Virgin, blessed above all creatures, through your blessing all creation is blessed, not only creation from its Creator, but the Creator himself has been blessed by creation.

To Mary God gave his only-begotten Son, whom he loved as himself. Through Mary God made himself a Son, not different but the same, by nature Son of God and Son of Mary.

The whole universe was created by God, and God was born of Mary. God created all things, and Mary gave birth to God.

The God who made all things gave himself form through Mary, and thus he made his own creation. He who could create all things from nothing would not remake his ruined creation without Mary.

God, then, is the Father of the created world and Mary the mother of the re-created world. God is the Father by whom all things were given life, and Mary the mother through whom all things were given new life.

For God begot the Son, through whom all things were made, and Mary gave birth to him as the Savior of the world. Without God’s Son, nothing could exist; without Mary’s Son, nothing could be redeemed.

Truly the Lord is with you, to whom the Lord granted that all nature should owe as much to you as to himself.

Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109): Oratio 52(PL 158, 955-956), from the Office of Readings for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, December 8 @ Crossroads Initiative.

Anselm of Canterbury: “The Kingdom of God is Within You” Saturday, Apr 21 2012 

He who dwells in heaven, who reigns among the angels, to whom heaven and earth and all that in them is, do reverence, He has given Himself to be your dwelling.

He has prepared for you His presence as an abode, for as the Apostle Paul teaches, in Him we live and move and have our being.

[…] What can be sweeter than to have life in Him, who is the Blessed Life itself?

[…] What can be more desirable than by prayer and conversation to be continually in Him, in whom alone is true being, nay rather who alone is true being, without whom nothing can have wellbeing.

[…] When He created you,… where did He appoint your dwelling? What abiding-place did He prepare for you?

Hear what He says unto His own in the Gospel: Abide in Me, and I in you.

O inestimable dignity, O blessed abiding-place, O glorious intercourse between God and man!

How great the condescension of the Creator that it should be His will that His creature should dwell in Him!

How incomprehensible the blessedness of the creature, that he should abide in his Creator!

How great the glory of the rational creature to have communion with his Creator in so blessed an intercourse, that the Creator Himself should abide in the creature, the creature itself in the Creator!

So excellently then were we by His will created, so mercifully was He pleased that we should abide in Him.

[…] He then, though He is nowhere absent, chose for Himself a kingdom of delight within us, according to the witness of the Gospel, where it is said, The kingdom of God is within you.

But if the kingdom of God is within us, and God dwells in His kingdom, does He not abide in us, since His kingdom is within us?

Certainly He does; for if God is wisdom, and the soul of the righteous is the seat of wisdom, then he who is truly righteous has God abiding in him.

For the temple of God is holy, says the Apostle, which temple you are.

[…] He Himself says of His own, I will dwell in them and walk in them.

[…] Let us therefore, as is right, give to so great a tenant the whole command of our body, so that nothing in us may be displeasing to Him, but that all our thoughts and motions of our will, all our words and works, may wait upon His pleasure, obey His will, and be ordered by His governance.

For so we shall be in truth His kingdom, and He will abide in us, and we, abiding in Him, shall live well.

Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109): Meditations, 1,3.

Anselm of Canterbury: Let Us Run to the Fountain of Pity Himself Thursday, Feb 23 2012 

Suffer me therefore, O Lord Jesus Christ, suffer me to look upon Thine unspeakable goodness, and declare how gracious and good Thou art toward miserable sinners.

[…] For the love of men then, and for their redemption, not of those only who sin more or less, but even of those who sin beyond measure, if they do but repent, Thou didst descend from the bosom of the Father and enter into the womb of the Virgin, and take of her true flesh.

And by Thy conversation in the world didst call all sinners to repentance and so, dying according to the flesh, didst restore to them the life which for their sins they had justly forfeited.

And so, when I look back on the evil deeds which I have wrought, if Thou wouldst have me judge myself after my deserts, I am assured of my perdition; but when I have respect unto Thy death, which Thou didst suffer for the redemption of sinners, I do not despair of Thy mercy.

[…] There is but one thing which Thou wilt have, without which no sinner can be saved, to wit, that we repent us of our sins, and, so far as we may, strive to amend our lives.

[…] Having therefore before our eyes the price of our redemption, that is, the death and blood of our Redeemer, which was shed for the remission of our sins;

having also the example of the robber, and of many compassed about by many and great sins, whom the Fountain of Pity, Jesus Christ, in His mercy loosed from them, let us not despair.

Rather, let us run to the Fountain of Pity Himself, in sure and certain hope of obtaining the forgiveness of our sins there, where we see and acknowledge so many and so great sinners to have been washed clean.

And let us assure ourselves that we in like manner may be washed clean by the same Fountain of Mercy, if we abstain from our sins and wickedness and, so far as we may, strive hereafter to do good.

But to abstain from evil and to do good we are not able by our own power without His help.

Let us implore therefore His unspeakable mercy, who was pleased to make us when as yet we were not, that He may grant us in this life, before we go hence, to amend our lives and to cleanse them with earnest sorrow,

So, when this life is ended, we may be enabled to come unto Him by a straight road, none hindering us, to be with Him in everlasting glory with the choirs of angels and all saints, who already enjoy that glory in joy without end.

Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109): Meditations.

Anselm of Canterbury: I Give Thee Thanks and Praise, O My God, My Mercy Sunday, May 15 2011 

I give Thee thanks and praise, O my God, my Mercy, who hast vouchsafed to lead me unto the conception of Thee, and by the washing of holy baptism to number me among Thy children by adoption.

I give Thee thanks and praise, for that Thou hast patience with me in Thine unbounded goodness, waiting for amendment of life in me, who have abounded in sins from my childhood even unto this hour.

Thee I praise, Thee I glorify, who by the arm of Thy might hast often delivered me out of many distresses calamities and miseries, and hitherto hast spared me eternal pains and bodily torments.

I praise Thee and glorify Thee, for that Thou hast vouchsafed to grant unto me soundness of body, a quiet life, the love, affection and charity of Thy servants toward me, for all these things are the gifts of Thy goodness.

Holy of holies, who makest all things holy, I bless Thee, I glorify Thee, I worship Thee, I give thanks to Thee.

Let all Thy creatures bless Thee, let all Thine angels and saints bless Thee.

Let me bless Thee in all the actions of my life. Let all my frame, without and within, glorify and bless Thee.

My salvation, my light, my glory, let mine eyes see Thee, which Thou hast created and prepared to look upon the beauty of Thine excellency.

My music, my delight, let mine ears bless Thee, which Thou hast created and prepared to hear the voice of Thy cheerful salvation.

My sweetness, my refreshment, let my nostrils bless Thee, which Thou hast made to live and take pleasure in the sweet odour of Thine ointments.

My praise, my new song, my rejoicing, let my tongue bless and magnify Thee, which Thou hast created and prepared to tell forth Thy wonderful works.

My wisdom, my meditation, my counsel, let my heart adore and bless Thee for ever, which Thou hast prepared and given unto me to discern Thine unspeakable mercies.

My life, my happiness, let my soul, sinful though she be, bless Thee, which Thou hast created and prepared to enjoy Thy goodness.

Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109): A Prayer of Praise and Thanksgiving to God.

Anselm of Canterbury: Christ the Fountain of Mercy Sunday, Mar 13 2011 

He is the Fountain of Mercy, which began to flow from the beginning of the world, and continues to flow unto this day.

He was very merciful, they say, and gracious unto our first father Adam, when he committed that sin of eating the forbidden fruit.

For He condemned him not straightway, as he had deserved, to everlasting perdition, but with patience awaited his amendment.

And in His mercy helped him that he might be enabled to return into the favour of Him whom he had offended.

Many times therefore He sent His angel unto him, and unto those who were born of him, warning them that they should return unto Him and repent them of their iniquities.

For He would yet with joy receive them, if with all their heart they would repent them of their sins.

But they yet, continuing in their sins and despising His admonitions, added sin to sin, and became as it were beside themselves and abominable in their wickedness.

Being made in honour after the likeness of God, they began contrary to nature to live after the manner of brute beasts.

He sent moreover patriarchs, He sent prophets, but not even so would they leave their crooked and perverse ways.

But some of them who spoke unto them wholesome warnings, they slew. Others they vexed with manifold and strange torments.

Yet did He chastise them from time to time, as a merciful Father

– not that He, being provoked by their evil deeds, might avenge Himself upon them for their scorn of Him,

but that they being corrected might return unto His mercy, who by no means wills the destruction of those whom in His goodness He hath created.

But when neither for often admonition nor for often correction would they return unto Him, the Fountain of Pity could no longer restrain Himself.

Coming down from the bosom of the Father, and taking upon Him very manhood, taking upon Him the form of sinners, He began to admonish them in gentleness even then to repent of their sins unto salvation and to acknowledge Him to be the Son of God.

For there is no sin so grievous but it may be put away by repentance, so that the very devil himself can no longer remember it.

Therefore did sinners, seeing the sweet gentleness of their Creator, begin themselves to run zealously unto the Fountain of Mercy, the Fountain of Pity, and to wash away their sins therein.

The Fountain of Pity also Himself began to eat and drink with sinners, began to open to them the sacramental blessings of holy confession, for in true confession all stain of guilt is washed away.

Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109): Meditations.

Anselm of Canterbury: Make Me, O Lord, To Taste By Love That Which I Taste By Knowledge Wednesday, May 26 2010 

Consider, O my soul, consider earnestly, all that is within me, how much my whole being oweth unto Him.

Truly, O Lord, because Thou madest me, I owe unto Thy love my whole self. Because Thou didst redeem me, I owe Thee my whole self.

Because Thou makest me such great promises, I owe Thee my whole self.

Nay more, I owe unto Thy love more than myself, insomuch as Thou art greater than I, for whom Thou didst give Thyself, to whom Thou dost promise Thyself.

Make me, I beseech Thee, O Lord, to taste by love that which I taste by knowledge; to perceive by affection what I perceive by understanding.

I owe more than my whole self to Thee, but I have no more than this, neither can I of myself render even all this to Thee.

Draw me, O Lord, into Thy love, even this whole self of mine. All that I am is Thine by creation, make it to be all Thine by love.

Behold, O Lord, my heart is before Thee; it striveth, but of itself it cannot do what it would; do Thou do that which of itself it cannot do. Bring me into the secret chamber of Thy love.

I ask, I seek, I knock. Thou who makest me to ask, make me also to receive; Thou grantest me to seek, grant me also to find; Thou teachest me to knock, do Thou open to my knocking.

To whom dost Thou give, if Thou deniest him that asketh? Who is he that findeth, if he that seeketh is disappointed? What dost Thou give to him that prayeth not, if to him that prayeth Thou deniest Thy love?

From Thee have I my desire; from Thee may I have also the accomplishment thereof. Cleave thou unto Him, cleave unto Him right earnestly, O my soul! O good Lord, good Lord, cast her not away!

She is sick with hunger for Thy love, do Thou cherish her, and let her be satisfied with Thy loving-kindness, enriched by Thy favour, fulfilled by Thy love.

Yet let Thy love lay hold upon me and possess me wholly, because Thou art with the Father and the Holy Ghost, the one only God, blessed for ever world without end.

Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109): Meditation Concerning the Redemption of Mankind

Anselm of Canterbury: Let Your Heart Feed on the Mysteries of Redemption Thursday, Apr 22 2010 

Behold, O Christian soul, this is the power of thy salvation, this the cause of thy liberty, this the price of thy redemption.

Thou wast a captive and in this wise wast thou redeemed. Thou wast a slave, and thus wast thou made free; an exile and thus brought home; lost and thus found; dead and thus raised up.

Upon this, O man, let thy heart feed, this let it inwardly digest, sucking out the sweetness and relishing the goodness thereof, at such times as thy mouth receiveth the flesh and blood of Him, thy Redeemer.

Make this thy daily bread and sustenance in this life, and thy provision for the way, for by this and by this alone shalt thou both abide in Christ and Christ in thee, and in the life to come shall He be thy full joy.

But, O Lord, Thou that didst endure death that I might live, how shall I rejoice in my freedom, seeing it cometh but of the chains that bound Thee?

How shall I take pleasure in my salvation, since it is wrought but by Thy sufferings? How shall I be glad of my life, which cometh only by Thy death?

Shall I be glad of Thy sufferings and of their cruelty that did these things unto Thee? Or if I grieve for Thee, how shall I be glad of that for the sake whereof these things were done, and which would not be, had these things not been?

But indeed their wickedness could have done nothing, except by Thy free sufferance, nor didst Thou suffer them except because in Thy goodness Thou didst will it so.

And thus I ought to curse their cruelty, to imitate Thy death and sufferings by fellowship therein, by thanksgiving to show my love toward the kindness of Thy purpose concerning me, and so safely to rejoice in the good things which have been bestowed upon me by those means.

Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109): Meditation Concerning the Redemption of Mankind

Anselm of Canterbury: By His Cross Has Our Christ Redeemed Us Tuesday, Mar 9 2010 

Neither did human nature in that Man [Christ] suffer anything through any necessity, but through free will alone.

Neither was it overcome by any violence, but of its own accord, out of goodness unconstrained, it endured to God’s honour and the profit of other men those things which the evil will of others brought upon it not through the compulsion of any obligation, but through the appointment of a wisdom that had power to accomplish its purposes.

For the Father did not by His commandment compel that Man to die, but Christ performed of His own free will that which He knew would be pleasing to the Father and profitable to men.

He had no right to exact of Him; neither could this great act of honour but be pleasing to the Father, which His Son freely offered to Him.

Thus therefore He rendered unto the Father a free obedience, in willing freely to do that which He knew would be pleasing to the Father.

But because the Father bestowed upon Him this good will, though it were free, yet is it rightly said that He received it as the commandment of the Father.

In this manner therefore He was obedient to the Father even unto death (Phil. 2:8). And as the Father gave Him commandment, even so He did (Jn. 14:31). And He drank the cup which His Father had given unto Him (Jn. 18:11).

This is the perfect and free obedience of human nature, when it freely submits its own free will to God’s will, and has then of its own accord carried out in deed that good purpose which God has not exacted but accepted.

Thus this Man redeems all others, in that He reckons that which He hath freely given to God, as the debt which they owed to God.

And by this price man is not only once redeemed from his faults but, so often as he returns to God in worthy penitence, he is received; yet this worthy penitence is not promised to the sinner.

As to that which was done on the Cross, by His Cross has our Christ redeemed us. They therefore who desire to approach unto this grace with a worthy affection are saved.

Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109): Meditation Concerning the Redemption of Mankind

Anselm of Canterbury: Seeking God’s Face Friday, Dec 4 2009 

Enter the inner chamber of your mind; shut out all thoughts save that of God, and such as can aid you in seeking him; close your door and seek him.

Speak now, my whole heart! speak now to God, saying, I seek your face; your face, Lord, will I seek (Psalm 27:8). And come you now, O Lord my God, teach my heart where and how it may seek you, where and how it may find you.

Lord, if you art not here, where shall I seek you, being absent? But if you are everywhere, why do I not see you present? Truly you dwell in unapproachable light.

But where is unapproachable light, or how shall I come to it? Or who shall lead me to that light and into it, that I may see you in it?

Again, by what marks, under what form, shall I seek you? I have never seen you, O Lord, my God; I do not know your form. What, O most high Lord, shall this man do, an exile far from you?

What shall your servant do, anxious in his love of you, and cast out afar from your face? He pants to see you, and your face is too far from him.

He longs to come to you, and your dwelling-place is inaccessible. He is eager to find you, and knows not your place. He desires to seek you, and does not know your face. […]

When will you look upon us, and hear us? When will you enlighten our eyes, and show us your face? When will you restore yourself to us? Look upon us, Lord; hear us, enlighten us, reveal yourself to us.

[…] Teach me to seek you, and reveal yourself to me, when I seek you, for I cannot seek you, except you teach me, nor find you, except you reveal yourself.

Let me seek you in longing, let me long for you in seeking; let me find you in love, and love you in finding. Lord, I acknowledge and I thank you that you have created me in this your image, in order that I may be mindful of you, may conceive of you, and love you.

[…] I do not endeavor, O Lord, to penetrate your sublimity, for in no wise do I compare my understanding with that; but I long to understand in some degree your 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.

Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1109): Proslogion, 1

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