Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Saint Anselm of Canterbury
From the Liturgy of the Hours:
Saint Anselm was born at Aosta in Piedmont in 1033. He entered the Benedictine Order at the monastery of Bec in France. While he quickly progressed in the spiritual life, he taught theology to his fellow students. He went to England where he was appointed archbishop of Canterbury. He fought vigorously for the freedom of the Church, and for this he was twice exiled. He has achieved fame for his writings, especially those on mystical theology. He died in 1109.
From the Proslogion by Saint Anselm:
The light in which you dwell, Lord, is beyond my understanding. It is so brillant that I cannot bear it, I cannot turn my mind's eye toward it for any lenght of time. I am dazzled by its brightness, amazed by its grandeur, overwhelmed by its immensity, bewildered by its abundance.
O supreme and inaccessible light, O complete and blessed truth, how far you are from me, even though I am so near to you! How remote you are from my sight, even though I am present to yours! You are everywhere in your entirety, and yet I do not see you; in you I move and have my being, and yet I cannot approach you; you are within me and around me, and yet I do not perceive you.
O God, let me know you and love you so that I may find my joy in you; and if I cannot do so fully in this life, let me at least make some progress every day, until at last that knowledge, love and joy come to me in all their plenitude. While I am here on earth let me learn to know you better, so that in heaven I may know you fully; let my love for you grow deeper here, so that there I may love you fully. On earth I shall have great joy in hope, and in heaven complete joy in the fulfillment of my hope.
PRAYER: Father, You called Saint Anselm to study and teach the sublime truths You have revealed. Let Your gift of faith come to the aid of our understanding and open our hearts to Your truth. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.