Encountering the Lord
Great art thou, O Lord,
and greatly to be praised;
great is thy power,
and infinite is thy wisdom.
And man desires to praise thee,
for he is a part of thy creation;
he bears his mortality about with him
and carries the evidence of his sin
and the proof that thou dost resist the proud.
Still he desires to praise thee,
this man who is only a small part of thy creation.
Thou hast prompted him,
that he should delight to praise thee,
for thou hast made us for thyself
and our heart is restless
until it comes to rest in thee.
Late have I loved thee,
O Beauty so ancient and so new;
late have I loved thee!
For behold thou wast within me,
and I outside;
and I sought thee outside
and in my ugliness I rushed heedlessly
among the lovely things thou hast made.
Thou wast with me, but I was not with thee.
I was kept from thee by those things,
yet had they not been in thee,
they would not have been at all.
Thou didst call and cry aloud,
and didst force open my deafness.
Thou didst gleam and shine,
and didst chase away my blindness:
thou didst breathe fragrance upon me,
and I drew in my breath
and do now pant for thee:
I tasted, and now I hunger and thirst.
Thou didst touch me,
and I burned for thy peace.
Behold, O Lord,
how that I am thy servant :
I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid;
thou hast broken my bonds in sunder.
I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving,
and will call upon the Name of the Lord.