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CONFESSIONS

LIBER IX

1. (1) O domine, ego servus tuus, ego servus tuus et filius ancillae tuae: dirupisti vincula mea, tibi sacrificabo hostiam laudis. laudet te cor meum et lingua mea, et omnia ossa mea dicant,1 “domine, quis similis tibi?” dicant, et responde mihi et dic animae meae, “salus tua ego sum.” quis ego et qualis ego? quid non mali aut facta mea aut, si non facta, dicta mea aut, si non dicta, voluntas mea fuit? tu autem, domine, bonus et misericors, et dextera tua respiciens profunditatem mortis meae et a fundo cordis mei exhauriens abyssum corruptionis. et hoc erat totum, nolle quod volebam et velle quod volebas.

Sed ubi erat tam annoso tempore et de quo imo altoque secreto evocatum est in momento liberum arbitrium meum, quo subderem cervicem leni iugo tuo et umeros levi sarcinae tuae, Christe Iesu, adiutor meus et redemptor meus? quam suave mihi subito factum est carere suavitatibus nugarum, et quas amittere metus fuerat iam dimittere gaudium erat. eiciebas enim eas a me, vera tu et

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BOOK IX

BOOK IX

1. (1) O Lord, I am your servant, I am your servant and the son of your handmaid: Ps 116:16-17 you have torn away my bonds,1 and I will offer you a sacrifice2 of praise. Let my heart and my tongue praise you, and let all my bones declare, Ps 35:10“Lord, who is like you?” Let them declare it, then answer me and say to my soul, Ps 35:3“I am your salvation.” Who am I? And what kind of being am I? What was there that was not evil in my actions? Or if not my actions then my words? Or if not my words then my will? cf. Ex 34:6; Pss 86:15, 103:8But you, Lord, are good and merciful: your right hand encountered the depth of my death; it drained the pit of corruption from the ground of my heart. This was all there was to it: to stop wanting what I wanted, and to start wanting what you wanted.

But after such a span of years, where was my free will? And from what depth and from what place of utter secrecy was it called forth at that moment, to enable me to submit my neck to your Mt 11:29-30gentle yoke, and my shoulders to your easy burden, O Christ Jesus, Ps 19:14my help and my redeemer? How suddenly it became my delight to do without the delights of trivialities;3 now it was my joy to repudiate what once I had feared to relinquish. For it was you who cast

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.augustine-confessions_2014.2014