Anselm’s Proslogion


I am reading The Proslogion by Anselm of Canterbury, a 9th century missionary to England. I don’t usually enjoy reading ancient works because the translations are usually so stuffy and just, well, old, but I absolutely loved the last section of this work, and I wanted to share it.


I pray, O God, to know you, to love you, that I may rejoice in you. And if I canot attain full joy in this life may I at least advance from day to day, until that joy shall come to the full. Let the knowledge of you advance in me here, and there be made full. Let the love of you increase, and there let it be full, that here my joy may be great in hope, and there full in truth. Lord, through your Son you command, nay, you counsel us to ask; and you promise we shall receive, that our joy may be full. I ask, O Lord, as you counsel through our Wonderful Counselor. I will receive what you promise by virtue of your truth, that my joy may be full. Faithful God, I ask. I will receive, that my joy may be full. Meanwhile, let my mind meditate upon it; let my tongue speak of it. Let my heart love it; let my mouth talk of it. Let my soul hunger for it; let my flesh thirst for it; let my whole being desire it, until I enter into your joy, O Lord, who are the Three and the One God, blessed forever and forever, Amen.

Anselm desired that the joy of the Lord would be full in him. But he didn’t say he was going to sit alone in his house and contemplate all the ways he wasn’t joyful until God made him joyful. He said that “in the meantime…” and he listed a whole lot of actions. I know I have been guilty many times of asking God for something and then sitting back and waiting for him to deliver. But Anselm believed that if the joy of the Lord was the desire of his heart, and if he meditated on that joy and spoke of it and desired it… If God’s joy was his one thought, his one desire, then God’s joy would be his. I think Anselm may have been on to something…

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One thought on “Anselm’s Proslogion

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    – Nie słuchasz mnie… – Frodo
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