Act of Hope

St Augustine of Hippo
Picture from www.allposters.co.uk - St. Augustine in His Studio - Botticelli

For Your mercies' sake, O Lord my God,
tell me what You are to me.
Say to my soul: "I am your salvation."
So speak that I may hear, O Lord;
my heart is listening;
open it that it may hear You,
and say to my soul: "I am your salvation."
After hearing this word,
may I come in haste to take hold of you.
Hide not Your face from me.
Let me see Your face even if I die,
lest I die with longing to see it.
The house of my soul is too small to receive You;
let it be enlarged by You.
It is all in ruins;
do You repair it.
There are thing in it,
I confess and I know,
that must offend Your sight.
But who shall cleanse it?
Or to what others besides You shall I cry out?
From my secret sins cleanse me, O Lord,
and from those of others spare your servant.

Amen.



See also Late Have I Loved You by St Augustine

Firstly, my apologies for the recent lack of posts - a family bereavement has taken me out of circulation for a while.

Next, let's get down to business!
Tonight I attended a Bible Study about Psalms. It was a fascinating evening, and one of the highlights was to read a paraphrase of Psalm 23 written by David Kossoff. I'm sure I would be breaching some copyright if I were to add the whole psalm here. So here is a taster - the first few verses... followed by the last. Enjoy it!


The Old Twenty-Third
by David Kossoff
Picture from www.allposters.co.uk
Lord, you are my shepherd,
And I'm very pleased, for I'm a bit of a sheep.
You taught me how to stop rushing about,
How to lie down and doze in a green field.
To stand by still water, by a calm lake.
And it's so restful. I'm grateful.
I think you show me the right paths, your ways.
I ought to use them more, in your name.
Otherwise it's sort of wasting your time.

...

Your goodness and mercy will follow me.
    Every day of my life. I'm sure of it.
And on the last day, when I go from my house,
    I'll go to yours. And live there. For ever.

From Psalm 23 An Anthology by KH Strange & RGE Sandbach: The Saint Andrew Press, Edinburgh.


One of the phrases that David Kossoff repeated throughout the psalm was 'I'm grateful.'

And are we? Grateful?

When was the last time you counted your blessings? From simply being alive, to having possessions - such as the computer or phone on which you are reading this! It's very easy to get hung up on the things we don't have, the talents that we would have liked to possess, the attention that seems to have passed us by.

But, if you are reading this, you are very blessed. For a start, you can read. Or you have someone to read to you.

It is an excellent exercise to lie in bed at night and think of five blessings that have been yours during the last day. Try it tonight!


I have written before about Psalm 23 - you can read it here.