Friday, September 14, 2012

The Eternal Sabbath of the Lord

After quite a challenging August, I've had a very enjoyable week off work. As I started to think about going back my thoughts turned to the eternal sabbath of the Lord and this wonderful passage from Augustine's Confessions:

O Lord God, give us peace… the peace of rest, the peace of the Sabbath, which has no evening. For all this most good and beautiful array of things, having finished their courses, will pass away, for in them there was morning and evening. 

But the seventh day has no evening, its sun will never set, because you have blessed it to last for ever; After you made your very good works, although you made them in unbroken rest, you rested on the seventh day. Your book thus foretold that after our works (being very good, because you have given them to us), we shall rest in you also in the Sabbath of eternal life. 

For then you shall also rest in us, just as now you work in us; your rest will be through us, just as now you work through us. But you, Lord, are always working, and always at rest. You are not bound by time, neither do you move in time, nor do you rest in a time; and yet you create the things we see in time, time itself, and the rest at the end of time.

We therefore see these things which you have made, because they have being: but they are, because you see them. We see outwardly that they exist, and inwardly that they are good. But you saw them there, at the same time made and yet to be made. In our own time, we were moved to do good, when our hearts had received your Spirit; but before that we were moved to do evil, forsaking you; but you God, the One and the Good, you never cease to do good. Some of our works are good because of your grace, but they are not eternal; and after them we hope to rest in your great holiness. But you, who are the Good which needs no other good, you are ever at rest, because you yourself are your own rest.

Which human being can teach anyone to understand this? Or which Angel can teach it to an Angel? Or which Angel can help a human being to understand? We can but ask you, seek you, knock for you; That is how this knowledge can be received, how it can be found, how the door is opened. 


(Confessions, XIII, 35–38)

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