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A Prayer of Thanksgiving

O God, how magnificent are your works!

In wisdom you have made them all.

They are yours, you have made them all.

Thanks be to You!

But you have made us over all them.

Thanks be to You!

For we are your image and likeness.

Thanks be to You!

We have sinned, we have been sought.

Thanks be to You!

We have been negligent, we have not been neglected.

Thanks be to You!

When we despised you, we were not despised;

in case we should have forgotten your divinity

and should love you,

you even took upon yourself our humanity.

Thanks be to You!

A Reflection by Jeremy Hiers, OSA

It is often easy to underestimate the scope of God’s love and mercy for us, especially when we reflect on our failures of the past, and the weaknesses we still struggle with in the present.  How can God continue to love us when we continue to let Him down?  This prayer can be found in sermon 16A, 6 of Saint Augustine.  It opens with a quote from Psalm 104:24, “How magnificent are your works!”  It reflects the power and mercy of God, a power and mercy that transcends all human weakness.  Although we have sinned, God has sought us anyway.  Though we have been negligent, God has never neglected us.  We have at times despised God, but God has never despised us.  In the Confessions, Saint Augustine repeatedly reflects on how in the years leading up to his conversion, he was continually running away from God, yet God never left him.

Late have I loved you, O Beauty so ancient and yet so new, late have I loved you. You were always there inside me and I was running around outside. I was looking for you out there, and confused as I was, I threw myself upon those beautiful things that you had made. You were always in me, but I was not always in you. Created things kept me apart from you even though they themselves could only exist in you. You called and shouted and finally broke through my deafness. You blazed forth and shone brightly and finally broke through my blindness.

– Saint Augustine (Confessions 10.27.38)

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