“And Grace calls out, ‘You are not just a disillusioned old man who may die soon, a middle-aged woman stuck in a job and desperately wanting to get out, a young person feeling the fire in the belly begin to grow cold. You may be insecure, inadequate, mistaken or potbellied. Death, panic, depression, and disillusionment may be near you. But you are not just that. You are accepted.’ Never confuse your perception of yourself with the mystery that you really are accepted.”
Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel
Beautiful patterns in a beautiful passage.
Thomas Cahill says that Augustine, fascinated with Plato’s concept of man seeking Truth, considers Paul’s writings, and is brought to the point of wondering whether humans are capable of seeking and acquiring truth.
Cahill imagines that Augustine must have read Romans 8:29ff (concerning God’s role in salvation) and concluded something like
[I]f we mud-spattered human beings are ever to ascend to Truth, we can do it only because God, a force ineffably greater than our war-torn selves, has predestined us and calls us upward. We will never make it under our own steam.
Having made this connection, Augustine falls apart.
Thomas Cahill, How the Irish Saved Civilization 56 (1995).
Betwixt the stirrup and the ground,
Mercy I ask’d; mercy I found.
William Camden, Remains (altered by Johnson (1783) to “Between the stirrup and the ground, I mercy ask’d; I mercy found.”).