“You burst my bonds asunder, and to you will I offer a sacrifice of praise.  May my heart and tongue give praise to you, and all my bones cry out their question, ‘Who is like you, O Lord?’  Yes, let them ask, and then do you respond and say to my soul, ‘I am your salvation.’

But who am I, what am I?  Is there any evil I have not committed in my deeds, or if not in my deeds, then in my words, or if not in words, at least by desiring it?  But you, Lord, are good and merciful, and your right hand plumbed the depths of my death, draining the cesspit of corruption in my heart, so that I ceased to desire all that I had been wont to desire, and now desired what you desired.  But where had my power of free decision been throughout those long, weary years, and from what depth, what hidden profundity, was it called forth in a moment, enabling me to bow my neck to your benign yoke and my shoulders to your light burden, O Christ Jesus, my helper and redeemer?

How sweet did it suddenly seem to me to shrug off those sweet frivolities, and how glad I now was to get rid of them–I who had been loath to let them go!  For it was you who cast them out from me, you, our real and all-surpassing sweetness.  You cast them out and entered yourself to take their place, you who are lovelier than any pleasure, though not to flesh and blood, more lustrous than any light, yet more inward than is any secret intimacy, loftier than all honor, yet not to those who look for loftiness in themselves.  My mind was free at last from the gnawing need to seek advancement and riches, to welter in filth and scratch my itching lust.  Childlike, I chattered away with you, my glory, my wealth, my salvation, and my Lord and God.” (Augustine, Confessions, opening lines of Book 9)

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