February/March 2014 - Vol. 72

Prayer of Augustine
lyrics and music by Ed Conlin
Click to listen to an MP3 audio clip 

Lyrics to Prayer of Augustine

O Beauty ancient, O Beauty so new
Late have I loved Thee and feebly yet do.
Though you were with me, I was not with You.
Then You shone Your face and I was blind no more

My heart searches restlessly and finds no rest ‘till it rests in Thee.
O Seeker You sought for me, Your love has found me;
I am taken by thee.

I sought this world and chased its finer things,
Yet were these not in You, they would not have been.
My ceaseless longing hid the deeper truth,
In all my desirings, I was desiring You.

Lord, in my deafness You cried out to me.
I drew my breath and now Your fragrance I breathe
O Fount of Life, You are forever the same;
O Fire of Love, come set me aflame.

Our hearts are restless until they rest in thee" 
- St. Augustine of Hippo
Ed's reflection on Augustine's prayer....

"While reading Augustine's "Confessions", I was deeply moved by this conversion prayer
(one of the most beautiful prayers I've ever heard)...wouldn't this be wonderful if the spirit of this prayer could be enhanced by holy music!

I remember asking God if he would just frame this prayer with the right melody.  Eventually, this came out. Praise God!"

There is a space formed by the particular shape of our life. It is meant for God himself to indwell. This must be felt as a lack... and it comes about through daily circumstamces. It may be caused by the cavern of a lonely heart, the ache of a lost one, the yearning that comes from "not yet being home." In truth we are to glory in this emptiness -- for it is the price we pay for such an immense dignity. To wait in courage for God to fill our particular emptiness is one of the most profound of love's acts. 

The song Prayer of Augustine is included in a Music CD entitled, Taken by Love, produced by In His Presence. The CD and sheet music can be ordered from In His Presence. See online order page, or order form, click on Taken by Love CD. Individual can purchase the album or the mp3 as a download from I-Tunes or Rhapsody or any mp3 distributor. 

Ed Conlin is a member of the Servants of the Word, a missionary brotherhood of men living single for the Lord. He lives in community in the inner city of Detroit, Michigan, USA, and works as a licensed substance abuse counselor and chaplain with the Capuchin Franciscan Ministries in Detroit. 
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