Dona Nobis Pacem - St. Augustine's Beautiful Prayer

You are familiar with the beginning of The Confessions by St. Augustine. But I bet you never heard this exquisite prayer at the end of The Confessions.



“Give us peace, Lord God, for you have given us all else; give us the peace that is repose, the peace of the Sabbath, and the peace that knows no evening.

 This whole order of exceedingly good things, intensely beautiful as it is, will pass away when it has served its purpose: these things too will have their morning and their evening.     
                                                                                                            
 “But the seventh day has no evening and sinks towards no sunset, for you sanctified it that it might abide forever. 

After completing your exceedingly good works, Lord, you rested on the seventh day though you achieved them in repose; and you willed your book to tell us this as a promise that when our works are finished we too may rest in you, in the Sabbath of eternal life.     
                                                                                                                           
  “And then you will rest in us, as now you work in us, and your rest will be rest through us as now those works of yours are wrought through us. 

But you yourself, Lord, are ever working, ever resting. You neither see for a time nor change for a time nor enjoy repose for a time, yet you create our temporal seeing and time itself and our repose after time. "                                                                          

The Most Widely Read Devotional Book of All Time





The Imitation is perhaps the most widely read Christian devotional work next to the Bible, and is regarded as a devotional and religious classic.[Its popularity was immediate, and it was printed 745 times before 1650. Apart from the Bible, no book had been translated into more languages than the Imitation of Christ at the time.
The text is divided into four books, which provide detailed spiritual instructions: "Helpful Counsels of the Spiritual Life", "Directives for the Interior Life", "On Interior Consolation" and "On the Blessed Sacrament".
The approach taken in the Imitation is characterized by its emphasis on the interior life and withdrawal from the world, as opposed to an active imitation of Christ by other friars. The book places a high level of emphasis on the devotion to the Eucharist as key element of spiritual life.

Source Wikipedia


Here is a small excerpt from the book, read by Roland Trujillo in both English and Latin.

Watch the whole reading here


 

Discerning, Detachment, Meditation and the Spiritual Walk

    There is a saying of Christ that is very relevant here: “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33). A right relationship with God automatically will result in right relationships with everything else.

For example, we begin each day with meditation, thus we renew our commitment and our desire to have God enter our life. By beginning the day with meditation you are literally putting first your desire for a right relationship with God. David affirmed this desire for a right relationship with God when he cried out “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10). 

But then the next thing that occurs is the benefit of detaching from people, objects and thoughts, and observing them in the Light.  As you then go out into the world carrying this meditative stance with you--this slight detachment from people, circumstances, things, words and thoughts--you are thus attached to the inner light from God and slightly distant to the world. You are “in the world but not of the world.” 

Because of this, you will then be able to discern which way to go and which things to dissociate from. Paul put it this way:  “Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”

  It is not possible for me to over-emphasize the importance of the meditation exercise. It is a simple technique for separating from the illusory world of the imagination. It is in this regard a simple technique for separating from worries and excessive thought. We have a tendency to go floating along with daydreams, and we do so at the first sighting of stress. We seek refuge in the thought world where we feel secure. But what we are actually doing is escaping from where true security lies--in objectivity where we are closer to God.

We cannot solve our issues when we are lost in thoughts. We have no control over thoughts when we are immersed in them. We cannot know the truth when we are lost in thinking and daydreaming. In order to find true rest, real security, real solutions, and salvation from the nightmare world of illusions, we must separate from thought.

In The Imitation of Christ, Thomas a Kempis put it this way:

   Why do you look about here when this is not the place of your repose? Gaze rather upon heaven and give but a passing glance to all earthly things. They all pass away, and you together with them. Take care, then, that you do not cling to them lest you be entangled and perish. Fix your mind on the Most High, and pray unceasingly to Christ.