“Made by God, for God” in Context

Augustine’s introductory prayer in his classic, The Confessions:

Great are you, O Lord, and worthy of high praise (Ps. 48.1, Ps. 96.4, Ps. 145.3). Great is your strength, and of your wisdom there is not counting (Ps. 147.5). Even man is, in his way, a part of your creation, and longs to praise you; even man, who carries in himself his own mortality (2 Cor. 4.19), that testimony of his sin, that testimony also that you resist the proud (Prov. 3.34, 1 Pet. 5.5, James 4.6); for all that, man is part of your creation, and longs to praise you. You stir us up to delight in your praise; for you have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless till it finds its rest in you.

Grant me knowledge and understanding, O Lord (Ps. 119.34, 73, 144): Can anyone praise you before he calls upon you, or call upon you before he knows you? But surely no one could call upon you if he did not know you, for he might call upon one thing, mistaking it in his ignorance for another. Should we rather call upon you, so as to know you? But how shall any call upon you, if they have not believed in you? And how shall they believe in you, if no one preaches you? (Rom. 10.14). Those who seek the Lord shall praise him (Ps. 22.26). They will seek and they will find him (Matt. 7.7-8, Lk 11.10); they will find and they will praise him. I shall seek you, Lord, as I call upon you, and call upon you as I believe in you (Rom. 10.14); for you have been proclaimed to us. My faith, O Lord, calls upon you; the faith that is your gift to me, which you have inspired through the humanity of your Son, and the ministry of him who proclaimed you.

Augustine, The Confessions [BOOK ONE]


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