“Make a little space free for God”

Sounds like advice from the latest book in the spirituality section at the Central Catholic Bookshop, but in fact, it comes from the “Proslogion” of St Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury at the turn of the 11th/12th Centuries, and featured in this morning’s Office of Readings for Friday in the 1st Week of Advent. I was listening to it on the Divine Office App this morning. Here it is in English:

Little man, rise up! Flee your preoccupations for a little while. Hide yourself for a time from your turbulent thoughts. Cast aside, now, your heavy responsibilities and put off your burdensome business. Make a little space free for God; and rest for a little time in him.

Enter the inner chamber of your mind; shut out all thoughts. Keep only thought of God, and thoughts that can aid you in seeking him. Close your door and seek him. Speak now, my whole heart! Speak now to God, saying, I seek your face; your face, Lord, will I seek.

In Latin, it is even more beautiful:

Eia nunc, homúncio, fuge páululum occupatiónes tuas, abscónde te módicum a tumultuósis cogitatiónibus tuis. Abice nunc onerósas curas, et postpóne laboriósas distensiónes tuas. Vaca aliquántulum Deo, et requiésce aliquántulum in eo.

Intra in cubículum mentis tuæ; exclúde ómnia præter Deum et quæ te iuvent ad quæréndum eum, et, clauso óstio, quære eum. Dic nunc, totum cor meum, dic nunc Deo: Quæro vultum tuum; vultum tuum, Dómine, requíro.

I wasn’t shut inside my room, but out on my daily 6km walk with Tom Tom the Moodle at the Retarding Basin at The Basin by the foot of the Dandenongs. The hills were shrouded in mist this morning, everything very still and quiet.


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About Schütz

I am Catholic, married to Cathy, father of Maddy & Mia. Since 2002, I have been the Executive Officer of the Ecumenical & Interfaith Commission of the Archdiocese of Melbourne. I was once a Lutheran pastor, but a "year of grace" and soul-searching led me into the Catholic Church. It was a bumpy ride, but with the support of my (still Lutheran) wife, I was finally confirmed on June 16, 2003.
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One Response to “Make a little space free for God”

  1. Matthias says:

    St Anselm who i recall was deposed by one of the English kings ,and only lived a short time after being reinstated.

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