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A 13th century manuscript from Augustine's boo...

A 13th century manuscript from Augustine’s book VII of Confessions criticizing Manichaeism. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If your home is a mess, how can you invite guests to come in? If your soul is a mess, how can you invite God to come in? But God, says St. Augustine, will clean up your soul and make it a fit dwelling for himself.

The dwelling of my soul is cramped—expand it, God, so that you may enter it. It is in ruins—restore it. Some things about it must offend your eyes—I confess it and I know it. But who will cleanse it? Whom shall I call on but you?

Cleanse me from my secret sins, Lord, and keep me from the sins of others.

I believe, and that is why I speak—as you know, Lord. Have I not confessed my sins to you, my God? Have you not put away the iniquity of my heart?

I do not contend in judgment with you, for you are the Truth. I do not want to deceive myself, or my iniquity will lie against itself. So I do not contend in judgment with you: for “if you, O Lord, should mark iniquities, Lord, who could stand?” (Psalm 130:3).

–St. Augustine, Confessions, 1.4

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