Oblate Program at Belmont Abbey, NC

I have found him whom my soul loves



Monk_praying_web'I found him,' the soul says, 'I found him', though previously he sought and found me like a stray sheep, like a lost coin, and in his mercy anticipated me. He forestalled me, I say, in finding me when I was lost. He anticipated me, though I deserved nothing. He found me astray, he anticipated me in my despair. He found me in my unlikeness; he anticipated me in my diffidence. He found me by pointing out my state to me, he anticipated me by recalling me to his own. He found me wandering in a labyrinth; he anticipated me with gifts when I was devoid of grace. He found me not that I might choose him but that he might choose me. He anticipated me that he might love me before I loved him.

In this way, then, chosen and loved, sought and acquired, found and anticipated, how should I not love and seek him with an effort according to my strength and with affection beyond my strength? I will seek him until gaining my desire I may utter my cry of happiness: 'I have found him whom my soul loves'.

Gilbert of Hoyland


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