13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Augustine describes his life from a spiritual standpoint, beginning at early childhood. He wants to understand the journey along which God had led him since conception and watching children’s gestures and behaviour proves helpful in this task.
“Lord of heaven and earth, I praise you for my earliest days and my infancy, which I do not remember. You allow a person to understand by observing others what his own beginnings were like. Already I had existence and life, and as my unspeaking stage drew to a close I began to look for signs whereby I might communicate my ideas to others. Where could a living creature like this have come from, if not from you, Lord? Are any of us skilful enough to fashion ourselves? Could there be some channel hollowed out from some other source through which existence and life might flow to us, apart from yourself, Lord, who create us? Could we derive existence and life from anywhere other than you, in whom to be and to live are not two different realities, since supreme being and supreme life are one and the same? What does it matter to me, if someone does not understand this? Let such a person rejoice even to ask the question, ‘What does this mean?’ "
Augustine gives thanks to God for the gift of life and his infancy—that mysterious time to which his memories do not reach. He was not aware then of what was happening in and around him. For him that is yet another proof that he must have been shaped and given life by someone. In other words: created.
How do we perceive the earliest years of our lives, obscured by the mists of time? “One’s childhood and one’s recollection of it are two different things. The former is only granted once in a lifetime and it cannot be entered twice. But the memory of our childhood and, in fact, all of our past is not clear, given once, or unchanging. Quite the opposite, it grows and develops with us. It is entirely up to us to choose to be ‘victims’ or ‘authors’ of it, whether to bear it passively and return to it painfully or actively face it and transform it anew.” Stanislaw Morgalla.
“You gave me this breath
and you gave me this strength
and everyday I live to obey you
with all of my heart
with all of my soul
let every breath I breath in display you God.”