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St. Anselm WeningerI confess, Lord, with thanksgiving,
that You have made me in Your image,
so that I can remember You,
think of You,
and love You.

But that image is so worn and blotted out by faults,
and darkened by the smoke of sin,
that it cannot do that for which it was made,
unless You renew and refashion it.

Lord, I am not trying to make my way to Your height,
for my understanding is in no way equal to that,
but I do desire to understand a little of Your truth
which my heart already believes and loves.

I do not seek to understand so that I can believe,
but I believe so that I may understand;
and what is more,
I believe that unless I do believe,
I shall not understand.

Anselm of Canterbury


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4 thoughts on “I Believe So That I May Understand”

  1. a. says:

    Amen Lord. by Your grace, desire to walk by faith, not by sight; to walk in Your ways; nor speak of things we do not understand obscuring Your plans without knowledge. You can do all things & no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.

    by Your grace:”I’m going Your way, even though I can’t see in front of me”

  2. Christiane Smith says:

    One of my favorite sayings from St. Anselm, this:
    “”From the moment of her fiat Mary began to carry all of us in her womb.”
    Anselm of Canterbury

    When we think of Our Lord’s Incarnation and His birth, we think of them as isolated events, apart from us but sacred to us.
    But the truth is that He was not apart from humanity, He was a part of humanity from the time He entered into our world to save us. If we are born again from above, surely it is through Him, in Him, and with Him that we find ourselves born anew. The homage to Mary by St. Anselm is very Catholic, I know . . . but taken in a certain light, it will make sense to even the most fundamentalist of Christian people, most especially the mothers among them.

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  4. Heath says:

    I was once part of a discussion group called ‘FQI’ – stood for fides quaerens intellectum (or, faith seeking understanding) – another similar phrase of Anselm.
    We named the group FQI because we thought this pre-modern outlook on epistemology (and maybe even ontology) wasn’t just a coincidental result of premodernism. Instead we believe it to be the necessary stance of any confessing theologian – without which we have no real hope of orthodoxy. Knowing so that you might understand places a fallible human on the wrong foot from the start.
    But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I’m just too presuppositional…?

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Trevin Wax


​Trevin Wax is Bible and Reference Publisher at LifeWay Christian Resources and managing editor of The Gospel Project. You can follow him on Twitter or receive blog posts via email. Click here for Trevin’s full bio.

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