Hear my prayer, O Lord; let not my soul fail under Thy discipline, nor let me fail in uttering to Thee Thy mercies: by them Thou has drawn me out of all my most evil ways, that I should find more delight in Thee than in all the temptations I once ran after, and should love Thee more intensely, and lay hold upon Thy and with all my heart’s strength, and be delivered from every temptation unto the end.
O Lord, my King and my God: may whatever of value I learnt as a boy be used for Thy service, and what I now do in speaking and writing and reading and figuring. When I was learning vain things, Though didst discipline me: and the sin of the delight I had in those vain things, Thou has forginven me. Among those studies, I learned many a useful word, but these might have been learnt equall well in studies not vain: and that surely is the safe way for the young to tread.
(Augustine, Confessions, translated by F.J. Sheed, 1993: 15)
I’ve been reading through the Confessions again at the persistent prodding of my buddy Kyle and this was a little treasure I came across this morning.