What kind of God are You, my Lord?
Those who know You least say You are ugly,
a moral monster, an insufferable tyrant.
Those who know You best long to dwell in Your house
to behold Your beauty all the days of their lives.
Who is fit to teach me—
Those who know You least or
Those who know You best?
Who is fit to teach me?
You are, O Lord, for who knows You better
than You know Yourself?
You who are worshiped for Your beauty,
show me Your beauty that I may worship You better.
Is Your beauty
A snow-capped mountain—distant, cold, and severe?
A flower—fading and easily crushed?
A haunting aria—filling the soul with longing it cannot quite satisfy?
Surely these are but faint echoes of Your beauty,
The sound of a song heard dimly in the distance,
Or shadows cast by Your great light down into our darkened world.
An earthly melody may move a heart of flesh,
But Your beauty turns a heart of stone into living flesh.
So what is Your beauty, Lord?
What is more beautiful than Love?
Love that plans to surprise the ugly beloved with love
Love that sacrifices its life for the beloved
Love that gives the whole self to the beloved.
The love of the Father; the love of the Son; the love of the Spirit—
The eternal Love of the Triune God.
If You are a moral monster, O my God,
Why does meditating on Your beauty fill my heart with warmth
And fit me for loving my neighbor?