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Thou Art Incomprehensible!


A prayer by Soren Kierkegaard

Father in Heaven! Thou art incomprehensible in Thy
creation; Thou livest afar off in a light which no one
can penetrate and if we recognize Thee in Thy providence,
our knowledge is feeble and veils Thy splendor, Thou
who art incomprehensible in Thy splendor. But Thou art
still more incomprehensible in Thy grace and in Thy
mercy. What is man that Thou art mindful of him,
Thou Infinite Oneā€”but even more, what is the son of
a fallen race, that yea Thou wouldst visit him, Thou Holy
One; yea what is the sinner that Thy Son wouldst come into
the world because of him, not to judge but to save,
not to make known His own dwelling place so that the
lost might seek Him, but in order to seek out that which
is lost, having no den such as wild beasts have, having
no place on which to lay his head, knowing hunger in
the desert, thirst on the Cross. Lord, Father of compassion!
What is man able to do for such great benefits; he is
not able to give Thee thanks without Thee. Teach
us then the humble discernment of true intellegence that,
as a broken heart sighs under the weight of its guilt,
saying in its sorrow: “It is impossible! it is impossible
that God is able to show such compassion,” so that the
one who appropriates this assurance in faith must also
say in his joy, “it is impossible.” If death too seemed to
separate those who love one another and again they were
given to each other, their first cry at the moment of
their reunion would be, “it is impossible.” And this
joyous message of Thy compassion, Father in Heaven,
even if man has heard it since his tender infancy, is not
for that the less incomprehensible! And even if man
meditates on it day by day, it does not become for that
less incomprehensible! Was then Thy incomprehensible
mercy like that of a man, which disappeared on closer
acquaintance, like the happiness of those who loved each
other once in days of old incomprehensible (then) but
not anymore. O torpid human reason! O guileful earthly
wisdom! O cold thought of slumbering faith! O miserable
forgetfulness of the cold heart! No, Lord, keep Thou
everyone who believes in Thee in the proper humble
understanding and deliver him from evil.

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