Augustine Verse for Christmas: Sermon 140

Open our hearts!
Begotten of the Father without time
The Son is made of the Virgin in time
Begotten transcending time
Born filling time
Open our hearts to wonder!

Open our hearts!
Born of the Father, our Maker
Born of the Virgin, our re-Maker
Born of the Father that we might be
Born of Mary that we might not be lost
Open our hearts to praise!

Open our hearts!
God the Father never without the Son
Son born, not made, eternally begotten One
Source with the Father, equality with the Son
God my Father, I his Son, are One
Open our hearts to believe!

From Sermon 140 of Augustine. There is uncertainty about whether this was actually a Christmas sermon-i.e. a sermon preached at Christmas; but the Incarnation is obviously addressed.


Augustine: Verse for Christmas

Adam created. God born.

In innocence you named all creatures
In infancy you cannot speak
You who made time; made in time.

In boundless bliss you plunged us into darkness
Born in night to seek life for him who died
Older by eternity than the world; younger than all who marvel.

Man wishing to be God lost
God wishing to be man found
You who made man; made man.

Pressed down by pride
Exalted in humility
Giving existence to all; given life by the Virgin.

Adam created, God born.


The first (and because I am much better at starting than finishing, possibly last) in a series of poetic interpretations of Augustine’s Christmas sermons. For those keeping score at home: this is based on sermon 188 of the Benedictine/Maurist edition; English translation by Thomas Lawler in volume 15 of the Ancient Christian Writers series.