Almighty and everlasting God, who hast given unto us thy servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of the Divine Majesty to worship the Unity: we beseech thee; that this holy faith may evermore be our defence against all adversities; who livest and reignest, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
A reading from St Anselm, The Proslogion
You alone then, Lord are what you are and you are who you are. For what is one thing as a whole and another as to its parts, and has in it something mutable, is not altogether what it is. And what began to exist from non-existence, and can be thought not to exist, and returns to non-existence unless it subsists through some other, and what has had a past existence but does not now exist, and a future existence but does not yet exist – such a thing does not exist in a strict and absolute sense. But you are what you are, for whatever you are at any time and in any way this you are wholly and forever.
And you are the being who exists in a strict and absolute sense because you have neither past nor future existence but only present existence; nor can you be thought not to exist at any time. And you are life and light and wisdom and blessedness and eternity and many suchlike good things; and yet you are nothing save the one and supreme good, you who are completely sufficient unto yourself, needing nothing, but rather he whom all things need in order that they may have being and well-being.
You are this good, O God the Father; this is your Word, that is to say, your Son. For there cannot be any other than what you are, or any thing greater or lesser than you, in the Word by which you utter yourself. For your Word is true as you are truthful and is therefore the very truth that you are and that is not other than you. And you are so simple that there cannot be born of you any other than what you are. This itself is the Love, one and common to you and to your Son, that is the Holy Spirit proceeding from both. For this same Love is not unequal to you or to your Son since your love for yourself and him, and his Love for you and himself, are as great as you and he are. Nor is that other than you and than him which is not different from you and him; nor can there proceed from your supreme simplicity what is other than that from which it proceeds. Thus, whatever each is singly, that the whole Trinity is altogether, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; since each singly is not other than the supremely simple unity and the supremely unified simplicity which can be neither multiplied nor differentiated.
‘Moreover, one thing is necessary’ (Lk 10:42). This is, moreover, that one thing necessary in which is every good, or rather, which is wholly and uniquely and completely and solely good.
Now, my soul, rouse and lift up your whole understanding and think as much as you can on what kind and how great this good is. For if particular goods are enjoyable, consider carefully how enjoyable is that good which contains the joyfulness of all goods; not a joy such as have experienced in created things, but as different from this as the Creator differs from the creature. For if life that is created is good, how good is the Life that creates? If the salvation that has been brought about is joyful, how joyful is the Salvation that brings about all salvation? If wisdom in the knowledge of things that have been brought into being is lovable, how lovable is the Wisdom that has brought all things into being out of nothing? Finally, if there are many great delights in delightful things, of what kind and how great is the delight in him who made these same delightful things?