St. Anselm (c. 1033–1109) is best known for his brilliant mind. Though he saw himself as a follower of Augustine, he nevertheless advanced Christian thought perhaps more than any other theologian between Augustine and Aquinas. His arguments for Trinity—over against the concept of Father, Son and Holy Spirit as three separate Gods—effectively shut down the “separate substance” argument for several centuries. Yet, he had a deeply pastoral heart, ultimately serving as Archbishop of Canterbury. And he has left us many meditations and prayers. Because our nature derives from God’s nature, I’ll give you the first few sentences of his meditation on the image of God that humans bear. You can find the full content of this prayer and all his others here.
“Our Creation to the Image and Likeness of God. Awake, my soul, awake; bestir thy energies, arouse thy apprehension; banish the sluggishness of thy deadly sloth, and take to thee solicitude for thy salvation. Be the rambling of unprofitable fancies put to flight; let indolence retire, and diligence be retained. Apply thyself to sacred studies, and fix thy thoughts on the blessings that are of God. Leave temporal things behind, and make for the eternal.
“What, then, in so divine an occupation of the mind, canst thou conceive more useful or more salutary than to recall in delighted musing thy Creator’s boundless benefits to thee? Consider what grandeur and what dignity He bestowed on thee in the very beginning of thy creation, and ponder well what loving and what adoring worship thou shouldest therefore pay Him.”
How does bearing the very image of God in your created nature influence how you think about your conversation with him? Show us your imago dei.