Reading again through Saint Augustine’s “Confessions”: Day 24 (The God Who Makes both Men and Women Feel Special!)
“I call upon you, O God, my Mercy, who made me and did not forget me when I forgot you. I call you to come into my soul, for by inspiring it to long for you you prepare it to receive you. Now, as I call upon you, do not desert me, for you came to my aid even before I called upon you. In all sorts of ways, over and over again, when I was far from you, you coaxed me to listen to your voice, to turn my back on you no more, and to call upon you for aid when, all the time, you were calling to me yourself. You blotted out all my evil deeds, in other not to repay me with the punishment I deserved for the work of my hands, which had led me away from you; and even before I did them, you took into account all the good deeds by which I should deserve well of you, in order to recompense yourself for the work of your hands which made me. For before I was, you were: I was nothing, that you should give me being. Yet now I am; and this is because out of your goodness you provided for all that you have made and all from which you have made me.
You had no need of me, nor am I a creature good in such a way as to be helpful to you, my Lord and my God. It is not as though you could grow tired by working and I could serve you by preventing your fatigue, nor would your power be any the less if my service were lacking. I cannot serve you as a peasant tills the land, for your works bear fruit even if I fail to serve you with my husbandry. I can only serve you and worship you so that good may come to me from you, and but for you no good could come to me, for I should not even exist to retrieve it.
It is from the abundance of your goodness that your creation subsists, for you do not withheld existed from good which neither benefits you nor is of your own substance and therefore equal to you, but exists simply because it can derive its being from you.”