Letter 2 to Presbyter Amandus of Bordeaux
2. Now it has pleased the Lord to place his treasure in an earthenware vessel. He has called me by his grace, raising up the needy from the earth and lifting up the poor out of the dunghill that He might place me with the princes of His people, and clothe me with salvation amongst his priests. So in hastening to the odour of His ointments I may become a drop off that ointment which ran down upon the beard of Aaron. Out of awareness of my deserts, I tried to refuse (or rather, I did not dare to consent) to become a servant in the Lord's house and to bless the Lord from the fountains of Israel. I admit that I, a worm and no man, was unwillingly forced by sudden coercion, compelled by the crowd with their fingers at my throat. Though I desired my chalice to pass from me, still I was compelled to say to the Lord: Yet not my will but Thine be done, especially when I read that the Lord Himself had said of His own person: The Son of man is not come to be ministered unto, but to minister. Therefore, restrained by the Lord and apprehended by Him whom I do not yet apprehend, I attend God's altar. I serve at the table of salvation as one now senior in title and office, but as still a child in sense and a suckling in speech.
Paulinus asks Amandus to pray for him to be a good presbyter.
4. Since, then, I am no longer enemy [or "guest" – JSz] but a citizen, no longer afar but close at hand, no longer sheep but shepherd, and since I have been set on the foundation of apostles and prophets, school and strengthen my hands in the knowledge of building [i.e. Church].
[...] Instruct, help, encourage, and strengthen me. As one born of you, and through you of God, I should be your especial care in Christ. For if I am unworthy, I shall be a reproach to you; but I shall be your joy if I am recognised by my good fruit as a brunch of your tree.
(trans. Walsh 1966: 1.39–42, summarised by J. Szafranowski)