To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek him the greatest adventure; to find him, the greatest human achievement.
Understanding is the reward of faith. Therefore, seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand.
In my deepest wound I saw your glory, and it dazzled me.
I held my heart back from positively accepting anything, since I was afraid of another fall, and in this condition of suspense I was being all the more killed.
Christ is not valued at all, unless he is valued above all.
Le bonheur, c’est continuer à désirer ce que l’on a déjà.
If you believe what you like in the Gospel, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the Gospel you believe, but yourself.
It’s not in the book or in the writer that readers discern the truth of what they read; they see it in themselves, if the light of truth has penetrated their minds.
Yet we must say something when those who say the most are saying nothing.
Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.
The peace of the celestial city is the perfectly ordered and harmonious enjoyment of God, and of one another in God. (City of God, Book 19)
There can only be two basic loves… the love of God unto the forgetfulness of self, or the love of self unto the forgetfulness and denial of God.
No one should be ashamed to admit that they do not know what they do not know, in case while feigning knowledge, they come to deserve to never know.
The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.
Free curiosity has greater power to stimulate learning than rigorous coercion. Nevertheless, the free ranging flux of curiosity is channeled by discipline under Your Law.
Miracles are not contrary to nature but only contrary to what we know about nature.
it is a higher glory… to stay war itself with a word, than to slay men with the sword, and to procure or maintain peace by peace, not by war.
Augustine taught that true freedom is not choice or lack of constraint, but being what you are meant to be. Humans were created in the image of God. True freedom, then, is not found in moving away from that image but only in living it out.
Can human folly harbour a more arrogant or ungrateful thought than the notion that whereas God makes man beautiful in body, man makes himself pure in heart?
The good Christian should beware of mathematicians. The danger already exists that mathematicians have made a covenant with the devil to darken the spirit and confine man in the bonds of Hell.
He loves Thee too little, who loves anything together with Thee, which he loves not for Thy sake.
There are wolves within, and there are sheep without.
If you have understood, then what you have understood is not God.
Oh! that I might repose on Thee! Oh! that Thou wouldest enter into my heart, inebriate it, that I may forget my ills, and embrace Thee, my sole good?
… The dominion of good men is profitable, not so much for themselves as for human affairs. But the dominion of bad men is hurtful chiefly to themselves who rule, for they destroy their own souls by greater licence in wickedness;
I am no more than a child, but my Father lives for ever and I have a Protector great enough to save me.
Purity both of the body and the soul rests on the steadfastness of the will strengthened by God’s grace, and cannot be forcibly taken from an unwilling person.
… The soul which is led by God and His wisdom, rather than by bodily concupiscence, will certainly never consent to the desire aroused in its own flesh by another’s lust.
A community is nothing else than a harmonious collection of individuals.
All these last offices and ceremonies that concern the dead, the careful funeral arrangements, and the equipment of the tomb, and the pomp of obsequies, are rather the solace of the living than the comfort of the dead.
The end of life puts the longest life on a par with the shortest.
For every man, however laudably he lives, yet yields in some points to the lust of the flesh.
The good man is neither uplifted with the good things of time, nor broken by its ills; but the wicked man, because he is corrupted by this world’s happiness, feels himself punished by its unhappiness.
To the divine providence it has seemed good to prepare in the world to come for the righteous good things, which the unrighteous shall not enjoy; and for the wicked evil things, by which the good shall not be tormented.
For I am aware what ability is requisite to persuade the proud how great is the virtue of humility, which raises us, not by a quite human arrogance, but by a divine grace, above all earthly dignities that totter on this shifting scene.
Indeed, the only cause of their [Rome] perishing was that they chose for their protectors gods condemned to perish.
People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas,at the long course of the rivers,at the vast compass of the ocean,at the circular motion of the stars,and yet they pass by themselves without wondering.
When it happens that I am more moved by the song than the thing which is sung, I confess that I sin in a manner deserving punishment
Music, that is the science or the sense of proper modulation, is likewise given by God’s generosity to mortals having rational souls in order to lead them to higher things.
O Holy Spirit, descend plentifully into my heart. Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling and scatter there Thy cheerful beams.
A Christian should be an Alleluia from head to foot
For what am I to myself without You, but a guide to my own downfall?
Such is the strength of the burden of habit. Here I have the power to be but do not wish it. There I wish to be but lacks the power. On both grounds, I’m in misery.
This is the very perfection of a man, to find out his own imperfections.
Do not feel surprise at being schooled amid toil: you are being schooled for a wondrous destiny.
How can the past and future be, when the past no longer is, and the future is not yet? As for the present, if it were always present and never moved on to become the past, it would not be time, but eternity.
You never depart from us, but yet, only with difficulties do we return to You.
Lord Jesus, don’t let me lie when I say that I love you…and protect me, for today I could betray you.
For it is one thing to see the Land of Peace from a wooded ridge, and yet another to walk the road that leads to it.
Forgiveness is the remission of sins. For it is by this that what has been lost, and was found, is saved from being lost again.
Pray as though everything depends on God. And work as if everything depends on you.
The world is a book, and those who don’t travel only read one page.
You are not the mind itself. For You are the Lord God of the mind. All these things are liable to change, but You remain immutable above all things.
There are many going afar to marvel at the heights of mountains, the mighty waves of the sea, the long courses of great rivers, the vastness of the ocean, the movements of the stars, yet they leave themselves unnoticed!
God had one son on earth without sin, but never one without suffering.
It is not that we keep His commandments first and that then He loves but that He loves us and then we keep His commandments. This is that grace which is revealed to the humble but hidden from the proud.
For dismissed by You from Paradise, and having taken my journey into a far country, I cannot by myself return, unless Thou meetest the wanderer: for my return has throughout the whole tract of this world’s time waited for Your mercy.
Thus, every entity, even if it is a defective one, in so far as it is an entity, is good. In so far as it is defective, it is evil.
The good man is free, even if he is a slave. The evil man is a slave, even if he is a king.
Man himself is a great deep, whose very hairs Thou numberest, O Lord, and they fall not to the ground without Thee. And yet are the hairs of his head easier to be numbered than his feelings, and the beatings of his heart.
A wholesome fear would be a fit guardian for the citizens.
The Bible was composed in such a way that as beginners mature, its meaning grows with them.
Whoever, then, thinks that he understands the Holy Scriptures, or any part of them, but puts such an interpretation upon them as does not tend to build up this twofold love of God and our neighbor, does not yet understand them as he ought.
There could be nothing more fortunate for human affairs than that by the mercy of God they who are endowed with true piety of life if they have the skill for ruling people should also have the power.
When consent takes the form of seeking to possess the things we wish, this is called desire. When consent takes the form of enjoying the things we wish, this is called joy.
Is any man skillful enough to have fashioned himself?
Sin is looking for the right thing in the wrong place.
He that becomes protector of sin shall surely become its prisoner.
There is no sin unless through a man’s own will, and hence the reward when we do right things also of our own
I inquired what wickedness is, and I didn’t find a substance, but a perversity of will twisted away from the highest substance – You oh God – towards inferior things, rejecting its own inner life and swelling with external matter.
I fell away from you, my God, and I went astray, too far astray from you, the support of my youth, and I became to myself a land of want.
The confession of evil works is the first beginning of good works.
Humility raises us not by human arrogance but by divine grace.
What should you, O man, do, you who seek your own glory whenever you do anything good, while when you do something bad, you figure out ways to blame God.
I was still unteachable, being inflated with the novelty of heresy.
Often the contempt of vainglory becomes a source of even more vainglory, for it is not being scorned when the contempt is something one is proud of.
This is pride when the soul abandons Him to Whom it ought to cleave as its end and becomes a kind of end to itself. This happens when it becomes its own satisfaction.
Lavish spending cloaks the dark side of generosity
This, then, is true liberty: the joy that comes in doing what is right. At the same time, it is also devoted service in obedience to righteous precept.
He cannot have God for his Father who will not have the Church for his mother.
You never go away from us, yet we have difficulty in returning to You. Come, Lord, stir us up and call us back. Kindle and seize us. Be our fire and our sweetness. Let us love. Let us run.
A sense of Deity is inscribed on every heart. Nay, even idolatry is ample evidence of this fact.
True inner righteousness does not judge according to custom but by the measure of the most perfect law of God Almighty by which the mores of various places and times were adapted to those places and times.
The punishment of every disordered mind is its own disorder.
I was in misery, and misery is the state of every soul overcome by friendship with mortal things and lacerated when they are lost. Then the soul becomes aware of the misery which is its actual condition even before it loses them.
The soul is “torn apart in a painful condition as long as it prefers the eternal because of its Truth but does not discard the temporal because of familiarity.
That vague and wandering opinion of Deity is declared by an apostle to be ignorance of God:
You are not blamed for your unwilling ignorance, but because you fail to ask about what you do not know…. For no one is prevented from leaving behind the disadvantage of ignorance and seeking the advantage of knowledge.
His knowledge is not like ours, which has three tenses: present, past, and future. God’s knowledge has no change or variation.
… the earthly city glories in itself, the Heavenly City glories in the Lord.
Justice being taken away, then, what are kingdoms but great robberies? For what are robberies themselves, but little kingdoms?
if we are wayfarers who want to return home, then we must see the world as a means of transportation (terestibus vel marinis vehiculis) and always remember to distinguish the means and ends.
Every good man resists others in those points in which he resists himself.
Oh, God, to know you is life. To serve You is freedom. To praise you is the soul’s joy and delight. Guard me with the power of Your grace here and in all places. Now and at all times, forever. Amen.
For out of the perverse will came lust, and the service of lust ended in habit, and habit, not resisted, became necessity.
He who falls, falls by his own will; and he who stands, stands by God’s will.
Every day my conscience makes confession relying on the hope of Your mercy as more to be trusted than its own innocence.
Idling of our elders is called business; the idling of boys, though quite like it, is punished by those same elders, and no one pities either the boys or the men.
But if you do not wish to die of thirst in the desert, drink charity. This is the fountain the Lord has willed to place here, lest we faint on the way, and we shall drink it more abundantly when we come to the Fatherland.
Every visible thing in this world is put in the charge of an Angel.