St. Augustine of Hippo Quotes

This is the very perfection of a man, to find out his own imperfections.

St. Augustine of Hippo

What is the use of believing, if the dost blaspheme? Thou adorest Him as Head, and dost blaspheme Him in His body. He loves His body. Thou canst cut thyself off from the body, but the Head does not detach itself from its body. "Thou dost honor me in vain," He cries from heaven, "thou dost honor Me in vain!" If someone wished to kiss thy cheek, but insisted at the same time on trampling thy feet; if with his hailed boots he were to crush thy feet as he tries to hold thy head and kiss thee, wouldst thou not interrupt his expression of respect and cry out: "What are thou doing, man? Thou art trampling upon me!" ... It is for this reason that before He ascended into heaven our Lord Jesus Christ recommended to us His body, by which He was to remain upon earth. For He foresaw that many would pay Him homage because of His glory in heaven, but that their homage would be in vain, so long as they despise His members on earth.

St. Augustine of Hippo

Incomprehensible and immutable is the love wherewith God loves. He did not begin to love us only on the day we were reconciled to Him by the blood of His Son; He loved us before the world was made, that we too might become His sons together with His Only-begotten Son, long before we had any existence....

St. Augustine of Hippo

In this one man, the whole Church has been assumed by the Word.

St. Augustine of Hippo

We are members of this Head, and this body cannot be decapitated. If the Head is in glory forever, so too are the members in glory forever, that Christ may be undivided forever.

St. Augustine of Hippo

We are He, since we are His body and since He was made man in order to be our Head.

St. Augustine of Hippo

Since He is the Mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus has been made Head of the Church, and the faithful are His members. Wherefore He says: "For them I hallow Myself" (John 17:19). But when He says, "For them I hallow Myself," what else can He mean but this: "I sanctify them in Myself, since truly they are Myself"? For, as I have remarked, they of whom He speaks are His members, and the Head of the body are one Christ. ... That He signifies this unity is certain from the remainder of the same verse. For having said, "For them I hallow Myself," He immediately adds, "in order that they too may be hallowed in truth," to show that He refers to the holiness that we are to receive in Him. Now the words "in truth" can only mean "in Me," since Truth is the Word who in the beginning was God. The Son of man was Himself sanctified in the Word as the moment of His creation, when the Word was made flesh, for Word and man became one Person. It was therefore in that instant that He hallowed Himself in Himself; that is, He hallowed Himself as man, in Himself as the Word. For there is but one Christ, Word and man, sanctifying the man in the Word. But now it is on behalf of His members that He adds: "and for them I hallow Myself." That is to say, that since they too are Myself, so they too may profit by this sanctification just as I profited by it as man without them. "And for them I hallow Myself"; that is, I sanctify them in Myself as Myself, since in Me they too are Myself. "In order that they too may be hallowed in truth." What do the words "they too" mean, if not that thy may be sanctified as I am sanctified; that is to say, "in truth," which is I Myself? [Quia et ipsi sunt ego. "Since they too are myself"]

St. Augustine of Hippo

The members of Christ, many though they be, are bound to one another by the ties of charity and peace under the one Head, who is our Saviour Himself, and form one man. Often their voice is heard in the Psalms as the voice of one man; the cry of one is as the cry of all, for all are one in One.

St. Augustine of Hippo

Therefore let every Christian, yea, let the whole body of Christ everywhere cry out, despite the tribulations it endures, despite temptations and countless scandals, saying: "Preserve my soul, for I am holy; save Thy servant, O my God, that trusteth in thee" (Ps. 85:2) No, this holy one is not proud, for he trusts in God.

St. Augustine of Hippo

"For I am holy." When I hear these words I recognize the voice of the Saviour. But shall I take away my own? Certainly when He speaks thus He speaks in inseparable union with His body. But can I say, "I am holy"? If I mean a holiness that I have not received, I should be proud and a liar; but if I mean a holiness that I have received - as it is written: "Be ye holy because I the Lord your God am holy" (Lev. 19:2) - then let the body of Christ say these words. And let this one man, who cries from the ends of the earth, say with his Head and united with his Head: "I am holy." ... That is not foolish pride, but an expression of gratitude. If you were to say that you are holy of yourselves, that would be pride; but if, as one of Christ's faithful and as a member of Christ, you say that you are not holy, you are ungrateful. ...

St. Augustine of Hippo

When the Head and members are despised, then the whole Christ is despised, for the whole Christ, Head and body, is that just man against whom deceitful lips speak iniquity.

St. Augustine of Hippo

What does the Scripture mean when it tells us of the body of one man so extended in space that all can kill him? We must understand these words of ourselves, of our Church, or the body of Christ. For Jesus Christ is one man, having a Head and a body. The Saviour of the body and the members of the body are two in one flesh, and in one voice, and in one passion, and, when iniquity shall have passed away, in one repose. And so the passion of Christ is not in Christ alone; and yet the passion of Christ is in Christ alone. For if in Christ you consider both the Head and the body, the Christs passion is in Christ alone; but if by Christ you mean only the Head, then Christs passion is not in Christ alone.... Hence if you are in the members of Christ, all you who hear me, and even you who hear me not (though you do hear, if you are united with the members of Christ), whatever you suffer at the hands of those who are no among the members of Christ, was lacking to the sufferings of Christ. It is added precisely because it was lacking. You fill up the measure; you do not cause it to overflow. You will suffer just so much as must be added of your sufferings to the complete passion of Christ, who suffered as our Head and who continues to suffer in His members, that is, in us. Into this common treasury each pays what he owes, and according to each ones ability we all contribute our share of suffering. The full measure of the Passion will not be attained until the end of the world.

St. Augustine of Hippo

The Apostle says: I make up in my flesh what is lacking to the sufferings of Christ (Col. 1:24). I make up, he tells us, not what is lacking to my sufferings, but what is lacking to the sufferings of Christ; not in Christs flesh, but in mine. not in Christ's flesh, but in mine. Christ is still suffering, not in His own flesh which He took with Him into heaven, but in my flesh, which is still suffering on earth.

St. Augustine of Hippo

Christs whole body groans in pain. Until the end of the world, when pain will pass away, this man groans and cries to God. And each one of us has part in the cry of that whole body. Thou didst cry out in thy day, and thy days have passed away; another took thy place and cried out in his day. Thou here, he there, and another there. The body of Christ ceases not to cry out all the day, one member replacing the other whose voice is hushed. Thus there is but one man who reaches unto the end of time, and those that cry are always His members.

St. Augustine of Hippo

No greater gift could God bestow on men than to give them as their Head His Word, by whom He made all things, and to unite them as members to that Head. Thus the Word became both Son of God and Son of man: one God with the Father, one Man with men. Hence, when we offer our petitions to God, let it not detach itself from its Head. Let it be He, the sole Saviour of His body, our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who prays for us, who prays in us, and who is prayed to by us. He prays for us as our Priest; He prays in us as our Head; He is prayed to by us as our God. Let us therefore hear both our words in Him and His words in us.... We pray to Him in the form of God; He prays in the form of the slave. There He is the Creator; here He is in the creature. He changes not, but takes the creature and transforms it into Himself, making us one man, head and body, with Himself. We pray therefore to Him, and through Him, and in Him. We pray with Him, and He with us; we recite this prayer of the Psalm in Him, and He recites it in us.

St. Augustine of Hippo

Therefore, on hearing His words let no one say either: "These are not Christ's words," or "These are not my words." On the contrary, if he knows that he is in the body of Christ, let him say: "These are both Christ's words and my words." Say nothing without Him, and He will say nothing without thee. We must not consider ourselves as strangers to Christ, or look upon ourselves as other than Himself.

St. Augustine of Hippo
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