St. Augustine of Hippo Quotes

People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering.

St. Augustine of Hippo

Give what you command, and command what you will. You impose continency on us.

St. Augustine of Hippo

Late have I loved you, O Beauty ever ancient and ever new! Late have I loved you! And, behold, you were within me, and I out of myself, and there I searched for you.

St. Augustine of Hippo

But the inner part is the better part; for to it, as both ruler and judge, all these messengers of the senses report the answers of heaven and earth and all the things therein, who said, "We are not God, but he made us." My inner man knew these things through the ministry of the outer man, and I, the inner man, knew all this I, the soul, through the senses of my body. I asked the whole frame of earth about my God, and it answered, "I am not he, but he made me."

St. Augustine of Hippo

I was saying these things and weeping in the most bitter contrition of my heart, when suddenly I heard the voice of a boy or a girl I know not which--coming from the neighboring house, chanting over and over again, "Take up and read; take up and read." Immediately I ceased weeping and began most earnestly to think whether it was usual for children in some kind of game to sing such a song, but I could not remember ever having heard the like. So, damming the torrent of my tears, I got to my feet, for I could not but think that this was a divine command to open the Bible and read the first passage I should light upon. For I had heard how Anthony, accidentally coming into church while the gospel was being read, received the admonition as if what was read had been addressed to him: "Go and sell what you have and give it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come and follow me" (Matt. 19:21). By such an oracle he was forthwith converted to thee. So I quickly returned to the bench where Alypius was sitting, for there I had put down the apostles book when I had left there. I snatched it up, opened it, and in silence read the paragraph on which my eyes first fell: "Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying, but put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof" (Rom. 13:13). I wanted to read no further, nor did I need to. For instantly, as the sentence ended, there was infused in my heart something like the light of full certainty and all the gloom of doubt vanished away.

St. Augustine of Hippo

As a youth I prayed, "Give me chastity and continence, but not yet."

St. Augustine of Hippo

I read there [in "certain books of the Platonists"] that God the Word was born "not of flesh nor of blood, nor of the will of man, nor the will of the flesh, but of God." But, that "the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us" I found this nowhere there.

St. Augustine of Hippo

Already I had learned from thee that because a thing is eloquently expressed it should not be taken to be as necessarily true; nor because it is uttered with stammering lips should it be supposed false. Nor, again, is it necessarily true because rudely uttered, nor untrue because the language is brilliant. Wisdom and folly both are like meats that are wholesome and unwholesome, and courtly or simple words are like town-made or rustic vessels both kinds of food may be served in either kind of dish.

St. Augustine of Hippo

And these were the dishes wherein to me, hunger-starven for thee, they served up the sun and the moon.

St. Augustine of Hippo

I was not yet in love, yet I loved to love...I sought what I might love, in love with loving.

St. Augustine of Hippo

The weakness of little children's limbs is innocent, not their souls.

St. Augustine of Hippo

Come, brethren, if you wish to be engrafted in the vine. It grieves us to see you thus lie cut off. Number the priests in the very chair of Peter, And see in that order of fathers who succeeded the other. This is the rock which the proud gates of hell overcome not.

St. Augustine of Hippo

All those of you who rejoice in peace, now it is time to judge the truth.... Undoubtedly in days gone by there were holy men as Scripture tells, For God stated that he left behind seven thousand men in safety, And there are many priests and kings who are righteous under the law, There you find so many of the prophets, and many of the people too. Tell me which of the righteous of that time claimed an altar for himself? That wicked nation perpetrated a very large number of crimes, They sacrificed to idols and may prophets were put to death, Yet not a single one of the righteous withdrew from unity. The righteous endured the unrighteous while waiting for the winnower: They all mingled in one temple but were not mingled in their hearts; They said such things against them yet they had a single altar.

St. Augustine of Hippo

Beauty grows in you to the extent that love grows, because charity itself is the soul's beauty.

St. Augustine of Hippo

One does not read in the Gospel that the Lord said: "I will send you the Paraclete who will teach you about the course of the sun and moon." For He willed to make them Christians, not mathematicians.

St. Augustine of Hippo

To wisdom belongs the intellectual apprehension of things eternal; to knowledge, the rational apprehension of things temporal.

St. Augustine of Hippo
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