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
So I quickly returned to the bench where Alypius was sitting, for there I had put
down the apostle’s 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, Confessions
"Why art thou proud, O man? God for thee became low. Thou wouldst perhaps be ashamed to
imitate a lowly man; then at least imitate the lowly God."
St. Augustine, Confessions
Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of
God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows
God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for
God is love.
In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God
sent his only Son into the world so that we might
have life through him. In this is love: not that we
have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son
as expiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another.
No one has ever seen God. Yet, if we love one another,
God remains in us, and his love is brought to perfection in us.
This is how we know that we remain in him and he in us, that
he has given us of his Spirit.
Moreover, we have seen and testify that the Father sent his Son as
savior of the world. Whoever acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of
God, God remains in him and he in God.
1 John 4:7-15
"It is this Good which we are commanded to love with our whole heart, with
our whole mind, and with all our strength. It is toward this Good that we
should be led by those who love us, and toward this Good we should lead
those whom we love. In this way, we fulfill the commandments on which depend
the whole Law and the Prophets: ‘Thou shalt love the Lord Thy God with thy
whole heart, and thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind’; and ‘Thou shalt
love thy neighbor as thyself.’"
"For, in order that a man might learn how to love himself, a standard was set
to regulate all his actions on which his happiness depends. For, to love one’s
own self is nothing but to wish to be happy, and the standard is union with God.
When, therefore, a person who knows how to love himself is bidden to love his
neighbor as himself, is he not, in effect, commanded to persuade others, as far
as he can, to love God?"
St. Augustine, City of God
by Philippe de Champaigne; 1645-1650; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Los Angeles, California;
August 28 - Saint Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
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The Apostolic Blessing by the Holy See in Rome is bestowed (October 28, 2013)
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