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St. Augustine

St. Augustine (354 - 430)

Read freely text sermons and articles by the speaker St. Augustine in text and pdf format. Was an early Christian theologian and philosopher [5] whose writings influenced the development of Western Christianity and Western philosophy. He was the bishop of Hippo Regius in north Africa and is viewed as one of the most important Church Fathers in Western Christianity for his writings in the Patristic Era. Among his most important works are The City of God and Confessions.

When the Western Roman Empire began to disintegrate, Augustine developed the concept of the Church as a spiritual City of God, distinct from the material Earthly City. His thoughts profoundly influenced the medieval worldview. The segment of the Church that adhered to the concept of the Trinity as defined by the Council of Nicaea and the Council of Constantinople closely identified with Augustine's On the Trinity.

showing from 51 to 100 of 433 articles

CONFESSIONS - BOOK IV - CHAPTER XIII
      20. These things I did not understand at that time, and I loved those inferior beauties, and I was sinking down to the very depths. And I said to my friends: "Do we love anything but the beautiful? What then is the beautiful? And what is beauty? What is ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK IV - CHAPTER XIV
      21. What was it, O Lord my God, that prompted me to dedicate these books to Hierius, an orator of Rome, a man I did not know by sight but whom I loved for his reputation of learning, in which he was famous--and also for some words of his that I had heard ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK IV - CHAPTER XV
      24. But I had not seen how the main point in these great issues [concerning the nature of beauty] lay really in thy craftsmanship, O Omnipotent One, "who alone doest great wonders."[107] And so my mind ranged through the corporeal forms, and I defined a ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK IV - CHAPTER XVI
      26. But I pushed on toward thee, and was pressed back by thee that I might know the taste of death, for "thou resistest the proud."[112] And what greater pride could there be for me than, with a marvelous madness, to assert myself to be that nature whic ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK IX - CHAPTER I
      1. "O Lord, I am thy servant; I am thy servant and the son of thy handmaid. Thou hast loosed my bonds. I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving."[267] Let my heart and my tongue praise thee, and let all my bones say, "Lord, who is like unto t ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK IX - CHAPTER II
      2. And it seemed right to me, in thy sight, not to snatch my tongue's service abruptly out of the speech market, but to withdraw quietly, so that the young men who were not concerned about thy law or thy peace, but with mendacious follies and forensic st ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK IX - CHAPTER III
      5. Verecundus was severely disturbed by this new happiness of mine, since he was still firmly held by his bonds and saw that he would lose my companionship. For he was not yet a Christian, though his wife was; and, indeed, he was more firmly enchained by ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK IX - CHAPTER IV
      7. Finally the day came on which I was actually to be relieved from the professorship of rhetoric, from which I had already been released in intention. And it was done. And thou didst deliver my tongue as thou hadst already delivered my heart; and I bless ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK IX - CHAPTER IX
      19. Thus modestly and soberly brought up, she was made subject to her parents by thee, rather more than by her parents to thee. She arrived at a marriageable age, and she was given to a husband whom she served as her lord. And she busied herself to gain h ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK IX - CHAPTER V
      9. By turns I trembled with fear and warmed with hope and rejoiced in thy mercy, O Father. And all these feelings showed forth in my eyes and voice when thy good Spirit turned to us and said, "O sons of men, how long will you be slow of heart, how long w ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK IX - CHAPTER VI
      14. When the time arrived for me to give in my name, we left the country and returned to Milan. Alypius also resolved to be born again in thee at the same time. He was already clothed with the humility that befits thy sacraments, and was so brave a tamer ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK IX - CHAPTER VII
      15. The church of Milan had only recently begun to employ this mode of consolation and exaltation with all the brethren singing together with great earnestness of voice and heart. For it was only about a year--not much more--since Justina, the mother of t ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK IX - CHAPTER VIII
      17. Thou, O Lord, who makest men of one mind to dwell in a single house, also broughtest Evodius to join our company. He was a young man of our city, who, while serving as a secret service agent, was converted to thee and baptized before us. He had relinq ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK IX - CHAPTER X
      23. As the day now approached on which she was to depart this life--a day which thou knewest, but which we did not--it happened (though I believe it was by thy secret ways arranged) that she and I stood alone, leaning in a certain window from which the ga ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK IX - CHAPTER XI
      27. I do not well remember what reply I made to her about this. However, it was scarcely five days later--certainly not much more--that she was prostrated by fever. While she was sick, she fainted one day and was for a short time quite unconscious. We hur ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK IX - CHAPTER XII
      29. I closed her eyes; and there flowed in a great sadness on my heart and it was passing into tears, when at the strong behest of my mind my eyes sucked back the fountain dry, and sorrow was in me like a convulsion. As soon as she breathed her last, the ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK IX - CHAPTER XIII
      34. Now that my heart is healed of that wound--so far as it can be charged against me as a carnal affection--I pour out to thee, O our God, on behalf of thy handmaid, tears of a very different sort: those which flow from a spirit broken by the thoughts of ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK V - CHAPTER I
      1. Accept this sacrifice of my confessions from the hand of my tongue. Thou didst form it and hast prompted it to praise thy name. Heal all my bones and let them say, "O Lord, who is like unto thee?"[120] It is not that one who confesses to thee instruc ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK V - CHAPTER II
      2. Let the restless and the unrighteous depart, and flee away from thee. Even so, thou seest them and thy eye pierces through the shadows in which they run. For lo, they live in a world of beauty and yet are themselves most foul. And how have they harmed ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK V - CHAPTER III
      3. Let me now lay bare in the sight of God the twenty-ninth year of my age. There had just come to Carthage a certain bishop of the Manicheans, Faustus by name, a great snare of the devil; and many were entangled by him through the charm of his eloquence. ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK V - CHAPTER IV
      5. They do not know the way which is thy word, by which thou didst create all the things that are and also the men who measure them, and the senses by which they perceive what they measure, and the intelligence whereby they discern the patterns of measure ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK V - CHAPTER IX
      16. And lo, I was received in Rome by the scourge of bodily sickness; and I was very near to falling into hell, burdened with all the many and grievous sins I had committed against thee, myself, and others--all over and above that fetter of original sin w ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK V - CHAPTER V
      8. And who ordered this Mani to write about these things, knowledge of which is not necessary to piety? For thou hast said to man, "Behold, godliness is wisdom"[133]--and of this he might have been ignorant, however perfectly he may have known these oth ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK V - CHAPTER VI
      10. For almost the whole of the nine years that I listened with unsettled mind to the Manichean teaching I had been looking forward with unbounded eagerness to the arrival of this Faustus. For all the other members of the sect that I happened to meet, whe ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK V - CHAPTER VII
      12. For as soon as it became plain to me that Faustus was ignorant in those arts in which I had believed him eminent, I began to despair of his being able to clarify and explain all these perplexities that troubled me--though I realized that such ignoranc ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK V - CHAPTER VIII
      14. Thou didst so deal with me, therefore, that I was persuaded to go to Rome and teach there what I had been teaching at Carthage. And how I was persuaded to do this I will not omit to confess to thee, for in this also the profoundest workings of thy wis ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK V - CHAPTER X
      18. Thou didst restore me then from that illness, and didst heal the son of thy handmaid in his body, that he might live for thee and that thou mightest endow him with a better and more certain health. After this, at Rome, I again joined those deluding an ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK V - CHAPTER XI
      21. Furthermore, the things they censured in thy Scriptures I thought impossible to be defended. And yet, occasionally, I desired to confer on various matters with someone well learned in those books, to test what he thought of them. For already the words ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK V - CHAPTER XII
      22. I set about diligently to practice what I came to Rome to do--the teaching of rhetoric. The first task was to bring together in my home a few people to whom and through whom I had begun to be known. And lo, I then began to learn that other offenses we ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK V - CHAPTER XIII
      23. When, therefore, the officials of Milan sent to Rome, to the prefect of the city, to ask that he provide them with a teacher of rhetoric for their city and to send him at the public expense, I applied for the job through those same persons, drunk with ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK V - CHAPTER XIV
      24. For, although I took no trouble to learn what he said, but only to hear how he said it--for this empty concern remained foremost with me as long as I despaired of finding a clear path from man to thee--yet, along with the eloquence I prized, there als ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK VI - CHAPTER I
      1. O Hope from my youth,[149] where wast thou to me and where hadst thou gone away?[150] For hadst thou not created me and differentiated me from the beasts of the field and the birds of the air, making me wiser than they? And yet I was wandering about in ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK VI - CHAPTER II
      2. So also my mother brought to certain oratories, erected in the memory of the saints, offerings of porridge, bread, and wine--as had been her custom in Africa--and she was forbidden to do so by the doorkeeper [ostiarius]. And as soon as she learned that ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK VI - CHAPTER III
      3. Nor had I come yet to groan in my prayers that thou wouldst help me. My mind was wholly intent on knowledge and eager for disputation. Ambrose himself I esteemed a happy man, as the world counted happiness, because great personages held him in honor. O ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK VI - CHAPTER IV
      5. Since I could not then understand how this image of thine could subsist, I should have knocked on the door and propounded the doubt as to how it was to be believed, and not have insultingly opposed it as if it were actually believed. Therefore, my anxi ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK VI - CHAPTER IX
      14. But this was all being stored up in his memory as medicine for the future. So also was that other incident when he was still studying under me at Carthage and was meditating at noonday in the market place on what he had to recite--as scholars usually ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK VI - CHAPTER V
      7. Still, from this time forward, I began to prefer the Catholic doctrine. I felt that it was with moderation and honesty that it commanded things to be believed that were not demonstrated--whether they could be demonstrated, but not to everyone, or wheth ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK VI - CHAPTER VI
      9. I was still eagerly aspiring to honors, money, and matrimony; and thou didst mock me. In pursuit of these ambitions I endured the most bitter hardships, in which thou wast being the more gracious the less thou wouldst allow anything that was not thee t ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK VI - CHAPTER VII
      11. Those of us who were living like friends together used to bemoan our lot in our common talk; but I discussed it with Alypius and Nebridius more especially and in very familiar terms. Alypius had been born in the same town as I; his parents were of the ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK VI - CHAPTER VIII
      13. He had gone on to Rome before me to study law--which was the worldly way which his parents were forever urging him to pursue--and there he was carried away again with an incredible passion for the gladiatorial shows. For, although he had been utterly ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK VI - CHAPTER X
      16. I found him at Rome, and he was bound to me with the strongest possible ties, and he went with me to Milan, in order that he might not be separated from me, and also that he might obtain some law practice, for which he had qualified with a view to ple ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK VI - CHAPTER XI
      18. And I especially puzzled and wondered when I remembered how long a time had passed since my nineteenth year, in which I had first fallen in love with wisdom and had determined as soon as I could find her to abandon the empty hopes and mad delusions of ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK VI - CHAPTER XII
      21. Actually, it was Alypius who prevented me from marrying, urging that if I did so it would not be possible for us to live together and to have as much undistracted leisure in the love of wisdom as we had long desired. For he himself was so chaste that ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK VI - CHAPTER XIII
      23. Active efforts were made to get me a wife. I wooed; I was engaged; and my mother took the greatest pains in the matter. For her hope was that, when I was once married, I might be washed clean in health-giving baptism for which I was being daily prepar ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK VI - CHAPTER XIV
      24. Many in my band of friends, consulting about and abhorring the turbulent vexations of human life, had often considered and were now almost determined to undertake a peaceful life, away from the turmoil of men. This we thought could be obtained by brin ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK VI - CHAPTER XV
      25. Meanwhile my sins were being multiplied. My mistress was torn from my side as an impediment to my marriage, and my heart which clung to her was torn and wounded till it bled. And she went back to Africa, vowing to thee never to know any other man and ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK VI - CHAPTER XVI
      26. Thine be the praise; unto thee be the glory, O Fountain of mercies. I became more wretched and thou didst come nearer. Thy right hand was ever ready to pluck me out of the mire and to cleanse me, but I did not know it. Nor did anything call me back fr ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK VII - CHAPTER I
      1. Dead now was that evil and shameful youth of mine, and I was passing into full manhood.[176] As I increased in years, the worse was my vanity. For I could not conceive of any substance but the sort I could see with my own eyes. I no longer thought of t ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK VII - CHAPTER II
      3. But it was not sufficient for me, O Lord, to be able to oppose those deceived deceivers and those dumb orators--dumb because thy Word did not sound forth from them--to oppose them with the answer which, in the old Carthaginian days, Nebridius used to p ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK VII - CHAPTER III
      4. But as yet, although I said and was firmly persuaded that thou our Lord, the true God, who madest not only our souls but our bodies as well--and not only our souls and bodies but all creatures and all things--wast free from stain and alteration and in ... read more

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