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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 151 to 200 of 433 articles

CONFESSIONS - BOOK X - CHAPTER XVIII
      27. For the woman who lost her small coin[339] and searched for it with a light would never have found it unless she had remembered it. For when it was found, how could she have known whether it was the same coin, if she had not remembered it? I remember ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK X - CHAPTER XX
      29. How, then, do I seek thee, O Lord? For when I seek thee, my God, I seek a happy life. I will seek thee that my soul may live.[340] For my body lives by my soul, and my soul lives by thee. How, then, do I seek a happy life, since happiness is not mine ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK X - CHAPTER XXI
      30. But is it the same kind of memory as one who having seen Carthage remembers it? No, for the happy life is not visible to the eye, since it is not a physical object. Is it the sort of memory we have for numbers? No, for the man who has these in his und ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK X - CHAPTER XXII
      32. Forbid it, O Lord, put it far from the heart of thy servant, who confesses to thee--far be it from me to think I am happy because of any and all the joy I have. For there is a joy not granted to the wicked but only to those who worship thee thankfully ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK X - CHAPTER XXIII
      33. Is it, then, uncertain that all men wish to be happy, since those who do not wish to find their joy in thee--which is alone the happy life--do not actually desire the happy life? Or, is it rather that all desire this, but because "the flesh lusts aga ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK X - CHAPTER XXIV
      35. Behold how great a territory I have explored in my memory seeking thee, O Lord! And in it all I have still not found thee. Nor have I found anything about thee, except what I had already retained in my memory from the time I learned of thee. For where ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK X - CHAPTER XXIX
      40. My whole hope is in thy exceeding great mercy and that alone. Give what thou commandest and command what thou wilt. Thou commandest continence from us, and when I knew, as it is said, that no one could be continent unless God gave it to him, even this ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK X - CHAPTER XXV
      36. But where in my memory dost thou abide, O Lord? Where dost thou dwell there? What sort of lodging hast thou made for thyself there? What kind of sanctuary hast thou built for thyself? Thou hast done this honor to my memory to take up thy abode in it, ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK X - CHAPTER XXVI
      37. Where, then, did I find thee so as to be able to learn of thee? For thou wast not in my memory before I learned of thee. Where, then, did I find thee so as to be able to learn of thee--save in thyself beyond me.[345] Place there is none. We go "backw ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK X - CHAPTER XXVII
      38. Belatedly I loved thee, O Beauty so ancient and so new, belatedly I loved thee. For see, thou wast within and I was without, and I sought thee out there. Unlovely, I rushed heedlessly among the lovely things thou hast made. Thou wast with me, but I wa ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK X - CHAPTER XXVIII
      39. When I come to be united to thee with all my being, then there will be no more pain and toil for me, and my life shall be a real life, being wholly filled by thee. But since he whom thou fillest is the one thou liftest up, I am still a burden to mysel ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK X - CHAPTER XXX
      41. Obviously thou commandest that I should be continent from "the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life."[348] Thou commandest me to abstain from fornication, and as for marriage itself, thou hast counseled something better ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK X - CHAPTER XXXI
      43. There is yet another "evil of the day"[351] to which I wish I were sufficient. By eating and drinking we restore the daily losses of the body until that day when thou destroyest both food and stomach, when thou wilt destroy this emptiness with an am ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK X - CHAPTER XXXII
      48. I am not much troubled by the allurement of odors. When they are absent, I do not seek them; when they are present, I do not refuse them; and I am always prepared to go without them. At any rate, I appear thus to myself; it is quite possible that I am ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK X - CHAPTER XXXIII
      49. The delights of the ear drew and held me much more powerfully, but thou didst unbind and liberate me. In those melodies which thy words inspire when sung with a sweet and trained voice, I still find repose; yet not so as to cling to them, but always s ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK X - CHAPTER XXXIV
      51. There remain the delights of these eyes of my flesh, about which I must make my confession in the hearing of the ears of thy temple, brotherly and pious ears. Thus I will finish the list of the temptations of carnal appetite which still assail me--gro ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK X - CHAPTER XXXIX
      64. Within us there is yet another evil arising from the same sort of temptation. By it they become empty who please themselves in themselves, although they do not please or displease or aim at pleasing others. But in pleasing themselves they displease th ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK X - CHAPTER XXXV
      54. Besides this there is yet another form of temptation still more complex in its peril. For in addition to the fleshly appetite which strives for the gratification of all senses and pleasures--in which its slaves perish because they separate themselves ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK X - CHAPTER XXXVI
      58. Shall we, then, also reckon this vain curiosity among the things that are to be but lightly esteemed? Shall anything restore us to hope except thy complete mercy since thou hast begun to change us? Thou knowest to what extent thou hast already changed ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK X - CHAPTER XXXVII
      60. By these temptations we are daily tried, O Lord; we are tried unceasingly. Our daily "furnace" is the human tongue.[386] And also in this respect thou commandest us to be continent. Give what thou commandest and command what thou wilt. In this matte ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK X - CHAPTER XXXVIII
      63. "I am needy and poor."[389] Still, I am better when in secret groanings I displease myself and seek thy mercy until what is lacking in me is renewed and made complete for that peace which the eye of the proud does not know. The reports that come fro ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK XI - CHAPTER I
      1. Is it possible, O Lord, that, since thou art in eternity, thou art ignorant of what I am saying to thee? Or, dost thou see in time an event at the time it occurs? If not, then why am I recounting such a tale of things to thee? Certainly not in order to ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK XI - CHAPTER II
      2. But how long would it take for the voice of my pen to tell enough of thy exhortations and of all thy terrors and comforts and leadings by which thou didst bring me to preach thy Word and to administer thy sacraments to thy people? And even if I could d ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK XI - CHAPTER III
      5. Let me hear and understand how in the beginning thou madest heaven and earth.[419] Moses wrote of this; he wrote and passed on--moving from thee to thee--and he is now no longer before me. If he were, I would lay hold on him and ask him and entreat him ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK XI - CHAPTER IV
      6. Look around; there are the heaven and the earth. They cry aloud that they were made, for they change and vary. Whatever there is that has not been made, and yet has being, has nothing in it that was not there before. This having something not already e ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK XI - CHAPTER IX
      11. In this Beginning, O God, thou hast made heaven and earth--through thy Word, thy Son, thy Power, thy Wisdom, thy Truth: all wondrously speaking and wondrously creating. Who shall comprehend such things and who shall tell of it? What is it that shineth ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK XI - CHAPTER V
      7. But how didst thou make the heaven and the earth, and what was the tool of such a mighty work as thine? For it was not like a human worker fashioning body from body, according to the fancy of his mind, able somehow or other to impose on it a form which ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK XI - CHAPTER VI
      8. But how didst thou speak? Was it in the same manner in which the voice came from the cloud saying, "This is my beloved Son"[423]? For that voice sounded forth and died away; it began and ended. The syllables sounded and passed away, the second after ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK XI - CHAPTER VII
      9. Thou dost call us, then, to understand the Word--the God who is God with thee--which is spoken eternally and by which all things are spoken eternally. For what was first spoken was not finished, and then something else spoken until the whole series was ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK XI - CHAPTER VIII
      10. Why is this, I ask of thee, O Lord my God? I see it after a fashion, but I do not know how to express it, unless I say that everything that begins to be and then ceases to be begins and ceases when it is known in thy eternal Reason that it ought to be ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK XI - CHAPTER X
      12. Now, are not those still full of their old carnal nature[429] who ask us: "What was God doing before he made heaven and earth? For if he was idle," they say, "and doing nothing, then why did he not continue in that state forever--doing nothing, as ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK XI - CHAPTER XI
      13. Those who say these things do not yet understand thee, O Wisdom of God, O Light of souls. They do not yet understand how the things are made that are made by and in thee. They endeavor to comprehend eternal things, but their heart still flies about in ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK XI - CHAPTER XII
      14. How, then, shall I respond to him who asks, "What was God doing before he made heaven and earth?" I do not answer, as a certain one is reported to have done facetiously (shrugging off the force of the question). "He was preparing hell," he said, ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK XI - CHAPTER XIII
      15. But if the roving thought of someone should wander over the images of past time, and wonder that thou, the Almighty God, the All-creating and All-sustaining, the Architect of heaven and earth, didst for ages unnumbered abstain from so great a work bef ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK XI - CHAPTER XIV
      17. There was no time, therefore, when thou hadst not made anything, because thou hadst made time itself. And there are no times that are coeternal with thee, because thou dost abide forever; but if times should abide, they would not be times. For what ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK XI - CHAPTER XIX
      25. Now, therefore, O Ruler of thy creatures, what is the mode by which thou teachest souls those things which are still future? For thou hast taught thy prophets. How dost thou, to whom nothing is future, teach future things--or rather teach things prese ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK XI - CHAPTER XV
      18. And yet we speak of a long time and a short time; but never speak this way except of time past and future. We call a hundred years ago, for example, a long time past. In like manner, we should call a hundred years hence a long time to come. But we cal ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK XI - CHAPTER XVI
      21. And yet, O Lord, we do perceive intervals of time, and we compare them with each other, and we say that some are longer and others are shorter. We even measure how much longer or shorter this time may be than that time. And we say that this time is tw ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK XI - CHAPTER XVII
      22. I am seeking the truth, O Father; I am not affirming it. O my God, direct and rule me. Who is there who will tell me that there are not three times--as we learned when boys and as we have also taught boys--time past, time present, and time future? ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK XI - CHAPTER XVIII
      23. Give me leave, O Lord, to seek still further. O my Hope, let not my purpose be confounded. For if there are times past and future, I wish to know where they are. But if I have not yet succeeded in this, I still know that wherever they are, they are no ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK XI - CHAPTER XX
      26. But even now it is manifest and clear that there are neither times future nor times past. Thus it is not properly said that there are three times, past, present, and future. Perhaps it might be said rightly that there are three times: a time present o ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK XI - CHAPTER XXI
      27. I have said, then, that we measure periods of time as they pass so that we can say that this time is twice as long as that one or that this is just as long as that, and so on for the other fractions of time which we can count by measuring. So, then ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK XI - CHAPTER XXII
      28. My soul burns ardently to understand this most intricate enigma. O Lord my God, O good Father, I beseech thee through Christ, do not close off these things, both the familiar and the obscure, from my desire. Do not bar it from entering into them; but ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK XI - CHAPTER XXIII
      29. I once heard a learned man say that the motions of the sun, moon, and stars constituted time; and I did not agree. For why should not the motions of all bodies constitute time? What if the lights of heaven should cease, and a potter's wheel still tur ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK XI - CHAPTER XXIV
      31. Dost thou command that I should agree if anyone says that time is "the motion of a body"? Thou dost not so command. For I hear that no body is moved but in time; this thou tellest me. But that the motion of a body itself is time I do not hear; thou ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK XI - CHAPTER XXIX
      39. But "since thy loving-kindness is better than life itself,"[450] observe how my life is but a stretching out, and how thy right hand has upheld me in my Lord, the Son of Man, the Mediator between thee, the One, and us, the many--in so many ways and ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK XI - CHAPTER XXV
      32. And I confess to thee, O Lord, that I am still ignorant as to what time is. And again I confess to thee, O Lord, that I know that I am speaking all these things in time, and that I have already spoken of time a long time, and that "very long" is not ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK XI - CHAPTER XXVI
      33. Does not my soul most truly confess to thee that I do measure intervals of time? But what is it that I thus measure, O my God, and how is it that I do not know what I measure? I measure the motion of a body by time, but the time itself I do not measur ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK XI - CHAPTER XXVII
      34. Press on, O my mind, and attend with all your power. God is our Helper: "it is he that hath made us and not we ourselves."[446] Give heed where the truth begins to dawn.[447] Suppose now that a bodily voice begins to sound, and continues to sound--o ... read more

CONFESSIONS - BOOK XI - CHAPTER XXVIII
      37. But how is the future diminished or consumed when it does not yet exist? Or how does the past, which exists no longer, increase, unless it is that in the mind in which all this happens there are three functions? For the mind expects, it attends, and i ... read more

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