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Augustine of Hippo

Augustine of Hippo  (354-430, 76 years)

A thing is not necessarily true because badly uttered, nor false because spoken magnificently.

Beauty is indeed a good gift of God; but that the good may not think it a great good, God dispenses it even to the wicked.

By faithfulness we are collected and wound up into unity within ourselves, whereas we had been scattered abroad in multiplicity.

Charity is no substitute for justice withheld.

Complete abstinence is easier than perfect moderation.

Do you wish to be great? Then begin by being. Do you desire to construct a vast and lofty fabric? Think first about the foundations of humility. The higher your structure is to be, the deeper must be its foundation.

Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.

Don't you believe that there is in man a deep so profound as to be hidden even to him in whom it is?

Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.

Find out how much God has given you and from it take what you need; the remainder is needed by others.

For, were it not good that evil things should also exist, the omnipotent God would almost certainly not allow evil to be, since beyond doubt it is just as easy for Him not to allow what He does not will, as for Him to do what He will.

Forgiveness is the remission of sins. For it is by this that what has been lost, and was found, is saved from being lost again.

Give me chastity and continence, but not yet.

God had one son on earth without sin, but never one without suffering.

God judged it better to bring good out of evil than to suffer no evil to exist.

God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.

Grant what thou commandest and then command what thou wilt.

He that is jealous is not in love.

He that is kind is free, though he is a slave; he that is evil is a slave, though he be a king.

Hear the other side.

Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance.

I asked the whole frame of the world about my God; and he answered,'' I am not He, but He made me.''

I found thee not, O Lord, without, because I erred in seeking thee without that wert within.

I have learnt to love you late, Beauty at once so ancient and so new!

I have read in Plato and Cicero sayings that are wise and very beautiful; but I have never read in either of them: "Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden.''

I want my friend to miss me as long as I miss him.

If two friends ask you to judge a dispute, don't accept, because you will lose one friend; on the other hand, if two strangers come with the same request, accept because you will gain one friend.

If we live good lives, the times are also good. As we are, such are the times.

If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don't like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.

In the absence of justice, what is sovereignty but organized robbery?

Indeed, man wishes to be happy even when he so lives as to make happiness impossible.

It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.

Love is the beauty of the soul.

Love, and do what you like.

Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.

Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature.

My mind withdrew its thoughts from experience, extracting itself from the contradictory throng of sensuous images, that it might find out what that light was wherein it was bathed... And thus, with the flash of one hurried glance, it attained to the vision of That Which Is.

No eulogy is due to him who simply does his duty and nothing more.

O Holy Spirit, descend plentifully into my heart. Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling and scatter there Thy cheerful beams.

O Lord, help me to be pure, but not yet.

Oh Lord, give me chastity, but do not give it yet.

Our bodies are shaped to bear children, and our lives are a working out of the processes of creation. All our ambitions and intelligence are beside that great elemental point.

Passion is the evil in adultery. If a man has no opportunity of living with another man's wife, but if it is obvious for some reason that he would like to do so, and would do so if he could, he is no less guilty than if he was caught in the act.

Patience is the companion of wisdom.

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

Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.

Punishment is justice for the unjust.

Seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand.

The confession of evil works is the first beginning of good works.

The desire is thy prayers; and if thy desire is without ceasing, thy prayer will also be without ceasing. The continuance of your longing is the continuance of your prayer.

The greatest evil is physical pain.

The people who remained victorious were less like conquerors than conquered.

The purpose of all wars, is peace.

The words printed here are concepts. You must go through the experiences.

The World is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.

There is no possible source of evil except good.

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

Thou must be emptied of that wherewith thou art full, that thou mayest be filled with that whereof thou art empty.

To abstain from sin when one can no longer sin is to be forsaken by sin, not to forsake it.

To many, total abstinence is easier than perfect moderation.

We cannot pass our guardian angel's bounds, resigned or sullen, he will hear our sighs.

What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.

What I needed most was to love and to be loved, eager to be caught. Happily I wrapped those painful bonds around me; and sure enough, I would be lashed with the red-hot pokers or jealousy, by suspicions and fear, by burst of anger and quarrels.

What then is time? If no one asks me, I know what it is. If I wish to explain it to him who asks, I do not know.

Who can map out the various forces at play in one soul? Man is a great depth, O Lord. The hairs of his head are easier by far to count than his feeling, the movements of his heart.

Will is to grace as the horse is to the rider.