Ambrose Quotes | Quotes by Ambrose

1Love is like a shadow, one can only catch it by falling into it.

2How far, O rich, do you extend your senseless avarice? Do you intend to be the sole inhabitants of the earth? Why do you drive out the fellow sharers of nature, and claim it all for yourselves? The earth was made for all, rich and poor, in common. Why do you rich claim it as your exclusive right?

3No one heals himself by wounding another.

4As the print of the seal on the wax is the express image of the seal itself, so Christ is the express image - the perfect representation of God.

5... these three witnesses are one, as John said: 'The water, the blood, and the Spirit' (I Jn. 5:8). One in the mystery, not in nature. The water, then, is a witness of burial, the blood is a witness of death, the Spirit is a witness of life. If, then, there be any grace in the water, it is not from the nature of water, but from the presence of the Holy Spirit.

6The devil's snare does not catch you, unless you are first caught by the devil's bait.

7... the Apostle Paul says that we are sealed in the Spirit (cf. Eph. 1:13); since we have in the Son the image of the Father, and in the Spirit the seal of the Son. Let us, then, sealed by this Trinity, take more diligent heed, lest either levity of character or the deceit of any unfaithfulness unseal the pledge which we have received in our hearts.

8The world has been created for everyone's use, but you few rich are trying to keep it up for yourselves. For not merely the possession of the earth, but the very sky, the air, and the sea are claimed for the use of the rich few... The earth belongs to all, not just to the rich.

9Accordingly, death is a harbor of peace for the just, but is believed a shipwreck for the wicked.

10We must follow the ways of the Lord, and take heed to our own ways, lest they lead us into sin. One can take heed if one is not hasty in speaking. The law says: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord your God' (Dt. 6:4). It said not: 'Speak,' but 'Hear.' Eve fell because she said to the man what she had not heard from the Lord her God. The first word from God says to you: Hear!

Ambrose Quotes

11May each one of us glorify the Lord with the soul of Mary and rejoice in God with the spirit of Mary

12True repentance is to cease from sin.

13We do not innovate anything ... How is it that novelties are introduced which were never even thought of by our predecessors?

14God drove Cain out of his presence and sent him into exile far away from his native land, so that he passed from a life of human kindness to one which was more akin to the rude existence of a wild beast.

15It is a better thing to save souls for the Lord than to save treasures. He who sent forth his apostles without gold had not need of gold to form his Church. The Church possesses gold, not to hoard, but to scatter abroad and come to the aid of the unfortunate.

16And let them remember that prayer should accompany the reading of Sacred Scripture, so that God and man may talk together; for "we speak to Him when we pray; we hear Him when we read the divine saying."

17Neither angel, nor archangel, nor yet even the Lord Himself (who alone can say "I am with you"), can, when we have sinned, release us, unless we bring repentance with us.

18For how can we adopt those things which we do not find in the holy Scriptures?

19If every time the blood is poured out it is poured out for the remission of sins, I ought to receive it always, that my sins may always be forgiven me.

20When we speak about wisdom, we are speaking about Christ. When we speak about virtue, we are speaking about Christ. When we speak about justice, we are speaking about Christ. When we speak about peace, we are speaking about Christ. When we speak about truth and life and redemption, we are speaking about Christ.

Ambrose Quotes

21When we find ouselves in some grave danger we must not lose courage but firmly trust in God, for where there is the greatest danger, there is also the greatest help from Him who wants to be called our 'Help' in times of peace and in times of tribulation.

22What will you do if your product still further increases next year? You should then destroy again the warehouses which you are now preparing to build, and build bigger. For the reason why God has given you fruitful harvests is that He might either overcome your avarice or condemn it; wherefore you can have no excuse. But you keep for yourself what He wished to be produced through you for the benefit of many - nay, rather, you rob even yourself of it, since you would better preserve it for yourself if you distributed it to others.

23...Now since you are celebrating the holy Pascha, you should know, brethren, what the Pascha is. Pascha means the crossing-over, and so the Festival is called by this name. For it was on this day that the Children of Israel crossed over out of Egypt, and the Son of God crossed over from this world to His Father. What gain is it to celebrate unless you imitate Him Whom you worship; that is, unless you cross over from Egypt, that is, from the darkness of evildoing to the light of virtue, from the love of this world to the love of your heavenly home?

24The prime objective of all Initiatory music in the Temples of Antiquity was to bring about physical purification and renewal, mental stimulation and alertness, spiritual exhilaration and Illumination.

25He who reads much and understands much, receives his fill. He who is full, refreshes others.

26If someone offends you, don't tell anyone about it except your elder, and you will be peaceful. Bow to everyone, paying no attention whether they respond to your bow or not. You must humble yourself before everyone and consider yourself the worst of all. If we have not committed the sins that others have, perhaps this is because we did not have the opportunity - the situation and circumstances were different. In each person there is something good and something bad; we usually see only the vices in people and we see nothing that is good.

27When in Rome, live in the Roman way.

28The wise man does nothing but what can be done openly and without falseness, nor does he do anything whereby he may involve himself in any wrong-doing, even where he may escape notice. For he is guilty in his own eyes before being so in the eyes of others; and the publicity of his crime does not bring him more shame than his own consciousness of it.

29We should pray to the angels, for they are given to us as guardians.

30But if these beings guard you, they do so because they have been summoned by your prayers.

Ambrose Quotes

31If you offer fasting with humility and with mercy, your bones, as Isaiah said, shall be fat, and you shall be like a well-watered garden (cf. Isa. 58:11). So, then, your soul shall grow fat and its virtues also by the spiritual richness of fasting, and your fruits shall be multiplied by the fertility of your mind, so that there may be in you the inebriation of soberness, like that cup of which the Prophet says: 'Your cup which inebriates, how excellent it is' (Ps. 23:5 LXX)!

32The likeness of Your Church, O Lord, is that woman who went behind and touched the hem of Your garment, saying within herself: 'If I do but touch His garment I shall be whole' (Mt. 9:21). So the Church confesses her wounds, but desires to be healed.

33Remember, then, that you received a spiritual seal, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of knowledge and reverence, the spirit of holy fear. Keep safe what you received. God the Father sealed you, Christ the Lord strengthened you and sent the Spirit into your hearts as the pledge of what is to come.

34It is Peter himself that He says, 'You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church.' Where Peter is, there is the Church. And where the Church, no death is there, but life eternal.

35If you have two shirts in your closet, one belongs to you and the other to the man with no shirt.

36It is not enough just to wish well; we must also do well.

37What is impossible to God? Not that which is difficult to His power, but that which is contrary to His nature.

38It is easier to look wise than to talk wisely.

39The body should be bedecked naturally and without affectation, with simplicity, with neglect rather than nicety, not with costly and dazzling apparel, but with ordinary clothes, so that nothing be lacking to honesty and necessity, yet nothing be added to increase its beauty.

40Let your door stand open to receive Him, unlock your soul to Him, offer Him a welcome in your mind, and then you will see the riches of simplicity, the treasures of peace, the joy of grace. Throw wide the gate of your heart, stand before the sun of the everlasting light.

Ambrose Quotes

41The Church was redeemed at the price of Christ's blood. Jew or Greek, it makes no difference; but if he has believed, he must circumcise himself from his sins [in baptism (Col. 2:11-12)] so that he can be saved . . . for no one ascends into the kingdom of heaven except through the sacrament of baptism . . . "Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God"

42The rich man who gives to the poor does not bestow alms but pays a debt.

43It was not by dialectic that it pleased God to save His people.

44If it is "daily bread," why do you take it once a year? . . . Take daily what is to profit you daily. Live in such a way that you may deserve to receive it daily. He who does not deserve to receive it daily, does not deserve to receive it once a year.

45There is no time of life past learning something.

46As in paradise, God walks in the Holy Scriptures, seeking man.

47In some causes silence is dangerous.

48The rich women, to avoid dividing the inheritance among many, kill their own fetus in the womb and with murderous juices extinguish in the genital chamber their children.

49Your soul must hold fast to Him, you must follow after Him in your thoughts, you must tread His ways by faith, not in outward show.

50If you are at Rome live in the Roman style; if you are elsewhere live as they live elsewhere.

Ambrose Quotes

51Nature has poured forth all things for the common use of all men. And God has ordained that all things should be produced that there might be food in common for all, and that the earth should be in the common possession of all. Nature created common rights, but usurpation has transformed them into private rights.

52Prayer is the wing wherewith the soul flies to heaven, and meditation the eye wherewith we see God.

53There is nothing evil save that which perverts the mind and shackles the conscience.

54The devil tempts that he may ruin; God tests that he may crown.

55We ask for what reason our Lord was unwilling to state the time of His coming (cf. Mk. 13:31-32). If we ask it, we shall not find it is owing to ignorance, but to wisdom. For it was not to our advantage to know; in order that we being ignorant of the actual moments of judgment to come, might ever be as it were on guard, and set on the watch-tower of virtue, and so avoid the habits of sin; lest the day of the Lord should come upon us in the midst of our wickedness.

56It is not the ambassador, it is not the messenger, but the Lord Himself that saveth His people. The Lord remaineth alone, for no man can be partner with God in forgiving sins; this office belongs solely to Christ, who taketh away the sins of the world.

57Do not desert a friend in time of need, nor forsake him nor fail him, for friendship is the support of life. Let us then bear our burdens as the Apostle has taught (cf. Gal. 6:2): for he spoke to those whom the charity of the same one body had embraced together. If friends in prosperity help friends, why do they not also in times of adversity offer their support? Let us aid by giving counsel, let us offer our best endeavors, let us sympathize with them with all our heart.

58Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Spirit he cannot enter the kingdom of God. No one is excepted, not [even] the infant.

59On consideration.. .of the reason wherefore men have so far gone astray, or that many - alas! - should follow diverse ways of belief concerning the Son of God, the marvel seems to be, not at all that human knowledge has been baffled in dealing with superhuman things, but that it has not submitted to the authority of the Scriptures

60Cogito cogito ergo cogito sum (I think that I think, therefore I think that I am.)