Saint Augustine Quotes | Quotes by Saint Augustine

1By means of corporal and temporal things we may comprehend the eternal and the spiritual.

2If bodies please thee, praise God on occasion of them, and turn back thy love upon their Maker; lest in these things which please thee, thou displease. If souls please thee, be they loved in God: for they too are mutable, but in Him they are firmly established.

3I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write.

4Poltinus the Platonist proves by means of the blossoms and leaves that from the Supreme God, whose beauty is invisible and ineffable, Providence reaches down to the things of earth here below. He points out that these frail and mortal objects could not be endowed with a beauty so immaculate and so exquisitely wrought, did they not issue from the Divinity which endlessly prevades with its invisible and unchanging beauty all things.

5Near our vineyard there was a pear tree laden with fruit that was not attractive in either flavor or form. One night, when I [at the age of sixteen] had played until dark on the sandlot with some other juvenile delinquents, we went to shake that tree and carry off its fruit. From it we carried off huge loads, not to feast on, but to throw to the pigs, although we did eat a few ourselves. We did it just because it was forbidden.

6The entire most beautiful order of things that are very good, when their measures have been accomplished, is to pass away.

7Love begins with a smile, grows with a kiss, and ends with a teardrop.

8Do 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.

9Do you desire security? Here you have it. The Lord says to you, "I will never abandon you, I will always be with you." If a good man made you such a promise, you would trust him. God makes it, and do you doubt? Do you seek a support more sure than the word of God, which is infallible? Surely, He has made the promise, He has written it, He has pledged His word for it, it is most certain.

10I asked the whole frame of the world about my God; and he answered, I am not He, but He made me.

Saint Augustine Quotes

11The sufficiency of my merit is to know that my merit is not sufficient.

12I inquired what wickedness is, and I didn't find a substance, but a perversity of will twisted away from the highest substance - You, O God - towards inferior things, rejecting its own inner life and swelling with external matters.

13The greatest kindness one can render to any man is leading him to truth.

14God has no need of your money, but the poor have. You give it to the poor, and God receives it.

15I was not yet in love, yet I loved to love...I sought what I might love, in love with loving.

16Let us leave a little room for reflection in our lives, room too for silence. Let us look within ourselves and see whether there is some delightful hidden place inside where we can be free of noise and argument. Let us hear the Word of God in stillness and perhaps we will then come to understand it.

17The good man, though a slave, is free; the wicked, though he reigns, is a slave, and not the slave of a single man, but- what is worse - the slave of as many masters as he has vices.

18The customs of God's people and the institutions of our ancestors are to be considered as laws. And those who throw contempt on the customs of the Church ought to be punished as those who disobey the law of God.

19We can know what God is not, but we cannot know what He is.

20Love is ever new because it never groweth old.

Saint Augustine Quotes

21If we did not have rational souls, we would not be able to believe.

22Wonderful is the depth of thy words, whose surface is before us, gently leading on the little ones: and yet a wonderful deepness, O my God, a wonderful deepness. It is awe to look into it; even an awfulness of honour, and a trembling of love.

23You never go away from us, yet we have difficulty in returning to You. Come, Lord, stir us up and call us back. Kindle and seize us. Be our fire and our sweetness. Let us love. Let us run.

24Let necessity, and not your will, slay the enemy who fights against you.

25It is not with respect to our convenience or discomfort, but with respect to their own nature that the creatures are glorifying to their Artificer.

26A marriage without children is the world without the sun.

27Truth is not private property.

28I did not find you outside, O Lord, because I made the mistake of seeking outside you who were within

29In doing what we ought we deserve no praise, because it is our duty.

30God is not what you imagine or what you think you understand. If you understand you have failed.

Saint Augustine Quotes

31Free curiosity has greater power to stimulate learning than rigorous coercion. Nevertheless, the free ranging flux of curiosity is channeled by discipline under Your Law.

32Love, and He will draw near; love, and He will dwell within you.

33Divine Scripture is wont to frame, as it were, allurements for children from the things which are found in the creature; whereby, according to their measure, and as it were by steps, the affections of the weak may be moved to seek those things that are above, and to leave those things that are below. But the same Scripture rarely employs those things which are spoken properly of God, and are not found in any creature; as, for instance, that which was said to Moses, I am that I am; and, I Am has sent me to you."

34Two works of mercy set a person free: Forgive and you will be forgiven, and give and you will receive.

35A young man had become possessed by a devil. The thing within him burst into loud lamentation and departed from the man. At once the youth's eye fell out on his cheek, and the whole of the pupil which had been black became white.

36Our rewards in heaven are a result of God's crowning His own gifts.

37He who is filled with love is filled with God himself.

38In the Catholic Church, there are many other things which most justly keep me in her bosom. The consent of peoples and nations keeps me in the Church; so does her authority, inaugurated by miracles, nourished by hope, enlarged by love, established by age. The succession of priests keeps me, beginning from the very seat of the Apostle Peter, to whom the Lord, after His resurrection, gave it in charge to feed His sheep (Jn 21:15-19), down to the present episcopate.

39What 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.

40God is best known in not knowing him.

Saint Augustine Quotes

41Just as it is agreed that we all wish to be happy, so it is that we all wish to be wise, since no one without wisdom is happy.

42Every good and true Christian should understand that wherever he may find the truth it is his Lord's.

43Sin is to a nature what blindness is to an eye. The blindness of an evil or defect which is a witness to the fact that the eye was created to see the light and, hence, the very lack of sight is the proof that the eye was meant... to be the one particularly capable of seeing the light. Were it not for this capacity, there would be no reason to think of blindness as a misforture.

44Cursed is everyone who places his hope in changing the nature of man

45I want my friend to miss me as long as I miss him.

46True happiness is to rejoice in the truth, for to rejoice in the truth is to rejoice in You, O God, who are the truth... Those who think that there is another kind of happiness look for joy elsewhere, but theirs is not true joy.

47We must understand then, that even though God doesn't always give us what we want, He always gives us what we need for our salvation.

48He was created of a mother whom He created. He was carried by hands that He formed. He cried in the manger in wordless infancy. He, the Word, without whom all human eloquence is mute.

49You are what you love.

50Since you cannot do good to all, you are to pay special attention to those who, by the accidents of time, or place, or circumstances, are brought into closer connection with you.

Saint Augustine Quotes

51I was looking for something to love, for I was in love with loving, and I hated security and a smooth way, free from snares.

52Now, justification in this life is given to us according to these three things: first by the laver of regeneration by which all sins are forgiven; then, by a struggle with the faults from whose guilt we have been absolved; the third, when our prayer is heard, in which we say: 'Forgive us our debts,' because however bravely we fight against our faults, we are men; but the grace of God so aids as we fight in this corruptible body that there is reason for His hearing us as we ask forgiveness.

53The good man, though a slave, is free; the wicked, though he reigns, is a slave.

54He who created us without our help will not save us without our consent.

55If you would attain to what you are not yet, you must always be displeased by what you are. For where you are pleased with yourself there you have remained. Keep adding, keep walking, keep advancing.

56Love, and do what you will. If you are silent, be silent for love; or if you cry out, cry out for love. If you chastise, chastise for love; if you spare, spare for love.

57Oh, beauty, ever ancient and ever new.

58God is more anxious to bestow his blessings on us than we are to receive them.

59In all your movements, let nothing be evident that would offend the eyes of another.

60Heretics think false things about God and call it their faith.