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Maxims and Truths
St. Augustine of Hippo
we are in the shadow of your wings.
Protect us and bear us up.
You will care for us
as if we were little children,
even to our old age.
When you are our strength,
we are strong;
but when we are our own strength,
we are weak.
Our good always lives in your presence,
and we suffer when we turn our faces
away from you.
We now return to you, O Lord
that we may never turn away again. Amen.
Augustine, On the Lord's Sermon on the Mount 2.3.14
But again one might ask whether we are to pray by words or deeds and
what need there is for prayer, if God already nows what is needful for us.
But it is because the act of prayer clarifies and purges our heart and
makes it more capable of receiving the divine gifts that are poured out
for us in the spirit. God does not give heed to the ambitiousness of our
prayers, because he is always ready to give to us his light, not a visible
light but an intellectual and spiritual one: but we are not always read to
receive it when we turn aside and down to other things out of a desire for
For in prayer there occurs a turning of the heart to he who is
always ready to give if we will but take what he gives: and in that
turning is the purification of the inner eye when the things we crave in
the temporal world are shut out; so that the vision of the pure heart can
bear the pure light that shines divinely without setting or wavering: and
not only bear it, but abide in it; not only without difficulty, but even
with unspeakable joy, with which the blessed life is truly and genuinely
brought to fulfillment.'
Love of God, descend into my heart.
Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling,
and scatter there your cheerful beams.
Dwell in the soul that longs to be your temple.
Water that barren soil overrun with weeds and briars
and lost for lack of cultivating.
Make it fruitful with your dew.
Come, dear refreshment of those who languish.
Come, star and guide of those who sail amidst tempests.
You are the haven of the tossed and shipwrecked.
Come now, glory and crown of the living,
as well as the safeguard of the dying.
Come, sacred Spirit;
Come, and make me fit to receive you.
you never turn aside from the good life, your tongue may be silent but
your actions will cry aloud, and God will perceive your intentions;
for as our ears hear each other’s voices, so do God’s ears hear
our thoughts. (St. Augustine)
Now therefore, brethren,
we urge you to praise God. That is what we are all telling each other
when we say Alleluia. You say to your neighbor, “Praise the Lord!”
and he says the same to you. We are all urging one another to praise
the Lord, and all thereby doing what each of us urges the other to do.
But see that your praise comes from your whole being; in other words,
see that you praise God not with your lips and voices alone, but with
your minds, your lives and all your actions.
We are praising God now, assembled as we are here in church; but when
we go on our various ways again, it seems as if we cease to praise
God. But provided we do not cease to live a good life, we shall always
be praising God. You cease to praise God only when you swerve from
justice and from what is pleasing to God. If you never turn aside from
the good life, your tongue may be silent but your actions will cry
aloud, and God will perceive your intentions; for as our ears hear
each other’s voices, so do God’s ears hear our thoughts.
there are these two periods of time - the one that now is, beset with
the trials and troubles of this life, and the other yet to come, a life
of everlasting serenity and joy - we are given two liturgical seasons,
one before Easter and the other after. The season before Easter
signifies the troubles in which we live here and now, while the time
after Easter which we are celebrating at present signifies the happiness
that will be ours in the future. What we commemorate before Easter is
what we experience in this life; what we celebrate after Easter points
to something we do not yet possess. This is why we keep the first season
with fasting and prayer; but now the fast is over and we devote the
present season to praise. Such is the meaning of the Alleluia we
As the use of remedies is the way to health, so this remedy [Christ]
took up sinners to heal and restore them. And just as surgeons, when
they bind up wounds, do it ...carefully, that there may be a
certain degree of neatness in the binding, so our medicine, Wisdom,
was by His assumption of humanity, adapted to our wounds, curing some of
them by their opposites, some of them by their likes."
(On Christian Doctrine)
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
|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.|
in the midst of them, and saith to them: Peace be to
The Lord, as you have heard, appeared to His
Disciples after His Resurrection, and greeted them,
saying: Peace be to you . This is indeed
peace, and the salutation of Salvation; for salutation
receives its name from salvation. And what better than
that Salvation Itself should greet mankind?
For Christ is our Salvation. For He is our
Salvation Who was wounded for us, and fastened with
nails to the Wood, and taken down from the Wood, and
laid in the sepulchre. But He rose from the sepulchre;
and though His wounds were healed the scars remained.
For this He judged expedient for His Disciples: that
He should keep His scars to heal the wounds of their
The confession of evil works is the first beginning of good works.
each of us as if there were only one of us.
reputation are two things. Conscience is due to yourself, reputation
to your neighbor.
If you are suffering from a bad man's injustice, forgive him lest there be two
bad men. St. Augustine
Lord, work on us, set us on fire, and
clasp us close, be fragrant to us, draw
us to your love, let
us run to you. Amen.
Pray as though everything depended on God.
Work as though everything depended on you.
~~ St. Augustine