Category Archives: Augustine of Hippo

Augustine on Teaching with Eloquence

“For teaching, of course, true eloquence consists, not in making people like what they disliked, nor in making them do what they shrank from, but in making clear what was obscure; yet if this be done without grace of style, … Continue reading

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Pride Takes God from Man

“Now these are: first, pride; second, envy; third, anger; fourth, despair; fifth, covetousness, sixth, gluttony; seventh, lust.  Of these, three despoil man (hominem); the fourth scourges him when despoiled; the fifth ejects him when scourged; the sixth seduces him when … Continue reading

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Memory, Understanding, and Will

“Now this trinity* of the mind is God’s image, not because the mind remembers, understands and loves itself; but because it has the power also to remember, understand and love its Maker.  And it is in so doing that it … Continue reading

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The Interrogation of Mercy

Augustine of Hippo (d. 430) teaches on John 1:16  “And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.” “What grace did we, in the first instance, receive?  Faith: walking in faith, we walk in grace.  How have … Continue reading

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Humility

“And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be humbled: and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” Matthew 23:12 (Douay-Rheims) In my last post we saw how Augustine asserted that pride began as a perverse exaltation of the self above … Continue reading

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Pride Goes Before Destruction

“Pride goeth before destruction and the spirit is lifted up before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18 (Douay-Rheims) Pride (superbia) was the foundation of all sin in medieval piety and theology.  A concept well-established on the Bible and the Church Fathers, pride … Continue reading

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Augustine on Just War

“What is the evil of war? Is it the death of some who will soon die in any case, that others may live in peaceful subjection? This is merely cowardly dislike, not any religious feeling.  The real evils in war … Continue reading

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Grant What You Command

“My entire hope is exclusively in your very great mercy.  Grant what you command, and command what you will.  You require continence.  A certain writer has said (Wisd. 8. 21): ‘As I knew that no one can be continent except … Continue reading

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Augustine on the Use of Symbols

“But, all those truths which are presented to us in figures tend, in some manner, to nourish and arouse that flame of love by the impulse of which we are carried upward and inward toward rest, and they stir and … Continue reading

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Augustine on the Use of History

“Whatever the subject called history reveals about the sequence of past events is of the greatest assistance in interpreting the holy books, even if learnt outside the church as part of primary education.” Augustine of Hippo, On Christian Teaching II. XXVll., trans. … Continue reading

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