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Confessions (Oxford World's Classics) Confessions by Augustine of Hippo
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Confessions Quotes (showing 1-30 of 151)
“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
“And men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains, the mighty waves of the sea, the broad tides of rivers, the compass of the ocean, and the circuits of the stars, yet pass over the mystery of themselves without a thought.”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
“The punishment of every disordered mind is its own disorder.”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
“The mind commands the body and is instantly obeyed. The mind commands itself and meets resistance.”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
“How can the past and future be, when the past no longer is, and the future is not yet? As for the present, if it were always present and never moved on to become the past, it would not be time, but eternity.”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
“I held my heart back from positively accepting anything, since I was afraid of another fall, and in this condition of suspense I was being all the more killed.”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
“Belatedly I loved thee, O Beauty so ancient and so new, belatedly I loved thee. For see, thou wast within and I was without, and I sought thee out there. Unlovely, I rushed heedlessly among the lovely things thou hast made. Thou wast with me, but I was not with thee. These things kept me far from thee; even though they were not at all unless they were in thee. Thou didst call and cry aloud, and didst force open my deafness. Thou didst gleam and shine, and didst chase away my blindness. Thou didst breathe fragrant odors and I drew in my breath; and now I pant for thee. I tasted, and now I hunger and thirst. Thou didst touch me, and I burned for thy peace.”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
“Tolle, lege: take up and read.”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
“You 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.”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
“The Bible was composed in such a way that as beginners mature, its meaning grows with them.”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
“I was in misery, and misery is the state of every soul overcome by friendship with mortal things and lacerated when they are lost. Then the soul becomes aware of the misery which is its actual condition even before it loses them.”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
“Too late came I to love you, O Beauty both so ancient and so new! Too late came I to love you - and behold you were with me all the time . . .”
Augustine of Hippo, Les Confessions
“For what am I to myself without You, but a guide to my own downfall?”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
“Late have I loved you, beauty so old and so new: late have I loved you. And see, you were within and I was in the external world and sought you there, and in my unlovely state I plunged into those lovely created things which you made. You were with me, and I was not with you. The lovely things kept me far from you, though if they did not have their existence in you, they had no existence at all. You called and cried out loud and shattered my deafness. You were radiant and resplendent, you put to flight my blindness. You were fragrant, and I drew in my breath and now pant after you. I tasted you, and I feel but hunger and thirst for you. You touched me, and I am set on fire to attain the peace which is yours.”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
“You called and shouted and burst my deafness. You flashed, shone, and scattered my blindness. You breathed odors, and I drew in breath and panted for You. I tasted, and I hunger and thirst. You touched me, and I burned for Your peace.”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
“Da mihi castitatem et continentiam, sed noli modo (Give me chastity and continence, but not just yet)!”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
“You are my Lord, because You have no need of my goodness.”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
“No one knows what he himself is made of, except his own spirit within him, yet there is still some part of him which remains hidden even from his own spirit; but you, Lord, know everything about a human being because you have made him...Let me, then, confess what I know about myself, and confess too what I do not know, because what I know of myself I know only because you shed light on me, and what I do not know I shall remain ignorant about until my darkness becomes like bright noon before your face.”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
“For I wondered that others, subject to death, did live, since
he whom I loved, as if he should never die, was dead; and I wondered
yet more that myself, who was to him a second self, could live, he
being dead. Well said one of his friend, "Thou half of my soul"; for
I felt that my soul and his soul were "one soul in two bodies": and
therefore was my life a horror to me, because I would not live halved.
And therefore perchance I feared to die, lest he whom I had much loved
should die wholly.”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
“Free curiosity has greater power to stimulate learning than rigorous coercion. Nevertheless, the free ranging flux of curiosity is channeled by discipline under Your Law.”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
“Life is a misery, death an uncertainty. Suppose it steals suddenly upon me, in what state shall I leave this world? When can I learn what I have here neglected to learn? Or is it true that death will cut off and put an end to all care and all feeling? This is something to be inquired into.

But no, this cannot be true. It is not for nothing, it is not meaningless that all over the world is displayed the high and towering authority of the Christian faith.

Such great and wonderful things would never have been done for us by God, if the life of the soul were to end with the death of the body. Why then do I delay? Why do I not abandon my hopes of this world and devote myself entirely to the search for God and for the happy life?”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
“Give me yourself, O my God, give yourself back to me. Lo, I love you, but if my love is too mean, let me love more passionately. I cannot gauge my love, nor know how far it fails, how much more love I need for my life to set its course straight into your arms, never swerving until hidden in the covert of your face. This alone I know, that without you all to me is misery, woe outside myself and woe within, and all wealth but penury, if it is not my God.”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
“For you [God] are infinite and never change. In you 'today' never comes to an end: and yet our 'today' does come to an end in you, because time, as well as everything else, exists in you. If it did not, it would have no means of passing. And since your years never come to an end, for you they are simply 'today'...But you yourself are eternally the same. In your 'today' you will make all that is to exist tomorrow and thereafter, and in your 'today' you have made all that existed yesterday and for ever before.”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
“I look forward, not to what lies ahead of me in this life and will surely pass away, but to my eternal goal. I am intent upon this one purpose, not distracted by other aims, and with this goal in view I press on, eager for the prize, God's heavenly summons. Then I shall listen to the sound of Your praises and gaze at Your beauty ever present, never future, never past. But now my years are but sighs. You, O Lord, are my only solace. You, my Father, are eternal. But I am divided between time gone by and time to come, and its course is a mystery to me. My thoughts, the intimate life of my soul, are torn this way and that in the havoc of change. And so it will be until I am purified and melted by the fire of Your love and fused into one with You.”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
“I recall how miserable I was, and how one day you brought me to a realization of my miserable state. I was preparing to deliver a eulogy upon the emperor in which I would tell plenty of lies with the object of winning favor with the well-informed by my lying; so my heart was panting with anxiety and seething with feverish, corruptive thoughts. As I passed through a certain district in Milan I noticed a poor beggar, drunk, as I believe, and making merry. I groaned and pointed out to the friends who were with me how many hardships our idiotic enterprises entailed. Goaded by greed, I was dragging my load of unhappiness along, and feeling it all the heavier for being dragged. Yet while all our efforts were directed solely to the attainment of unclouded joy, it appeared that this beggar had already beaten us to the goal, a goal which we would perhaps never reach ourselves. With the help of the few paltry coins he had collected by begging this man was enjoying the temporal happiness for which I strove by so bitter, devious and roundabout a contrivance. His joy was no true joy, to be sure, but what I was seeking in my ambition was a joy far more unreal; and he was undeniably happy while I was full of foreboding; he was carefree, I apprehensive. If anyone had questioned me as to whether I would rather be exhilarated or afraid, I would of course have replied, "Exhilarated"; but if the questioner had pressed me further, asking whether I preferred to be like the beggar, or to be as I was then, I would have chosen to be myself, laden with anxieties and fears. Surely that would have been no right choice, but a perverse one? I could not have preferred my condition to his on the grounds that I was better educated, because that fact was not for me a source of joy but only the means by which I sought to curry favor with human beings: I was not aiming to teach them but only to win their favor.”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
“For a sentence is not complete unless each word, once its syllables have been pronounced, gives way to make room for the next...They are set up on the course of their existence, and the faster they climb towards its zenith, the more they hasten towards the point where they exist no more.”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
“Your best servant is the person who does not attend so much to hearing what he himself wants as to willing what he has heard from you.”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
“The soul is "torn apart in a painful condition as long as it prefers the eternal because of its Truth but does not discard the temporal because of familiarity.”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
“What do I love when I love my God?”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions
tags: god
“The mind commands the body and is instantly obeyed. The mind commands itself and meets resistance. The mind commands the hand to move, and it so easy that one hardly distinguishes the order from its execution. Yet mind is mind and hand is body. The mind orders the mind to will. The recipient of the order is itself, yet it does not perform it.”
Augustine of Hippo, Confessions

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