If physical objects please you, praise God because of them and turn your love back upon their Creator so that you do not displease Him by means of what pleases you.  If souls please you, let them be loved in God because they, too, are mutable and only when attached to God do they find a firm foundation.  If they went anywhere else, they would perish.  Thus, let them be loved in Him and take what souls you can to Him with you and say to them: “Let us love Him.  He made all these things and He is not far off” [see Acts 17.27-28].  He has not made all this to abandon it, but all that is from Him is in Him.  Look, there He is! – wherever truth is distinguished.  He is deep within the heart, though the heart has strayed from Him.  Return to your heart, you transgressors, and cleave to Him who made you.  Stand with Him, and you will stand fast, indeed.  Take your rest in Him and you will find peace.  Why do you make your way toward what is difficult?  Why are you going there?  The good that you love is from Him.  Insofar as it refers to Him, it is good and sweet.  But, whatever it is that comes from Him, it will justly become bitter – if He has been abandoned – because it is loved unjustly.

From: Confessions: Books 1-8 by Augustine; translated from the Latin by Carolyn J.-B. Hammond; Loeb Classical Library, Volume 26 (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2014), pp. 161-163.  Excerpted from Book 4.  Originally published in about AD 400.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s