AUGUSTINE (selections):
Confessions (Bks. 1, 7, 9, 10);
Serm. 128 (12 on the Nativity);
Tract. 38 on John (8:3-14)
10.6 on Psalm 118.32

  St. Augustine Exhorts an Arian



THE CONFESSIONS (ca. 398-400) Books 1,7,9, &10




 Conf bk 1 Widened Heart  

(The Widened Heart)




1. “GREAT are you, O Lord, and greatly to be praised; great is you power, and infinite is you wisdom.” (cf. Ps. 145:3 and Ps. 147:5) And man desires to praise you, for he is a part of you creation; he bears his mortality about with him and carries the evidence of his sin and the proof that you dost resist the proud. Still he desires to praise you, this man who is only a small part of you creation. You have prompted him, that he should delight to praise you, for you have made us for youself and restless is our heart until it comes to rest in you. Grant me, O Lord, to know and understand whether first to invoke you or to praise you; whether first to know you or call upon you. But who can invoke you, knowing you not? For he who knows you not may invoke you as another than you art. It may be that we should invoke you in order that we may come to know you. But “how shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? Or how shall they believe wiyout a preacher?” (Rom. 10:14) Now, “they shall praise the Lord who seek him,” (Ps. 22:26) for “those who seek shall find him,” (Matt. 7:7) and, finding him, shall praise him. I will seek you, O Lord, and call upon you. I call upon you, O Lord, in my faith which you hast given me, which you hast inspired in me through the humanity of you Son, and through the ministry of you preacher.

Magnus es, domine, et laudabilis valde: magna virtus tua, et sapientiae tuae non est numerus. et laudare te vult homo, aliqua portio creaturae tuae, et homo circumferens mortalitem suam, circumferens testimonium peccati sui et testimonium, quia superbis resistis: et tamen laudare te vult homo, aliqua portio creaturae tuae.tu excitas, ut laudare te delectet, quia fecisti nos ad te et inquietum est cor nostrum, donec requiescat in te. da mihi, domine, scire et intellegere, utrum sit prius invocare te an laudare te, et scire te prius sit an invocare te. sed quis te invocat nesciens te? aliud enim pro alio potest invocare nesciens. an potius invocaris, ut sciaris? quomodo autem invocabunt, in quem non crediderunt? aut quomodo credent sine praedicante? et laudabunt dominum qui requirunt eum. quaerentes enim inveniunt eum et invenientes laudabunt eum. quaeram te, domine, invocans te, et invocem te credens in te: praedicatus enim es nobis. invocat te, domine, fides mea, quam dedisti mihi, quam inspirasti mihi per humanitatem filii tui, per ministerium praedicatoris tui.



2. And how shall I call upon my God--my God and my Lord? For when I call on him I ask him to come into me. And what place is there in me into which my God can come? How could God, the God who made both heaven and earth, come into me? Is there anything in me, O Lord my God, that can contain you? Do even the heaven and the earth, which you hast made, and in which you didst make me, contain you? Is it possible that, since without you nothing would be which does exist, you didst make it so that whatever exists has some capacity to receive you? Why, then, do I ask you to come into me, since I also am and could not be if you were not in me? For I am not, after all, in hell--and yet you are there too, for “if I go down into hell, you are there.” (Ps. 139:8) Therefore I would not exist--I would simply not be at all--unless I exist in you, from whom and by whom and in whom all things are. Even so, Lord; even so. Where do I call you to, when I am already in you? Or from whence wouldst you come into me? Where, beyond heaven and earth, could I go that there my God might come to me--he who hath said, “I fill heaven and earth”? (Jer. 23:24)

Et quomodo invocabo deum meum, deum et dominum meum, quoniam utique inme ipsum eum invocabo, cum invocabo eum? et quis locus est in me, quoveniat in me deus meus? quo deus veniat in me, deus, qui fecit caelum et terram? itane, domine deus meus, est quiquam in me, quod capiat te?an vero caelum et terra, quae fecisti et in quibus me fecisti, capiuntte? an quia sine te non esset quidquid est, fit, ut quidquid est capiat te? quoniam itaque et ego sum, quid peto, ut venias in me, quinon essem, nisi esses in me? non enim ego iam in inferis, et tamen etiam ibi es. nam etsi descendero in infernum, ades. non ergo essem, deus meus, non omnino essem, nisi esses in me. an potius non essem, nisi essem in te, ex quo omnia, per quem omnia, in quo omnia? etiam sic, domine, etiam sic. quo te invoco, cum in te sim? aut unde venias in me? quo enim recedam extra caelum et terram, ut inde in me veniat deus meus, qui dixit: caelum et terram ego impleo?



3. Since, then, you dost fill the heaven and earth, do they contain you? Or, dost you fill and overflow them, because they cannot contain you? And where dost you pour out what remains of you after heaven and earth are full? Or, indeed, is there no need that you, who dost contain all things, should be contained by any, since those things which you dost fill you fill by containing them? For the vessels which you dost fill do not confine you, since even if they were broken, you wouldst not be poured out. And, when you are poured out on us, you are not thereby brought down; rather, we are uplifted. You are not scattered; rather, you dost gather us together. But when you dost fill all things, dost you fill them with you whole being? Or, since not even all things together could contain you altogether, does any one thing contain a single part, and do all things contain that same part at the same time? Do singulars contain you singly? Do greater things contain more of you, and smaller things less? Or, is it not rather that you are wholly present everywhere, yet in such a way that nothing contains you wholly?

Capiunt ergone te caelum et terra, quoniam tu imples ea? an imples et restat, quoniam non te capiunt? et quo refundis quidquid impleto caeloet terra restat ex te? an non opus habes, ut quoquam continearis, qui contines omnia, quoniam quae imples continendo imples? non enim vasa, quae te plena sunt, stabilem te faciunt, quia etsi frangantur non effunderis. et cum effunderis super nos, non tu iaces, sed erigis nos,nec tu dissiparis, sed colligis nos. sed quae imples omnia, te toto imples omnia. an quia non possunt te totum capere omnia, partem tui capiunt et eandem partem simul omnia capiunt? an singulas singula et maiores maiora, minores minora capiunt? ergo est aliqua pars tua maior, aliqua minor? an ubique totus es et res nulla te totum capit?



4. What, therefore, is my God? What, I ask, but the Lord God? “For who is Lord but the Lord himself, or who is God besides our God?” (cf. Ps. 18:31) Most high, most excellent, most potent, most omnipotent; most merciful and most just; most secret and most truly present; most beautiful and most strong; stable, yet not supported; unchangeable, yet changing all things; never new, never old; making all things new, yet bringing old age upon the proud, and they know it not; always working, ever at rest; gathering, yet needing nothing; sustaining, pervading, and protecting; creating, nourishing, and developing; seeking, and yet possessing all things. You dost love, but without passion; are jealous, yet free from care; dost repent without remorse; are angry, yet remain serene. You change your ways, leaving you plans unchanged; you recover what you have never really lost. You are never in need but still you do rejoice at your gains; are never greedy, yet demand dividends. Men pay more than is required so that you do become a debtor; yet who can possess anything at all which is not already yours? You owe men nothing, yet pay out to them as if in debt to you creature, and when you dost cancel debts you lose nothing thereby. Yet, O my God, my life, my holy Joy, what is this that I have said? What can any man say when he speaks of you? But woe to them that keep silence--since even those who say most are dumb.

Quid est ergo deus meus? quid, rogo, nisi dominus deus? quis enim dominus praeter dominum? aut quis deus praeter deum nostrum? summe, optime, potentissime, omnipotentissime, misericordissime et iustissime, secretissime et praesentissime, pulcherrime et fortissime,stabilis et inconprehensibilis, inmutabilis, mutans omnia, numquam novus, numquam vetus, innovans omnia; in vetustatem perducens superboset nesciunt; semper agens, semper quietus, colligens et non egens, portans et implens et protegens, creans et nutriens, perficiens, quaerens, cum nihil desit tibi. amas nec aestuas, zelas et securus es; paenitet te et non doles, irasceris et tranquillus es, opera mutasnec mutas consilium; recipis quod invenis et numquam amisisti; numquaminops et gaudes lucris, numquam avarus et usuras exigis. supererogaturtibi, ut debeas, et quis habet quicquam non tuum? reddens debita nullidebens, donans debita nihil perdens. et quid diximus, deus meus, vita mea, dulcedo mea sancta, aut quid dicit aliquis, cum de te dicit? et vae tacentibus de te, quoniam loquaces muti sunt.



5. Who shall bring me to rest in you? Who will send you into my heart so to overwhelm it that my sins shall be blotted out and I may embrace you, my only good? What are you to me? Have mercy that I may speak. What am I to you that you shouldst command me to love you, and if I do it not, are angry and threaten vast misery? Is it, then, a trifling sorrow not to love you? It is not so to me. Tell me, by you mercy, O Lord, my God, what you are to me. “Say to my soul, I am your salvation.” (Ps. 35:3) So speak that I may hear. Behold, the ears of my heart are before you, O Lord; open them and “say to my soul, I am your salvation.” I will hasten after that voice, and I will lay hold upon you. Hide not you face from me. Even if I die, let me see you face lest I die.

Quis mihi dabit adquiescere in te? quis dabit mihi, ut venias in cor meum et inebries illud, ut obliviscar mala mea et unum bonum meum amplectar, te? quid mihi es? miserere, ut loquar. quid tibi sum ipse, ut amari te iubeas a me et, nisi faciam, irascaris mihi et mineris ingentes miserias? parvane ipsa est, si non amem te? ei mihi! dic mihi per miserationes tuas, domine deus meus, quid sis mihi. dic animae meae: salus tua ego sum. sic dic, ut audiam. ecce aures cordis mei ante te, domine; aperi eas et dic animae meae: salus tua ego sum. curram post vocem hanc et adprehendam te. noli abscondere a me faciem tuam: moriar, ne moriar, ut eam videam.

6. Narrow is the house of my soul is too narrow for you to come in to me; let it be enlarged by you. It is in ruins: restore it. Angusta est domus animae meae, quo venias ad eam: dilatetur abs te. ruinosa est: refice eam.

There is much about it which must offend you eyes; I confess and know it. But who will cleanse it? Or, to whom shall I cry but to you? “Cleanse you me from my secret faults,” O Lord, “and keep back you servant from strange sins.” (cf. Ps. 19:12, 13) “I believe, and therefore do I speak.” (Ps. 116:10) But you, O Lord, you know. Have I not confessed my transgressions unto you, O my God; and hast you not put away the iniquity of my heart? (cf. Ps. 32:5) I do not contend in judgment with you, (cf. Job 9:2) who are truth itself; and I would not deceive myself, lest my iniquity lie even to itself. I do not, therefore, contend in judgment with you, for “if you, Lord, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?” (Ps. 130:3)

habet quae offendant oculos tuos: fateor et scio. sed quis mundabit eam? aut cui alteri praeter te clamabo: ab occultis meis munda me, domine, et ab alienis parce servo tuo? credo, propter quod et loquor. domine, tu scis. nonne tibi prolocutus sum adversum me delicta mea, deus meus, et tu dimisisti inpietatem cordis mei? non iudicio contendotecum, qui veritas es; et ego nolo fallere me ipsum, ne mentiatur iniquitas mea sibi. non ergo iudicio contendo tecum, quia, si iniquitates observaveris, domine, domine, quis sustinebit?


(Platonic and Johannine Doctrine)


7.9.[13] AND first of all, willing to show me how you resist the proud, but give grace to the humble (Js 4.6; 1Pet 5.5), and how mercifully you have made known to men the way of humility in that your Word was made flesh and dwelt among men (Jn 1.14), you procured for me, through one inflated with the most monstrous pride, certain books of the Platonists, translated from Greek into Latin.

Et primo volens ostendere mihi, quam resistas superbis, humilibus autem des gratiam, et quanta misericordia tua demonstrata sit hominibus via humilitatis, quod verbum caro factum est et habitavit inter homines: procurasti mihi per quendam hominem, inmanissimo typho turgidum, quosdam Platonicorum libros ex graeca lingua in latinum versos;

And there I found, not indeed in the same words, but to the same effect, enforced by many and various reasons that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made. That which was made by him is life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shined in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (Jn 1.1-12) et ibi legi non quidem his verbis, sed hoc idem omnino multis et multiplicibus suaderi rationibus, quod in principio erat verbum et verbum erat apud deum et deus erat verbum: hoc erat in principio apud deum; omnia per ipsum facta sunt, et sine ipso factum est nihil; quod factum est, in eo vita est, et vita erat lux hominum; et lux in tenebris lucet, et tenebrae eam non conprehenderunt;
Furthermore, I read that the soul of man, though it “bears witness to the light, (Jn 1.7-8) yet itself “is not the light; but the Word of God, being God, is that true light that lights every man who comes into the world.(Jn 1.9) And further, that “he was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.(Jn 1.10) et quia hominis anima, quamvis testimonium perhibeat de lumine, non est tamen ipsa lumen, sed verbum, deus ipse, est lumen verum, quod inluminat omnem hominem venientem in hunc mundum; et quia in hoc mundo erat, et mundus per eum factus est, et mundus eum non cognovit.
BUT that “he came unto his own, and his own received him not. And as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believed on his name (Jn 1.12) - this I did not find there. quia vero in sua propria venit et sui eum non receperunt, quotquot autem receperunt eum, dedit eis potestatem filios dei fieri, credentibus in nomine eius, non ibi legi.
7.9.[14]. Similarly, I read there that God the Word was born not of flesh nor of blood, nor of the will of man, nor the will of the flesh, but of God. () But, that the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (Jn 1.14) -I found this nowhere there. And I discovered in those books, expressed in many and various ways, that the Son was in the form of God and thought it not robbery to be equal in God, () for he was naturally of the same substance. But, that he emptied himself and took upon himself the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him () from the dead, “and given him a name above every name; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father () - this those books do not have. Item legi ibi, quia verbum, deus, non ex carne, non ex sanguine, neque ex voluntate viri, neque ex voluntate carnis, sed ex deo natus est; sed quia verbum caro factus est et habitavit in nobis, non ibi legi. indagavi quippe in illis litteris varie dictum et in multis modis, quod sit filius in forma patris non rapinam arbitratus esse aequalis deo, quia naturaliter id ipsum est: sed quia semet ipsum exinanivit formam servi accipiens, in similitudinem hominum factus et habitu inventus ut homo, humiliavit se factus oboediens usque ad mortem, mortem autem crucis; propter quod deus eum exaltavit a mortuis, et donavit ei nomen, quod est super omne nomen, ut in nomine Iesu omne genu flectatur caelestium, terrestrium et infernorum et omnis lingua confiteatur, quia dominus Iesus in gloria est dei patris, non habent illi libri.
  (1) FOOD of the STRONG »cont  

(Book 7) CHAPTER 10


(Christ, the Food of the Strong)

7.10.[16]. AND being admonished by these books to return into myself, I entered into my inward soul, guided by you. This I could do because you were my helper. And I entered, and with the eye of my soul--such as it was--saw above the same eye of my soul and above my mind the Immutable Light. Et inde admonitus redire ad memet ipsum, intravi in intima mea, duce te, et potui, quoniam factus es adiutor meus. intravi et vidi qualicumque oculo animae meae supra eundem oculum animae meae, supra mentem meam, lucem incommutabilem: 
    It was not the common light, which all flesh can see; nor was it simply a greater one of the same sort, as if the light of day were to grow brighter and brighter, and flood all space. It was not like that light, but different, yea, very different from all earthly light whatever.  non hanc vulgarem et conspicuam omni carni, nec quasi ex eodem genere grandior erat, tamquam si ista multo multoque clarius claresceret totumque occuparet magnitudine. non hoc illa erat, sed aliud, aliud valde ab istis omnibus. 

Nor was it above my mind in the same way as oil is above water, or heaven above earth[:]

but it was higher,
because it made me,

and I was below it,
because I was made by it

nec ita erat supra mentem meam, sicut oleum super aquam, nec sicut caelum super terram;

sed superior,
quia ipsa fecit me,

et ego inferior,
quia factus ab ea. 

   He who knows the Truth knows that Light, and he who knows it knows eternity. Love knows it, O Eternal Truth and True Love and Beloved Eternity! you are my God, to whom I sigh both night and day. qui novit veritatem, novit eam, et qui novit eam, novit aeternitatem. caritas novit eam. o aeterna veritas et vera caritas et cara aeternitas! tu es deus meus, tibi suspiro die ac nocte. 

   When I first knew you, you drew me up, that I might see that there was something to be seen, though I was not yet fit to see it.

 et cum te primum cognovi, tu assumsisti me, ut viderem esse, quod viderem, et nondum me esse, qui viderem. 

And you beat back the weakness of my sight,

shining forth upon me your dazzling beams of light,

and I trembled with love and fear.

et reverberasti infirmitatem aspectus mei,

radians in me vehementer,

et contremui amore et horrore:

   And I found that I was far away from you in the land of unlikeness, as if I heard your voice from on high:  et inveni longe me esse a te in regione dissimilitudinis, tamquam audirem vocem tuam de excelso: 
   “[ THE FOOD of the STRONG AM I;
            grow and you shall feed on me; 

cibus sum grandium:

 cresce et manducabis me.

you shall not change me into yourself
like fleshly food:


[sic: "my likeness"

nec tu me in te mutabis
sicut cibum carnis tuae,


   tu mutaberis in me

[...] And I said, “Is Truth, therefore, nothing, because it is not diffused through space--neither finite nor infinite?” And you called out to me from afar, [...] et dixi: numquid nihil est veritas, quoniam neque per finita neque per infinita locorum spatia diffusa est? et clamasti de longinquo:

I am Who I am.

   ego sum qui sum.

 And I heard this, as things are heard in the heart, and there was no room for doubt. I should have more readily doubted that I am alive than that the Truth exists--the Truth which is “clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made.”

et audivi, sicut auditor in corde, et non erat prorsus unde dubitarem, faciliusque dubitarem vivere me, quam non esse veritatem, quae per ea, quae facta sunt, intellecta conspicitur.



7.11.[17]. And I viewed all the other things that are beneath you, and I realized that they are neither wholly real nor wholly unreal. They are real insofar as they come from you; but they are unreal in so far as they are not what you are. [...]

Et inspexi cetera infra te, et vidi nec omnino esse nec omnino non esse: esse quidem, quoniam abs te sunt, non esse autem, quoniam id quod es non sunt. i[...]



7.12.[18]. And it was made clear to me that all things are good even if they are corrupted. [...]Therefore, whatsoever is, is good. Evil, then, the origin of which I had been seeking, has no substance at all; [...]

Et manifestatum est mihi, quoniam bona sunt, quae corrumpuntur, [...] ergo quamdiu sunt, bona sunt. ergo quaecumque sunt, bona sunt, malumque illud, quod quaerebam unde esset, non est substantia, [...]



7.13.[19]. To you there is no such thing as evil, and even in your whole creation taken as a whole, there is not; because there is nothing from beyond it that can burst in and destroy the order which you have appointed for it. But in the parts of creation, some things, because they do not harmonize with others, are considered evil. Yet those same things harmonize with others and are good, and in themselves are good. And all these things which do not harmonize with each other still harmonize with the inferior part of creation which we call the earth, having its own cloudy and windy sky of like nature with itself. [...]

Et tibi omnino non est malum, non solum tibi sed nec universae creaturae tuae, quia extra non est aliquid, quod inrumpat et corrumpat ordinem, quem inposuisti ei. in partibus autem eius quaedam quibusdam quia non conveniunt, mala putantur; et eadem ipsa conveniunt aliis et bona sunt, et in semet ipsis bona sunt. et omnia haec, quae sibimet invicem non conveniunt, conveniunt inferiori parti rerum, quam terram dicimus, habentem caelum suum nubilosum atque ventosum congruum sibi. [...]

--seeing this, I no longer desire a better world, because my thought ranged over all, and with a sounder judgment I reflected that the things above were better than those below, yet that all creation together was better than the higher things alone. non iam desiderabam meliora, quia omnia cogitabam, et meliora quidem superiora quam inferiora, sed meliora omnia quam sola superiora iudicio saniore pendebam



(He Ascends from Solitary Contemplation of Creation ... )


7.17.[23].  AND I marveled that I now loved you, and no phantasm in your stead, and yet I was not stable enough to enjoy my God steadily. Instead I was transported to you by your beauty, and then presently torn away from you by my own weight, sinking with grief into these lower things. This weight was carnal habit. But your memory dwelt with me, and I never doubted in the least that there was One for me to cleave to; but I was not yet ready to cleave to you firmly. For the body which is corrupted presses down the soul, and the earthly dwelling weighs down the mind, which muses upon many things. My greatest certainty was that “the invisible things of yours from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even your eternal power and Godhead.” For when I inquired how it was that I could appreciate the beauty of bodies, both celestial and terrestrial; and what it was that supported me in making correct judgments about things mutable; and when I concluded, “This ought to be thus; this ought not”--then when I inquired how it was that I could make such judgments (since I did, in fact, make them), I realized that I had found the unchangeable and true eternity of truth above my changeable mind.

Et mirabar, quod iam te amabam, non pro te phantasma: et non stabam frui deo meo, sed rapiebar ad te decore tuo, moxque diripiebar abs te pondere meo, et ruebam in ista cum gemitu; et pondus hoc consuetudo carnalis. sed mecum erat memoria tui, neque ullo modo dubitabam esse, cui cohaererem, sed nondum me esse, qui cohaererem: quoniam corpus, quod corrumpitur, adgravat animam, et deprimit terrena inhabitatio sensum multa cogitantem. eramque certissimus, quod invisibilia tua a constitutione mundi per ea quae facta sunt intellecta conspiciuntur, sempiterna quoque virtus et divinitas tua. quaerens enim, unde adprobarem pulchritudinem corporum sive caelestium sive terrestrium, et quid mihi praesto esset integre de mutabilibus, iudicanti et dicenti, hoc ita esse debet, illud non ita: hoc ergo quaerens, unde iudicarem, cum ita iudicarem, inveneram incommutabilem et veram veritatis aeternitatem supra mentem meam conmutabilem.


(... to Solitary Contemplation of the Creator)


And thus by degrees I was led upward

atque ita gradatim

from bodies to the soul which perceives them by means of the bodily senses,

a corporibus ad sentientem per corpus animam,

and from there on to the soul’s inward faculty, to which the bodily senses report outward things - and this belongs even to the capacities of the beasts

atque inde ad eius interiorem vim, cui sensus corporis exteriora nuntiaret, et quousque possunt bestiae, atque inde rursus

 - and thence on up to the reasoning power, to whose judgment is referred the experience received from the bodily sense.

ad ratiocinantem potentiam, ad quam refertur iudicandum, quod sumitur a sensibus corporis.

And when [this reasoning power] within me also found that it was changeable, it raised itself up to its own intellectual principle, quae se quoque in me comperiens mutabilem, erexit se ad intellegentiam suam,
Then, without any doubting, it cried out that the unchangeable was better than the changeable. cum sine ulla dubitatione clamaret incommutabile praeferendum esse mutabili,
From this it follows that the mind somehow knew the unchangeable, for, unless it had known it in some fashion, it could have had no sure ground for preferring it to the changeable. unde nosset ipsum incommutabile -- quod nisi aliquo modo nosset, nullo modo illud mutabili certa praeponeret

And thus with the flash of a trembling glance,
it arrived at that which is.

-- et pervenit ad id, quod est, in ictu trepidantis aspectus.

And I saw your invisibility [invisibilia tua]
- understood by means of the things that are made

tunc vero invisibilia tua per ea quae facta sunt intellecta conspexi,
But I was not able to sustain my gaze. My weakness was dashed back, and I lapsed again into my accustomed ways, carrying along with me nothing but a loving memory of my vision, and an appetite for what I had, as it were, smelled the odor of, but was not yet able to eat. sed aciem figere non evalui, et repercussa infirmitate redditus solitis, non mecum ferebam nisi amantem memoriam et quasi olefacta desiderantem, quae comedere nondum possem.



7.18.[24]. I sought, therefore, some way to acquire the strength sufficient to enjoy you; but I did not find it until I embraced that “Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus,” “who is over all, God blessed forever,” who came calling and saying, “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” and mingling with our fleshly humanity the heavenly food I was unable to receive. [...]

Et quaerebam viam conparandi roboris, quod esset idoneum ad fruendum te, nec inveniebam, donec amplecterer mediatorem dei et hominum, hominem Christum Iesum, qui est super omnia deus benedictus in saecula, vocantem et dicentem: ego sum via veritatis et vita, et cibum, cui capiendo invalidus eram, miscentem carni [...]:





Ascent Together Towards God
by means of Holy Conversation


9.10.[23] As the day now approached on which she was to depart this life--a day which you knew, but which we did not - it happened (though I believe it was by your secret ways arranged) that she and I stood alone, leaning in a certain window from which the garden of the house we occupied at Ostia could be seen. Here in this place, removed from the crowd, we were resting ourselves for the voyage after the fatigues of a long journey.

Impendente autem die, quo ex hac vita erat exitura -- quem diem tu noveras ignorantibus nobis -- provenerat, ut credo, procurante te occultis tuis modis, ut ego et ipsa soli staremus incumbentes ad quandam fenestram, unde hortus intra domum, quae nos habebat, prospectabatur, illic apud Ostia Tiberina, ubi remoti a turbis post longi itineris laborem instaurabamus nos navigationi. 



Via Saleria,

We were conversing alone very pleasantly and “forgetting those things which are past, and reaching forward toward those things which are future.” We were in the present - and in the presence of Truth (which you are) - discussing together what is the nature of the eternal life of the saints: which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of man. We opened wide the mouth of our heart, thirsting for those supernal streams of your fountain, “the fountain of life” which is with you, that we might be sprinkled with its waters [cf Tract. Io. 35, below] according to our capacity and might in some measure weigh the truth of so profound a mystery. conloquebamur ergo soli valde dulciter; et praeterita obliviscentes in ea quae ante sunt extenti, quaerebamus inter nos apud praesentem veritatem, quod tu es, qualis futura esset vita aeterna sanctorum, quam nec oculus vidit nec auris audivit nec in cor hominis ascendit. sed inhiabamus ore cordis in superna fluenta fontis tui, fontis vitae, qui est apud te; ut inde pro captu nostro aspersi, quoquo modo rem tantam cogitaremus.
9.10.[24 ]. And when our conversation had brought us to the point where the very highest of physical sense and the most intense illumination of physical light seemed, in comparison with the sweetness of that life to come, not worthy of comparison, nor even of mention,  Cumque ad eum finem sermo perduceretur, ut carnalium sensuum delectatio quantalibet, in quantalibet luce corporea, prae illius vitae iucunditate non conparatione, sed ne conmemoratione quidem digna videretur, 


and Beatrice
ascend to
the Sun

Bodleian Lib.,
MS. Holkham
misc 48,
p. 113


WE LIFTED ourselves with a more ardent love toward the Selfsame, and we gradually passed through all the levels of bodily objects, and even through the heaven itself, where the sun and moon and stars shine on the earth. Indeed, we soared higher yet by an inner musing, speaking and marveling at your works. erigentes nos ardentiore affectu in id ipsum, perambulavimus gradatim cuncta corporalia, et ipsum caelum, unde sol et luna et stellae lucent super terram. et adhuc ascendebamus, interius cogitando et loquendo et mirando opera tua, 
     And we came at last to our own minds and went beyond them, that we might climb as high as that region of unfailing plenty where you feed Israel forever with the food of truth, where life is that Wisdom by whom all things are made, both which have been and which are to be.  et venimus in mentes nostras et transcendimus eas, ut attingeremus regionem ubertatis indeficientis, unde pascis Israel in aeternum veritate pabulo, et ibi vita sapientia est, per quam fiunt omnia ista, et quae fuerunt et quae futura sunt. 
     Wisdom is not made, but is as she has been and forever shall be; for “to have been” and “to be hereafter” do not apply to her, but only “to be,” because she is eternal and “to have been” and “to be hereafter” are not eternal. et ipsa non fit, sed sic est, ut fuit, et sic erit semper: quin potius fuisse et futurum esse non est in ea, sed esse solum, quoniam aeterna est: nam fuisse et futurum esse non est aeternum. 

     And while we were thus speaking and straining after her, we just barely touched her with the whole effort of our hearts. Then with a sigh, leaving the first fruits of the Spirit bound to that ecstasy, we returned to the sounds of our own tongue, where the spoken word had both beginning and end. But what is like your Word, our Lord, who remains in himself without becoming old, and “makes all things new”?

et dum loquimur et inhiamus illi, attingimus eam modice tot ictu cordis; et suspiravimus, et reliquimus ibi religatas primitias spiritus, et remeavimus ad strepitum oris nostri, ubi verbum et incipitur et finitur. et quid simile verbo tuo, domino nostro, in se permanenti sine vetustate atque innovanti omnia?

9.10.[25] . What we said went something like this: “If to any man the tumult of the flesh were silenced; and the phantoms of earth and waters and air were silenced; and the poles were silent as well; indeed, if the very soul grew silent to herself, and went beyond herself by not thinking of herself; if fancies and imaginary revelations were silenced; if every tongue and every sign and every transient thing--for actually if any man could hear them, all these would say, “We did not create ourselves, but were created by Him who abides forever”--and if, having uttered this, they too should be silent, having stirred our ears to hear him who created them; and if then he alone spoke, not through them but by himself, that we might hear his word, not in fleshly tongue or angelic voice, nor sound of thunder, nor the obscurity of a parable, but might hear him--him for whose sake we love these things--if we could hear him without these, as we two now strained ourselves to do, we then with rapid thought might touch on that Eternal Wisdom which abides over all. And if this could be sustained, and other visions of a far different kind be taken away, and this one should so ravish and absorb and envelop its beholder in these inward joys that his life might be eternally like that one moment of knowledge which we now sighed after--would not this be the reality of the saying, “Enter into the joy of your Lord”? But when shall such a thing be? Shall it not be “when we all shall rise again,” and shall it not be that “all things will be changed”?

Dicebamus ergo: se cui sileat tumultus carnis, sileant phantasiae terrae et aquarum et aeris, sileant et poli et ipsa sibi anima sileat, et transeat se non se cogitando, sileant somnia et imaginariae revelationes, omnis lingua et omne signum et quidquid transuendo fit si cui sileat omnino -- quoniam si quis audiat, dicunt haec omnia: Non ipsa nos fecimus, sed fecit nos qui manet in aeternum: -- his dictis si iam taceant, quoniam erexerunt aurem in eum, qui fecit ea, et loquatur ipse solus non per ea, sed per se ipsum, ut audiamus verbum eius, non per linguam carnis neque per vocem angeli nec per sonitum nubis nec per aenigma similitudinis, sed ipsum, quem in his amamus, ipsum sine his audiamus, sicut nunc extendimus nos et rapida cogitatione attingimus aeternam sapientiam super omnia manentem, se continuetur hoc et subtrahantur aliae visiones longe inparis generis, et haec una rapiat et absorbeat et recondat in interiora gaudia spectatorem suum, ut talis sit sempiterna vita, quale fuit hoc momentum intellegentiae, cui suspiravimus, nonne hoc est: Intra in gaudium domini tui? et istud quando? an cum omnes resurgimus, sed non omnes inmutabimur?


9.10.[26]. Such a thought I was expressing, and if not in this manner and in these words, still, O Lord, you know that on that day we were talking thus and that this world, with all its joys, seemed cheap to us even as we spoke. Then my mother said: “Son, for myself I have no longer any pleasure in anything in this life. Now that my hopes in this world are satisfied, I do not know what more I want here or why I am here. There was indeed one thing for which I wished to tarry a little in this life, and that was that I might see you a Catholic Christian before I died. My God hath answered this more than abundantly, so that I see you now made his servant and spurning all earthly happiness. What more am I to do here?”

Dicebam talia, etsi non isto modo et his verbis, tamen, domine, tu scis, quod illo die, cum talia loqueremur et mundus iste nobis inter verba vilesceret cum omnibus delectationibus suis, tunc ait illa: fili, quantum ad me adtinet, nulla re iam delector in hac vita. quid hic faciam adhuc et cur hic sim, nescio, iam consumpta spe huius saeculi. unum erat, propter quod in hac vita aliquantum inmorari cupiebam, ut te Christianum catholicum viderem, priusquam morerer. cumulatius hoc mihi deus praestitit, ut te etiam contemta felicitate terrena servum eius videam. quid hic facio?

(5) Discernment_conf_10-1-1_Know_as_am_known  




(To Know God as I am known ) 10.1.[.1].

LET me know You,

Cognoscam te,

[O] my Knower;

cognitor meus,

let me know [You]


just as I am known. (Cf. 1 Cor. 13:12)

sicut et cognitus sum.

O Strength of my soul, virtus animae meae,

enter into it

intra in eam

and prepare it for Yourself

et coapta tibi,

that You may have and possess it,

ut habeas et possideas

without “spot or blemish” (Eph. 5:27) .

sine macula et ruga.

This is my hope, therefore have I spoken; and in this hope I rejoice whenever I rejoice rightly. But as for the other things of this life, they deserve our lamentations less, the more we lament them; and some should be lamented all the more, the less men care for them. For see, “You desire truth” (Ps. 51:6) and “he who does the truth comes to the light.” (John 3:21) This is what I wish to do through confession in my heart before You, and in my writings before many witnesses.  haec est mea spes, ideo loquor et in ea spe gaudeo, quando sanum gaudeo. cetera vero vitae huius tanto minus flenda, quanto magis fletur, et tanto magis flenda, quanto minus fletur in eis. ecce enim veritatem dilexisti, quoniam qui facit eam, venit ad lucem. volo eam facere in corde meo coram te in confessione, in stilo autem meo coram multis testibus.





(Ravished Spiritual Senses )


10.27[.38]. LATE have I loved you,

O Beauty so ancient and so new,

Late have I loved you. 

Sero te amavi,

 pulchritudo tam antiqua et tam nova, 

       sero te amavi! 

[Behold, you were within

and I was without,

and it was there [i.e. outside] that I sought you.]

et ecce intus eras

et ego foris, 

et ibi te quaerebam,

And among the  beautiful things that you have formed, I - deformed - rushed heedlessly. 

et in ista formosa, quae fecisti, deformis inruebam. 

You were with me, but I was not with you. 

mecum eras, et tecum non eram. 

These things kept me far from you; even though they were not at all unless they were in you.

ea me tenebant longe a te, quae si in te non essent, non essent. 

YOU CALLED and shouted,

and forced open my deafness.

 vocasti et clamasti 

     et rupisti surditatem meam:

YOU GLEAMED and shone,

and chased away my blindness.

 coruscasti, splenduisti et fugasti caecitatem meam:


and I drew in my breath;

and now I pant for you.


et duxi spiritum, 

    et anhelo tibi,


and now I hunger and thirst.


  et esurio et sitio,


and I burned for your peace.

tetigisti me,

  et exarsi in pacem tuam. 















 Sermon 128 on Nativity12 - Theosis


SERMON 128, On the Lord’s Nativity 12



PL 39, 1997-1998 [error in The Liturgy of the Hours, vol. 1, pp. 541-542, where reference is incorrectly given as Sermon 13 de Tempore PL 39.1097-1098])

BELOVED, our Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal creator of all things, today became our Savior by being born of a mother. Of his own will he was born for us today, in time, so that he could lead us to his Father's eternity.

Dominus noster Jesus Christus, fratres charissimi, qui in aeternum est cunctorum creator, hodie de matre nascendo, factus est nobis salvator. Natus est nobis hodie in tempore per voluntatem, ut nos perducat ad Patris aeternitatem.



Factus est Deus homo,

ut homo fieret Deus.

So that man could eat the bread of angels,

the Lord of the angels became man today

Ut panem Angelorum manducaret homo,

Dominus Angelorum hodie factus est homo.

TODAY, the prophecy is fulfilled that said: Pour down, heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain the just one: let the earth be opened and bring forth a savior (Is 45:8). The Lord who had created all things is himself now created, so that he who was lost would be found. Thus man, in the words of the psalmist, confesses: Before I was humbled, I sinned (Ps 118: 67, 176). Man sinned and became guilty; God is born a man to free man from his guilt. Man fell, but God descended; man fell miserably, but God descended mercifully; man fell through pride, God descended with his grace. [...]

Hodie impleta est prophetia illa, quae dicit, Rorate, coeli, desuper; et nubes pluant justum: aperiatur terra, et germinet Salvatorem (Isai. XLV, 8). Factus est igitur qui fecerat, ut inveniretur qui perierat. Sic enim in Psalmis homo confitetur, Priusquam humiliarer, ego peccavi; et iterum, Erravi sicut ovis quae periit (Psal. CXVIII, 67, 176). Peccavit homo, et factus est reus: natus est homo Deus, ut liberaretur reus. Homo igitur cecidit, sed Deus descendit: cecidit homo miserabiliter, descendit Deus misericorditer; cecidit homo per superbiam, descendit Deus cum gratia. …

MY brethren, what miracles! What prodigies! The laws of nature are changed in the case of man. God is born. A virgin becomes pregnant with man. The Word of God marries the woman who knows no man. She is now at the same time both mother and virgin. She becomes a mother, yet she remains a virgin. The virgin bears a son, yet she does not know man; she remains untouched, yet she is not barren. He alone was born without sin, for she bore him without the embrace of a man, not by the concupiscence of the flesh but by the obedience of the mind.

O miracula! o prodigia, fratres charissimi! Naturae jura mutantur in homine: Deus nascitur, virgo sine viro gravidatur. Mox viri nesciam sermo Dei maritat: simul facta est mater et virgo; mater facta, sed incorrupta; virgo habens filium, nesciens virum; semper clausa, sed non [Col. 1998] infecunda. Solus enim sine peccato est natus, quem sine virili complexu non concupiscentia carnis, sed obedientia genuit mentis. Virgo concepit, sola vulneri nostro medicinam parere potuit, quae non ex peccati vulnere germen piae prolis emisit.

 Tractate 38 on John - Vision of Heaven


SERMON [Tractate] 38 on JOHN (8:13-14)



Liturgy of the Hours, Tuesday, 34th week of the Year ; Tract in Ioh.35 8-9  CCL 36 pp. 321-323;
[reference to Transfiguration and attempt to carry audience up to experience like what he had with his mother Monica]

WE Christians are the light, at least by comparison with unbelievers. Thus the Apostle says: Once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk then as sons of the light. And elsewhere he says: The night is far spent, the day is drawing near. Let us therefore lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us walk uprightly as in the day.

8. […] Nam et nos ipsi christiani in comparatione quidem infidelium lux iam sumus ; unde dicit apostolus : Fuistis enim aliquando tenebrae ; nunc autem lux in Domino, sicut filii lucis ambulate ; et alibi dixit : Nox praecessit, dies autem appiropinquauit : abiciamus ergo o ppera tenebrarum, et induamus nos arma lucis ; sicut in die honeste ambulemus.

Nevertheless, since the days in which we are now living are still dark compared to the light which we shall see, hear what the apostle Peter says. He speaks of a voice that came from the Supreme Glory and said to the Lord Jesus Christ: You are my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. This voice, he says, we heard coming from heaven, when we were with him on the holy mountain.

Tamen quia in comparatione illius lucis ad quam uenturi sumus, adhuc nox est etiam dies in quo sumus, audi Petrum apostolum, delatam dicit Domino Christo uocem de magnifica potestate : Tu es Filius meus dilectus, in quo bene sensi. Hanc uocem, inquit, nos de caelo audiuimus delatam, cum essemus cum illo in monte sancto.

Because we ourselves were not present there and did not hear that voice from heaven, Peter says to us: And we possess a more certain prophetic word to which you do well to attend, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.

Sed quia nos non ibi fuimus, et istam uocem de caelo tunc non audiuimus, ait ad nos ipse Petrus : Et habemus certiorem propheticum sermonem. […] cui bene facitis adtendentes, sicut lucernae in obscuro loco, donec dies lucescat, et lucifer oriatur in cordibus uestris.

WHEN, therefore, our Lord Jesus Christ comes and, as the apostle Paul says, brings to light things hidden in darkness and makes plain the secrets of the heart, so that everyone may receive his commendation from God, then lamps will no longer be needed. When that day is at hand, the prophet will not be read to us, the book of the Apostle will not be opened, we shall not require the testimony of John, we shall have no need of the Gospel itself.

9. Quando ergo Dominus noster Iesus Christus uenerit, et,  sicut dicit etiam apostolus Paulus, illuminauerit occulta tenebrarum, et manifestauerit cogitationes cordis, ut laus sit unicuique a Deo, tunc praesente tali die lucernae non erunt ne-  cessariae; non legetur nobis propheta, non aperietur codex apostoli, non requiremus testimonium Iohannis, non ipso indigebimus euangelio.

Therefore all Scriptures will be taken away from us, those Scriptures which in the night of this world burned like lamps so that we might not remain in darkness.

Ergo omnes scripturae tollentur de medio, quae nobis in huius saeculi nocte tamquam lucernae accendebantur, ne in tenebris remaneremus ;

When all these things are removed as no longer necessary for our illumination, and when the men of God by whom they were ministered to us shall themselves together with us behold the true and dear light without such aids, what shall we see? With what shall our minds be nourished? What will give joy to our gaze? Where will that gladness come from, which eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, which has not even been conceived by the heart of man? What shall we see?

istis omnibus sublatis, ne quasi nobis luceant indigentibus, et ipsis hominibus Dei, per quos haec ministrata sunt, nobiscum lumen illud uerum clarumque uidentibus, remotis ergo his adiumentis quid uidebimus ? Vnde pascetur mens nostra ? unde obtutus ille laetabitur ? unde erit illud gaudium quod nec oculus uidit, nec auris audiuit, nec in cor hominis adscendit ? quid uidebimus ?

I IMPLORE you to love with me and, by believing, to run with me; let us long for our heavenly country, let us sigh for our heavenly home, let us truly feel that here we are strangers. What shall we then see? Let the gospel tell us: In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God.

Obsecro uos, amate mecum, currite credendo mecum ; patriam supernam desideremus, supernae patriae suspiremus, peregrinos nos esse hic sentiamus. Quid tunc uidebimus ? Dicat nunc euangelium : In principio erat Verbum, et Verbum erat apud Deum, et Deus erat Verbum.

You who have been sprinkled with dew
will come to the fountain
. [cf. Conf.

That light from which a ray was sent through slanting and winding ways into the darkness of your heart
 – you will see that light itself in all its naked [purity].

Vnde tibi ros inspersus est,

ad fontem uenies ;

unde radius per obliqua et per anfractuosa tibi ad cor tenebrosum missus est,

nudam ipsam lucem uidebis,

It is to see and experience this light that you are now being cleansed.

cui uidendae ferendaeque mundaris..

Dearly beloved, John himself says, we are the sons of God, and it has not yet been disclosed what we shall be; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.

Dilectissimi, quod et hesterno commemoraui, Iohannes ipse dicit, filii Dei sumus, et nondum apparuit quid erimus ; scimus quia cum app pparuerit, similes ei erimus, quoniam uidebimus eum sicuti est

I feel that your spirits are being raised up with mine to the heavens above; but the body which is corruptible weighs down the soul, and this earthly tent burdens the thoughtful mind.

Sentio uestros affectus adtolli mecum in superna ; sed corpus quod corrumpitur, aggrauat animam, et deprimit terrena inhabitatio sensum multa cogitantem.

I am about to lay aside this book, and you are soon going away, each to his own business. It has been good for us to share the common light, good to have enjoyed ourselves, good to have been glad together. When we part from one another, let us not depart from him.

Depositurus sum et ego codicem istum, discessuri estis et uos quisque ad sua. Bene nobis fuit in luce communi, bene gauisi sumus, bene exsultauimus ; sed cum ab inuicem recedimus, ab illo non recedamus.





Augustine: EXPOSITION 10.6 of PSALM 118.32.



Tr. Maria Boulding, OSB, Works of St. Augustine, Exposition of the Psalms, 99-120, New City Press, 2003, 386.

[…] Enlargement of heart means delight in righteousness. This is a gift of God. With it we are not cramped by fear in the observance of his commands but led into the broad freedom of love as we delight in justice. He promises us this wide space in his pledge, I will dwell in them, and walk about in them (2 Cor 6:16). Cordis dilatatio, iustitiae est delectatio. Haec munus est Dei, ut in praeceptis eius non timore poenae angustemur, sed dilectione, et delectatione iustitiae dilatemur. Hanc enim nobis promittit latitudinem eius dicens: Habitabo in eis, et deambulabo.
How spacious must be the place where God walks! In this breadth of heart there is poured out in us that charity which comes from the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. (cf. Rom. 5.5)   Quam enim latum est ubi deambulat Deus! in hac latitudine diffunditur caritas in cordibus nostris per Spiritum sanctum qui datus est nobis.
Another text suggests the same truth: Let your waters run widely in your streets (Prv 5:16). The word “street” (platea) derives from the Greek word πλατὺ [platu], which means something wide. The waters here mentioned are those of which the Lord cried out. Let anyone who is thirssty come to me and drink. If anyone believes in me, as scripture says, rivers of living water shall flow from within that person. And the evangelist explains the meaning of the Lord's invitation: He said this of the Spirit which those who believed in him were to receive. (Jn 7:37-38) [...] Unde etiam dictum est: Et in plateis tuis discurrant aquae tuae: platea quippe de verbo graeco a latitudine nomen accepit; quoniam graece πλατὺ dicitur latum. Hae sunt aquae de quibus Dominus clamat: Qui sitit veniat ad me. Qui credit in me, flumina aquae vivae fluent de ventre eius: et exponens Evangelista quid dixerit: Hoc autem, inquit, dicebat de Spiritu quem accepturi erant qui credituri erant in eum. [...]


 Sermon 272 On the Eucharistn


SERMON 272 [on The Eucharist]
On The Day of Pentecost to The Children, On The Sacrament



Augustine, SERMON 272 (Rotelle series....John E. Rotelle, O.S.A., ed., WSA, Sermons, Part 3, Vol. 7, trans. Edmund Hill, O.P., (Hyde Park: New City Press, 1993), pp. 300-301.

 On the Sacrament of the Body and Chalice of the Lord

Sacramentum corporis et calicis Domini.

ONE thing is seen, another is to be understood. What you can see on the altar, you also saw last night; but what it was, what it meant, of what great reality it contained the sacrament, you had not yet heard.

1. Hoc quod videtis in altari Dei, etiam transacta nocte vidistis: sed quid esset, quid sibi vellet, quam magnae rei sacramentum contineret, nondum audistis.

 So what you can see, then, is bread and a cup; Quod ergo videtis, panis est et calix;

that’s what even your eyes tell you;

quod vobis etiam oculi vestri renuntiant:
but as for what your faith asks to be instructed about, quod autem fides vestra postulat instruenda,

the bread is the body of Christ,
the cup the blood of Christ.

panis est corpus Christi,
 calix sanguis Christi.

It took no time to say that indeed, and that, perhaps, may be enough for faith; but faith desires instruction. The prophet says, you see, Unless you believe, you shall not understand (Is 7:9). I mean, you can now say to me, “You’ve bidden us believe; now explain, so that we may understand.”

Breviter quidem hoc dictum est, quod fidei forte sufficiat: sed fides instructionem desiderat. Dicit enim propheta: Nisi credideritis, non intellegetis 1. Potestis enim modo dicere mihi: Praecepisti ut credamus, expone ut intellegamus.

 Some such thought as this, after all, may cross somebody’s mind: “We know where our Lord Jesus Christ took flesh from; from the Virgin Mary. He was suckled as a baby, was reared, grew up, came to man’s estate, suffered persecution from the Jews, was hung on the tree, was slain on the tree, was taken down from the tree, was buried; rose again on the third day, on the day he wished ascended into heaven.

Potest enim in animo cuiusquam cogitatio talis suboriri: Dominus noster Iesus Christus, novimus unde acceperit carnem; de virgine Maria. Infans lactatus est, nutritus est, crevit, ad iuvenilem aetatem perductus est, a Iudaeis persecutionem passus est, ligno suspensus est, in ligno interfectus est, de ligno depositus est, sepultus est, tertia die resurrexit, quo die voluit, in coelum ascendit;

That’s where he lifted his body up to; that’s where he’s going to come from to judge the living and the dead; that’s where he is now, seated on the Father’s right. How can bread be his body? And the cup, or what the cup contains, how can it be his blood?

illuc levavit corpus suum; inde est venturus ut iudicet vivos et mortuos; ibi est modo sedens ad dexteram Patris: quomodo est panis corpus eius? et calix, vel quod habet calix, quomodo est sanguis eius?

The reason these things, brothers and sisters, are called sacraments Ista, fratres, ideo dicuntur Sacramenta,
is that in them one thing is seen, another is to be understood. quia in eis aliud videtur, aliud intellegitur.

What can be seen has a bodily appearance,

Quod videtur, speciem habet corporalem,

what is to be understood provides spiritual fruit.

quod intellegitur, fructum habet spiritalem.

   So if you want to understand the body of Christ, listen to the apostle telling the faithful, You, though, are the body of Christ and its members (1 Cor 12:27).

 Corpus ergo Christi si vis intellegere, Apostolum audi dicentem fidelibus: Vos autem estis corpus Christi, et membra 2.

So if it’s you that are the body of Christ and its members,

Si ergo vos estis corpus Christi et membra,

[this] mystery [means]


that you have been placed on the Lord’s table;

vestrum in mensa Dominica positum est:

what you receive is the mystery that means you.

mysterium vestrum accipitis.

It is to what you are that you reply Amen, and by so replying you express your assent. What you hear, you see, is The body of Christ, and you answer, Amen. So be a member of the body of Christ, in order to make that Amen true.

Ad id quod estis, Amen respondetis, et respondendo subscribitis. Audis enim, Corpus Christi; et respondes, Amen. Esto membrum corporis Christi, ut verum sit Amen

So why in bread?

. Quare ergo in pane?

Let’s not bring anything of our own to bear here, let’s go on listening to the apostle himself, who said, when speaking of this sacrament, One bread, one body, we being many are (1 Cor 10:17). Understand and rejoice. Unity, truth, piety, love. One bread; what is this one bread? The one body which we, being many, are. Remember that bread is not made from one grain, but from many. When you were being exorcised, it’s as though you were being ground. When you were baptized it’s as though you were mixed into dough. When you received the fire of the Holy Spirit, it’s as though you were baked.

Nihil hic de nostro afferamus, ipsum Apostolum identidem audiamus, qui cum de isto Sacramento loqueretur, ait: Unus panis, unum corpus multi sumus 3: intellegite et gaudete; unitas, veritas, pietas, caritas. Unus panis: quis est iste unus panis? Unum corpus multi. Recolite quia panis non fit de uno grano, sed de multis. Quando exorcizabamini, quasi molebamini. Quando baptizati estis, quasi conspersi estis. Quando Spiritus Sancti ignem accepistis, quasi cocti estis.

Be what you can see,
and receive what you are.

Estote quod videtis,
  et accipite quod estis

That’s what the apostle said about the bread. He has already shown clearly enough what we should understand about the cup, even if it wasn’t said.

Hoc Apostolus de pane dixit. Iam de calice quid intellegeremus, etiam non dictum, satis ostendit.

After all, just as many grains are mixed into one loaf in order to produce the visible appearance of bread, as though what holy scripture says about the faithful were happening: They had one soul and one heart in God (Acts 4:32); so too with the wine. Brothers and sisters, just remind yourselves what wine is made from; many grapes hang in the bunch, but the juice of the grapes is poured together in one vessel.

Sicut enim ut sit species visibilis panis, multa grana in unum consperguntur, tamquam illud fiat, quod de fidelibus ait Scriptura Sancta: Erat illis anima una, et cor unum in Deum 4: sic et de vino. Fratres, recolite unde fit vinum. Grana multa pendent ad botrum, sed liquor granorum in unitate confunditur.

That too is how the Lord Christ signified us, how he wished us to belong to him, how he consecrated the sacrament of our peace and unity on his table. Any who receive the sacrament of unity, and do not hold the bond of peace, do not receive the sacrament for their benefit, but a testimony against themselves.

Ita et Dominus Christus nos significavit nos ad se pertinere voluit, mysterium pacis et unitatis nostrae in sua mensa consecravit. Qui accipit mysterium unitatis, et non tenet vinculum pacis, non mysterium accipit pro se, sed testimonium contra se.

Turning to the Lord, God the Father almighty, with pure hearts let us give him sincere and abundant thanks, as much as we can in our littleness; beseeching him in his singular kindness with our whole soul, graciously to hearken to our prayers in his good pleasure; also by his power to drive out the enemy from our actions and thoughts, to increase our faith, to guide our minds, to grant us spiritual thoughts, and to lead us finally to his bliss; through Jesus Christ his Son. Amen.

Conversi ad Dominum Deum Patrem omnipotentem, puro corde ei, quantum potest parvitas nostra, maximas atque veras gratias agamus; precantes toto animo singularem mansuetudinem eius, ut preces nostras in beneplacito suo exaudire dignetur; inimicum quoque a nostris actibus et cogitationibus sua virtute expellat, nobis multiplicet fidem, mentem gubernet, spiritales cogitationes concedat, et ad beatitudinem suam perducat: per Iesum Christum Filium eius. Amen.


1 - Is 7, 9 (sec. LXX).

2 - 1 Cor 12, 27.

3 - 1 Cor 10, 17.

4 - Act 4, 32.


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