Top 40 Quotes From St Augustine’s Confessions

Last Updated on January 24, 2021 by Scott M. Thomas

Below we gathered some most important and some amazing quotes from Confessions by St Augustine. Hope you’ll love it. 

“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.”

“The Bible was composed in such a way that as beginners mature, its meaning grows with them.”

st augustine confessions quotes images

“For what am I to myself without You, but a guide to my own downfall?”

“In their perverted way all humanity imitates you. Yet they put themselves at a distance from you and exalt themselves against you.”

“I am more delighted to have declared the truth than to be praised for it. If I were given the choice of being universally admired, though mad or wholly wrong, or of being universally abused, though steadfast and utterly certain in possessing the truth, I see which I should choose.”

“The storms of incoherent events tear to pieces my thoughts, the inmost entrails of my soul, until that day when, purified and molten by the fire of your love, I flow together to merge into you.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“What do I love when I love my God?”

st augustine confessions quotes

“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.”

“Often the contempt of vainglory becomes a source of even more vainglory, for it is not being scorned when the contempt is something one is proud of.”

“I will plant my feet on that step where my parents put me as a child, until self-evident truth comes to light.”

“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.”

“The punishment of every disordered mind is its own disorder.”

“The mind commands the body and is instantly obeyed. The mind commands itself and meets resistance.”

“What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.”

“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.”

“What am I to you that you command me to love you, and that, if I fail to love you, you are angry with me and threaten me with vast miseries?”

augustine confessions quotes on friendship

“Allow me to speak: for I am addressing your mercy, not a man who would laugh at me.”

“But my sin was this, that I looked for pleasure, beauty, and truth not in him but in myself and his other creatures, and the search led me instead to pain, confusion, and error.”

“In my youth I wandered away, too far from your sustaining hand, and created of myself a barren waste.”

“But where was I when I looked for you? You were there before my eyes, but I had deserted even my own self. I could not find myself, much less find you.”

“I was looking for you outside myself and I did not find the God of my own heart.”

“What wonderful profundity there is in your utterances! The surface meaning lies open before us and charms beginners. Yet the depth is amazing, my God, the depth is amazing.”

“…I was born into this life which leads to death—or should I say, this death which leads to life?”

“For you 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.”

st augustine quotes on truth

“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.”

“No one who considers his frailty would dare to attribute to his own strength his chastity and innocence, so that he has less cause to love you… he should not mock the healing of a sick man by the Physician, whose help has kept him from falling sick…”

“The liberty I loved was merely that of a runaway.”

“…The wisdom which governs the world down to the leaves that tremble on the trees.”

“Uneducated people are rising up and capturing heaven, and we with our high culture without any heart–see where we roll in the mud of flesh and blood. Is it because they are ahead of us that we are ashamed to follow?”

“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.”

“How I cried out to you in those Psalms, and how they kindled my love for you! I was fired by an enthusiasm to recite them, were it possible, to the entire world in protest against the pride of the human race.”

“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…”

st augustine quotes on god

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Augustine Confessions Quotes on God

“You are my Lord, because You have no need for my goodness.”

“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.”

“What is more pitiable than a wretch without pity for himself who weeps over the death of Dido dying for love of Aeneas, but not weeping over himself dying for his lack of love for you, my God?”

“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.”

“I sighed and you heard me. I wavered and you steadied me. I travelled along the broad way of the world, but you did not desert me.”

“Who am I? What kind of man am I? What evil have I not done? Or if there is evil that I have not done, what evil is there that I have not spoken? If there is anything that I have not spoken, what evil is there that I have not willed to do?”

“Where then is evil? What is its origin? How did it steal into the world?…Where then does evil come from, if God made all things and, because he is good, made them good too?”

st augustine quotes on love

“O Lord my God, tell me what you are to me. Say to my soul, I am your salvation. Say it so that I can hear it. My heart is listening, Lord; open the eyes of my heart and say to my soul, I am your salvation. Let me run toward this voice and seize hold of you. Do not hide your face from me: let me die so that I may see it, for not to see it would be death to me indeed.”

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