St Augustine's Church, Douglas, Isle of Man

Sayings of St Augustine

A selection of sayings of St Augustine

“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.”

“Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.”

“This is the very perfection of a man, to find out his own imperfections.”

“You aspire to great things? Begin with little ones.” 

“Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul.”

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page.” 

“There is something in humility which strangely exalts the heart.” 

“It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels.” 

“God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” 

“Find out how much God has given you and from it take what you need; the remainder is needed by others.” 

“Patience is the companion of wisdom.” 

“Thou hast created us for thyself, and our heart is not quiet until it rests in Thee.” 

“If you believe what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.” 

“Don’t you believe that there is in man a deep so profound as to be hidden even to him in whom it is?” 

“The words printed here are concepts. You must go through the experiences.” 

“I want my friend to miss me as long as I miss him.” 

“Miracles are not contrary to nature, but only contrary to what we know about nature.” 

“Thou must be emptied of that wherewith thou art full, that thou mayest be filled with that whereof thou art empty.” 

“He who created us without our help will not save us without our consent.”

“The purpose of all wars…is peace.” 

“Seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand.” 

“We are certainly in a common class with the beasts; every action of animal life is concerned with seeking bodily pleasure and avoiding pain” 

“Complete abstinence is easier than perfect moderation.” 

“He that is jealous is not in love.” 

“The confession of evil works is the first beginning of good works.” 

“Forgiveness is the remission of sins. For it is by this that what has been lost, and was found, is saved from being lost again.” 

“Will is to grace as the horse is to the rider.” 

“Hear the other side.” 

“God had one son on earth without sin, but never one without suffering.” 

“A thing is not necessarily true because badly uttered, nor false because spoken magnificently.” 

“We make ourselves a ladder out of our vices if we trample the vices themselves underfoot.” 

“By faithfulness we are collected and wound up into unity within ourselves, whereas we had been scattered abroad in multiplicity.” 

“Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.” 

“Charity is no substitute for justice withheld.” 

“Love is the beauty of the soul.” 

“The people who remained victorious were less like conquerors than conquered.” 

“Habit, if not resisted, soon becomes necessity.” 

“Punishment is justice for the unjust.” 

“Grant what thou commandest and then command what thou wilt.” 

“Seek not to understand that you may believe, but believe that you may understand.” 

“No eulogy is due to him who simply does his duty and nothing more.” 

“He that is kind is free, though he is a slave; he that is evil is a slave, though he be a king.” 

“To abstain from sin when one can no longer sin is to be forsaken by sin, not to forsake it.” 

“Order your soul; reduce your wants; live in charity; associate in Christian community; obey the laws; trust in Providence.” 

“The desire is thy prayers; and if thy desire is without ceasing, thy prayer will also be without ceasing. The continuance of your longing is the continuance of your prayer.” 

“To many, total abstinence is easier than perfect moderation.” 
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