I am convinced with Plato , with St. Paul, with St. Augustine, with Calvin , and with Leibnitz, that this universe, and every smallest portion of it, exactly fulfils the purpose for which Almighty God designed it.
... the general consent of all that sect is that God (by his foreknowledge, counsel, and wisdom) has no assured election, neither yet any certain reprobation, but that every man may elect or reprobate himself by his own free will, which he has (say they) to do good or evil ... [All these things are] forged by their own brains, and polished by the finest of their wits, when yet in very deed they are but the rotten heresies of ... Pelagius, long ago confuted by Augustine ...
We 'have all we want' is a terrible saying when 'all' does not include God. We find God an interruption. As St. Augustine says somewhere, 'God wants to give us something, but cannot, because our hands are full - there's nowhere for Him to put it.'
Again, I hear almost everyday from atheists who write off religion as primitive, premodern nonsense. I summon Aquinas, Augustine, Paul [of Tarsus], Teresa of Avila, Joseph Ratzinger, and Edith Stein-in all their intellectual rigor-as allies in the the struggle against this dismissive atheism.
The old truth that Calvin preached, that Augustine preached, that Paul preached, is the truth that I must preach to-day, or else be false to my conscience and my God. I cannot shape the truth; I know of no such thing as paring off the rough edges of a doctrine. John Knox's gospel is my gospel. That which thundered through Scotland must thunder through England again.
According to St. Bonaventure, all the angels in heaven unceasingly call out to her: "Holy, holy, holy Mary, Virgin Mother of God." They greet her countless times each day with the angelic greeting, "Hail, Mary", while prostrating themselves before her, begging her as a favour to honour them with one of her requests. According to St. Augustine, even St. Michael, though prince of all the heavenly court, is the most eager of all the angels to honour her and lead others to honour her. At all times he awaits the privilege of going at her word to the aid of... Read more »
I am interested in the shape of ideas even if I do not believe in them. There is a wonderful sentence in Augustine . . . "Do not despair: one of the thieves was saved; do not presume: one of the thieves was damned." That sentence had a wonderful shape. It is the shape that matters.
The big, blazing truth about man is that he has a heaven-sized hole in his heart, and nothing else can fill it. We pass our lives trying to fill the Grand Canyon with marbles. As Augustine said: Thou hast made us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in Thee.
Saint Augustine cries, Lord I cannot love you, but come in and love yourself in me. According to Saint Paul, we must put off our own natural form and put on the form of God, and Saint Augustine tells us to discard our own mode of nature; then the divine nature will flow in and be revealed. Saint Augustine says, Those who seek and find, find not. He who seeks and finds not, he alone finds. Saint Paul says, What I was, was not I, it was God in me.
I would inquire of reasonable persons whether this principle: Matter is naturally wholly incapable of thought, and this other: I think, therefore I am, are in fact the same in the mind of Descartes, and in that of St. Augustine, who said the same thing twelve hundred years before.
Beauty is a key to the mystery and a call to transcendence. It is an invitation to savor life and to dream of the future. That is why the beauty of created things can never fully satisfy. It stirs that hidden nostalgia for God which a lover of beauty like Saint Augustine could express in incomparable terms: 'Late have I loved you, beauty so old and so new: late have I loved you!'.