AUGUSTINE
of
 
HIPPO

The Confessions

 

Augustine Pacher, 1483

CONTENTS:

(1) FOOD of the STRONG(2) SPIRITUAL ASCENT to HEAVEN;  (3) RAVISHED SPIRITUAL SENSES

THE CONFESSIONS
(written ca, 398-400)

 

(Book 7) CHAPTER 9
He Compares the Doctrine of the Platonists Concerning the Logos With the Much More Excellent Doctrine of Christianity.

 

     7.9.13. And first of all, willing to show me how you do “resist the proud, but give grace to the humble,” and how mercifully you have made known to men the way of humility in that your Word “was made flesh and dwelt among men,” you did procure for me, through one inflated with the most monstrous pride, certain books of the Platonists, translated from Greek into Latin. And therein I found, not indeed in the same words, but to the selfsame 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.” Furthermore, I read that the soul of man, though it “bears witness to the light,” 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.” And further, that “he was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.” 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”--this I did not find there.

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; 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; 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. 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”--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 have not. I read further in them that before all times and beyond all times, your only Son remaineth unchangeably coeternal with you, and that of his fullness all souls receive that they may be blessed, and that by participation in that wisdom which abides in them, they are renewed that they may be wise. But, that “in due time, Christ died for the ungodly” and that you “sparedst not your only Son, but deliveredst him up for us all”--this is not there. “For you have hid these things from the wise and prudent, and have revealed them unto babes”; that they “that labor and are heavy laden” might “come unto him and he might refresh them” because he is “meek and lowly in heart.” “The meek will he guide in judgment; and the meek will he teach his way; beholding our lowliness and our trouble and forgiving all our sins.” But those who strut in the high boots of what they deem to be superior knowledge will not hear Him who says, “Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls.” Thus, though they know God, yet they do not glorify him as God, nor are they thankful. Therefore, they “become vain in their imaginations; their foolish heart is darkened, and professing themselves to be wise they become fools.”

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. quod autem ante omnia tempora et supra omnia tempora inconmutabiliter manet unigenitus filius tuus, coaeternus tibi, et quia de plenitudine eius accipiunt animae, ut beatae sint, et quia participatione manentis in se sapientiae renovantur, ut sapientes sint, est ibi; quod autem secundum tempus pro impiis mortuus est, et filio unico tuo non pepercisti, sed pro nobis omnibus tradidisti eum, non est ibi. abscondisti enim haec a sapientibus et revelasti ea parvulis, ut venirent ad eum laborantes et onerati et reficeret eos, quoniam mitis est et humilis corde, et dirigit mites in iudicio, et docet mansuetos vias suas, videns humilitatem nostram et laborem nostrum et dimittens omnia peccata nostra. qui autem cothurno tamquam doctrinae sublimioris elati non audiunt dicentem: Discite a me, quoniam mitis sum et humilis corde, et invenientis requiem animabus vestris, et si cognoscunt deum, non sicut deum glorificant, aut gratias agunt, sed evanescunt in cogitationibus suis, et obscuratur insipiens cor eorum; dicentes se esse sapientes stulti fiunt.

     7.9.15. And, moreover, I also read there how “they changed the glory of your incorruptible nature into idols and various images--into an image made like corruptible man and to birds and four-footed beasts, and creeping things”: namely, into that Egyptian food for which Esau lost his birthright; so that your first-born people worshiped the head of a four-footed beast instead of you, turning back in their hearts toward Egypt and prostrating your image (their own soul) before the image of an ox that eats grass. These things I found there, but I fed not on them. For it pleased you, O Lord, to take away the reproach of his minority from Jacob, that the elder should serve the younger and you mightest call the Gentiles, and I had sought strenuously after that gold which you did allow your people to take from Egypt, since wherever it was it was thine. And you saidst unto the Athenians by the mouth of your apostle that in you “we live and move and have our being,” as one of their own poets had said. And truly these books came from there. But I did not set my mind on the idols of Egypt which they fashioned of gold, “changing the truth of God into a lie and worshiping and serving the creature more than the Creator.”

Et ideo legebam ibi etiam inmutatum gloriam incorruptionis tuae in idola et varis simulacra, in similitudinem imaginis corruptibilis hominis et volucrum et quadrupedum et serpentium, videlicet Aegyptium cibum, quo Esau perdidit primogenita sua, quoniam caput quadrupedis pro te honoravit populus primogenitus, conversus corde in Aegyptum et curbans imaginem tuam, animam suam, ante imaginem vituli manducantis faenum. inveni haec ibi et non manducavi. placuit enim tibi, domine, auferre opprobrium diminutionis ab Iacob, ut maior serviret minori, et vocasti gentes in hereditatem tuam. et ego ad te veneram ex gentibus; et intendi in aurum, quod ab Aegypto voluisti ut auferret populus tuus, quoniam tuum erat, ubicumque erat. et dixisti Atheniensibus per apostolum tuum, quod in te vivimus et movemur et sumus, sicut et quidam secundum eos dixerunt, et utique inde erant illi libri. et non adtendi in idola Aegyptiorum, quibus de auro tuo ministrabant, qui transmutaverunt veritatem die in mendacium, et coluerunt et servierunt creaturae potius quam creatori.

 (1) FOOD of the STRONG »cont

 FOOD of the STRONG 

CHAPTER 10
Divine Things are the More Clearly Manifested to Him Who Withdraws into the Recesses of His Heart.

     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: instead

        YOU SHALL BE CHANGED INTO ME ]

[sic: "my likeness"

nec tu me in te mutabis sicut cibum carnis tuae, sed

tu mutaberis in me

 And I understood that you chasten man for his iniquity, and make my soul to be eaten away as though by a spider. And I said, “Is Truth, therefore, nothing, because it is not diffused through space--neither finite nor infinite?” And you did cry to me from afar, “I am that I am.” 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 cognovi, quoniam pro iniquitate erudisti hominem, et tabescere fecisti sicut araneam animam meam, et dixi: numquid nihil est veritas, quoniam neque per finita neque per infinita locorum spatia diffusa est? et clamasti de longinquo: ego sum qui sum. 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.

(Book 7) CHAPTER 11
That Creatures are Mutable and God Alone Immutable.

 

     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 in so far as they come from you; but they are unreal in so far as they are not what you art. For that is truly real which remains immutable. It is good, then, for me to hold fast to God, for if I do not remain in him, neither shall I abide in myself; but he, remaining in himself, renews all things. And you are the Lord my God, since you stand in no need of my goodness.

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. id enim vere est, quod incommutabiliter manet. mihi autem inhaerere deo bonum est, quia, si non manebo in illo, nec in me potero. ille autem in se manens innovat omnia; et dominus meus es, quoniam bonorum meorum non eges.

 

CHAPTER 12
Whatever Things the Good God Has Created are Very Good.

 

     7.12.18. And it was made clear to me that all things are good even if they are corrupted. They could not be corrupted if they were supremely good; but unless they were good they could not be corrupted. If they were supremely good, they would be incorruptible; if they were not good at all, there would be nothing in them to be corrupted. For corruption harms; but unless it could diminish goodness, it could not harm. Either, then, corruption does not harm--which cannot be--or, as is certain, all that is corrupted is thereby deprived of good. But if they are deprived of all good, they will cease to be. For if they are at all and cannot be at all corrupted, they will become better, because they will remain incorruptible. Now what can be more monstrous than to maintain that by losing all good they have become better? If, then, they are deprived of all good, they will cease to exist. So long as they are, therefore, they are good. Therefore, whatsoever is, is good. Evil, then, the origin of which I had been seeking, has no substance at all; for if it were a substance, it would be good. For either it would be an incorruptible substance and so a supreme good, or a corruptible substance, which could not be corrupted unless it were good. I understood, therefore, and it was made clear to me that you made all things good, nor is there any substance at all not made by you. And because all that you made is not equal, each by itself is good, and the sum of all of them is very good, for our God made all things very good.

Et manifestatum est mihi, quoniam bona sunt, quae corrumpuntur, quae neque si summa bona essent, corrumpi possent, neque nisi bona essent, corrumpi possent: quia, si summa bona essent, incorruptibilia essent, si autem nulla bona essent, quid in eis conrumperetur, non esset. nocet enim corruptio, et nisi bonum minueret, non noceret. aut igitur nihil nocet corruptio, quod fieri non potest, aut, quod certissimum est, omnia, quae corrumpuntur, privantur bono. si autem omni bono privabuntur, omnino non erunt. si enim erunt et corrumpi iam non poterunt, meliora erunt, quia incorruptibiliter permanebunt. et quid monstrosius quam ea dicere omni bono amisso facta meliora? ergo si omni bono privabuntur, omnino nulla erunt: ergo quamdiu sunt, bona sunt. ergo quaecumque sunt, bona sunt, malumque illud, quod quaerebam unde esset, non est substantia, quia, si substantia esset, bonum esset. aut enim esset incorruptibilis substantia, magnum utique bonum, aut substantia corruptibilis non esset. itaque vidi et manifestatum est mihi, quia omnia bona tu fecisti, et prorsus nullae substantiae sunt, et simul omnia valde bona, quoniam fecit deus noster omnia bona valde.

 

CHAPTER 13
It is Meet to Praise the Creator for the Good Things Which are Made in Heaven and Earth.

 

     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. Far be it from me, then, to say, “These things should not be.” For if I could see nothing but these, I should indeed desire something better--but still I ought to praise you, if only for these created things. For that you are to be praised is shown from the fact that “earth, dragons, and all deeps; fire, and hail, snow and vapors, stormy winds fulfilling your word; mountains, and all hills, fruitful trees, and all cedars; beasts and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl; things of the earth, and all people; princes, and all judges of the earth; both young men and maidens, old men and children,” praise your name! But seeing also that in heaven all your angels praise you, O God, praise you in the heights, “and all your hosts, sun and moon, all stars and light, the heavens of heavens, and the waters that are above the heavens,” praise your name--seeing this, I say, 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.

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. et absit, ut dicerem iam: non essent ista, quia etsi sola ista cernerem, desiderarem quidem meliora, sed iam etiam de solis istis laudare te deberem: quoniam laudandum te ostendunt de terra dracones et omnes colles, ligna fructifera et omnes cedri, bestiae et omnia pecora, reptilia et volatilia pinnata; reges terrae et omnes populi, principes et omnes iudices terrae, iuvenes et virgines, seniores cum iunioribus laudent nomen tuum. cum vero etiam de caelis te laudent, laudent te, deus noster, in excelsis omnes angeli tui, omnes virtutes tuae, sol et luna, omnes stellae et lumen, caeli caelorum et aquae, quae super caelos sunt, laudent nomen tuum: non iam desiderabam meliora, quia omnia cogitabam, et meliora quidem superiora quam inferiora, sed meliora omnia quam sola superiora iudicio saniore pendebam

CHAPTER 14
Being Displeased with Some Part; Of God’s Creation, He Conceives of Two Original Substances.

 

     7.14.20. There is no health in those who find fault with any part of your creation; as there was no health in me when I found fault with so many of your works. And, because my soul dared not be displeased with my God, it would not allow that the things which displeased me were from you. Hence it had wandered into the notion of two substances, and could find no rest, but talked foolishly, And turning from that error, it had then made for itself a god extended through infinite space; and it thought this was you and set it up in its heart, and it became once more the temple of its own idol, an abomination to you. But you did soothe my brain, though I was unaware of it, and closed my eyes lest they should behold vanity; and thus I ceased from preoccupation with self by a little and my madness was lulled to sleep; and I awoke in you, and beheld you as the Infinite, but not in the way I had thought--and this vision was not derived from the flesh.

Non est sanitas eis, quibus displicet aliquid creaturae tuae, sicut mihi non erat, cum displicerent multa, quae fecisti, et quia non audebat anima mea, ut ei displiceret deus meus, nolebat esse tuum quidquid ei displicebat. et inde ieret in opinionem duarum substantiarum, et non requiescebat et aliena loquebatur. et inde rediens fecerat sibi deum per infinita spatia locorum omnium, et cum putaverat esse te, et eum collocaverat in corde suo, et facta erat rursus templum idoli sui abominandum tibi. sed posteaquam fovisti caput nescientis, et clausisti oculos meos, ne viderent vanitatem, cessavi de me paululum, et consopita est insania mea; et evigilavi in te et vidi te infinitum aliter, et visus iste non a carne trahebatur.

 

Chapter XV.—Whatever Is, Owes Its Being to God.

 

21. And I looked around at other things, and I saw that it was to you that all of them owed their being, and that they were all finite in you; yet they are in you not as in a space, but because you holdest all things in the hand of your truth, and because all things are true in so far as they are; and because falsehood is nothing except the existence in thought of what does not exist in fact. And I saw that all things harmonize, not only in their places but also in their seasons. And I saw that thou, who alone are eternal, did not begin to work after unnumbered periods of time--because all ages, both those which are past and those which shall pass, neither go nor come except through your working and abiding.

Et respexi alia, et vidi tibi debere quia sunt, et in te cuncta finita, sed aliter, non quasi in loco, sed quia tu es omnitenens manu veritate, et omnia vera sunt, in quantum sunt, nec quicquam est falsitas, nisi cum putatur esse quod non est. et vidi, quia non solum locis sua quaeque suis conveniunt sed etiam temporibus; et quia tu, qui solus aeternus es, non post innumerabilia spatia temporum coepisti operari, quia omnia spatia temporum, quae praeterierunt et quae praeteribunt, nec abirent nec venirent nisi te operante et manente.

 

Chapter XVI.—Evil Arises Not from a Substance, But from the Perversion of the Will.

 

22. And I saw and found it no marvel that bread which is distasteful to an unhealthy palate is pleasant to a healthy one; or that the light, which is painful to sore eyes, is a delight to sound ones. Your righteousness displeases the wicked, and they find even more fault with the viper and the little worm, which you have created good, fitting in as they do with the inferior parts of creation. The wicked themselves also fit in here, and proportionately more so as they become unlike you--but they harmonize with the higher creation proportionately as they become like you. And I asked what wickedness was, and I found that it was no substance, but a perversion of the will bent aside from you, O God, the supreme substance, toward these lower things, casting away its inmost treasure and becoming bloated with external good.

Et sensi expertus non esse mirum, quod palato non sano poena est et panis, qui sano suavis est, et oculis aegris odiosa lux, quae puris amabilis. et iustitia tua displicet iniquis, nedum vipera et vermiculus, quae bona creasti, apta inferioribus creaturae tuae partibus, quibus et ipsi iniqui apti sunt, quanto dissimiliores sunt tibi, apti autem superioribus, quanto similiores fiunt tibi. et quaesivi, quid esset iniquitas, et non inveni substantiam, sed a summa substantia, te deo, detortae in infima voluntatis perversitatem proicientis intima sua et tumescentis foras.

Chapter XVII.—Above His Changeable Mind, He Discovers the Unchangeable Author of Truth.

 

23. And I marveled that I now loved you, and no fantasm 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 thine 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 plantasma: 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.

 

And thus by degrees I was led upward from bodies to the soul which perceives them by means of the bodily senses, 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--and thence on up to the reasoning power, to whose judgment is referred the experience received from the bodily sense. And when this power of reason within me also found that it was changeable, it raised itself up to its own intellectual principle, and withdrew its thoughts from experience, abstracting itself from the contradictory throng of phantasms in order to seek for that light in which it was bathed. Then, without any doubting, it cried out that the unchangeable was better than the changeable. 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. And thus with the flash of a trembling glance, it arrived at that which is. And I saw your invisibility [invisibilia tua] understood by means of the things that are made. 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.

atque ita gradatim a corporibus ad sentientem per corpus animam, atque inde ad eius interiorem vim, cui sensus corporis exteriora nuntiaret, et quousque possunt bestiae, atque inde rursus ad ratiocinantem potentiam, ad quam refertur iudicandum, quod sumitur a sensibus corporis. quae se quoque in me comperiens mutabilem, erexit se ad intellegentiam suam, et abduxit cogitationem a consuetudine, subtrahens se contradicentibus turbis phantasmatum, ut inveniret, quo lumine aspargeretur; cum sine ulla dubitatione clamaret incommutabile praeferendum esse mutabili, unde nosset ipsum incommutabile -- quod nisi aliquo modo nosset, nullo modo illud mutabili certa praeponeret -- et pervenit ad id, quod est, in ictu trepidantis aspectus. tunc vero invisibilia tua per ea quae facta sunt intellecta conspexi, sed aciem figere non evalui, et repercussa infirmitate redditus solitis, non mecum ferebam nisi amantem memoriam et quasi olefacta desiderantem, quae comedere nondum possem.

 

 

CHAPTER 18
Jesus Christ, the Mediator, is the Only Way of Safety.

 

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. For “the Word was made flesh” in order that your wisdom, by which you did create all things, might become milk for our infancy. And, as yet, I was not humble enough to hold the humble Jesus; nor did I understand what lesson his weakness was meant to teach us. For your Word, the eternal Truth, far exalted above even the higher parts of your creation, lifts his subjects up toward himself. But in this lower world, he built for himself a humble habitation of our own clay, so that he might pull down from themselves and win over to himself those whom he is to bring subject to him; lowering their pride and heightening their love, to the end that they might go on no farther in self-confidence--but rather should become weak, seeing at their feet the Deity made weak by sharing our coats of skin--so that they might cast themselves, exhausted, upon him and be uplifted by his rising.

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: quoniam verbum caro factum est, ut infantiae nostrae lactesceret sapientia tua, per quam creasti omnia. non enim tenebam deum meum Iesum humilis humilem, nec cuius rei magistra esset eius infirmitas noveram. verbum enim tuum, aeterna veritas, superioribus creaturae tuae partibus supereminens, subditos erigit ad se ipsam, in inferioribus autem aedificavit sibi humilem domum de limo nostro, per quam subdendos deprimeret a se ipsis et ad se traiceret, sanans tumorem et nutriens amorem, ne fiducia sui progrederentur longius, sed potius infirmarentur, videntes ante pedes suos infirmam divinitatem ex participatione tunicae pelliciae nostrae, et lassi prosternerentur in eam, illa autem surgens levaret eos.

 

Chapter XIX.—He Does Not Yet Fully Understand the Saying of John, that “The Word Was Made Flesh.”

 

25. But I thought otherwise. I saw in our Lord Christ only a man of eminent wisdom to whom no other man could be compared--especially because he was miraculously born of a virgin--sent to set us an example of despising worldly things for the attainment of immortality, and thus exhibiting his divine care for us. Because of this, I held that he had merited his great authority as leader. But concerning the mystery contained in “the Word was made flesh,” I could not even form a notion. From what I learned from what has been handed down to us in the books about him--that he ate, drank, slept, walked, rejoiced in spirit, was sad, and discoursed with his fellows--I realized that his flesh alone was not bound unto your Word, but also that there was a bond with the human soul and body. Everyone knows this who knows the unchangeableness of your Word, and this I knew by now, as far as I was able, and I had no doubts at all about it. For at one time to move the limbs by an act of will, at another time not; at one time to feel some emotion, at another time not; at one time to speak intelligibly through verbal signs, at another, not--these are all properties of a soul and mind subject to change. And if these things were falsely written about him, all the rest would risk the imputation of falsehood, and there would remain in those books no saving faith for the human race.

Ego vero aliud putabam: tantumque sentiebam de domino Christo meo, quantum de excellentis sapientiae viro, cui nullus posset aequari, praesertim quia mirabiliter natus ex virgine (ad exemplum contemnendorum terporalium prae adipiscenda immortalitate) divina pro nobis cura tantam auctoritatem magisterii meruisse videbatur. quid autem sacramenti haberet verbum caro factum, ne suspicari quidem poteram. tantum cognoveram ex his, quae de illo scripta traderentur, quia manducavit et bibit, dormivit, ambulavit, exhilaratus est, contristatus est, sermocinatus est, non haesisse carnem illam verbo tuo nisi cum anima et mente humana. novit hoc omnis, qui novit incommutabililatem verbi tui, quam ego iam noveram, quantum poteram, nec omnino quicquam inde dubitabam. etenim nunc movere membra corporis per voluntatem, nunc non movere; nunc aliquo affectu affici, nunc non affici; nunc proferre per signa sapientes sententias, nunc esse in silentio: propria sunt mutabilitatis animae et mentis. quae si falsa de illo scripta essent, etiam omnia periclitarentur mendacio, neque in illis litteris ulla fidei salus generi humano remaneret.

 

Therefore, because they were written truthfully, I acknowledged a perfect man to be in Christ--not the body of a man only, nor, in the body, an animal soul without a rational one as well, but a true man. And this man I held to be superior to all others, not only because he was a form of the Truth, but also because of the great excellence and perfection of his human nature, due to his participation in wisdom.

Alypius, on the other hand, supposed the Catholics to believe that God was so clothed with flesh that besides God and the flesh there was no soul in Christ, and he did not think that a human mind was ascribed to him. And because he was fully persuaded that the actions recorded of him could not have been performed except by a living rational creature, he moved the more slowly toward Christian faith. But when he later learned that this was the error of the Apollinarian heretics, he rejoiced in the Catholic faith and accepted it. For myself, I must confess that it was even later that I learned how in the sentence, “The Word was made flesh,” the Catholic truth can be distinguished from the falsehood of Photinus. For the refutation of heretics makes the tenets of your Church and sound doctrine to stand out boldly. “For there must also be heresies [factions] that those who are approved may be made manifest among the weak.”

quia itaque vera scripta sunt, totum hominem in Christo agnoscebam: non corpus tantum hominis aut cum corpore sine mente animum, sed ipsum hominem, non persona veritatis, sed magna quadam naturae humanae excellentia et perfectiore participatione sapientiae praeferri ceteris arbitrabar. Alypius autem deum carne indutum ita putabat credi a Catholicis, ut praeter deum et carnem non esset in Christo anima, mentemque hominis non existimabat in eo praedicare. et quoniam bene persuasum tenebat ea, quae de illo memoriae mandata sunt, sine vitali et rationali creatura non fieri, ad ipsam Christianam fidem pigrius movebatur. sed postea haereticorum Apollinaristarum hunc errorem esse cognoscens, Catholicae fidei conlaetatus et contemperatus est. ego autem aliquanto posterius didicisse me fateor, in eo, quod verbum caro factum est, quomodo Catholica veritas a Photini falsitate dirimatur. improbatio quippe haereticorum facit eminere, quid ecclesia tua sentiat et quid habeat sana doctrina. oportuit enim et haereses esse, ut probati manifesti fierent inter infirmos.

Chapter XX.—He Rejoices that He Proceeded from Plato to the Holy Scriptures, and Not the Reverse.

 

26. By having thus read the books of the Platonists, and having been taught by them to search for the incorporeal Truth, I saw how your invisible things are understood through the things that are made. And, even when I was thrown back, I still sensed what it was that the dullness of my soul would not allow me to contemplate. I was assured that you were, and were infinite, though not diffused in finite space or infinity; that you truly art, who are ever the same, varying neither in part nor motion; and that all things are from you, as is proved by this sure cause alone: that they exist.

Of all this I was convinced, yet I was too weak to enjoy you. I chattered away as if I were an expert; but if I had not sought your Way in Christ our Saviour, my knowledge would have turned out to be not instruction but destruction. For now full of what was in fact my punishment, I had begun to desire to seem wise. I did not mourn my ignorance, but rather was puffed up with knowledge. For where was that love which builds upon the foundation of humility, which is Jesus Christ? Or, when would these books teach me this? I now believe that it was your pleasure that I should fall upon these books before I studied your Scriptures, that it might be impressed on my memory how I was affected by them; and then afterward, when I was subdued by your Scriptures and when my wounds were touched by your healing fingers, I might discern and distinguish what a difference there is between presumption and confession--between those who saw where they were to go even if they did not see the way, and the Way which leads, not only to the observing, but also the inhabiting of the blessed country. For had I first been molded in your Holy Scriptures, and if you hadst grown sweet to me through my familiar use of them, and if then I had afterward fallen on those volumes, they might have pushed me off the solid ground of godliness--or if I had stood firm in that wholesome disposition which I had there acquired, I might have thought that wisdom could be attained by the study of those [Platonist] books alone.

Sed tunc, lectis Platonicorum illis libris, postquam inde admonitus quaerere incorpoream veritatem, invisibilia tua per ea quae facta sunt intellecta conspexi; et repulsus sensi, quid per tenebras animae meae contemplari non sinerer, certus esse te et infinitum esse, nec tamen per locos finitos infinitosve diffundi, et vere te esse, qui semper idem ipse esses, ex nulla parte nulloque motu alter aut aliter, cetera vero ex te esse omnia, hoc solo firmissimo documento, quia sunt: certus quidem in istis eram, nimis tamen infirmus ad fruendum te. garriebam plane quasi peritus et, nisi in Christo, salvatore nostro, viam tuam quaererem, non peritus, sed periturus essem. iam enim coeperam velle videri sapiens, plenus poena mea et non flebam, insuper autem inflabar scientia. ubi enim erat illa aedificans caritas a fundamento humilitatis, quod est Christus Iesus? aut quando illi libri me docerent eam? in quos me propterea, priusquam scripturas tuas considerarem, credo voluisti incurrere, ut inprimeretur memoriae meae, quomodo ex eis affectus essem, et cum postea in libris tuis mansuefactus essem, et curantibus digitis tuis contrectarentur vulnera mea, discernerem atque distinguerem, quid interesset inter praesumptionem et confessionem, inter videntes, quo eundum sit, nec videntes, qua, et viam ducentem ad beatificam patriam, non tantum cernendam sed et habitandam. nam si primo sanctis tuis litteris informatus essem, et in earum familiaritate obdulcuisses mihi, et post in illa volumina incidissem, fortasse aut abripuissent me a solidamento pietatis, aut si in affectu, quem salubrem inbiberam, perstitissem, putarem etiam ex illis libris eum posse concipi, si eos solos quisque didicisset.

Chapter XXI.—What He Found in the Sacred Books Which are Not to Be Found in Plato.

 

27. With great eagerness, then, I fastened upon the venerable writings of your Spirit and principally upon the apostle Paul. I had thought that he sometimes contradicted himself and that the text of his teaching did not agree with the testimonies of the Law and the Prophets; but now all these doubts vanished away. And I saw that those pure words had but one face, and I learned to rejoice with trembling. So I began, and I found that whatever truth I had read [in the Platonists] was here combined with the exaltation of your grace. Thus, he who sees must not glory as if he had not received, not only the things that he sees, but the very power of sight--for what does he have that he has not received as a gift? By this he is not only exhorted to see, but also to be cleansed, that he may grasp you, who are ever the same; and thus he who cannot see you afar off may yet enter upon the road that leads to reaching, seeing, and possessing you. For although a man may “delight in the law of God after the inward man,” what shall he do with that other “law in his members which wars against the law of his mind, and brings him into captivity under the law of sin, which is in his members”? You are righteous, O Lord; but we have sinned and committed iniquities, and have done wickedly. Your hand has grown heavy upon us, and we are justly delivered over to that ancient sinner, the lord of death. For he persuaded our wills to become like his will, by which he remained not in your truth. What shall “wretched man” do? “Who shall deliver him from the body of this death,” except your grace through Jesus Christ our Lord; whom you have begotten, coeternal with thyself, and did create in the beginning of your ways--in whom the prince of this world found nothing worthy of death, yet he killed him--and so the handwriting which was all against us was blotted out?

The books of the Platonists tell nothing of this. Their pages do not contain the expression of this kind of godliness--the tears of confession, your sacrifice, a troubled spirit, a broken and a contrite heart, the salvation of your people, the espoused City, the earnest of the Holy Spirit, the cup of our redemption. In them, no man sings: “Shall not my soul be subject unto God, for from him comes my salvation? He is my God and my salvation, my defender; I shall no more be moved.” In them, no one hears him calling, “Come unto me all you who labor.” They scorn to learn of him because he is “meek and lowly of heart”; for “thou have hidden those things from the wise and prudent, and have revealed them unto babes.” For it is one thing to see the land of peace from a wooded mountaintop: and fail to find the way thither--to attempt impassable ways in vain, opposed and waylaid by fugitives and deserters under their captain, the “lion” and “dragon”; but it is quite another thing to keep to the highway that leads thither, guarded by the hosts of the heavenly Emperor, on which there are no deserters from the heavenly army to rob the passers-by, for they shun it as a torment. These thoughts sank wondrously into my heart, when I read that “least of your apostles” and when I had considered all your works and trembled.

Itaque avidissime arripui venerabilem stilum spiritus tui, et prae ceteris apostolum Paulum. et perierunt illae quaestiones, in quibus mihi aliquando visus est adversari sibi, et non congruere testimoniis legis et prophetarum textus sermonis eius: et apparuit mihi una facies eloquiorum castorum, et exultare cum tremore didici. et coepi et inveni, quidquid illac verum legeram, hac cum conmendatione gratiae tuae dici: ut qui videt non sic glorietur, quasi non acceperit non solum quod videt, sed etiam ut videat -- quid enim habet quod non accepit? -- et ut te, qui es semper idem, non solum admoneatur ut videat, sed etiam sanetur ut teneat; et qui de longinquo videre non potest, viam tamen ambulet, qua veniat et videat et teneat: quia, etsi condelectetur homo legi dei secundum interiorem hominem, quid faciet de alia lege in membris suis, repugnante legi mentis suae, et se captivum ducente in lege peccati, quae est in membris eius? quoniam iustus es, domine; nos autem peccavimus, inique fecimus, inpie gessimus, et gravata est super nos manus tua, et iuste traditi sumus antiquo peccatori, praeposito mortis, quia persuasit voluntati nostrae similitudinem voluntatis suae, qua in veritate tua non stetit. quid faciet miser homo? quis eum liberabit de corpore mortis huius, nisi gratia tua per Iesum Christum dominum nostrum, quem genuisti coaeternum et creasti in principio viarum tuarum; in quo princeps huius mundi non invenit quicquam morte dignum, et occidit eum; et evacuatum est chirographum, quod erat contrarium nobis? hoc illae litterae non habent. non habent illae paginae vultum pietatis illius, lacrimas confessionis, sacrificium tuum, spiritum contribulatum, cor contritum et humiliatum, populi salutem, sponsam civitatem, arram spiritus sancti, poculum pretii nostri. nemo ibi, cantat: Nonne deo subdita erit anima mea? ab ipso enim salutare meum: etenim ipse deus meus et salutaris meus, susceptor meus: non movebor amplius. nemo ibi audit vocantem: Venite ad me, qui laboratis. dedignantur ab eo discere, quoniam mitis est et humilis corde. abscondisti enim haec a sapientibus et prudentibus et revelasti ea parvulis. et aliud est de silvestri cacumine videre patriam pacis, et iter ad eam non invenire, et frustra conari per invia, circum obsidentibus et insidiantibus fugitivis desertoribus, cum principe suo leone et dracone: et aliud tenere viam illuc ducentem, cura caelestis imperatoris munitam, ubi non latrocinantur qui caelestem militiam deseruerunt; vitant enim eam sicut supplicium. haec mihi inviscerabantur miris modis, cum minimum apostolorum tuorum legerem, et consideraveram opera tua et expaveram.

 

(2) SPIRITUAL ASCENT to HEAVEN  »cont

 SPIRITUAL ASCENT to HEAVEN 

 

BOOK 9

 

CHAPTER 10.
  Conversation He Had with His Mother Concerning the Kingdom of Heaven.

 

     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. 

 

SACRA CONLOQUIA

 

HOLY CONVERSATION

 

 

Sarcophagus
Via Saleria,
mid-200s.

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 art)--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 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. Cum

 

     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,  que 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, 

 

Dante
and Beatrice
ascend to
the Sun
,

Bodleian Lib.,
Oxford,
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 knowest 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?

 

 

 

 

 

(3) RAVISHED SPIRITUAL SENSES  »cont

 RAVISHED SPIRITUAL SENSES 

BOOK 10.   CHAPTER 27

 

He Grieves that He Was So Long Without God.     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:

YOU EXUDED PERFUME

and I drew in my breath;

and now I pant for you.

fragrasti

et duxi spiritum, 

et anhelo tibi,

I TASTED,

and now I hunger and thirst.

gustavi

  et esurio et sitio,

YOU TOUCHED me,

and I burned for your peace.

tetigisti me,

  et exarsi in pacem tuam. 

 

 

 

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