APOSTOLIC LETTER AUGUSTENUM HIPPONSENSUM
John Paul II
August 28, 1986.
TO THE BISHOPS, PRIESTS, RELIGIOUS FAMILIES AND FAITHFUL OF THE
WHOLE CHURCH ON THE OCCASION OF THE 16TH CENTENARY OF THE
CONVERSION OF ST. AUGUSTINE, BISHOP AND DOCTOR
Venerable brothers and beloved Sons and Daughters:
Greetings and the Apostolic Blessing!
Augustine of Hippo, who, scarcely one year after his death, was
called "one of the best teachers" of the Church by my distant
predecessor, St. Celestine I,(1) has been present ever since in
the life of the Church and in the mind and culture of the whole
western world. In a similar fashion, other Roman Pontiffs have
proposed the example of his way of life and the writings that
embody his teachings as an object of contemplation and
imitation, and very many Councils have often drawn copiously
from his writings. Pope Leo XIII praised his philosophical
teachings in the Encyclical Aeterni Patris;(2) later, Pius XI
made a brief synthesis of his virtues and teachings in the
Encyclical Ad salutem humani generis, declaring that, of those
who have flourished from the beginnings of the human race down
to our own days, none—or, at most, very few—could rank with
Augustine, for the very great acuteness of his genius, for the
richness and sublimity of his teachings, and finally for his
holiness of life and defense of Catholic truth.(3) Paul VI later
affirmed: "Indeed, over and above the shining example he gives
of the qualities common to all the Fathers, it may be said that
all the thought-currents of the past meet in his works and form
the source which provides the whole doctrinal tradition of
I too have added my voice to those of my predecessors, when I
expressed my strong desire "that his philosophical, theological
and spiritual doctrine be studied and spread, so that he may
continue...his teaching in the Church, a humble but at the same
time enlightened teaching which speaks above all of Christ and
love."(5) On another occasion, I urged in particular the
spiritual sons of this great saint "to keep the fascination of
St. Augustine alive and attractive even in modern society." This
is an excellent ideal that must fire us with enthusiasm, because
"the exact and heartfelt knowledge of his life awakens the
thirst for God, the attraction of Christ, the love for wisdom
and truth, the need for grace, prayer, virtue, fraternal
charity, and the yearning for eternal happiness."(6)
I am very happy, accordingly, that the propitious circumstance
of the sixteenth centenary of his conversion and baptism offers
me the opportunity to evoke his brilliant figure once again.
This commemoration will be at the same time a thanksgiving to
God for the gift that He has made to the Church, and through her
to the whole human race, with this wonderful conversion. It will
also be a very fitting occasion to recall to all that this
convert, when he had become a bishop, was a marvelous example to
pastors in his intrepid defense of the true faith, or, as he
would say, of the "virginity" of the faith.(7) He was likewise
the genius who constructed a philosophy that can truly be called
Christian because of its harmony with the faith, and a tireless
promoter of spiritual and religious perfection.
We know the progress of his conversion from his own works
written in the solitude of Cassiciacum before his baptism,(8)
and above all from the famous Confessions, a work that is
simultaneously autobiography, philosophy, theology, mysticism
and poetry, a work in which those who thirst for truth and know
their own limitations have always discovered their own selves.
Toward the end of his life, he wrote: "Which of my works
succeeded more often in being known and loved than the books of
my Confessions?"(9) History has never contradicted this
judgment, but has amply confirmed it. Even today, the
Confessions of St. Augustine are widely read, since the richness
of their interior insight and religious emotion have a profound
effect on the minds of men and women, stimulating them and
disturbing them. This is true not only of believers; even one
without faith, but in search at least of a certainty that will
allow him to understand himself, his deep aspirations and his
torments, reads this work with advantage. The conversion of St.
Augustine, an event totally dominated by the need to find the
truth, has much to teach the men and women of today, who are so
often mistaken about the greatest question of all life.
It is well known that this conversion took a wholly individual
path, because it was not a case of arriving for the first time
at the Catholic faith, but of rediscovering it. He had lost it,
convinced that in so doing, he was abandoning only the Church,
He had been brought up in a Christian manner by his mother,(10)
the pious and holy Monica.(11) In virtue of this education,
Augustine always remained not only a believer in God, in
providence and in the future life,(12) but also a believer in
Christ, whose name he "had drunk in," as he says, "with my
mother's milk."(13) After he had returned to the faith of the
Catholic Church, he said that he had returned "to the faith
which was instilled in me as a child and which had entered into
my very marrow."(14) If one wishes to understand his interior
evolution, and what is perhaps the most profound aspect of his
personality and his thought, one must take this fact as one's
He awoke at the age of nineteen to the love of wisdom, when he
read the Hortensius of Cicero—"That book altered my way of
thinking...and I desired wisdom's immortality with an incredible
ardor in my heart."(15) He loved the truth deeply, and sought it
always with all the strength of his soul: "O Truth, Truth, how
deep even then was the yearning for you in the inmost depths of
Despite this love for truth, Augustine fell into serious errors.
Scholars who look for the reasons for this indicate three
directions: first, a mistaken, account of the relationship
between reason and faith, so that he would have to choose
between them; second, in the supposed contrast between Christ
and the Church, with the consequent conviction that it was
necessary to abandon the Church in order to belong more fully to
Christ; and third, the desire to free himself from the
consciousness of sin, not by means of the remission of sin
through the working of grace, but by means of the denial of the
involvement of human responsibility in the sin itself.
The first error consisted, therefore, in a certain spirit of
rationalism which led Augustine to believe that "one should
believe those who teach, rather than those who issue
commands."(17) With this spirit, he read the Sacred Scriptures
and felt himself repelled by the mysteries that they contain,
mysteries that need to be accepted with humble faith. When he
spoke later to his people about this period of his life, he
said: "I who speak to you was once deceived, when I first came
to the divine Scriptures as a youth, preferring to discuss
intellectual points rather than to seek piety.... In my
wretchedness, I thought that I could fly, and left the nest; and
before I could fly, I fell."(18)
It was at this time that Augustine met the Manichaeans, heard
them and followed them. The chief reason for this was that "they
said that, having set aside the terrible authority, they would
lead to God by pure and simple reason those willing to listen to
them, freed from all errors"(19) Augustine then presented
himself as "one wishing to grasp and imbibe the open and
authentic truth"(20) with the force of reason alone.
After long years of study, especially of philosophical
study,(21) he realized that he had been deceived, but the effect
of the Manichaean propaganda was to keep him convinced that the
truth was not to be found in the Catholic Church.(22) He fell
into a profound depression and indeed despaired of ever coming
to know the truth: "the Academicians kept my rudder for long in
the middle of the streams, resisting all winds."(23)
It was the same love for truth which he always had within him,
that rescued him from this interior crisis. He realized that it
was impossible that the path to truth should be closed to the
human mind; if it is not found, it is because men neglect and
despise the means that will lead to the discovery of truth.(24)
Strengthened by this conviction, he replies to himself: "Rather,
let us seek more diligently, and not despair."(25) He therefore
continued to search, and reached the harbor under the guidance
of the divine grace which his mother implored for him in her
supplications and abundant tears.(26)
He understood that reason and faith are two forces that are to
cooperate to bring the human person to know the truth,(27) and
that each of these has its own primacy: faith comes first in the
sequence of time, reason has the absolute primacy: "the
authority is first in the order of time, but in reality the
primacy belongs to the reason."(28) He understood that if faith
is to be sure, it needs a divine authority, and that this is
none other than the authority of Christ, the supreme
teacher—Augustine had never doubted this(29)-and that the
authority of Christ is found in the Sacred Scriptures(30) that
are guaranteed by the authority of the Catholic Church.(31)
With the help of the Platonist philosophers, he freed himself
from the materialistic concept of being that he had taken in
from Manichaeism: "Admonished by them to return to myself, I
entered within myself, under Your guidance.... I entered, and I
saw as with the eye of my soul...the inalterable light above my
mind."(32) It was this inalterable light that opened to him the
immense horizons of the spirit of God.
He understood that the first question to be asked about the
serious question of evil, which was his great torment,(33) was
not its origin, but what it was;(34) and he saw that evil is not
a substance, but the lack of good: "All that exists is good. The
evil about the origin of which I asked questions is not a
substance."(35) He concluded that God is the creator of
everything, and that no substance exists that was not created by
Taught by his own experience of life,(37) he made the decisive
discovery that sin has its origin in the will of the human
person, a will that is free and weak: "It was I who willed and
refused; it was I, I."(38)
Although he could assert at this time that he had reached the
point of arrival, this was not yet the case, because he was
caught in the tentacles of a new error, the presumption that he
could attain the beatifying possession of the truth by natural
powers alone. An unhappy personal experience changed his opinion
on this point.(39) He understood then that it is one thing to
know the goal, another to reach it.(40) In order to find the
necessary powers and the path itself, he took up "most eagerly,"
as he says, "the venerable Scripture of Your Spirit, and above
all the apostle Paul."(41) He found Christ the teacher in the
letters of Paul, as he had always venerated Him, but also Christ
the Redeemer, the incarnate Word, the only mediator between God
and men. He saw then in all its splendor "the face of
philosophy"(42)- the philosophy of Paul that has as its center
Christ, "the power and wisdom of God" (1 Cor 1:24), and has
other centers in faith, humility and grace; the "philosophy"
that is at once wisdom and grace, so that it becomes possible
not only to know one's homeland, but also to reach it.(43)
Having rediscovered Christ the Redeemer and embraced Him,
Augustine had returned to the harbor of the Catholic faith, to
the faith in which he had been brought up by his mother: "For I
had heard while still a boy about the eternal life promised to
us by the God who in His humility came down to our pride."(44)
The love for the truth, nourished by divine grace, overcame all
But the path was not yet at its end. A former plan was reborn in
Augustine's mind: to consecrate himself totally to wisdom once
he had found it, abandoning every earthly hope in order to
possess wisdom.(45) Now he could no longer make excuses: the
truth so long desired was now certain.(46) Nevertheless, he
hesitated, seeking reasons to put off the decision to do
this.(47) The bonds that tied him to the earthly hopes were
strong: honors, money, marriage,(48) especially the last, in
view of the way of life that that had become customary for
Augustine knew well that he was not forbidden to marry;(50) but
he did not want to be a Catholic Christian in any other way
except by renouncing the excellent ideal of the family in order
to dedicate himself with "all" his soul to the love and
possession of wisdom. In taking this decision which corresponded
to his deepest aspirations but was in contrast to his most
deeply-rooted habits, Augustine was prompted by the example of
Anthony and of the monks who were beginning to spread in the
West also and whom he came to know by chance.(51) He accused
himself with great shame, "You could not do what these men and
women do."(52) A deep and painful struggle ensued, which was
brought to its close by divine grace once again.(53)
Augustine related to his mother his serene and strong decision:
"Then we went to my mother and related the matter to her: she
rejoiced. We related how it had come about: she exulted in
triumph and she blessed You, who are able to do more than we ask
or think (Eph 3:20), because she saw that You had given her so
much more, as regarded me, than she had been accustomed to ask
with her unhappy and tearful groanings. For You converted me to
yourself, so that I might seek neither wife nor any hope of this
From this moment, Augustine began a new life. He finished the
academic year-the harvest holidays were near(55)-and withdrew to
the solitude of Cassiciacum;(56) at the end of the vacation, he
gave up teaching,(57) and returned to Milan at the beginning of
387. He enrolled among the catechumens and was baptized on the
night of Holy Saturday-April 23-24—by Ambrose, the bishop from
whose preaching he had learned so much. "We were baptized, and
the care of the past life fled from us. I could not have enough
in those days of the wonderful sweetness of contemplating the
sublimity of Your plan of salvation for the human race." He
adds, bearing witness to the profound emotion of his mind, "How
much I wept at the hymns and canticles, keenly moved by the
sweet voices of Your Church!"(58)
After baptism, Augustine's one desire was to find a suitable
place to live with his friends according to his "holy
resolution" to serve the Lord.(59) He found it in Africa, at
Tagaste, his native town, where he went after the death of his
mother at Ostia Tiberina(60) and after spending a few months at
Rome to study the monastic movement.(61) When he arrived at
Tagaste, "having now cast off from himself the cares of the
world; he lived for God with those who accompanied him, in
fasting, prayers, and good works, meditating on the law of the
Lord by day and by night." The passionate lover of the truth
wanted to dedicate his life to asceticism, to contemplation, and
to the intellectual apostolate. His first biographer indeed goes
on to say: "In his discourse and his books, he taught about what
God had revealed to his intellect as he pondered and
prayed."(62) He wrote very many books at Tagaste, as he had done
at Rome and Milan and at Cassiciacum.
After three years he went to Hippo, intending to look for a site
to found a monastery, and to meet a friend whom he hoped to win
for the monastic life. He found instead, in spite of himself,
the priesthood.(63) But he did not give up his ideal: he asked
and obtained permission to found a monastery, the monastery of
the laymen, in which he lived, and from which many priests and
many bishops came for all of Africa.(64) When he became bishop,
five years later, he transformed the bishop's house into a
monastery, the monastery of the clerics. Not even as priest and
bishop did he abandoned the ideal conceived at the moment of his
conversion. He wrote also a rule for the servants of God, which
has had so much influence in the history of western religious
life, and continues to play its part today.(65)
I have dealt at some length with the essential points of the
conversion of Augustine, because they offer so much useful
teachings, not only for believers, but for all men and women of
good will: they teach how easy it is to go astray on the path of
life, and how difficult it is to rediscover the way of truth.
But this wonderful conversion also helps us to understand better
his life afterwards as monk, priest and bishop who always
remained the great man who had been struck by the
lightning-flash of grace: "You had shot at our heart with the
arrow of Your love, and we bore Your words transfixed in our
breast."(66) Above all, the conversion helps us to penetrate
more easily into his thought, which was so universal and
profound that it rendered incomparable and imperishable service
to Christian thought, so that we have good reason to call him
the common father of Christian Europe.
The hidden force of his tireless search was assuredly the same
force that had guided him on the path of his conversion: love
for the truth. He himself indeed says: What does the soul desire
more strongly than the truth?"(67) In a work of lofty
theological and mystical speculation, written more out of
personal need than for external requirements, he recalls this
love and writes: "We are caught up by the love of seeking out
the truth."(68) This time, the object of the search is the
august mystery of the Trinity and the mystery of Christ, the
Father's revelation, "knowledge and wisdom" of the human person:
thus was born the great work On the Trinity.
Two coordinates guided the research, which was unceasingly
nourished by love: the deepening of the Catholic faith and its
defense against those who denied it, such as the Manichaeans and
the pagans, or who interpreted it erroneously, such as the
Donatists, the Pelagians and the Arians. It is difficult to
venture forth upon the sea of Augustine's thought, and even more
difficult to summarize it-this indeed is almost impossible. I
may however be permitted to recall some illuminating insights of
this mighty thinker, for the edification of all.
1. Reason and faith
First of all, there is the problem that occupied him most in his
youth and to which he returned with all the force of genius and
the passion of his spirit: the problem of the relationship
between reason and faith. This is a perennial problem, no less
acute today than yesterday, and the direction taken by human
thought depends on its solution. It is a difficult problem,
however, because one must pass safely between two extremes,
between the fideism that despises reason and the rationalism
that excludes faith. Augustine's intellectual and pastoral
endeavor aimed to show, beyond any shadow of doubt, that "since
we are impelled by a twin pull of gravity to learn,"(69) both
forces, reason and faith, must work together.
He always listened to what faith had to say, but he exalted
reason no less, giving each its own primacy in time of
importance.(70) He told all, "Believe that you may understand,"
but he repeated also, "Understand that you may believe."(71) He
wrote a work, perennially relevant, on the usefulness of
faith,(72) and explained that faith is the medicine designed to
heal the eye of the spirit,(73) the unconquerable fortress for
the defense of all, especially of the weak, against error,(74)
the nest in which we receive the wings for the lofty flights of
the spirit,(75) the short path that permits one to know,
quickly, surely and without errors, the truths which lead the
human person to wisdom.(76) He also emphasizes that faith is
never without reason, because it is reason that shows "in what
one should believe."(77) "For faith has its own eyes, by means
of which it sees in a certain manner that what it does not yet
see is true."(78) Therefore "no one believes anything, unless he
has first thought that it is to be believed," because "to
believe is itself nothing other than to think with assent...if
faith is not' thought through, it is no faith."(79)
The outcome of the discourse on the eyes of faith is the
discourse on credibility, of which Augustine often speaks,
adducing the reasons for credibility as if to confirm the
consciousness with which he himself had returned to the Catholic
faith. It is good to listen to one of these texts: "There are
many things that most properly keep me in the bosom of the
Catholic Church; to say nothing of the most genuine wisdom...let
me therefore omit mention of this wisdom" (for this argument,
which for Augustine was extremely strong, was not accepted by
his opponents). "The consensus of peoples and races keeps me in
the Church, as does the authority based on miracles, nourished
by hope, increased by charity, strengthened by its ancient
character; likewise the succession of the priests, from the very
see of the apostle Peter, to whom the Lord entrusted the care of
His sheep after the resurrection, down to the episcopate of
today; finally, the very name of the Catholic Church keeps me in
her, because it is not without reason that this Church alone has
obtained such a name amid so many heresies."(80)
In the great work on the City of God, which is at once
apologetic and dogmatic, the problem of reason and faith becomes
that of faith and culture. Augustine, who did so much to
establish and promote Christian culture, solves this problem by
developing three main arguments: the faithful exposition of
Christian doctrine; the careful salvaging of pagan culture, to
the extent that it had elements capable of being salvaged (in
the area of philosophy, this was no small amount); and the
insistent demonstration of the presence in Christian teaching of
whatever was true and perennially valid in pagan culture, with
the advantage of finding it perfected and exalted there.(81) It
was not for nothing that the City of God was widely read in the
middle ages; and it greatly deserves to be read today as well,
as an example and stimulus to deepen the encounter of
Christianity with the cultures of the peoples. An important text
of Augustine may be usefully quoted here: "The heavenly
city...draws citizens from all peoples...taking no account of
what is different in customs laws and institutions;...she
neither suppresses nor destroys anything of these, but rather
preserves and fosters it. The diversities that may exist in the
diverse nations work together for the single goal of earthly
peace, unless they obstruct the practice of the religion that
teaches the worship of the one, true and most high God."(82)
2. God and man
The other great word-pair which Augustine continuously studied
is God and man. As I have said above, when he freed himself from
the materialism which prevented him from having an exact concept
of God- and hence the true concept of man- he made this
word-pair the center of the great themes of his study,(83) and
always studied the two together: man thinking of God, God
thinking of man, who is His image.
In the Confessions, he asks himself these two questions: "What
are You for me.... What am I myself for You?"(84) He brings all
the resources of His thought and all the unwearying labor of his
apostolate to bear on the search for an answer to these
questions. He is fully convinced of the ineffability of God, so
that he cries out: "Why wonder that you do not understand? For
if you understand, it is not God."(85) It follows that "it is
no...small beginning of the knowledge of God, if before we are
able to know what He is, we already begin to know what He is
not."(86) It is necessary therefore to strive "that we should
thus know God, if we are able and as far as we are able, the one
who is good without quality, great without quantity, the creator
not bound by necessity," and thus going through all the
categories of reality that Aristotle has described.(87)
Although God is transcendent and ineffable, Augustine is
nevertheless able, starting from the self-awareness of the human
person who knows that he exists and knows and loves, and
encouraged by Sacred Scripture, which reveals God as the supreme
Being (Ex 3:14), highest Wisdom (Wis, passim) and first Love (1
Jn 4:8), is able to illustrate this threefold notion of God: the
Being from whom every being proceeds through creation from
nothing, the Truth which enlightens the human mind so that it
can know the truth with certainty, the Love that is the source
and the goal of all true love. For God, as he so often repeats,
is "the cause of what exists, the reason of thought and the
ordering of living,(88) or, to use an equally famous formula,
"the cause of the universe that has been created, and the light
of the truth that is to be perceived, and the fountain from
which happiness is to be drunk."(89)
But it was above all in studying the presence of God in the
human person that Augustine used his genius. This presence is
both profound and mysterious. He finds God as "the eternal
internal,"(90) most secret and most present(91)—man seeks Him
because he is absent, but knows Him and finds Him because He is
present. God is present as "the creative substance of the
world,"(92) as the truth that gives light,(93) as the love that
attracts,(94) more intimate than what is most intimate in man,
and higher than what is highest in him. Referring to the period
before his conversion, Augustine says to God: "Where were You
then for me, and how far away? And I was a wanderer far away
from You.... But You were more internal than what was intimate
in me, and higher than what was highest in me";(95) "You were
with me, and I was not with You."(96) Indeed. he insists:
"You were in front of me; but I had gone away from myself and
did not find myself, much less find You."(97) Whoever does not
find himself does not find God, because God is in the depths of
each one of us.
The human person, accordingly, cannot understand himself except
in relationship to God. Augustine found ever new expressions of
this great truth, as he studied the relationship of man to God
and stated this in the most varied and effective way. He sees
the human person as a tension directed toward God; his words,
"You have made us for yourself and our heart has no rest until
it rests in You,"(98) are very well known. He sees the human
person as a capacity of existence elevated to the immediate
vision of God, the finite who reaches the Infinite. He writes in
the De Trinitate that man "is the image of the one whom he is
capable of enjoying, and whose partner he can become."(99) This
faculty "is in the soul of man, which is rational or
intellectual...immortally located in his immortality," and
therefore the sign of his greatness: "he is a great nature,
because he is capable of enjoying the highest nature and of
becoming its partner."(100) He sees the human person also as a
being in need of God, because he is in need of the happiness
that he can find only in God. Human nature "has been created in
such an excellent state that even although it is itself mutable,
it reaches happiness by cleaving to the unchangeable good, that
is, to God. Nor can it satisfy its need unless it is totally
happy; and only God suffices to satisfy it."(101)
It is because of this basic relationship between man and God
that Augustine continually exhorts men to the life of the
spirit. "Go back into yourself; the truth dwells in the inner
man; and if you discover that your nature is mutable, transcend
yourself also,"(102) in order to find God, the source of the
light that illuminates the mind. Together with the truth there
is in the inner man the mysterious capacity to love, which is
like a weight (in Augustine's celebrated metaphor)(103) that
draws him out of himself, toward the others and especially
toward the Other, i.e. God. The force of attraction exercised by
love makes him social by his very nature,(104) so that. as
Augustine writes "there is nothing so social by nature...as the
Man's interiority, where the inexhaustible riches of truth and
love are stored, is "a great abyss,"(106) which St. Augustine
never ceases to investigate with unfailing wonder. Here we must
add that, for one who reflects on himself and on history, the
human person appears as a great problem- as Augustine says, a
"great question."(107) Too many enigmas surround him: the enigma
of death, of the profound division that he suffers in himself,
of the incurable imbalance between what he is and what he
desires. These enigmas can be synthesized in the fundamental
enigma of the greatness of the human person and his incomparable
wretchedness The Second Vatican Council spoke at length of these
enigmas when it wished to cast light on the "mystery of the
human person."(108) Augustine tackled these problems with
passion and employed all the genius of his interest, not only to
discover the reality, which is often very sad-if it is true that
no one is more social by nature than the human person, it is no
less true, adds the author of the City of God, taught by
history, that "no one is more prone to discord by vice than the
human race"(109)-but also and above all to seek and propose
their solution. He finds only one solution, which had already
appeared on the eve of his conversion: Christ, the Redeemer of
man. I too have felt it necessary in my first Encyclical, called
precisely Redemptor Hominis, to draw the attention of the
Church's children and all of men and women of good will to this
solution; I was happy to take up with my own voice the voice of
all the Christian tradition.
As Augustine's thought penetrates these problems, it becomes
more theological, while remaining fundamentally philosophical;
and the word-pair Christ and Church, which he had at first
denied and later recognized in his younger years, began to
illuminate the more general word-pair of God and man.
3. Christ and the Church
One may rightly say that the summit of the theological thinking
of the Bishop of Hippo is Christ and the Church; indeed, one
could add that this is the summit of his philosophy too, in that
he rebukes the philosophers for having done philosophy "without
the man Christ."(110) The Church is inseparable from Christ.
From the time of his conversion onwards, he recognized and
accepted with joy and gratitude the law of providence which has
established in Christ and in the Church "the entire summit of
authority and the light of reason in that one saving name and in
His one Church, recreating and reforming the human race."(111)
Without doubt, he spoke profusely and sublimely of the
Trinitarian mystery in his work on the Trinity and in his
discourses, tracing the path that was to be taken by later
theology. He insisted both on the equality and on the
distinction of the divine Persons, illustrating these through
his teaching on their relations: God "is what He has, with the
exceptions that are predicated of each Person in respect of the
other."(112) He developed the theology of the Holy Spirit, who
proceeds from the Father and from the Son, but "principally"
from the Father, because "the Father is the principle of all the
divinity, or, to put it better, of the Godhead,"(113) and He has
granted to the Son the spiration of the Holy Spirit,(114) who
proceeds as Love and therefore is not begotten.(115) To reply
better to the "garrulous rationalists,"(116) he proposed the
"psychological" explanation of the Trinity, seeking its image in
the memory, in the intellect and in the love of the human
person, and studying thus the most august mystery of faith
together with the highest nature of creation, the human spirit.
Yet when he speaks of the Trinity, he never removes his gaze
from Christ, who reveals the Father, nor from the work of
salvation. Having come to understand the reason for the mystery
of the incarnate Word, shortly before his conversion,(117) he
did not cease to investigate this more deeply, summarizing his
thought in formulae that are so full and effective that they are
like an anticipation of the teaching of Chalcedon. In an
importance passage of one of his last works, he writes: "the
believer...believes that .in him there is the true human nature,
that is our nature, although it is taken up in a unique way into
the one Son of God when God the Word receives it, such that the
One who received it and what He received formed one Person in
the Trinity. The assumption of man did not make a quarternity,
but the Trinity remained: this assumption wrought in an
ineffable manner the truth of one person in God and man.
Therefore we do not say that Christ is only God...nor only
man...nor man in such a way that He would lack something that
certainly belongs to human nature...but we say that Christ is
true God, born of God the Father...and the same is true man,
born of a human mother...nor does His humanity, in which He is
less than the Father, take away anything from His divinity, in
which He is equal to the Father...The one Christ is both of
these."(118) He puts it somewhat more briefly: "The same one who
is man, is God; and the same one who is God, is man-not by the
confusion of the nature but in the unity of the person,"(119)
"one...person in both natures."(120)
With this solid vision of unity of the person in Christ, who is
called "wholly God and wholly man,"(121) Augustine covers an
immense ground in theology and history. If his eagle's eye gazes
on Christ the Word. of the Father, he insists no less on Christ
the man; indeed, he asserts vigorously that without Christ the
man there is neither mediation, nor justification, nor
resurrection, nor membership of the Church. whose head is
Christ.(122) He returns often to this theme and develops it
broadly, both to explain the faith which he had obtained again
at the age of twenty-two and because of the needs of the
Christ, the man-God,(123) is the sole mediator between the
righteous and immortal God and mortal and sinful human beings,
because He is at once mortal and righteous.(124) It follows that
He is the universal way, "which has never been lacking for the
human race, no one has been set free no one is set free, no one
will be set free."(125)
The mediation of Christ is accomplished in the work of
redemption, which consists not only in the example of
righteousness, but above all in the sacrifice of reconciliation,
which was supremely true,(126) supremely free,(127) and
completely perfect.(128) The essential characteristic of the
redemption by Christ is its universality, which shows the
universality of sin. This is how Augustine repeats and
interprets the words of St. Paul, "If one has died for all, then
all have died" (2 Cor 5:14), i.e., dead because of sin: "The
Christian faith, accordingly, exists precisely because of these
two men";(129) "One and one: one for death, one for life."(130)
Therefore "every man is Adam; likewise, for those who have
believed, every man is Christ."(131)
In Augustine's view, to deny this doctrine is the same as
"emptying the cross of Christ" (1 Cor 1:17). To prevent this, he
wrote and spoke much about the universality of sin, including
the doctrine of original sin, "which the Catholic faith has
believed from ancient times."(132) He teaches that "Jesus Christ
came in the flesh for no other reason...than to give life and
salvation to all, to free, redeem, and enlighten those who
beforehand were in the death of sins, in sickness, slavery,
captivity, and darkness.... It follows that those who are not in
need of life, salvation, liberation and redemption cannot have
anything to do with this dispensation of salvation by
Because Christ, the only mediator and redeemer of men, is head
of the Church, Christ and the Church are one single mystical
person, the total Christ. He writes with force: "We have become
Christ. Just as He is the head, we are the members; the whole
man is He and ourselves."(134) This doctrine of the total Christ
is one of the teachings that mattered most to the Bishop of
Hippo, and one of the most fruitful themes of his ecclesiology.
Another fundamental theme is that of the Holy Spirit as the soul
of the mystical body: "what the soul is to the body of a man,
the Holy Spirit is for the body of Christ, which is the
Church."(135) The Holy Spirit is also the principle of
community, by which the faithful are united to one another and
to the Trinity itself. "By means of what is common to the Father
and the Son, They willed that we should have communion both
among ourselves and with Them. They willed to gather us
together, through that gift, into that one thing which both have
in common; that is, by means of God the Holy Spirit and the gift
of God."(136) He therefore says in the same text: "the
fellowship of unity of the Church of God, outside of which there
is no remission of sins, is properly the work of the Holy
Spirit, of course with the cooperation of the Father and the
Son, because the Holy Spirit himself is in a certain manner the
fellowship of the Father and the Son."(137)
Contemplating the Church as body of Christ, given life by the
Holy Spirit who is the Spirit of Christ, Augustine gave varied
development to a concept which was also emphasized in a special
way by the recent Council: that of the Church as communion.(138)
He speaks in three different but converging ways: first, the
communion of the sacraments, or the institutional reality
founded by Christ on the foundation of the apostles.(139) He
discusses this at length in the Donatist controversy, defending
the unity, universality, apostolicity and sanctity of the
Church,(140) and showing that she has as her center the See of
Peter, "in which the primacy of the apostolic see has always
been in force."(141) Second, he speaks of the communion of the
saints, or the spiritual reality that unites all the righteous
from Abel until the end of the ages.(142) Third, he speaks of
the communion of the blessed, or the eschatological reality that
gathers in all those who have attained salvation, that is, the
Church "without spot and wrinkle" (Eph 5:27).(143)
Another theme dear to Augustine's ecclesiology was that of the
Church as mother and teacher, a theme on which he wrote profound
and moving pages, because it had a close connection to his
experience as convert and to his teaching as theologian. While
he was on the path back to faith, he met the Church, no longer
opposed to Christ as he had been made to believe,(144) but
rather as the manifestation of Christ, "most true mother of
Christians"(145) and authority for the revealed truth.(146)
The Church is the mother who gives birth to the Christians:(147)
"Two parents have given us the birth that leads to death, two
parents have given us the birth that leads to life. The parents
who gave us birth for death are Adam and Eve: the parents who
gave us birth for life are Christ and the Church."(148) The
Church is a mother who suffers on account of those who have
departed from righteousness, especially those who destroy her
unity;(149) she is the dove who moans and calls all to return or
draw near to her wings;(150) she is the manifestation of God's
universal fatherhood, by means of the charity which "is mild for
some, severe for others; an enemy to none, but mother for
She is a mother, but also, like Mary, a virgin: mother by the
ardor of charity, virgin by the integrity of the faith that she
guards, defends and teaches.(152) This virginal motherhood is
linked to her task of teacher, a task which the Church carries
out in obedience to Christ. For this reason, Augustine looks to
the Church as guarantor of the Scriptures,(153) and attests that
he will remain secure in her whatever difficulties arise for
him,(154) urgently exhorting others to do the same: "Thus, as I
have often said and impress upon you with vehemence, whatever we
are, you are secure if you have God as your Father and His
Church as your mother."(155) From this firm conviction then is
born his passionate exhortation that one should love God and the
Church -God as Father and the Church as Mother.(156) Perhaps no
one else has spoken of the Church with such great affection and
passion as Augustine. I have pointed out a few of his
statements, in the hope that these are sufficient to show the
depth and the beauty of a teaching that will never be studied
sufficiently, especially from the point of view of the love that
animates the Church as the effect of the Holy Spirit's presence
within her. He writes, "We have the Holy Spirit if we love the
Church: we love the Church if we remain in her unity and
4. Freedom and grace
Even to indicate briefly the various aspects of St. Augustine's
theology would be an infinite task. Another important, indeed
fundamental aspect, linked also to his conversion, is that of
freedom and grace. As I have already mentioned, it was on the
eve of his conversion that he grasped the responsibility of the
human person in his actions, and the necessity of the grace of
the sole Mediator,(158) whose power he felt in the moment of the
final decision, as the eighth Book of his Confessions eloquently
testifies.(159) His personal reflections and the controversies
he later experienced, particularly with the followers of the
Manichaeans and the Pelagians, offered him the opportunity to
study more deeply the individual facets of this problem and to
propose a synthesis, although this was done with great modesty
because of the highly mysterious nature of the problem.
He always defended freedom as one of the bases of a Christian
anthropology, against his former coreligionists,(160) against
the determinism of the astrologers whose victim he himself had
once been,(161) and against every form of fatalism;(162) he
explained that liberty and foreknowledge are not
incompatible,(163) nor liberty and the aid of divine grace. "The
fact that free will is aided, does not destroy it; but because
it is not taken away, it is aided."(164) And the Augustinian
principle is well known: "He who made you without your
participation, does not justify you without your participation.
He has made you without your knowledge; He justifies you if you
With a long series of biblical texts, he demonstrates to those
who doubted this compatibility, or upheld the contrary view,
that freedom and grace belong to divine revelation and that one
must hold firmly to both of these truths.(166) Few are capable
of grasping this compatibility in its profundity, for this is an
exceedingly difficult question(167) which can cause many people
anxiety,(168) because while defending liberty one can give the
impression of denying grace, and vice versa.(169) One must
therefore believe in their compatibility just as one must
believe in the compatibility of the two entirely necessary
offices of Christ, who is at once savior aid judge, for it is on
these two offices that freedom and grace depend: "If then God's
grace does not exist, how does He save the world? And if free
will does not exist, how does He judge the world?"(170)
On the other hand, Augustine insists on the necessity of grace,
which is the same thing as the necessity of prayer. To those who
said that God does not command what is impossible, and that
therefore grace is not necessary, he replied that "God does not
command what is impossible; but when He commands, He exhorts you
to do what you can and to ask for what you cannot do,"(171) and
God gives help so that the command becomes possible, since "He
does not abandon us unless we abandon Him first."(172)
The doctrine of the necessity of divine grace becomes the
doctrine of the necessity of prayer, on which Augustine insists
so much,(173) because, as he writes, "it is certain that God has
prepared some gifts even for those who do not pray, such as the
beginning of faith; but other gifts only for those who pray,
such as final perseverance."(174)
Grace is therefore necessary to remove the obstacles that
prevent the will from fleeing evil and accomplishing what is
good. These obstacles are two in number, "ignorance and
weakness,"(175) but especially the latter because "although it
begins to be clear what is to be done and what goal is to be
striven for...one does not act, one does not carry it out, one
does not live well."(176) Augustine calls this helping grace
"the inspiration of love so that we may carry out in holy love
what we have recognized...must be done.(177)
The two obstacles of ignorance and weakness must be overcome if
we are to breathe the air of freedom. It will not be superfluous
to recall that the defense of the necessity of grace is, for
Augustine, the defense of Christian freedom. Starting from
Christ's words, "If the Son sets you free, then you will be
truly free" (Jn 8:36), he defends and proclaims this freedom
which is inseparable from truth and love. Truth, love and
freedom are the three great good things that fired the spirit of
Augustine and exercised his genius; he shed much light on the
understanding of these.
To pause briefly in consideration of this last good, that of
freedom, we must observe that he describes and celebrates
Christian freedom in all its forms, from the freedom from error-
for the liberty of error is "the worst death of the
soul"(178)-through the gift of faith which subjects the soul to
the truth,(179) to the final and inalienable freedom, the
greatest of all, which consists in the inability to die and in
the inability to sin, i.e. in immortality and the fullness of
righteousness.(180) All other freedoms which Augustine
illustrates and proclaims find their place among these two,
which mark the beginning and the end of salvation: the freedom
from the dominion of the disordered passions, as the work of the
grace that enlightens the intellect and gives the will so much
strength that it becomes victorious in the combat with evil (as
he himself experienced in his conversion when he was freed from
the harsh slavery); (181) the freedom from time that we devour
and that devours us,(182) in that love permits us to live
anchored to eternity.(183)
He sets forth the unutterable riches of justification-the divine
life of grace,(184) the indwelling of the Holy Spirit,(185) and
"deification"(186)- and makes an important distinction between
the remission of sins which is total, full and perfect on the
one hand, and on the other hand the interior renewal which is
progressive and will be full and total only after the
resurrection, when the human person as a whole shares in the
In the case of the grace that strengthens the will, he insists
that it operates by means of love and therefore makes the will
invincible against evil, without removing from the will the
possibility of refusal. Commenting on the words of Jesus in the
Gospel of John, "No one comes to me unless the Father draws him"
(Jn 6:44), he writes, "Do not think that you are drawn against
your will: the spirit is drawn also by love."(188) But love, as
he also observes, works "with liberal sweetness,"(189) so that
"the one who observes the precept with love, observes it in
freedom.(190) "The law of freedom is the law of love."(191)
Augustine teaches no less insistently freedom from time, a
freedom that Christ, the eternal Word, has come to bring us by
his entry into the world in the incarnation: "O Word that exists
before time, through whom time was made," he exclaims, "born in
time although You are eternal life, calling those who exist in
time and making them eternal!"(192) It is well known that St.
Augustine studied deeply the mystery of time(193) and both felt
and stated the need to transcend time in order to exist truly.
"That you may be truly yourself, transcend time. But who shall
transcend it by his own power? Let Christ lift him up, as He
said to the Father: 'I wish that they too may be with me where I
Christian freedom, as I have briefly mentioned, is seen and
meditated on in the Church, the city of God, which manifests the
fruits of this freedom and, as far as is in her power, makes all
people sharers in them, upheld by divine grace. For she is
founded on the "social love that embraces all people and wishes
to unite them in one justice and peace, unlike the city of the
wicked, which divides and sets people against one another
because it is founded on "private" love.(195)
It is good to mention here some of the definitions of peace
which Augustine made according to the various contexts in which
he was speaking. Starting from the idea that "the peace of
mankind is ordered harmony," he defines other kinds of peace,
such as "the peace of the home, the ordered harmony of those who
live together, in giving orders and in obeying them," likewise
the peace of the earthly city and "the peace of the heavenly
city, the wholly ordered and harmonious fellowship in enjoying
God and enjoying one another in God," then "the universal peace
that is the tranquillity of good order," and finally the order
itself that is "the disposition that gives its place to each of
the various equal and unequal things."(196)
"The pilgrimage of Your people sighs" for this peace "from its
departure until its return,"(197) and for this peace it works.
5. Charity and the ascent of the spirit
This brief synthesis of Augustine's teaching would remain
seriously incomplete, if we did not mention his spiritual
teaching, which, united closely to his philosophical and
theological teaching, is no less rich than these. We must return
once more to conversion, with which we began. It was then that
he decided to dedicate himself totally to the ideal of Christian
perfection. He remained always faithful to this ideal; even more
than this, he committed himself with all his power to showing
others the path of perfection, drawing both on his own
experience and on the Bible, which is for all the first
nourishment of piety.
He was a man of prayer; one might indeed say, a man made of
prayer—it suffices to recall the famous Confessions which he
wrote in the form of a letter to God-and he repeated to all,
with incredible persistence, the necessity of prayer: "God has
willed that our struggle should be with prayers rather than with
our own strength",(198) he describes the nature of prayer, which
is so simple and yet so complex,(199) the interiority which
permits him to identify prayer with desire: "Your desire is
itself your prayer; and if your desire is continuous, then your
prayer too is continuous."(200) He brings out its social
usefulness also: "Let us pray for those who have not been
called, that they may be called. For perhaps God has predestined
them in such a way that they will be granted and receive the
same grace in answer to our prayers";(201) and he speaks of its
wholly necessary link to Christ "who prays for us, and prays in
us, and is prayed to by us. He prays for us as our priest; He
prays in us, as our head; He is prayed to by us, as our God. Let
us therefore recognize our voices in him, and his voice in
He climbed with steady diligence the steps of the interior
ascents, and described their program for all, an ample and
well-defined program that comprises the movement of the spirit
toward contemplation—purification, constancy and serenity,
orientation toward the light, dwelling in the light(203) _ the
stages of charity — incipient, progressing, intense,
perfect(204)—the gifts of the Holy Spirit that are linked to the
beatitudes,(205) the petitions of the Lord's Prayer,(206) the
examples given by Christ himself.(207)
If the Gospel beatitudes constitute the supernatural environment
in which the Christian must live, the gifts of the Holy Spirit
bring the supernatural touch of grace which makes this climate
possible; the petitions of the Lord's Prayer, or in general,
prayer which can be narrowed down to these petitions, gives the
necessary nourishment; the example of Christ provides the model
that is to be imitated; and charity is the soul of all, the
source of radiation outwards and the secret power of the
spiritual life. It is no small merit of Augustine to have
narrowed all of Christian doctrine and life down to the question
of charity. "This is true love: that we cling to the truth and
We are led to this by Sacred Scripture, which in its entirety
"tells the story of Christ and admonishes us to charity,"(209)
and also by theology, which finds its own goal in charity,(210)
by philosophy,(211) by pedagogy,(212) and finally by the study
Augustine located the essence and the norm of Christian
perfection in charity,(214) because it is the first gift of the
Holy Spirit(215) and the reality which prevents one from being
wicked.(216) It is the good with which one possesses all goods,
and without which the other goods are of no avail. "Have
charity, and you will have them all; because without charity,
whatever you have will be of no benefit."(217)
He indicated all the inexhaustible riches of charity; it makes
easy whatever is difficult,(218) gives newness to what has
become a habit;(219) it gives irresistible force to the movement
toward the supreme Good, because charity is always imperfect
here on earth;(220) it frees from every interest that is not
God;(221) it is inseparable from humility—"where there is
humility, there is charity"(222)—and is the essence of every
virtue, since virtue is nothing else but well-ordered love;(223)
it is the gift of God. This final point is crucial, because it
separates and distinguishes the naturalistic and the Christian
concepts of life. "Whence comes the love of God and of neighbor
that exists in men, if not from God himself? Because if it is
not from God, but from men, the Pelagians have won: but if it is
from God, then we have defeated the Pelagians."(224)
Charity gave birth in Augustine to the anxious desire to
contemplate divine things, a desire that belongs to wisdom.(225)
He frequently experienced the highest forms of contemplation,
not only in his famous experience at Ostia,(226) but in other
forms too. He says of himself, "I often do this," referring to
his recourse to the meditation of Scripture so that his pressing
cares may not oppress him: "This is my delight, and I take
refuge in this pleasure as much as the things I must do permit
me to relax.... Sometimes You lead me into an interior sentiment
that is utterly unusual, to a sweetness I cannot describe: if
this were to reach its perfection in me, I cannot say what that
would be, but it would not be this life."(227) When these
experiences are united to the theological and psychological
acuteness of Augustine, and to his uncommon talent as a writer,
we understand how he was able to describe the mystical ascents
with such precision, so that he has been called by many people
the prince of mystics.
Despite his predominating love for contemplation, Augustine
accepted the burden of the episcopate and taught others to do
likewise, responding thus with humility to the call of our
mother the Church.(228) But he also taught through his example
and his writings how to preserve the taste for prayer and
contemplation among the tasks of pastoral activity. It is worth
while to recall the synthesis that he offers us in the City of
God, which has become classical. "The love of the truth seeks
the holy repose of leisure, but the necessity of love takes on
the just duty. If no one imposes this burden, one should spend
one's time in perceiving and grasping the truth: but in this
case, the delight in the truth must not be altogether abandoned,
lest the sweetness be lost, and necessity become
oppressive."(229) The profound teaching set out here merits a
long and careful reflection, which becomes more easy and
fruitful if we look to Augustine himself, who gave a shining
example of the way to reconcile both aspects of the Christian
life, prayer and action, which are apparently contradictory.
It is not irrelevant to recall the pastoral activity of this
bishop, who is universally acknowledged as one of the greatest
pastors of the Church. This activity also had its origin in his
conversion, because the conversion gave birth to his resolve to
serve God alone. "Now I love You alone.... I am ready to serve
You alone."(230) When he then realized that this service must
also include pastoral activity, he did not hesitate to accept
it; he accepted it with humility and trepidation, but out of
obedience to God and to the Church.(231)
This apostolate had three fields which spread out like
concentric circles: the local church of Hippo, which was not
large, but was troubled and needy; the African Church, which was
sadly divided between Catholics and Donatists; and the universal
Church, which was attacked by paganism and Manichaeism, and
disturbed by heretical movements.
He saw himself as the servant of the Church in every way:
"Christ's servant, and through him the servant of his
servants."(232) He drew all the consequences of this, including
the most taxing, such as risking his own life for the
faithful:(233) he asked the Lord for the strength to love them
in such a way as to be ready to die for them "in reality or in
disposition."(234) He was convinced that one who was placed at
the head of the people without this disposition was "a scarecrow
standing in the vineyard"(235) rather than a bishop. He did not
want to be safe without his faithful,(236) and he was ready for
any sacrifice, if it would bring those in error back to the way
of truth.(237) At a time of extreme danger because of the
invasion by the Vandals, he taught his priests to stay among
their faithful even at the risk of their own lives.(238) In
other words, he wished that bishops and priests should serve the
faithful as Christ served them. "Let us therefore see in what
sense the bishop who is set over others is a servant: in the
same way as the Lord himself."(239) This was his constant
program of action.
In his diocese, which he never left except in a case of
necessity,(240) he was assiduous in preaching—he preached on
Saturday and Sunday, and frequently throughout the entire
week(241)—in catechesis;(242) in what he called "the bishop's
audience," which sometimes lasted for an entire day, so that he
did not eat;(243) for the care of the poor;(244) in the
formation of the clergy;(245) in directing the monks, many of
whom were later called to the priesthood and the
episcopate,(246) and in the guidance of the monasteries of
nuns.(247) When he died, "he left the Church a very numerous
clergy, and monasteries of men and women full of those
consecrated to chastity under their superiors, and
He worked with equal tirelessness for the Church in Africa,
accepting the task of preaching whenever he was asked.(249) He
took part in the frequent regional councils, despite the
difficulties of travel, and undertook with intelligence,
assiduity and passion the work of terminating the Donatist
schism which divided that Church into two parties. He strove
hard to achieve this success, which was his great merit. He
recorded the history of the doctrine of Donatism in innumerable
writings, explaining the Catholic doctrine of the sacraments and
of the Church; he promoted an ecumenical conference between
Catholic and Donatist bishops, and he animated it by his
presence. He proposed the removal of all obstacles to
reunification, including that of the renunciation of the
episcopate by the Donatist bishops,(250) and obtained this. He
published the conclusions of this conference,(251) and brought
the process of pacification to full success.(252) When
persecutors sought his death, he once escaped from the hands of
the Donatist circumcelliones because their guide took the wrong
He composed very many works and wrote many letters for the
universal Church, entering into many controversies. The
Manichaeans, the Pelagians, the Arians and the pagans were the
object of his pastoral concern in the defense of the Catholic
faith. He worked untiringly by day and by night.(254) Even in
the last years of his life, he would dictate one work by night
and another, when he was free, by day.(255) When he died at the
age of seventy-six, he left three works unfinished: these three
works are the most eloquent testimony to his sleepless diligence
and to his unconquerable love for the Church.
Before concluding, let us ask this extraordinary man what he has
to say to the modern man. I believe that he has indeed much to
say, both by his example and by his teaching.
He teaches the person who searches for truth not to despair of
finding it. He teaches this by his example—he himself
rediscovered it after many years of laborious seeking—and by
means of his literary activity, the program of which he had
fixed in the first letter after his conversion. "It seems to me
that one must bring men back...to the hope of finding the
truth."(256) He teaches therefore that one must seek the truth
"with piety, chastity and diligence,"(257) in order to overcome
doubts about the possibility of returning into oneself, to the
interior realm where truth dwells;(258) and likewise to overcome
the materialism which prevents the mind from grasping its
indissoluble union with the realities that are understood by the
intelligence,(259) and the rationalism that refuses to
collaborate with faith and prevents the mind from understanding
the "mystery" of the human person.(260)
Augustine's legacy to the theologians, whose meritorious task is
to study more deeply the contents of the faith, is the immense
patrimony of his thought, which is as a whole valid even now;
above all, his legacy is the theological method to which he
remained absolutely faithful. We know that this method implied
full adherence to the authority of the faith, which is one of
its origin—the authority of Christ(261)—and is revealed through
Scripture, Tradition and the Church. His legacy includes the
ardent desire to understand his own faith—"Be a great lover
indeed of understanding,"(262) is his command to others, which
he applies to himself also;(263) likewise the profound sense of
the mystery—"for it is better," he exclaims, "to have a faithful
ignorance than a presumptuous knowledge";(264) and likewise the
sure conviction that the Christian doctrine comes from God and
thus has its own original source, which must not only be
preserved in its integrity-this is the "virginity" of the faith,
of which he spoke-but must also serve as a measure to judge the
philosophies that conform to it or diverge from it.(265)
It is well known how much Augustine loved Sacred Scripture,
proclaiming its divine origin,(266) its inerrancy,(267) its
depth and inexhaustible riches;(268) and it is well known how
much he studied Scripture. But the aim of his own study, and of
his promotion of study by others, is the entirety of Scripture,
so that the true thought, or as he says, the "heart"(269) of
Scripture may be indicated, harmonizing it where necessary with
itself.(270) He takes these two principles to be fundamental for
the understanding of Scripture. For this reason he reads it in
the Church, taking account of the Tradition, the nature(271) and
obligatory force of which he forcefully underlines.(272) He made
the celebrated statement: "I should not believe the Gospel
unless I were moved to do so by the authority of the Catholic
In the controversies that arose concerning the interpretation of
Sacred Scripture, his recommendation was that one should discuss
"with holy humility, with Catholic peace, with Christian
charity,"(274) until the truth itself be grasped, which God "has
set...upon the throne of unity."(275) One will then be able to
see that the controversy had not broken out in vain, because it
"was the occasion for learning"(276) and progress has been made
in the understanding of the faith.
Another contribution of Augustine's teaching to the men and
women of today which we may briefly mention is his proposal of
the twofold object of study that should occupy the human mind:
God and man "What do you wish to know?" he asks himself. And he
replies: "God and the soul are what I wish to know." Nothing
more? Nothing at all.(277) Confronted with the sad spectacle of
evil he reminds modern men and women that they must nevertheless
have confidence in the final triumph of the good, i.e., of the
City "where the victory is the truth; where dignity is holiness;
where peace is happiness where life is eternity."(278)
Further, he teaches scientists to recognize the signs of God in
the things that have been created(279) and to discover the
"seeds" which God has sown in the harmony of the universe(280)
He recommends above all to those who have control over the
destinies of the peoples that they love peace,(281) and that
they promote it, not through conflict, but with the methods of
peace, because, as he wisely writes, "there is more glory in
killing the wars themselves with a word than in killing men with
the sword, and there is more glory in achieving or maintaining
peace by means of peace than by means of war."(282)
Finally, I should like to address the young people whom
Augustine greatly loved as a professor before his
conversion(283) and as a pastor afterwards.(284) He recalls
three great things to them: truth, love and freedom—three
supreme goods which stand together. He also invites them to love
beauty, for he himself was a great lover of beauty.(285) It is
not only the beauty of bodies, which could make one forget the
beauty of the spirit,(286) nor only the beauty of art,(287) but
the interior beauty of virtue(288) and especially the eternal
beauty of God, from which is derived the beauty of bodies, of
art and of virtue. Augustine calls God "the beauty of all
beauties."(289) "in whom and from whom and through whom exist as
good and beautiful everything that is good and beautiful."(290)
When he looked back on the years before his conversion, he
regretted bitterly that he had been late in loving this "beauty,
ever ancient, ever new";(291) he admonished the young not to
imitate him in this, but to love beauty itself always and above
all else, and to preserve to the end the interior glory of their
youth in beauty.(292)
I have recalled the conversion of St. Augustine and have
sketched briefly a panorama of the thought of an incomparable
man whose children and disciples we all are in a certain
fashion, both in the Church and in the western world itself. I
express once again my fervent desire that his teaching should be
studied and widely known, and his pastoral zeal be imitated, so
that the authoritative teaching of such a great doctor and
pastor may flourish ever more happily in the Church and in the
world, for the progress of the faith and of culture.
The sixteenth centenary of the conversion of St. Augustine
offers a highly favorable opportunity to increase the study of
St. Augustine and to spread devotion to him. I exhort in
particular the religious orders, male and female, which rejoice
to bear his name, live under his patronage and follow his Rule
in whatever way, to dedicate themselves to this task, so that
this may be for them the occasion to follow St. Augustine's
example of wisdom and holiness, and to spread this zealously to
I shall be present in spirit, with gratitude and best wishes, at
the various initiatives that celebrate this centenary, invoking
on each of them with all my heart the heavenly protection and
the efficacious help of the Virgin Mary, whom the Bishop of
Hippo proclaimed as Mother of the Church.(293) As a pledge of
grace I am happy to impart my Apostolic Blessing with this
Given at Rome, at St. Peter's on August 28, on the feast day of
St. Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church, in the year
1986, the eighth of my Pontificate.
POPE JOHN PAUL II
1. Celestine I, Apostolici verba (May 431): PL 50, 530 A.
2. Cf. Leo XIII, Aeterni Patris (August 4, 1879): Acta Leonis
III, I, Rome 1881, p. 270.
3. Cf. Pius XI, Ad salutem human generis (April 22, 1930): AAS
22 (1930), p. 233.
4. Paul VI, Discourse to the Religious of the Augustinian Order
(May 4, 1970): AAS 62 (1970), p. 426; cf. L 'Osservatore Romano,
English edition, May 21, 1970.
5. John Paul II, Discourse to the Professors and students of the
"Augustinianum" (May 8, 1982): AAS 74 (1982), p. 800; cf.
L'Osservatore Romano, English edition, June 14, 1982.
6. John Paul II, Discourse to the General Chapter of the
Augustinian Order on August 25, 1983: Insegnamenti VI-2 (1983),
p. 305; cf. L 'Osservatore Romano, English edition, September 3,
7. Cf. St. Augustine, Serm, 93, 4; 213, 7: PL 38, 1063.
(Henceforth, all references not expressly naming the author are
to be understood as "St. Augustine").
8. Cf. De beata vita 4: PL 32,961, Contra Acad. 2, 2, 4-6, Pl
32, 921-922, Solil. 1, 1, 1-6, PL 32, 869-872.
9. De dono perseu. 20, 53: PL 45, 1026.
10. Confess. 1, 11, 17: PL 32, 699.
11. Cf. Confess. 9, 8, 17-9, 13, 17: PL 32, 771-780.
12. Cf. Confess. 6 5,8: PL 32,723.
13. Confess. 3, 4, 8: PL 32, 686; ibid. 5, 14, 25: PL 32, 718.
14. Contra Acad. 2,2,5: PL 32,921.
15. Confess. 3,4,7: PL 32,685.
16. Confess. 3, 6, 10: PL 32, 687.
17. De beata vita 4: PL 32, 961.
18. Serm. 51, 5, 6: PL 38, 336.
19. De utilitate cred. 1, 2: PL 42, 66.
21. Cf. Confess. 5, 3, 3: PL 32,707.
22. Cf. Confess. 5, 10, 19; 5, 13, 23; 5, 14, 24: PL 32, 715,
23. De beata vita 4: PL 32, 961; Cf. Confess. 5, 9, 19; 5, 14,
25; 6, 1, 1: PL 32, 715, 718, 719.
24. Cf. De utilitate credendi 8, 20: PL 42, 78-79.
25. Confess. 6, 11, 18: PL 32. 719.
26. Cf. Confess. 3, 12, 21: PL 32, 694.
27. Cf. Contra Acad. 3, 20, 43: PL 32, 957; Confess. 6, 5, 7: PL
28. De ordine 2, 9, 26: PL 32, 1007.
29. Cf. Confess. 7, 19, 25: PL 32, 746.
30. Cf. Confess. 6, 5, 7; 6, 11, 19; 7, 7, 11: PL 32, 723, 729,
31. Cf. Confess. 7, 7, 11: PL 32, 739.
32. Confess. 7, 10, 16: PL 32, 742.
33. Cf. Confess. 7, 1, 1; 7, 7, 11: PL 32, 733, 739.
34. Cf. Confess. 7, 5, 7: PL 32, 736.
35. Confess. 7, 13, 19: PL 32, 743.
36. Cf. Confess. 7, 12, 18: PL 32, 743.
37. Cf. Confess. 7, 3, 5: PL 32, 735.
38. Confess. 8, 10, 22: PL 32, 759; Cf. Ibid. 8, 5, 10-11: PL
39. Cf. Confess. 7, 17, 23: PL 32, 744-745.
40. Cf. Confess. 7, 21, 26: PL 32, 749.
41. Confess. 7, 21, 27: PL 32, 747.
42. Contra Acad. 2, 2, 6: PL 32, 922.
43. Cf. Confess. 7, 21, 27: PL 32, 748.
44. Confess. 1, 11, 17: PL 32, 669.
45. Cf. Confess. 6, 11, 18; 8, 7, 17: PL 32, 729, 757.
46. Cf. Confess. 8, 5, 11, 12: PL 32, 754
47. Cf. Confess. 6, 12, 21: PL 32, 730.
48. Cf. Confess. 6, 6, 9: PL 32, 723.
49. Cf. Confess. 6, 15, 25: PL 32, 732.
50. Cf. Confess. 8, 1, 2: PL 32, 749.
51. Cf. Confess. 8, 6, 13-15: PL 32, 755-756.
52. Confess. 8, 11, 27: PL 32, 761.
53. Cf. Confess. 8, 7, 16-12, 29: PL 32, 756-762.
54. Confess 8, 12, 30: PL 32, 762.
55. Confess. 9, 2, 24; PL 32, 763.
56. Cf. Confess. 9, 4, 7-12: PL 32, 766-769.
57. Cf. Confess. 9, 5, 13: PL 32, 769.
58. Confess. 9, 6, 14: PL 32, 769.
59. Cf. Confess. 9, 6, 14: PL 32, 769.
60. Cf. Confess. 9, 12, 28s: PL 32, 775s.
61. Cf. De mor. Eccl. cath. 1, 33, 70: PL 32, 1340.
62. POSSIDIO, Vita S. Augustini 3, 1: PL 32, 36
63. Cf. Serm. 355, 2: PL 39, 1569.
64. Cf. POSSIDIO, Vita S. Augustini 11, 2: PL 32, 42.
65. Cf. L. VERHEIJEN, La regle de Saint Augustin, Paris 1967,
66. Confess. 9, 2, 3: PL 32, 764; cf. ibid. 10, 6, 8: PL 32,
67. Tractatus in Io 26, 5: PL 35, 1609.
68. De Trin. 1, 5, 8: PL 42, 825.
69. Contra Acad. 3, 20, 43: PL 32, 957.
70. Cf. De ordine 2, 9, 26: PL 32, 1007.
71. Cf. Serm. 43, 9: PL 38, 258.
72. Cf. De utilitate credendi: PL 42, 65-92.
73. Cf. Confess. 6, 4, 6: PL 32, 722: De serm, Domini in monte
2, 3, 14: PL 34, 1275.
74. Cf. Ep. 118, 5, 32: PL 33, 447.
75. Cf. Serm. 51, 5, 6: PL 387, 337.
76. Cf. De quantitate animae 7, 12: PL 32, 1041-1042.
77. De uera relig. 24, 45: PL 34, 1041-1042.
78. Ep. 120, 2, 8: PL 33, 456.
79. De praed. sanctorum 2, 5: PL 44, 962-963.
80. Contra ep. Man. 4, 5: PL 42, 175.
81. Cf. eg. De civ. Dei 2, 29, 1-2: PL 41, 77-78.
82. De civ. Dei 19, 17: PL 41, 645
83. Cf. Solil. 1, 2, 7: PL 32, 872.
84. Confess. 1, 5, 5: PL 32, 663.
85. Serm. 117, 5: PL 38, 673.
86. Ep. 120.3.15: PL 33, 459.
87. De Trin. 5, 1, 2: PL 42. 912; cf. Confess. 4, 16, 28: PL 32;
88. De civ. Dei 8, 4: PL 41, 228.
89. De civ. Dei 8, 10, 2: PL 41, 235.
90. Confess. 9, 4, 10: PL 32, 768.
91. Cf. Confess. 1, 4, 4: PL 32, 662.
92. Ep 187, 4, 14: PL 33, 837.
93. Cf. De magistro 11, 38-14, 46: PL 32, 1215-1220.
94. Cf. Confess. 13, 9, 10 PL 32, 848-849.
95. Confess. 3, 6, 11: PL 32, 687-688.
96. Confess. 10, 27, 38: PL 32, 795.
97. Confess. 5, 2, 2: PL 32, 707.
98. Confess 1, 1, 1: PL 32, 661.
99. De Trin. 14, 8, 11: PL 12, 1044.
100. De Trin. 14, 4, 6: PL 42, 1040.
101. De civ. Dei 12, 1, 3: PL 41, 349.
102. De uera relig. 39, 72: PL 34, 154.
103. Cf. Confess 13, 9, 10: PL 32, 848-849.
104. Cf. De bono coniugali 1, 1: PL 40, 373.
105. De civ. Dei 12, 27: PL 41, 376.
106. Confess. 4, 14, 22: PL 32, 702,
107. Confess. 4. 4. 9: PL 32, 697.
108. Vatican Council II, Gaudium et Spes. n. 10, cf. nn. 12-18.
109. De civ. Dei 12, 27: PL 41, 376.
110. De Trin. 13, 19, 24: PL 42, 1034.
111. Ep. 118, 5, 33: PL 33, 448.
112. De civ. Dei 11, 10, 1: PL 41, 325.
113. De Trin 4, 20, 29: PL 42, 908.
114. Cf. De Trin. 15, 17, 29: PL 42, 1081.
115. Cf. De Trin. 15, 27. 50: PL 42, 1097; ibid. 1, 5, 8: PL 42,
824-825; 9, 12, 18: PL 42, 970-971.
116. De Trin. 1, 2, 4: PL 42, 822.
117. Cf. Confess. 7, 19, 25: PL 32, 746.
118. De dono persev. 24, 67: PL 45, 1033-1034.
119. Serm. 186, 1, 1: 38, 999.
120. Serm. 294.9: PL 38, 1340.
121. Serm. 293, 7: PL 38, 1332.
122. Cf. Tractatus in Io 66, 2: PL 35, 1810-1811.
123. Cf. Serm. 47, 12-20: PL 38, 308-312.
124. Cf. Confess. 10, 42, 68: PL 32, 808.
125. De civ. Dei 10, 32, 2: PL 41, 315.
126. De Trin 4:13, 17; PL 42, 899.
127. De Trin. 4, 13, 16: PL 42, 898.
128. De Trin 4, 14, 19: 42, 901.
129. De gratia Christi et de pecc. orig. 2, 24, 28: PL 44, 398.
130. Serm. 151, 5: PL 38, 817.
131. Enarr. in ps. 70, d. 2, 1: PL 36, 891.
132. De nupt et concup. 2, 12, 25: PL 44, 450-451.
133. De pecc. mer. et rem. 1, 26, 39: PL 44, 131.
134. Tractatus in Io 21, 8: PL 35, 1568.
135. Serm. 267, 4: PL 38, 1231.
136. Serm. 71, 12, 18: PL 38, 454.
137. Serm. 71, 20, 33: PL 38, 463-464.
138. Cf. Vatican Council II, Lumen Gentium, nn. 13-14: 21. etc.
139. Cf. De civ. Dei 1, 35; 18, 50: PL 41, 46; 612.
140. Cf. eg. De unitate Ecclesiae: PL 43, 391-446.
141. Ep. 43, 7: PL 33, 163.
142. Cf. De civ. Dei 18, 51: PL 41, 613
143. Cf. Retract. 2, 18: PL 32, 637.
144. Cf. Confess. 6, 11, 18: PL 32 728-729.
145. De mor. Eccl. cath. 1, 30, 62: PL 32, 1336.
146. Cf. Confess. 7, 7, 11: PL 32, 739.
147. Cf. Ep. 48, 2: PL 33, 188.
148. Serm. 22, 10: PL 38, 154.
149. Cf. e.g. Psalmus contra partem Donati, epilogus: PL
150. Cf. Tractatus in Io 6, 15: PL 35, 1432.
151. De catech. rud. 15, 23: PL 40,328.
152. Cf. Serm. 188, 4: PL 38, 1004.
153. Cf. Confess. 7, 7, 11: PL 32, 759.
154. Cf. De bapt. 3, 2, 2: PL 43, 139-140.
155. Contra litt. Petil. 3, 9, 10: PL 43, 353.
156. Cf. Enarr. in ps. 88, d. 2, 14: PL 37, 1140.
157. Tractatus in Io 32, 8: PL 35, 1646.
158. Cf. Confess 8, 10, 22; 7, 18, 24: PL 32, 759-745.
159. Cf. e.g. Confess. 8, 9, 21; 8, 12, 29: PL 32, 758-759; 762.
160. Cf. De libero arb. 3, 1, 3: PL 32, 1272; De duabus animabus
10, 14: PL 42, 104- 105.
161. Cf. Confess. 4, 3, 4: PL 32, 694-695.
162. Cf. De civ. Dei 5, 8: PL 41, 48.
163. Cf. De libero arb. 3, 4, 10-11: PL 32, 1276; De civ. Dei 5,
9, 1-4: PL 148-152.
164. Ep 157, 2, 10: PL 33, 677.
165. Serm 169, 11, 13: PL 38, 923.
166. Cf. De gratia et lib. arb. 2, 2-11, 23: PL 44, 882-895.
167. Cf. Ep. 214, 6: PL 33, 970.
168. Cf. De pecc. mer. et rem. 2, 18, 28: PL 44, 124-125.
169. Cf. De gratia Christi et de pecc. orig. 47, 52: PL 44,
170. Ep. 214. 2: PL 33, 969.
171. De natura et gratia 43, 50: PL 44, 271, Cf. Conc. Trid.,
172. De natura et gratia 26, 29: PL 44, 261.
173. Cf. Ep. 130: PL 33, 494-507.
174. De dono persev. 16, 39: PL 45, 1017.
175. De pecc. mer. et rem. 2 17, 26: PL 44, 167.
176. De spiritu et littera 3, 5: PL 44, 203.
177. Contra duas epp. Pel. 4, 5, 11: PL 44, 617.
178. Ep. 105, 2, 10: PL 33, 400.
179. Cf. De libero arb. 2, 13, 37: PL 32, 1261.
180. De corrept. et gratia 12, 33: PL 44, 936.
181. Cf. Confess. 8, 5, 10; 8, 9, 21: PL 32, 753; 758-759.
182. Cf. Confess. 9, 4, 10: PL 32, 768.
183. Cf. De vera relig. 10, 19: PL 34, 131.
184. Cf. Enarr, in ps. 70, d. 2, 3: PL 36, 893.
185. Cf. Ep. 187: PL 33, 832-848.
186. Enarr, in ps. 49, 2: PL 36, 565.
187. Cf. De pecc. mer. et rem. 2, 7, 9: PL 44, 156-157; Serm.
166, 4: PL 38, 909.
188. Tractatus in Io 26, 25: PL 35, 1607-1609.
189. Contra Iulianum 3, 112: PL 45, 1296.
190. De gratia Christi et de pecc. orig. 1, 13, 14: PL 44, 368.
191. Ep. 167, 6, 19: PL 33, 740.
192. Enarr. in ps. 101, d. 2, 10: PL 37, 1311-1312.
193. Cf. Confess. lib. 11: PL 32, 809-826.
194. Tractatus in Io 38, 10: PL 35, 1680.
195. De Gen. ad litt. 11, 15, 20: PL 34, 437.
196. De civ. Dei 19, 13: PL 41, 840.
197. Confess. 9, 13, 37: PL 32, 780.
198. Contra Iulianum 6, 15: PL 45, 1535.
199. Cf. De Serm. Domini in Monte 2, 5, 14: PL 34, 1236.
200. Enarr. in ps. 37, 14: PL 36, 404.
201. De dono persev. 22, 60: PL 45, 1029.
202. Enarr. in ps. 85, 1: PL 37, 1081.
203. Cf. De quantitate animae 33, 73-76: PL 32, 1075-1077.
204. Cf. De natura et gratia 70, 84: PL 44, 290.
205. Cf. De Serm. Domini in monte 1, 1, 3-4: PL 34, 1231-1232;
De doctr. Christ. 2, 7, 9-11: PL 34, 39-40.
206. Cf. De Serm. Domini in monte 2, 11, 38: PL 34, 1286
207. Cf. De sancta virginitate 28, 28: PL 40, 411.
208. De Trin. 8, 7, 10: PL 42, 956.
209. De catech. rudibus 4, 8: PL 40, 315.
210. Cf. De Trin. 14, 10, 13: PL 42, 1047.
211. Cf. Ep. 137, 5, 17: PL 38, 524.
212. Cf. De catech. rudibus 12, 17: PL 40, 323.
213. Cf. Ep. 137, 5, 17; 138, 2, 15: PL 38, 524; 531-532.
214. Cf. De natura et gratia 70, 84: PL 44, 290.
215. Cf. Tractatus in Io 87, 1 : PL 35, 1852.
216. Cf. Tractatus in Ep. Io 7, 8; 10, 7: PL 35, 1441;
217. Tractatus in Io 32,8: PL 35, 1646.
218. Cf. De bono viduitatis 21, 26: PL 40, 447.
219. Cf. De catech. rudibus 12, 17: PL 40, 323.
220. Cf. Serm. 169, 18: PL 38, 926; De perf. iust. hom.: PL 44,
221. Cf. Enarr. in ps. 53, 10: PL 36, 666-667.
222. Tractatus in Ep. Io, prol.: PL 35, 1977.
223. Cf. De civ. Dei 15, 22: PL 41, 467.
224. De gratia et lib. arb. 18, 37: PL 44, 903-904.
225. Cf. De Trin. 12, 15, 25: PL 42, 1012.
226. .Cf. Confess. 9, 10, 24: PL 32, 774.
227. Confess 10, 40, 65: PL 32, 807.
228. Cf. Ep. 48,1: PL 33, 188.
229. De civ. Dei 19, 19: PL 41, 647.
230. Solil. 1, 1, 5: PL 32, 872.
231. Cf. Serm. 335, 2: PL 39, 1569.
232. Ep. 217: PL 33, 978.
233. Cf. Ep. 91, 10: PL 33, 317-318.
234. Miscellanea Ag., I, 404.
235. Miscellanea Ag. I, 568.
236. Cf. Serm. 17:2: PL 38, 125.
237. Cf. Serm. 46, 7, 14: PL 38, 278.
238. Cf. Ep. 128, 3: PL 33, 489.
239. Miscellanea Ag., I, 565.
240. Cf. Ep. 122, 1: PL 33, 470.
241. Cf. Miscellanea Ag., I, 353; Tractatus in Io 19, 22: PL 35,
242 .Cf. De catech. rudibus: PL 40 309s.
243. Cf. POSSIDIO, Vita S. Augustini 19, 2-5 PL 32, 57
244. Cf. POSSIDIO, lbid., 24, 14-25: PL 32, 53-54; Serm. 25.8:
PL 38, 170; Ep. 122, 2: PL 33, 471-472.
245. Cf. Serm. 335, 2: PL 39, 1569-1570; Ep. 65: PL 33, 234-235.
246. Cf. POSSIDIO, Vita S. Augustini, 11, 1 : PL 32, 42.
247. Cf. Ep. 211, 1-4: PL 3, 958-965.
248. POSSIDIO, Vita S. Augustini 31, 8: PL 32, 64.
249. Cf. Retract., prol. 2: PL 32, 584.
250. Cf. Ep. 128, 3: PL 33, 489; De gestis cum Emerito 7: PL 43,
251. Cf. Post collationem contra Donatistas: PL 43, 651-690.
252. Cf. POSSIDIO, Vita S. Augustini 9-14: PL 32, 40-45.
253. Cf. POSSIDIO, Ibid. 12, 1-2: PL 32, 43.
254. Cf. POSSIDIO, Ibid., 24 11: "...in die laborans et in nocte
lucubrans": PL 32, 54.
255. Cf. Ep. 224, 2: PL 33, 1001-1002.
256. Ep. 1, 1: PL 33, 61.
257. De quantitate animae 14, 24: PL 32, 1049; Cf. De vera relig.
10, 20: PL 34, 131.
258. Cf. De vera relig. 39, 72: PL 34, 154.
259. Cf. Retract. 1, 8, 2: PL 32, 594; 1, 4, 4: PL 32, 590.
260. Cf. Ep. 118, 5, 33: PL 33, 448.
261. Cf. Contra Acad. 3, 20, 43: PL 32, 957.
262. Ep. 120, 3. 13: PL 33, 458.
263. Cf. De Trin. 1, 5, 8: PL 42, 825.
264. Serm. 27, 4: PL 38, 179.
265. Cf. De doctrina Christ. 2, 40, 60: PL 34, 55; De civ. Dei
8, 9: PL 41, 233.
266. Cf.Enarr. in Ps 90, d. 2, 1 : PL 37, 1159-1160.
267. Cf. Ep. 28, 3, 3: PL 33, 112; 82, 1, 3: PL 33, 277.
268. Cf. Ep. 137, 1, 3: PL 33, 516.
269. De doctrina Christ. 4, 5, 7: PL 34, 91-92.
270. Cf. De perf. iustr. hom. 17, 38: PL 44, 311-312.
271.. Cf. De baptismo 4, 24, 31: PL 43, 174-175 m.
272. Cf. Contra Iulianum 6, 6-11: PL 45, 1510-1521.
273. Contra Ep. Man. 5, 6: PL 42, 176; cf. C. Faustum 28, 2: PL
274. De baptismo 2, 3, 4: PL 43, 129.
275. Ep 105, 16: PL 3, 403.
276. De civ. Dei 16, 2, 1: PL 41, 477.
277. Solil. 1, 2, 7: PL 32, 872.
278. De civ. Dei 2, 29, 2: PL 41, 78.
279. Cf. De diversis quaestionibus 83, q. 46, 2: PL 40, 29-31.
280. Cf. De Gen. ad litt. 5, 23, 44-45; 6, 6, 16-6, 12, 20: PL
34, 337-338; 346-347.
281. Cf. Ep. 189, 6: PL 33, 856.
282. Ep. 2298, 2: PL 33 1020.
283. Cf. Confess. 6, 7, 11-12: PL 32, 75; De ordine 1, 10, 30:
PL 32, 991.
284. Cf. Ep. 26, 118-243, 266: PL 33, 103-107; 431-449;
285. Cf. Confess. 4, 13, 20: PL 32, 701.
286. Cf. Confess. 10, 8, 15: PL 32, 758-786.
287. Cf. Confess 10, 34, 53: PL 32, 801.
288. Cf. Ep. 120, 4, 20: PL 33, 462.
289. Confess 3, 6, 10: PL 32, 687.
290. Solil. 1, 1, 3: PL 32, 870.
291. Confess 10, 27, 38: PL 32, 795.
292. Cf. Ep. 120, 4, 20: PL 33, 462.
293. Cf. De sancta virginitate 6, 6: PL 40, 339.
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