St. Augustine of Hippo

St. Augustine of Hippo

“Why…will you wander farther and farther in these difficult and toilsome ways? There is no rest where you seek it. Seek what you seek; but it is not where you are seeking. You seek a blessed life in the land of death. It is not there. For how could a blessed life be where life itself is not?

“But our very Life came down to earth and bore our death, and slew it with the very abundance of his own life. And thundering, he called us to return to him into that secret place from which he came forth to us—coming first into the virginal womb, where the human creature, our mortal flesh, was married to him that it might not be forever mortal—and came “as a bridegroom coming out his chamber, rejoicing as a strong man to run a race.” For he did not delay, but ran through the world, crying out by words, deeds, death, life, descent, ascension—crying aloud to us to return to him. He departed from our sight, that we might return to our hearts and find him there. For he left us, and behold, he is here. He could not be with us long, yet he did not leave us. He went back to the place that he had never left, for ‘the world was made by him.’ And in this world he was, and into this world he came to save sinners.

“To him my soul does confess, that he may heal it, for it has sinned against him. O sons of men, how long will you be so slow of heart? Even now after Life itself has come down to you, will you not ascend and live? But where will you climb if you are already on a pinnacle and have set your mouth against the heavens? First come down that you may climb up, climb up to God.”

—St. Augustine, Confessions, Book IV, Chapter XII