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Words of Wisdom

On Love: From “Of Morals of the Catholic Church” by Saint Augustine of Hippo (vegetarian), Part 1 of 2

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Known as one of the greatest Christian philosophers, St. Augustine was a prolific writer, and composed nearly 100 books, 300 letters and 500 sermons on a wide range of subjects from theology and philosophy to sociology, and has had a lasting influence on the Christian world. Today, we are pleased to present excerpts from “Of the Morals of the Catholic Church,” where the wise Bishop speaks of how love for God not only increases our love for all but can help open our soul to Divine Love.

Chapter 30. Teacher of All Wisdom “To Christians this rule of life is given, that we should love the Lord Our God with all the heart, with all the soul, and with all the mind, and our neighbor as ourselves; for on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Without violation of the connections of nature and of choice, thou bring within the bond of mutual love every relationship of kindred, and every alliance of affinity. Thou unite citizen to citizen, nation to nation, yea, man to man, from the recollection of their first parents, not only in society but in fraternity.”

Chapter 31. The Life of the Anachoretes and Cenobites “Who can but admire and commend those who, slighting and discarding the pleasures of this world, living together in a most chaste and holy society, unite in passing their time in prayers, in readings, in discussions, without any swelling of pride, or noise of contention, or sullenness of envy; but quiet, modest, peaceful, their life is one of perfect harmony and devotion to God, an offering most acceptable to Him from whom the power to do those things is obtained? No one possesses anything of his own; no one is a burden to another.

So they not only abstain from flesh and wine, in order to gain the mastery over their passions, but also from those things which are only the more likely to whet the appetite of the palate and of the stomach. Whatever they possess in addition to what is required for their support (and much is obtained, owing to their industry and frugality), they distribute to the needy with greater care than they took in procuring it for themselves.”
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