Sunday, August 28, 2022

Doctor Gratiae

Today is the feast of St. Augustine of Hippo, Doctor of the Church. From Tractate 83 of his Tractates on John:

One may, indeed, hope for pardon who does not love, but he hopes in vain; but no one can despair who loves. Therefore, where there is love, there of necessity will there be faith and hope; and where there is the love of our neighbor, there also of necessity will be the love of God. For he that loves not God, how loves he his neighbour as himself, seeing that he loves not even himself? Such an one is both impious and iniquitous; and he that loves iniquity, manifestly loves not, but hates his own soul. Let us, therefore, be holding fast to this precept of the Lord, to love one another; and then all else that is commanded we shall do, for all else we have contained in this. But this love is distinguished from that which men bear to one another as such; for in order to mark the distinction, it is added, as I have loved you. And wherefore is it that Christ loves us, but that we may be fitted to reign with Christ? With this aim, therefore, let us also be loving one another, that we may manifest the difference of our love from that of others, who have no such motive in loving one another, because the love itself is wanting. But those whose mutual love has the possession of God Himself for its object, will truly love one another; and, therefore, even for the very purpose of loving one another, they love God. There is no such love as this in all men; for few have this motive for their love one to another, that God may be all in all.


Marc-Antoine Charpentier, "O Doctor Optime", Pour Saint Augustin (H.307).