Summary: Selections from the writings of one of the most influential shapers of the western mystical tradition, including on The Trinity, The Rule of St. Augustine, The Happy Life, on the Presence of God and other works. The very imposing and very welcome Classics of Western Spirituality series...should be in every theological collection of any depth." Ardin Newsletter In one series, the original writings of the universally acknowledged teachers of the Catholic, Prote
stant, Eastern Orthodox, Jewish, Islamic and Native American traditions have been critically selected, translated and introduced by internationally recognized scholars and spiritual leaders. AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO-SELECTED WRITINGS translated and introduced by Mary T. Clark preface by Goulven Madec "You have made us to be toward you, and our heart is restless until it rests in you" Augustine of Hippo (354-430) Augustine of Hippo (354-430), bishop, philosopher, and Doctor of the Church whose thought molded the Western theological tradition, is clearly one of the most influential figures in the history of the Church. At the heart of his brilliant philosophical and theological speculation is his spirituality-a spirituality founded on the reality of the soul's experience of the Trinity in the depths of its interiority. This book is a collection of his writings, which in every sense must be considered true classics of spirituality in the West. Included are excerpts from Confessions, on the Trinity, The City of God, and Homilies on the Psalms along with the complete texts of the Rule of St. Augustine, on Seeing God, and on the Presence of God. In speaking of Augustine's relevance for our time, Paul VI said: "If St. Augustine were alive today, he would speak as he spoke a thousand and more years ago. Why? Because he really personifies a humanity that believes, that loves Christ and our beloved God.
Summary: Selections from the writings of one of the most influential shapers of the western mystical tradition, including on The Trinity, The Rule of St. Augustine, The Happy Life, on the Presence of God and other works. The very imposing and very welcome Classics of Western Spirituality series...should be in every theological collection of any depth." Ardin Newsletter In one series, the original writings of the universally acknowledged teachers of the Catholic, Protestant, Eastern Orthodox, Jewish, Islamic and Native American traditions have been critically selected, translated and introduced by internationally recognized scholars and spiritual leaders. AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO-SELECTED WRITINGS translated and introduced by Mary T. Clark preface by Goulven Madec "You have made us to be toward you, and our heart is restless until it rests in you" Augustine of Hippo (354-430) Augustine of Hippo (354-430), bishop, philosopher, and Doctor of the Church whose thought molded the Western theological tradition, is clearly one of the most influential figures in the history of the Church. At the heart of his brilliant philosophical and theological speculation is his spirituality-a spirituality founded on the reality of the soul's experience of the Trinity in the depths of its interiority. This book is a collection of his writings, which in every sense must be considered true classics of spirituality in the West. Included are excerpts from Confessions, on the Trinity, The City of God, and Homilies on the Psalms along with the complete texts of the Rule of St. Augustine, on Seeing God, and on the Presence of God. In speaking of Augustine's relevance for our time, Paul VI said: "If St. Augustine were alive today, he would speak as he spoke a thousand and more years ago. Why? Because he really personifies a humanity that believes, that loves Christ and our beloved God. ...show less
Edition/Copyright:84 Cover: Paperback Publisher:Paulist Press Published: 12/28/1988 International: No
Forward This volume offers translations of some writings of St. Augustine of Hippo that reveal the character and the depth of his spirituality. His spirituality is Trinitarian. His religious experience centered on the Divine Persons to which the New Testament witnessed. In the Confessions we see his religious experience developing and in On the Trinity he reflects on the foundations of this spirituality. In the Confesions Books VII-X the reader sees Augustine responding to the human vocation to return to God by becoming authentically personal, returning to the self, the source of those actions, intellectual and voluntary, which make existence personal. Gradually he integrated all the bodily, emotional, and intellectual levels of human existence within his love for the Triune God. This process of re-formation to the image of God was a conversion that continued all his life. He was then able to declare that the glory and responsibility and dignity of personal existence is its capacity for God. The fulfillment of this capacity is re-formation to the image of God by the grace of Christ and by human freedom. This is the essential process of Augustinian spiritual life as it is of Christian life. In Augustine's dialogue The Happy Life, the Wisdom of the Father is discovered as the spiritual sun illuminating the mind and uniting the soul by God's Spirit with the Source of that Truth which brings happiness. In his Homilies on the Psalms 119-122 Augustine calls on Christ as the Interior Master to open the minds of the faithful to the spiritual understanding of Scripture. Chanting these :songs of the steps,'' the faithful can ascend from the valley of tears that Christ has sanctified with his sufferings only by opening their hearts to the love of God to be transformed. Their own love or longing for God is made effective by the Gift of charity, the Gift of the Holy Spirit, who impels the faithful toward the peace of the Mystical Jerusalem or City of God. In these homilies Augusting teaches that it is love that gives vitality to Christianity and to prayer. In his Homilies on the Gospel of St. John Augustine emplasizes the role of love in binding the faithful to Christ. Christ is the seed of Abraham, and to be parat of Christ is to belong to the Covenant of Faith. The mystery of the Incarnate Word is bound up with the mystery of the Church and the Sacraments and with Christ's universal Lordship. Through this Word of God persons are both created and re-created. In his Homily on the First Epistle of St. John he warns that even those who believe in God can become practical heretics if they do not love their neighbors. Only by fraternal love does one come to the knowledge of God that is life in the Trinity. In On the Trinity he shows the Christian how to ascend from contemplating the image of the Trinity in the soul to the contemplation of Trinitarian life. He speaks of the presence of God in the memory, understanding, and will. In the treatise On Seeing God Augusting tries to reconcile the Criptural statement that Moses spoke to God face-to-face with the statement in Matthew 5:8: ''No man has seen God at any time.'' In the process we learn that the vision of God as He is belongs only to hearts that are cleansed; God is seen with the eyes of the mind by the pure of heart. In the treatise On the Presence of God we learn of God's dwelling in ech one as in many temples and in all together as in one temple. In this temple Christ dwells as in a body of which He is the Head. The Communion of Saints in this Temple of God. This is the special dwelling place of God; but as God the Creator He is present everywhere, and in His human body He is somewhere in heaven. In the City of God the theme of the communion of Saints is expanded, and so our volume ends where it began - on a discussion of the experience of human sufferings and the hope of happiness: that longing for God in sorrow and in joy portrayed in the Confessons and in The Happy Life. The vestige of God in every good thing calls us to appreciate it and yet transcend it by allowing the infinite longing of the humanheart to seek true happness in the Infinite God. Such happiness is visible only to the eyes of faith and is a gift of God to whom one prays for happiness. Here, too, we see the social aspect of Augustinian spirituality, the love of God uniting people into the City of God. Finally, in the Rule of St. Auagustine it is clear how very close to Vatican II orientations is the Augustine who authored the first monastic rule in the West, since this Rule promotes interpersonal unity through mutual love as the Christian environment that enables all to remain ''intent upon God.'' Charity and contemplation purify the heart for the seeing of God and He takes up his dwelling in each temple and in the Monastery as in one temple of God. The evangelical inspiration of this Rule is the Acts of the Apostles 4:32, where we read: ''The whole group of believers were united, heart and soul.'' To follow the Rule of St. Augustine is to make a spiritual ascent to that Beauty which is God, the Splendor of Truth, the Source of happiness. The monastery is intended to be the paradigm of all Christian life, namely, a ''living in freedom under grace.'' I am grateful to T. J. Van Bavel, O.S.A., for the use of his headings in the Rule of St. Augustine. My translation is based on the Latin text in the critical edition made by L. Verheijen, O.S.A. In all these translations I have modernized the punctuation to adapt it to English usage, and where English and French translations exist I have been assisted by the numerous versions I was able to consult and compare. I now wish to express gratidtude to Richard Payne, the inaugurator of the Classics of Western Spirituality, who suggested that I select and translate those writings of Augustine most likely to let us participate in the spirituality of this great saint. To Dr. John Farina, the associate editor of the Paulist Press, who has assumed the editorial tasks related to the Classics, I express sincere appreciation for his profesisonal advice and careful supervision. The early interest and continued encouragement of Ewert Cousins, director of the Spirituality Program at Fordham University and consultant for this series, have been influential in the contempletion of this work. I received welcome and helpful advice on sections of the Introduction from colleagues - Peter Brown, Peter Manchester, Robert Crouse - when it was first being formulated. And I am grateful to Margaret Williams, R.S.C.J., my former teacher, for her generous editorial assistance. My final word of gratitude is expressed to all those Augustinian scholars from whom I have learned at conferences in Oxford and in America and by reading their books and articles throughout many years. They are too numerous to list and yet to them the twentieth century owes an ever greater knowledge of Augustine of Hippo, a saint for all times, a medieval bishop and a modern thinker whose wisdom is needed by an age like ours when the human spirit is thirsting for truth to guide its love. Finally with you I thank God for Augustine.
View Table of Contents
Introduction: The Spirituality of St. Augustine Confessions Book Seven Book Eight Book Nine Book Ten The Happy Life Homilies on the Psalms Psalm 119: the Ascents of the Christian Psalm 120: Our Confidence In the Lord Psalm 121: the Ecstasy of Love Psalm 122: God Is True Wealth Homilies on the Gospel of St. John First Homily Twelfth Homily Homily on the First Epistle of St. John Treatise Seven on the Trinity Book Eight Book Fourteen on Seeing God on the Presence of God Letter 147: Augustine To the Noble Lady, Pauline, Greeting Letter 187: on the Presence of God The City of God The Rule of St. Augustine
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