St. Augustine on the love of God

St. Augustine statue at St. Augustine Catholic Church (est. 1854) near Waikiki Beach in Honolulu.

When he poses the question, “What do I love when I love my God?” St. Augustine responded:

“Not the beauty of any bodily thing, nor the order of seasons, not the brightness of light that rejoices the eye, nor the sweet melodies of all songs, nor the sweet fragrance of flowers and ointments and spices: not manna nor honey, not the limbs that carnal love embraces. None of these things do I love in loving my God.

“Yet in a sense I do love light and melody and fragrance and food and embrace when I love my God–the light and the voice and the fragrance and the food and embrace in the soul, when that light shines upon my soul which no place can contain, that voice sounds which no time can take from me, I breathe that fragrance which no wind scatters, I eat the food which is not lessened by eating, and I lie in the embrace which satiety never comes to sunder. This it is that I love, when I love my God.”

— Translated by F.J. Sheed, Confessions (Indianapolis, IN: Hackett Publishing Company, 2006), 193.

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