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Posted February 19, 2007

Book: Late Have I loved Thee: Selected Writings of Saint Augustine on Love
Edited by: John F. Thornton and Susan B. Varenne
Vintage Spiritual Classics. New York. 2006. Pp. 413

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

Late Have I Loved Thee is the first collection of Saint Augustine’s varied writings on human and divine love, chosen to reflect his lifelong preoccupation with ordo amoris, the principle of rightly directed love. “My weight is my love,” he writes in The Confessions. He sees our ability to love as disordered by sin, so that we often choose badly what and how to love. Only by recognizing that we are commanded to love God first can any other object of our love be properly ordered. Late Have I loved Thee draws on the riches found in Augustine’s sermons, letters, treatises, and Scripture commentaries, as well as passages from The Confessions and City of God.

An Excerpt from the Book:

You ask, perchance, What is this happy life? On this question the talents and leisure of many philosophers have been wasted, who, nevertheless, failed in their researches after it just in proportion as they failed to honor him from whom it proceeds and were unthankful to him. In the first place, then, consider whether we should accept the opinion of those philosophers who pronounce that man happy who lives according to his own will. Far be it, surely, from us to believe this, for what if a man’s will inclines him to live in wickedness? Is he not proved to be a miserable man in proportion to the facility with which his depraved will is carried out? Even philosophers who were strangers to the worship of God have rejected this sentiment with deserved abhorrence. One of them, a man of the greatest eloquence, says, “Behold, however, others, not philosophers indeed, but men of ready power in disputation, who affirm that all men are happy who live according to their own will. But this is certainly untrue, for to wish that which is unbecoming is itself a most miserable thing: nor is it so miserable a thing to fail in obtaining what you wish as to wish to obtain what you ought not to desire.: what is your opinion? Are not these words, by whomsoever they are spoken, derived from the Truth itself? We may therefore here say what the apostle said of a certain Cretan poet whose sentiment had pleased him: “This witness is true.”

He, therefore, is truly happy who has all that he wishes to have, and wishes to have nothing which he ought not to wish.

Table of Contents:

From The Confessions
Book I
Book II
Book III
Book IV
Book V
Book VI
Book X
Book XI

From The City of God
Chapter 6-7-9
Chapter 13
Chapter 22
Chapter 28

Book XV
Chapter 22 – 23 – 24
Chapter 30

Book XIX
Chapter 4
Chapter 20

Book XXI
Chapter 15
Chapter 21 - 22 - 23

From ON Christian Doctrine
Chapter 3 - 4 - 22- 23 - 24 - 25 - 26 - 27 - 28 - 29 - 36 - 37 - 38 - 39 - 40

From The Enchiridion on Faith, Hope, and Love
Chapter 31 - 32 - 33

From Augustine’s Letters
Letter 20 - 27 - 58 - 130 - 189

From Expositions on the Psalms
Psalm 16 - 18 - 23 - 26- 27 - 30 - 31 - 36 - 51 - 54 - 67 - 73 - 90 - 96 - 121 - 149

From The Trinity
Chapter 1 - 2 - 3 -4 - 5 - 6 - 7- 8 - 9 - 10

From Tractates on the Gospel of John
1st Gospel - 2nd - 5th - 6th - 9th - 10th

Selected Sermons
Sermon 33 - 34 - 344 - 349 - 350 - 350a - 368 - 382 - 385 - 386