I have learnt to love you late, Beauty at once so ancient and so new! I have learnt to love you late! You were within me, and I was in the world outside myself. I searched for you outside myself and, disfigured as I was, I fell upon the lovely things of your creation. You were with me but I was not with you. The beautiful things of this world kept me from you and yet, if they had not been in you, they would have no being at all. You called me; You cried aloud to me; You broke the barrier of my deafness. I tasted you and now I hunger and thirst for you. You touched me and I am inflamed, inflamed with love of your peace.

Confessions X, 27

To know God

Eternal God, who are the light of the minds that know you, the joy of the hearts that love you, and the strength of the wills that serve you; grant us so to know you that we may truly love you, and so to love you that we may fully serve you, whom to serve is perfect freedom, in Jesus Christ our Lord.


Prayer to the holy Spirit

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, That my thoughts may all be holy. 

Act in me, O Holy Spirit, That my work, too, may be holy. 

Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, That I love but what is holy. 

Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, To defend all that is holy. 

Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, That I always may be holy.

Here is my heart

Here is my heart, O God; here it is with all its secrets. Look into my thoughts, O my hope, and take away all my wrong feelings. Let my eyes be ever on you and release my feet from the snare. I ask you to live with me, to reign in me, to make this heart of mine a holy temple, a fit dwelling for your divine majesty.


Protect us

Lord, our God, we are in the shadow of your wings. Protect us and bear us up. You will care for us as if we were little children, even to our old age. When you are our strength, we are strong; but when we are our own strength, we are weak. Our good always lives in your presence, and we suffer when we turn our faces away from you. We now return to you, O Lord that we may never turn away again.


Find peace

Who will grant me that I may find my peace in you? Who will grant me that you may come into my heart and make it drunk, so that I may forget my evil and embrace my one good, you? What are you to me? Have mercy that I may find words. What am I to you that you command to be loved by me and, if I do not, become angry with me and threaten me with nameless misfortune? Is my misfortune small if I merely do not love you? Don't let me think about it! By your mercies, O Lord my God, tell me what you are to me. Say to my soul: I am your salvation. (Ps. 34,3) Say it so that I hear. Behold, the ears of my soul are turned toward you, O Lord; open them and say to my soul, I am your salvation. I will run after that tone of voice and I will seize you. Do not hide your face from me! Will it kill me? I want to die, if only I can see it!

Confessions I,5,5

Lead us

Lead us, O God, from the sight of the lovely things of the world
To the thought of thee their Creator;
And grant that delighting in the beautiful things of thy creation,
we may delight in thee, the first author of beauty
and the Sovereign Lord of all thy works, blessed for evermore.

Flaming words

You had pierced our hearts with your love and we carried your words with us, like arrows pierced through our insides; and the examples of your servants - of black sparkling light and from death made alive by you - were gathered together in the bosom of our meditation and they burned and consumed, so as not to let us slide down any more, our oppressive torpor and set us in blaze brighter, so that every breath of contradiction that would come from the deceitful tongue would make us flame more fiercely, and would not be able to extinguish us. (...)


Get to know God

Lord Jesus, let me know myself and know you, and desire nothing save only you. Let me hate myself and love you. Let me do everything for the sake of you. Let me humble myself and exalt you. Let me think of nothing except you. Let me die to myself and live in you. Let me accept whatever happens as from you. Let me banish self and follow you, and ever desire to follow you. Let me fly from myself and take refuge in you that I may deserve to be defended by you. Let me fear for myself, let me fear you, and let me be among those who are chosen by you. Let me distrust myself and put my trust in you. Let me be willing to obey for the sake of you. Let me cling to nothing save only to you, and let me be poor because of you. Look upon me, that I may love you. Call me that I may see you, and forever enjoy you.


How to Love God

But what do I love when I love you? No beauty of body, no splendor of time, no gleam of light dear to my earthly lies, no sweet melodies of varied song, no pleasant scent of flowers, perfumes and spices, no manna and no honey, no limbs pleasing to the embraces of the flesh: these are they not that I love, when I love my God. And yet I love something like a light, something like a voice, something like a fragrance, something like a food, and something like an embrace, when I love my God, who is light and voice and fragrance and nourishment and embrace of my inner man, there where that radiance of light twinkles before my soul, which no place can contain, where that sound resounds, which is torn away by no time, where that fragrance hangs, which no wind scatters , where there exists that taste, which no greedy eating diminishes, there where that embrace is given, which no satiety loosens. That is what I love when I love my God.



I thank you, O Lord, my joy and my glory, my hope and my God. I thank you for your gifts to me. Keep them unharmed for me; they will be the making of me and I shall be with you for your being is your life.

Confessions I, 20

Seeking Happiness

O God, my Father, I am seeking you, not making statements about you. Help me and guide me. But how do I seek you, O Lord? For when I seek you, my God, it is happiness that I seek. Therefore, let me seek you that my soul may live; as my body lives by my soul, my soul lives by you.

Confessions XI, 17

I thank you, O Lord,
my joy and my glory,
my hope and my God.
I thank you for your gifts to me.
Keep them unharmed for me:
they will be the making of me,
and I shall be with you
for my being is your gift.
Confessions I, 20, 31