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Love of Existence and Knowledge: From “The City of God” by Saint Augustine of Hippo (vegetarian), Part 2 of 2

2020-10-17
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We will now continue with an excerpt from Saint Augustine’s book, “The City of God.” “The cause, therefore, of the blessedness of the good is adherence to God. And so, the cause of the others’ misery will be found in the contrary, that is, in their not adhering to God.” “Wherefore, if when the question is asked, why are the former blessed, it is rightly answered, because they adhere to God; and when it is asked, why are the latter miserable, it is rightly answered, because they do not adhere to God, then there is no other good for the rational or intellectual creature save God only. Thus, though it is not every creature that can be blessed, yet that creature which has the capacity cannot be blessed of itself, since it is created out of nothing, but only by Him by Whom it has been created. For it is blessed by the possession of that Whose loss makes it miserable. He, then, who is blessed not in another, but in Himself, cannot be miserable, because he cannot lose himself.” “Accordingly, we say that there is no unchangeable good but the one, true, blessed God; that the things which He made are indeed good because from Him, yet mutable because made not out of Him, but out of nothing. Although, therefore, they are not the supreme good, for God is a greater good, yet those mutable things, which can adhere to the immutable good, and so be blessed, are very good; for so completely is He their good, that without Him they cannot but be wretched.” “And since this is so, then in this nature, which has been created so excellent, that though it be mutable itself, it can yet secure its blessedness by adhering to the immutable good, the supreme God: and since it is not satisfied unless it be perfectly blessed, and cannot be thus blessed save in God, in this nature, I say, not to adhere to God, is manifestly a fault. Now, every fault injures the nature, and is consequently contrary to the nature. The creature, therefore, which cleaves to God, differs from those who do not, not by nature, but by fault; and yet, by this very fault, the nature itself is proved to be very noble and admirable.”
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