Saint Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo (North Africa) and Doctor of the Church
Sermon 34: on Ps 149
"Be rich in what matters to God"
Brethren, carefully inspect the place where you dwell interiorly; open your
eyes and consider the capital of your love; then increase whatever sum you
discover within yourselves. Keep watch over this treasure so that you may
become wealthy within. Goods of great price are called ‘dear’, and with
good reason… But what could be more dear than love, my brothers? What is
its cost, in your opinion? And how are you to pay it? The cost of land or
wheat is your silver; the cost of a pearl is your gold; but the cost of
your love is you yourself. If you want to buy a field, a jewel, an animal,
you seek the necessary means, you look around you. But if you want to
possess love, look no further than yourself: it is yourself you must
find.What are you afraid of in giving yourself? Of losing yourself? To the
contrary, it is by refusing to give yourself that you lose yourself. Love
itself speaks through the mouth of Wisdom and calms with one word the
confusion into which this saying threw you: “Give of your own self!” If
someone had wanted to sell you a piece of land, he would say to you: “Give
me your silver” or, for some other thing: “Give me your cash.” Now listen
to what Love says to you through the mouth of Wisdom: “My child, give me
your heart” (Pr.23,26). Your heart was in a bad way when it was your own,
when it was in your own hands. You were a prey to emptiness, not to speak
of evil passions. Remove it from all such things! Where will you take it?
Where offer it? “My son, give me your heart!” says Wisdom. Let it only come
to me and you will not lose it… "You shall love the Lord your God with
all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind," (Mt 22,37)...
He who created you desires the whole of you.