The Church is the body of Christ and His temple and house and state. So He Who is the Head of the Body dwells in this house, sanctifies this temple, and is King of this state. As the Church is all these, so too is Christ.
What then have we promised to God, except that we be God's temple? We can offer Him nothing that is more pleasing than to say to Him: "Possess us!"
- Commentary on Psalm 131, 3
Prayer. I want to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. In it lies something wonderful to see, the delight of the Lord Himself, awaiting our contemplation.
Let us leave a little room for reflection, room too for silence. Enter into yourself, and leave behind all noise and confusion. Look within yourself.
See whether there be some delightful hidden place in your consciousness where you can be free of noise and argument, where you need not be carrying on your disputes and planning to have your own stubborn way. Hear the word in quietness, that you may understand it.
- Sermon 52, 22
Prayer. To those who love Thee, O Lord, according to Thy command, Thou show Thyself, and it is enough for them. Thus they do not fall away from Thee nor back into themselves.
Brothers and sisters, allow no one to deceive you. If you do not wish to be deceived, and you want to love your brothers and sisters, then realize that every profession in the Church has its counterfeits.
I did not say that everyone is a counterfeit, but that every profession includes people who are counterfeit. There are bad Christians just as there are good ones.
- Commentary on Psalm 99, 13
Prayer. Thou are one God, and Thou come to my aid. In Thee nothing is lacking and nothing is in excess. In Thee the One Who generates and the One generated are one alone.
Understand that no one is telling you: "Be less than you are"; but "know what you are." Know that you are human. Know that you are a sinner. Know that it is God Who frees you from blame.
Let your confession reveal the stain of your heart, and you will belong to the flock of Christ.
- Sermon 137, 4
Prayer. Lord, see Thy work in me, not my own. For if Thou see my own work, Thou condemn me; but if Thou see Thine, Thou crown me. Whatever my good works are, they come from Thee and are therefore more Thine than mine.
For my part, I prefer to do things in earnest, not to "play." If you chose the word to imply that what we do is easy, then let me tell you that I expected the more from you.
It is your business to help those engaged in great and exacting investigations - as if studying the Scriptures were a matter of romping around on level ground, not puffing and panting up a steep mountainface.
- Letter 82, 1
Prayer. Lord, because of Thy Name may Thou have mercy on me according to Thy great mercy, and by no means abandon the work Thou have begun but complete what is imperfect in me.
Know this: I have no fear of you. You cannot overturn the judgement seat of Christ and set up that of Donatus. I shall continue to call back the wandering; I shall seek out the lost.
Even if the branches of the wood tear me in my search, I shall still force my way through every path. Inasmuch as the Lord, Who drives me to this task by His terror, gives me strength, I shall go through everything.
- Sermon 46, 14
Prayer. Lord our God, make us blessed by Thee, because we shall not lose Thee. When we remain true to Thee, we shall neither lose Thee nor be lost ourselves.
You must realize that I fondly love the perfection about which the Lord spoke when He said to the rich young man: "Go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven, and come, follow Me." Not by my own strength, but with the aid of God's grace have I done this.
Persons who give up both what they possess and what they hope to possess give up the whole world. I encourage others to embrace this holy goal.
- Letter 157, 39
Prayer. Come, Lord, into my soul, which Thou have prepared for Thy own reception by inspiring in me a longing for Thy goodness.
Here in Hippo the clerics have decided with God's favor to follow the community form of life. Anyone who in the future is found to have his own possessions will not be allowed to dispose of them, and I will remove his name from the list of clerics.
I trust in God that as these men have accepted my arrangement with joy, so too they will keep it with purity and fidelity.
- Sermon 356, 14
Prayer. Lord, I am poor and needy, and Thou are generous to all who appeal to Thee.
Whatever cleric wishes to dwell with me in voluntary poverty possesses God. If such a one is ready to be fed by God through his church, and to have nothing of his own, but rather to give what he has to the poor or to put it in the common store, let him remain with me.
If anyone does not wish this, he may have his freedom. But let him reflect whether he will have eternal happiness.
- Sermon 355, 6
Prayer. Lord, I am poor and needy. I am better only when with heartfelt sorrow I renounce myself and seek Thy mercy so that my deficiencies are overcome and transformed.