o you wish to receive? Then give! Do you wish to be forgiven? Then forgive! This is just a brief summary. Hear Christ say in another place, "forgive, and you shall be forgiven."
Forgive; give. And you shall be given what you desire--eternal life.
Augustine's Great Canticle of Love
My love of you, God, is not some vague feeling;
It is positive and certain.
Your word struck into my heart
and from that moment I loved you.
Besides this, all about me,
heaven and earth and all that they contain
proclaim that I should love you.
But what do I love when I love you?
Not material beauty of a temporal order;
not the brilliance of earthly light;
not the sweet melody of harmony and song;
not the fragrance of flowers, perfumes, and spices;
not manna or honey;
and not limbs the body delights to embrace.
It is not these that I love when I love my God.
And yet, when I love him,
it is true that I love a light of a certain kind,
a voice, a perfume, a food, an embrace;
but they are the kind that I love in my inner self,
when my soul is bathed in light that is not bound by space;
when it listens to sound that never dies away;
when it breathes fragrance that is not borne away on the wind;
when it tastes food that is never consumed by the eating;
when it clings to an embrace from which
it is not severed by fulfillment of desire.
This is what I love when I love my God.