Request for Question Clarification by
24 Sep 2002 12:54 PDT
I'm the bonehead who had your question locked for so long yesterday.
I thought I'd found the phrase in this document but it's not *exact,*
to wit "any precious thing" rather than "love."
"Now to procure any great and precious thing, thou wouldest get ready
gold, or silver, or money, or any increase of cattle, or fruits, which
might be produced in thy possessions, to buy this I know not what
great and excellent thing, whereby to live in this earth happily. Buy
this too, if thou wilt. Do not look for what thou hast, but for what
thou art. The price of this thing is thyself. Its price is what thou
art thyself. Give thine own self, and thou shalt have it."
Additionally, from this document,
something along the same lines ("abandonment is the delicious fruit of
5. Why the expression Merciful Love?
"Mercy, according to the graceful Latin etymology given by St.
Augustine: "Miseriscordare," means:" to give one's heart to the
wretched." The soul, then, that offers itself to the Merciful Love of
God appeals by its very miseries to that inexplicable tendency of the
Divine Heart, which inclines irresistibly to outpour its Mercy without
measure on the abject and the lowly."
27. Is it on that account that our Saint calls the Victim of Love a
Yes, it is just because the self-abandonment, "delicious fruit of
Love," (St. Augustine)
And also here: http://www.icspublications.org/archives/trinity/lt_140.html
"Abandonment is the delicious fruit of love." 2
2 Elizabeth copied (and recopied) this thought attributed to St.
Augustine in her notebook of quotations (cf. PAT); she found it in
this form as an introductory quotation for a poem, "L'Abandon"
("Abandonment"), by Thérèse of Lisieux (HA 377, Poem 52).
It also could be from St. Augustine's tale of two cities "The City of
God" from the text at this site:
"So he formulated the human will as being in reality two wills. There
is a carnal self that wills sinful actions and a spiritual self that
wills belief, self-denial, and ethical actionsin much the same way
that human communities in history are divided into a City of Man and a
City of God. The carnal will he called cupiditas, or cupidity, and the
spiritual will he called caritas, which is the Latin translation of
the Christian term, agapé, which means "selfless love." But caritas is
more than selfless love; it is the will to be like God and to be
united with God. It is, in simple terms, the will to God, while
cupidity is the will to flesh."
More notes on the letting go of ego here:
"Another frequently appearing thesis is that mystics come to this
innate capacity through a process of letting go of the ego and the
conceptual system. This is especially clear in William Chittucks
article on Ibn alArabi, the Sufi who teaches that it is but
self-centeredness that "conceals the sun" of the innate character of
the self that is, Gods own self manifestation within the self.
Through the annihilation of the self, and, "abandoning" our
egocentricity or giving up our "delimited consciousness," we reveal
the innate "sun" within."
This document refers to St. Augustine's mention of the "commerce of
In the letter to the Philippians, St. Paul presents Christ "at the
moment he strips himself of his divine form, to take on 'the form of
slave,' the 'likeness of men.' This is the image of a God who
'annihilates' himself, 'empties' himself in order to give himself, to
give his own life unconditionally, to the point of the cross, where he
takes upon himself all the guilt of the world, to the point that He,
the 'innocent,' the 'just' comes to resemble sinful man," explained
Archbishop Nguyên Van Thuân. This is the wondrous exchange between God
and man, which St. Augustine described as the "commerce of love," and
Leo the Great as the "commerce of salvation."
Gary Wills' book about St. Augustine "Folly, Love, St. Augustine."
I feel like I'm dancing all around this quote but don't have it
exactly. I sent an email to the Falvey Library at Villanova this
morning as they have an extensive collection of St. Augustine's work.
I just wanted to give you a status report to let you know we're
working on this. If another researcher has library access and can
pick up on my notes, please do so, as I don't know when or if I can
get to this. Couldn't help surrendering to the "delicious fruit" of
the research journey though. ;-)
Will keep you posted,