Augustine For Today


“Among the great and salutary instructions, the divine and lofty precepts which our Lord gave his disciples, people think this one is very hard, in which he ordered them to love their enemies. It’s a hard precept, but a grand reward. Anyway, notice what he said when he was giving this admonition: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who persecute you. You have heard what the work is; wait for the reward and see what he will add: that you may be, he says, children of your father who is in heaven, who makes his sun rise on the good and the bad, and sends rain upon the just and the unjust. We see this happening, we can’t deny it. … Benefits from the sky, benefits from the earth; the springs bubble up, the fields are fertile, the trees are laden with fruit. The good enjoy these things, the bad enjoy them too; the grateful enjoy them, the ungrateful enjoy them. If he bestows such blessings on good and bad alike, do you suppose he keeps nothing special for the good? He gives to good and bad alike what he gave to the men who stoned Stephen, but it is what he gave Stephen that he keeps for the good.”

Sermon 317, 1