Italian Archbishop of Milan
Ambrose, aka Saint Ambrose, fully Aurelius Ambrosius
Italian Archbishop of Milan
Before we are born we are defiled with contagion, and before the enjoyment of light we receive the injury of [our] very origin. For we are conceived in iniquity... Birth itself has its contagions, and not only one, but nature itself has contagion.
That soul is not in the image of God in which God is not always present.
Every man is a liar, and no one is without sin except the one God. It has therefore been held that from man and woman, that is, through the mingling of their bodies, no one is thought to be without defect. But he who is without defect is also without this conception.
The Church of the Lord is built upon the rock of the apostles among so many dangers in the world; it therefore remains unmoved. The Church's foundation is unshakable and firm against assaults of the raging sea. Waves lash at the Church but do not shatter it. Although the elements of this world constantly beat upon the Church with crashing sounds, the Church possesses the safest harbor of salvation for all in distress. There is a stream which flows down on God's saints like a torrent. There is also a rushing river giving joy to the heart that is at peace and makes for peace.
Feed him who is dying of hunger; if you have not fed him you have killed him.
The conflict between the flesh and the Spirit, because of the sinfulness of man, revolves around his [man’s] nature.
For I think that I shall seem arrogant if I conceive a desire to teach among sons. I hope to attain not the grace of the prophets nor the strength of the evangelists nor the foresight of the pastors, but only application to and love for the divine Scriptures.
The passions of the soul are pride, avarice, ambition, strife, envy; the vices that cling to the body are the desire for eating, prodigality of wantonness and licentiousness. Temperance greatly restrains the ardor of these passions. It first tempers the spirit with sobriety and moderation, and informs the mind; then it also reins in the bodily fierceness through abstinence from pleasures. Temperance is therefore a teacher who shows the way of corrective discipline, reining in desires.
God by nature is uncompounded, joined to nothing, composed of nothing, to whom nothing happens by accident; but only possessing in His own nature that which is divine, enclosing all things, Himself closed out of nothing, penetrating all things, Himself never penetrable, everywhere complete, everywhere present at the same time, whether in heaven or on earth or in the depths of the sea, incapable of being seen or measured by our senses, to be followed only by faith and venerated in our religion.
The pious mind distinguishes between what is written with reference to the deity and with reference to the flesh, and thus avoids sacrilege.
God knows the future with as much certainty as He knows the present.
The world was subjected to him [God] through the law, because by the prescriptions of the law everyone was indicted and by the works of the law no one is justified. In other words, through the law sin is recognized, but its guilt is not relieved.
He took what is mine in order that He might impart to me what is His. He took it not to overturn it but to fill it.
There is no time of life past learning something.
If every time the blood is poured out it is poured out for the remission of sins, I ought to receive it always, that my sins may always be forgiven me; because I constantly sin, I constantly need to have the remedy.
Therefore it is proper to believe both that we are to repent and that we are to be pardoned, but in such a way as to expect pardon from faith just as faith obtains it from the written agreement.
In this matter [of the incarnation] my ignorance far surpasses my knowledge; but this one thing I know well, that I am ignorant of things which I cannot understand.
Through His deity He is God, through the assumption of the flesh He is man. ...through the nature of man He grows tired. ...in the nature of man He is less than the Father. ...as God He speaks things which are divine, as man He says things which are human.
To whatever church you come, observe its custom, if you do not want to suffer or give offense.
Let the Word of God come; let it enter the church; let it become a consuming fire, that it may burn the hay and stubble, and consume whatever is worldly; there is heavy lead of iniquity in many; let it be molten by divine fire; let the gold and silver vessels be made better, in order that understanding and speech, refined by the heat of suffering, may begin to be more precious.
We are free to be ignorant [about the day on which angels were created] because we neither must nor can know.
Lord, teach me to seek you, and reveal yourself to me when I seek you. For I cannot seek you unless you first teach me, nor find you unless you first reveal yourself to me. Let me seek you in longing and long for you in seeking. Let me find you in love, and love you in finding.
We are not justified by our works but by faith, since our fleshly weakness is an impediment to our works, but the clarity of faith which merits the forgiveness of sins overcomes the error of our works.