German-born Italian Bishop of Milan
Saint Ambrose, born Aurelius Ambrosius
German-born Italian Bishop of Milan
Take away the contests of the martyrs, and you have taken away their crowns.
The best way to use the gold of the Redeemer is for the redemption of those in peril.
The emperor is in the Church, not above the Church.
The practice of perfect virtue does not require teaching, but instructs others.
The rich man who gives to the poor does not bestow alms but pays a debt.
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.
There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.
Therefore, let your words be rivers, clean and limpid, so that you may charm the ears of people. And by the grace of your words win them over to follow your leadership. Solomon says: ?The weapons of the understanding are the lips of the wise?; and in another place he says: ?Let your lips be bound with wisdom.? That is, let the meaning of your words shine forth, let understanding blaze out. Let no word escape your lips in vain or be uttered without depth of meaning.
To avoid dissensions we should be ever on our guard, more especially with those who drive us to argue with them, with those who vex and irritate us, and who say things likely to excite us to anger. When we find ourselves in company with quarrelsome, eccentric individuals, people who openly and unblushingly say the most shocking things, difficult to put up with, we should take refuge in silence, and the wisest plan is not to reply to people whose behavior is so preposterous. Those who insult us and treat us contumeliously are anxious for a spiteful and sarcastic reply: the silence we then affect disheartens them, and they cannot avoid showing their vexation; they do all they can to provoke us and to elicit a reply, but the best way to baffle them is to say nothing, refuse to argue with them, and to leave them to chew the cud of their hasty anger. This method of bringing down their pride disarms them, and shows them plainly that we slight and despise them.
We have to be sorrowful for the world, as well as joyful in the Lord, sorrowful in penance, joyful in gratitude.
When I am at Rome I fast as the Romans do; when I am at Milan I do not fast. So likewise you, whatever church you come to, observe the custom of the place, if you would neither give offence to others, nor take offence from them.
When you are at Rome live in the Roman style; when you are elsewhere live as they live elsewhere.
Where a man's heart is, there is his treasure also.
Woman, the child of so many tears shall never perish.
You are not making a gift of your possessions to the poor person. You are handing over to him what is his. For what has been given in common for the use of all, you have arrogated to yourself. he world is given to all, and not only to the rich.
It is preferable to have a virgin mind than a virgin body. Each is good if each be possible; if it be not possible, let me be chaste, not to man but to God.
Stephen prayed for his persecutors, who had not been able even to listen to the Name of Christ, when he said of those very men by whom he was being stoned: "Lord, lay not this sin to their charge" And we see the result of this prayer in the case of the Apostle, for Paul, who kept the garments of those who were stoning Stephen, not long after became an apostle by the grace of God, having before been a persecutor.
Let there be a door to thy mouth, that it may be shut when need arises, and let it be carefully barred, that none may rouse thy voice to anger, and thou pay back abuse with abuse.
Let us take refuge from this world. You can do this in spirit, even if you are kept here in the body. You can at the same time be here and present to the Lord. Your soul must hold fast to him, you must follow after him in your thoughts, you must tread his ways by faith, not in outward show.
God, who preferred the correction rather than the death of a sinner, did not desire that a homicide be punished by the exaction of another act of homicide.
Many a sin has sullied me in body and in soul because I did not restrain my thoughts nor guard my lips: nevertheless it is to Thee, O God of majesty and love, that I turn in my extremity, for Thou art the fount of mercy; to Thee, as quickly as I may, I speed: for Thou alone canst heal me; I take refuge under Thy protection.
He who read much and understands much, receives his fill. He who is full, refreshes others. So Scripture says: ?If the clouds are full, they will pour rain upon the earth.?
No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks. Neither angel, nor archangel, not yet even the Lord Himself (who alone can say 'I am with you'), can, when we have sinned, release us, unless we bring repentance with us.
I did not save his people in the dialectics to God's good pleasure
No one heals himself by wounding another.