German-born Italian Bishop of Milan
Saint Ambrose, born Aurelius Ambrosius
German-born Italian Bishop of Milan
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.
If it is "daily bread," why do you take it once a year? . . . Take daily what is to profit you daily. Live in such a way that you may deserve to receive it daily. He who does not deserve to receive it daily, does not deserve to receive it once a year.
No one is good but God alone. What is good is therefore divine, what is divine is therefore good.
If you are at Rome, live in the Roman style; if you are elsewhere, live as they live there.
Nothing escapes God's knowledge. This is proved by the witness of the Scriptures and the analogy of the sun, which, although created, yet by its light or heat enters into all things.
If you have two shirts in your closet, one belongs to you and the other to the man with no shirt.
Nothing graces the Christian soul so much as mercy; mercy as shown chiefly towards the poor, that thou mayest treat them as sharers in common with thee in the produce of nature, which brings forth the fruits of the earth for use to all.
It is a better thing to save souls for the Lord than to save treasures. He who sent forth his apostles without gold had not need of gold to form his Church. The Church possesses gold, not to hoard, but to scatter abroad and come to the aid of the unfortunate.
O most merciful Father, put far from me all my iniquities and all my offences; so that, by Thee made whole in body and in soul, I may be accounted worthy to approach the Holy of holies.
It is idle to play the lyre for an ass.
One of the duties of fortitude is to keep the weak from receiving injury; another, to check the wrong motions of our own souls; a third, both to disregard humiliations, and to do what is right with an even mind. All these clearly ought to be fulfilled by all Christians, and especially by the clergy.
It is ingrained in all living creatures, first of all, to preserve their own safety, to guard against what is harmful, to strive for what is advantageous.
Our own evil inclinations are far more dangerous than any external enemies.
But if these beings angels guard you, they do so because they have been summoned by your prayers.
By the death of martyrs religion has been defended, faith increased, the Church strengthened; the dead have conquered, the persecutors have been overcome. And so we celebrate the death of those of whose lives we are ignorant. So, too, David rejoiced in prophecy at the departure of his own soul, saying: ?Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.? He esteemed death better than life. The death itself of the martyrs is the prize of their life. And again, by the death of those at variance hatred is put an end to.
Father, if possible, take away this cup from me. Many cling to this text in order to use the sadness of the Savior as proof that he had weakness from the beginning rather than taking it on for a time. In this way they distort the natural meaning of the sentence. I, however, consider it not only as something that does not need to be excused, but nowhere else do I admire more his tender love and majesty. He would have given me less, had he not taken on my emotions. Thus he suffered affliction for me, he who did not have to suffer anything for himself. Setting aside the enjoyment of his divinity, he is afflicted with the annoyance of my weakness. He took on my sadness so that he might bestow on me his joy. He descended into the anguish of death by following in our footsteps so that he might call us back to life by following in his footsteps. I do not hesitate to speak of sadness since I am preaching the cross; he took on not the appearance but the reality of the Incarnation. Thus, instead of avoiding it, he had to take on the pain in order to overcome sadness.
Forget not, O Lord, that I am one of those whom Thou hast created, and with Thine own blood hast redeemed. I repent me of my sins: I will strive to amend my ways.
God created the universe in such a manner that all in common might derive their food from it, and that the Earth should also be a property common to all.