God, High Above All

Thus it is that by a sinner’s own deeds he is himself harmed. Human sloth pretends to long for rest, but what sure rest is there except in the Lord? Luxury would like to be called plenty and abundance; but you are the fullness and unfailing abundance of unfading joy. Prodigality presents a show of liberality; but you are the most lavish giver of all good things. Covetousness desires to possess much; but you are already the possessor of all things. Envy contends that its aim is for excellence; but what is so excellent as you? Anger seeks revenge; but who avenges more justly than you? Fear recoils at the unfamiliar and the sudden changes which threaten things beloved, and is wary for its own security; but what can happen that is unfamiliar or sudden to you? Or who can deprive you of what you love? Where, really, is there unshaken security except with you? Grief languishes for things lost in which desire had taken delight, because it wishes to have nothing taken from it, just as nothing can be taken from you.

Augustine, Confessions, [2.6.13]


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