Augustine and Piper: Loving Things Other Than God for God’s Sake

“He loves Thee too little who loves anything together with Thee which he loves not for Thy sake.” -Augustine

“What Augustine showed me was that there is a way to delight in God’s creation that is not for its sake but for God’s sake. Discovering how to do that is the secret of not committing idolatry on moonlight nights and beside sparkling morning lakes and over biyearly catfish feasts.” -John Piper

Augustine: Peter’s Exhortation

What else does the Lord’s passion present us with in our head, but supremely the tests and trials of this life? That is why, as the time of his death drew near, Christ said to Peter, “Satan has asked for you all to sift you like wheat. And I have prayed, Peter, for you, that your faith should not fall. Go and strengthen your brothers” (v. 31–32).

Peter certainly has strengthened us by his apostolate, martyrdom, and letters. In them he also instructed us to be carefully vigilant, having the consolation of prophecy like a light in the night. “We have,” he said, “the more certain prophetic word, to which you do well to attend, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns, and the morning star rises in your heart” (2 Peter 1:19).

-Augustine, Sermon 210:6

Give God the Glory

“If then he, one with the Father, equal to the Father, God from God, God with God, co-eternal, immortal, equally unchanging, equally timeless, equally creator and disposer of times, if he because he came in time, took the form of a slave, and was found in appearance as a man (Phil 2:7), then he seeks his Father’s glory, not his own. What should you, O man, do, you who seek your own glory whenever you do anything good, while when you do something bad, you figure out ways to blame God?

Take a look at yourself; you are a creature, acknowledge the creator; you are a slave, do not distain the master; you have been adopted, but not on your merits. Seek the glory of the one from whom you have received this grace, O adopted child, seek the glory of the one whose glory was sought by his only true born Son.”

-Augustine, Homilies on the Gospel of John 1-40, Homily 29. Translated by Edmund Hill (Hyde Park, NY: New City Press, 2009), 495.