Meditation / Philosophy / Spiritual / West

St. Augustine – City of God – Love is the greatest power on Earth

In his book City of God, St. Augustine famously said, “without justice, what else is the state but a great band of robbers?”  This statement seems to be a favorite of Pope Benedict XVI Emeritus, and he has recruited it in warning lawmakers, particularly lawmakers in the Western nations with Christian heritage, of the way to which they are headed.

Benedict XVI Emeritus referring to St. Augustine Source Welt

Benedict XVI Emeritus referring to St. Augustine

He referred to these words in his address to the German Parliament or Bundestag when he visited Germany September 2011.  Some years earlier, in his encyclical Deus caritas est, Pope Benedict XVI referred to those very same words.

It is useful from time to time to recall these words of St. Augustine and the deep truth that they convey especially for the EU.  St. Augustine  relates the story about the pirate who had been seized and brought before Alexander the Great. The cheeky pirate asks Alexander what is the real difference between a pirate and an emperor apart from the scale of action: Justice being taken away, then, what are kingdoms but great robberies? For what are robberies themselves, but little kingdoms? . For when that king had asked the man what he meant by keeping hostile possession of the sea, he answered with bold pride, “What thou meanest by seizing the whole earth; but because I do it with a petty ship, I am called a robber, whilst thou who dost it with a great fleet art styled emperor.”

The root cause is the loss of Love.

Love is the greatest power on Earth

  • Obligation without love is irksome.
  • Education without love is inconsistent.
  • Justice  without love is harsh.
  • Friendliness without love is hypocritical.
  • Order without love makes petty.
  • Responsibility without love is reckless.
  • Wisdom without love is torn.
  • Knowledge without love is opinionated.
  • Truth without  love makes impatient.
  • Power without love is violent.
  • Possession without love is stingy.
  • Honor without love is arrogant.
  • Faith without love is fanatical.

A life without love is meaningless.

The death of the Church father Augustine of Hippo, 430 fell in a time of change, as is the ancient world came to the end. The “leaders” of the EU are certainly no match to Alexander the Great. But the book was written soon after Rome was sacked by the Visigoths in 410. This event left Romans in a deep state of shock.  This event in Cyprus – even if taken back – is a suicidal attempt of lawless and godless leaders and constitution which does not refer to god nor to freedom and prosperity. In relation to Hegel and C. G. Jung is worth noting in that pure efficiency thinking that methodically requires total abstraction leads to a negative between ignorance which wants to know nothing, and a rationalism which wants to believe anything. Agustine is worth reading.
  • Book 1 Augustine censures the pagans, who attributed the calamities of the world.
  • Book 2 k Augustine reviews the greatest, of all calamities— the corruption of manners, and the vices of the soul.
  • Book 3 As in reviews e proves external and bodily disasters caused by such calamities.
  • Book 4 There is one true God, the author of felicity, by whose power and judgment earthly kingdoms are founded and maintained.
  • Book 5 Here he proves that there is no contradiction between God’s prescience and our free will.
  • Book 6 . Of this theology Augustine adopts a division into three kinds, mythical, natural, and civil.
  • Book 7 In this book it is shown that eternal life is not obtained by the worship of Janus, Jupiter, Saturn, and the other “select gods” like the markets we offer today.
  • Book 8 Augustine discussed the Platonic system which is the nearest approximation to Christian truth.
  • Book 9 Augustine proves that to no demon, but to Christ alone, belongs the office of providing men with eternal blessedness.
  • Book 10 In this book Augustine teaches principle and way of the soul’s cleansing and deliverance.
  • Book 11 Here he discusses the creation of the world, as it is described in Holy Scripture in the beginning of the book of Genesis.
  • Book 12 Augustine discusses there in some a good, and in others an evil will? And, what is the reason of the blessedness of the good, and the misery of the evi
  • Book 13 In this book it is taught that death is a penalty, and had its origin in Adam’s sin.
  • Book 14 Augustine again treats of the sin of the first man.
  • Book 15-19 , Augustine explains the two cities, the earthly and the heavenly growth and progress in the four books which follow.
  • Book 20 Concerning the last judgment, and the declarations regarding it in the old and new testaments.
  • Book 21 Of the end reserved for the city of the devil, namely, the eternal punishment of the damned; and of the arguments which unbelief brings against it.
  • Book 22 This book treats of the end of the city of God.