Love One Another, My Friends: St. Augustine's Homilies on the First Letter of John

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Augustine's interpretation is spiritual-his were not scholarly or academic concerns-and John Leinenweber's translation is fresh and accessible, capturing the clarity, brilliance, and inspired passion of the original.

"John has said many things," stated Augustine, "and almost all of them concern love." The first six of the ten homilies were delivered on the days of the Easter octave. This period proved too short for Augustine to cover the whole of the letter, and he preached four...

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Overview

Augustine's interpretation is spiritual-his were not scholarly or academic concerns-and John Leinenweber's translation is fresh and accessible, capturing the clarity, brilliance, and inspired passion of the original.

"John has said many things," stated Augustine, "and almost all of them concern love." The first six of the ten homilies were delivered on the days of the Easter octave. This period proved too short for Augustine to cover the whole of the letter, and he preached four additional homilies later in the spring.

In his Confessions, Augustine spoke of his great longing as a youth "to love and be loved" -a topic that appealed greatly to his listeners. During the course of delivering these homilies, he was interrupted time and again by applause and shouts of enthusiasm.

The ten homilies are broken up into twenty-four short chapters, for example: The Commandment of Love, Two Loves (of God and of the World), Christ and Antichrists, Unanswered Prayer, God is Love, God Has Loved Us First, Love Casts Out Fear. His are in large part moral teachings, dealing with such topics as prayer, our enemies, fear of God, the church, the world (so important in Saint John's writings). What does one actually do to love God and others? What are the pitfalls of loving? How can one learn to love more?

Throughout the homilies, Augustine's great desire "to love and be loved" and to live eternally with God are eloquently expressed. Believing himself ignorant of Scripture, he had initially considered himself ill-prepared for the priesthood. Augustine's subsequent tireless studies unleashed a stream of biblical commentaries that led him to be ranked with Thomas Aquinas as one of the greatestteachers the Western Church has ever produced, and one of its greatest Fathers. His towering intellect molded the thought of Western Christianity, and his ideas dominated the thinking of the Western world for a thousand years after his death.

Augustine wrote profusely, explaining and defending the faith. Called Doctor of Grace, his best known works are his Confessions, one of the greatest spiritual classics of all time, and City of God, an exposition of a Christian philosophy of history.

John Leinenweber lived for many years as a Benedictine monk. Since 1991 he has been associated with the Yale Divinity School and the Yale Institute of Sacred Music. He has also published a selection of Augustine's letters in English translation.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060652333
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/28/1989
  • Edition description: An Abridged English Version
  • Pages: 118

Meet the Author

John Leinenweber was educated at Yale and has been a Benedictine monk since 1957. He was the editor of Monastic Studies, volumes seven to twelve, and has contributed to several monastic journals.

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Table of Contents

Introduction v

1 The Incarnation 1

2 Walk in the Light 4

3 The Commandment of Love 10

4 I Am Writing to You 14

5 Two Loves 17

6 Christ and the Antichrists 24

7 The Spiritual Anointing 32

8 Living as Children of God 38

9 Avoiding Sin 43

10 The Law of Love 48

11 True Love 54

12 Unanswered Prayer 58

13 Faith and Love 62

14 God Is Love 68

15 God Has Loved Us First 72

16 Caring for Love 77

17 Love of Our Enemies 80

18 Abiding in God 84

19 Confidence for the Day of Judgment 87

20 Love Casts Out Fear 91

21 God First Loved Us 96

22 One Christ, Loving Himself 100

23 Fulfillment of the Law 103

24 Fragments 106

Notes 112

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