April 20, 2017

Saint Anselm — His Wisdom in 25 Quotations

Saint Anselm of Canterbury

Saint Anselm of Canterbury, the 11th century Benedictine archbishop, achieved tremendous insight into the love of God. He dedicated his life to seeking out and teaching the depths of Divine Wisdom. May our understanding be enlightened and our faith founded by his thought as embodied in the following quotations.

God is that, the greater than which cannot be conceived.
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Disasters teach us humility.
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Idleness is the enemy of the soul.
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Lust desireth not procreation, but pleasure only.
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Just by thinking about thinking about God, we can know he exists.
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It is, therefore, not proper for God thus to pass over sin unpunished.
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Spare me through your mercy, do not punish me through your justice.
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It is impossible to save one's soul without devotion to Mary and without her protection.
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And indeed we believe you [God] to be something than which a greater cannot be conceived.
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Let no worldly prosperity divert you, nor any worldly adversity restrain you from His praise.
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God hath promised pardon to him that repenteth, but he hath not promised repentance to him that sinneth.
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Remove grace, and you have nothing whereby to be saved. Remove free will and you have nothing that could be saved.
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A single Mass offered for oneself during life may be worth more than a thousand celebrated for the same intention after death.
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Therefore Lord God, you are more truly omnipotent, because you have no power through impotence and nothing can be against you.
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God does not delay to hear our prayers because He has no mind to give; but that, by enlarging our desires, He may give us the more largely.
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For I do not seek to understand in order to believe, but I believe in order to understand. For I believe this: unless I believe, I will not understand.
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Therefore Lord, not only are you that than which a greater cannot be thought but you are also something greater than can be thought.
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God was conceived of a most pure Virgin ... it was fitting that the virgin should be radiant with a purity so great that a greater purity cannot be conceived.
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God often works more by the life of the illiterate seeking the things that are God's, than by the ability of the learned seeking the things that are their own.
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I have written the little work that follows . . . in the role of one who strives to raise his mind to the contemplation of God and one who seeks to understand what he believes.
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But a problem occurs about nothing. For that from which something is made is a cause of the thing made from it; and, necessarily,every cause contributes some assistance to the effect's existence.
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O happy confidence! O perfect refuge!  The Mother of God is my Mother. What firm trust we should have, then, since our salvation depends on the judgment of a good Brother and a tender Mother.
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My God, I pray that I may so know you and love you that I may rejoice in you. And if I may not do so fully in this life let me go steadily on to the day when I come to that fullness . . . Let me receive That which you promised through your truth, that my joy may be full.
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There is no inconsistency in God's commanding us not to take upon ourselves what belongs to Him alone. For to execute vengeance belongs to none but Him who is Lord of all; for when the powers of the world rightly accomplish this end, God himself does it who appointed them for the purpose.
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O supreme and unapproachable light! O whole and blessed truth, how far art thou from me, who am so near to thee! How far removed art thou from my vision, though I am so near to thine! Everywhere thou art wholly present, and I see thee not. In thee I move, and in thee I have my being; and I cannot come to thee. Thou art within me, and about me, and I feel thee not.

St. Anselm, help us grow in our love and understand of God as you did.

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