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Here Comes Everybody

I just found Augustine’s great description of the Catholic laity of his day…

who indulge their sexual appetites, although within the decorous bonds of marriage, and not only for the sake of offspring, but, even, because they enjoy it. Who put up with injuries with less than complete patience … Who may even burn, at times, for revenge … Who hold to what they possess. Who give alms, but not very lavishly. Who do not take other people’s property, but defend their own: but do it in the bishop’s court, rather than before a worldly judge … But who, through all this, see themselves as small and God as glorious.

4 thoughts on “Here Comes Everybody

  1. I’ve been looking for this quote for some time–could you provide the source so I can read it in context? Many thanks for any help.

  2. Against the Two Letters of the Pelagians 3.5.14, in the Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers. I found it first in Peter Brown’s The Rise of Western Christendom: Triumph and Diversity 200-1000 AD, where there’s a nice discussion of Augustine’s anti-elitism.

  3. It’s the end line that makes it work. (No wonder this kind of thing is easy to misunderstand out of context….)

    I don’t suppose we can get this on a T-shirt? :)

  4. Thank you Mike–another Peter Brown to track down and enjoy! His translation is quite a bit more punchy than the version I found online.

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