Late Have I Loved Thee is the first collection of Saint Augustine's varied writings on human and divine love, chosen to reflect his lifelong preoccupation with ordo amoris, the principle of rightly directed love. "My weight is my love," he writes in The Confessions. He sees our ability to love as disordered by sin, so that we often choose badly what and how to love. Only by recognizing that we are commanded to love God first can any other object of our love be properly ordered, Late Have I Loved Thee draws on the riches found in Augustine's sermons, letters, treatises, and Scripture commentaries, as well as passages from The Confessions and City of God.
Augustine (354-430 A.D.) was the most prolific writer of Christian antiquity and the most influential theologian in Church history. In his first encyclical, God Is Love, current Pope Benedict XVI acknowledges his indebtedness to him. When we read Augustine today, we encounter the same direct, eloquent passions his original listeners experienced, infused with his deep sense of human weakness and burning desire for union with God.
About the Author
Augustine, (354-430) was the bishop of Hippo in North Africa and a Father of the Church. Born to a Christian mother and a pagan father, Augustine underwent a profound conversion experience at the age of 32, renouncing his life of sensuality and wordly ambition. Ordained a priest in 391 and made bishop in 396, Augustine was also a pioneer of monasticism and founded a religious rule that is still widely used by men and women in monastic life.
James O'Donnell is provost at Georgetown University and editor of the definitive edition of Augustine's Confessions. He is the author of Augustine: A New Biography (Ecco, 2005).