No Escaping God

Pride imitates what is lofty; but you alone are God most high above all things.

What does ambition seek but honor and glory? Yet you alone are worthy of honor and are glorious for eternity.

The cruelty of powerful people aims to arouse fear. Who is to be feared but God alone?

Soft endearments are intended to arouse love. But there are no caresses tenderer than your charity, and no object of love is more healthy than your truth, beautiful and luminous beyond all things.

Curiosity appears to be zeal for knowledge; yet you supremely know all.

Ignorance and stupidity are given the names of simplicity and innocence; but there is no greater simplicity than in you.

Idleness appears as desire for a quiet life; yet can rest be assured apart from the Lord?

Luxury wants to be called abundance and satiety; but you are fullness and the inexhaustible treasure of incorruptible pleasure.

Prodigality presents itself under the shadow of generosity; but you are the rich bestower of all good things.

Avarice wishes to have large possessions; you possess everything.

Envy contends about excellence; but what is more excellent than you?

Anger seeks revenge; who avenges with greater justice than you?

Fear quails before sudden and unexpected events attacking things which are loved, and takes precautions for their safety. To you is anything unexpected or sudden? Or who can take away from you what you love? There is no reliable security except with you.

Regret wastes away for the loss of things which cupidity delighted in. Its wish would be that nothing be taken away, just as nothing can be taken from you.

So the soul fornicates when it is turned away from you and seeks outside you the pure and clear intentions which are not to be found except by returning to you. In their perverted way all humanity imitates you. Yet they put themselves at a distance from you and exalt themselves against you. Bu even by thus imitating you they acknowledge that you are the creator of all nature and so concede that there is no place where one can entirely escape from you.

Saint Augustine, Confessions

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