Tractates on the Gospel of John - Vol. 5

By Augustine; John W. Rettig | Go to book overview
Save to active project

On 1 Jn 2.18-27

"CHILDREN, it is the last hour." In this reading he speaks to them as children that they may hasten to grow because it is the last hour. The body's age does not lie in the will. Thus no one grows in the flesh when he wills it, just as no one is born when he wills it. But where birth lies in the will, growth also lies in the will. No one is born of water and the Spirit1. except one willing. Therefore, if he wills, he increases in growth; if he wills, he decreases. What is to increase in growth? To make progress. What is to decrease? To retrogress. Whoever knows that he has been born, let him hear that he is a child and an infant; let him eagerly crave his mother's breasts, and he grows quickly. Now his mother is the Church, and her breasts are the two testaments of the sacred Scriptures. From this let the milk of all mysteries be sucked that have been accomplished in time for our eternal salvation, in order that, nourished and strengthened, one may come to eating the solid food which is, "In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God."2. Our milk is Christ in his humility; our solid food3. is the very same Christ, equal to the Father. With milk he nourishes you that he may feed you with bread, for to touch Jesus spiritually with the heart, this is to know that he is equal to the Father.

2. For this reason he also forbade Mary to touch him and said to her, "Do not touch me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father."4. What is this? Did he offer himself to the disciples

See Jn 3.5.
Jn 1.1.
This metaphor of nourishment, first by milk, then by solid food, to illustrate the growth in the kind of knowledge of God in the Christian is a frequent theme in the Tr in Ev See, e.g., Tr in Ev 1.7, 12, 13, and 17; 7.2, 23, and 24; and 9.10, of those delivered before this one. See DT 12, 13, and 14, where, as Burnaby, Homilies, 279, points out, Augustine calls the milk knowledge of the Incarnate Christ and the solid food, for which the milk prepares us, the wisdom gained in the contemplation of the Eternal Word.
Cf. Jn 20.17; see Tr in Ev 26.3 and 121.3.


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Tractates on the Gospel of John - Vol. 5


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 306

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?