Augustine and the Nihil

The will to power and the privatio boni St. Augustine

“… the worshipers and admirers of these gods delight in imitating their scandalous iniquities, and are nowise concerned that the republic be less depraved and licentious. Only let it remain undefeated, they say, only let it flourish and abound in resources; let it be glorious by its victories, or still better, secure in peace; and what matters it to us?

“This is our concern, that every man be able to increase his wealth so as to supply his daily prodigalities, and so that the powerful may subject the weak for their own purposes…

Let the people applaud not those who protect their interests, but those who provide them with pleasure ….Let the laws take cognizance rather of the injury done to another man’s property, than of that done to one’s own person. If a man be a nuisance to his neighbor, or injure his property, family, or person, let him be actionable; in his own affairs let everyone with impunity do what he will…

“…Let there be erected houses of the largest and most ornate description: in these let there be provided the most sumptuous banquets, where every one who pleases may, by day or night, play, drink, vomit, dissipate…

If such happiness is distasteful to any, let him be branded as a public enemy ; and if any attempt to modify or put an end to it let him be silenced, banished, put an end to.

“Let these be reckoned the true gods, who procure for the people this condition of things, and preserve it when once possessed.”

Saint Augustine. The City of God. Trans. Marcus Dods, D.D. New York: Random House, 1978 — The Enchiridion, ch. 11.

The Nihil

… what is that which we call evil but the absence of good? In the bodies of animals, disease and wounds mean nothing but the absence of health; for when a cure is effected, that does not mean that the evils which were present—namely, the diseases and wounds—go away from the body and dwell elsewhere: they altogether cease to exist; for the wound or disease is not a substance, but a defect in the fleshly substance,—the flesh itself being a substance, and therefore something good, of which those evils—that is, privations of the good which we call health—are accidents.

Just in the same way, what are called vices in the soul are nothing but privations of natural good. And when they are cured, they are not transferred elsewhere: when they cease to exist in the healthy soul, they cannot exist anywhere else…evil has no positive nature; but the loss of good has received the name “evil”.

Why we ask continually for grace and receive the sacraments: Jesus the Lord said, “No one is good—except God alone” (Luke 18:19). We must “receive” more of the gift of the Good from Him alone. (Jn. 1:12).” 

The natural man does not receive the gifts of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.”— 1 Cor. 2:14.

 You desire and do not have; so you kill. And you covet and cannot obtain; so you fight and wage war. You do not have, because you do not ask.”—James 4:2:

Askand it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened.”— Matt 7:7-8

“… when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appearedhe saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, which he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.– Titus 3:4-7


Taoiseach (Equivalent to Irish President) warns of ‘frightening’ wave of delayed cancer diagnoses next year 

“The Taoiseach’s comments come as new figures reveal that monthly cancer referrals from GPs are up by as much as 52% compared to 2019, the last full year before the pandemic hit”… More