Famous Quotes Explained: « Happiness is to continue desiring what one already possesses, » Saint Augustine, 5th-4th century BC.


Famous Quotes Explained: « Happiness is to continue desiring what one already possesses, » Saint Augustine, 5th-4th century BC.

Saint Augustine (354-430) was a philosopher, theologian, and Christian scholar from North Africa, renowned for his influential thinking in the development of Christian theology. He played a significant role in shaping Christian doctrines on sin, grace, faith, and the philosophy of history. He is one of the « Fathers of the Church. » One of his most famous works is Confessions (397-401), in which he recounts his spiritual journey.

The quote Happiness is to continue desiring what one already possesses reflects Augustine’s perspective on happiness. For him, true happiness is not linked to the ceaseless pursuit of material goods or fleeting pleasures. Instead, he suggests that happiness lies in finding contentment in what one already has and in gratitude for life’s blessings.

Augustine cautions against the insatiable quest for happiness through the pursuit of wealth or carnal pleasures, as it can lead to perpetual dissatisfaction. Instead, he encourages individuals to turn to God and find contentment in spirituality and virtue. This quote illustrates his belief that genuine happiness is rooted in self-control, gratitude, and acceptance of divine grace.

It seems to go against a straightforward definition of happiness, which is to seek to fulfill one’s desires, in the pursuit of novelty. Being happy with one’s situation means being able to be happy calmly, peacefully, and, above all, reflecting on what truly makes us happy without being in a frenzy. The quote also suggests that one should not risk losing what makes us happy. For example, appreciating the person one loves, with whom one lives even after years, seems closer to happiness than pursuing conquests and novelty without knowing if it is only fleeting, without taking the time to savor the beauty of what one possesses. In love, this quote encourages us to always look at our loved one with love and as if it were the first day.

In summary, Saint Augustine reminds us that authentic happiness does not reside in the accumulation of goods or new experiences but in the ability to appreciate what we already have, to be grateful, and to find inner peace in our relationship with God.

Happiness is to continue desiring what one already possesses.

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1 commentaire sur “Famous Quotes Explained: « Happiness is to continue desiring what one already possesses, » Saint Augustine, 5th-4th century BC.”

  1. Ping : Famous Quotes Explained: « There are infinitely more men who accept civilization as hypocrites than men who are truly and genuinely civilized, » Essays in Psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud, 1927. - Les Cours Julien

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