Inspirational Anselm of Canterbury Quotes

Anselm of Canterbury (c. 1033 – 21 April 1109) was a Benedictine monk, abbot, philosopher and theologian of the Catholic Church, who held the office of archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109. After his death, he was canonized as a saint; his feast day is 21 April. This post features some Inspirational Anselm of Canterbury Quotes.

Beginning at Bec, Anselm composed dialogues and treatises with a rational and philosophical approach, sometimes causing him to be credited as the founder of Scholasticism. Despite his lack of recognition in this field in his own time, Anselm is now famed as the originator of the ontological argument for the existence of God and of the satisfaction theory of atonement. He was proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by a bull of Pope Clement XI in 1720.

Anselm has been called “the most luminous and penetrating intellect between St Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas”. Anselm’s works are considered philosophical as well as theological since they endeavor to render Christian tenets of faith, traditionally taken as a revealed truth, as a rational system.[129] Anselm also studiously analyzed the language used in his subjects, carefully distinguishing the meaning of the terms employed from the verbal forms, which he found at times wholly inadequate.

Anselm of Canterbury Quotes
Anselm of Canterbury Quotes

His worldview was broadly Neoplatonic, as it was reconciled with Christianity in the works of St Augustine and Pseudo-Dionysius, with his understanding of Aristotelian logic gathered from the works of Boethius. He or the thinkers in northern France who shortly followed him—including Abelard, William of Conches, and Gilbert of Poitiers—inaugurated “one of the most brilliant periods of Western philosophy”, innovating logic, semantics, ethics, metaphysics, and other areas of philosophical theology.

Anselm of Canterbury Quotes

“For I do not seek to understand so that I may believe; but I believe so that I may understand. For I believe this also, that unless I believe, I shall not understand.”
― Anselm of Canterbury

“God is a being than which nothing greater can be conceived.”
― Anselm of Canterbury

“For I do not seek to understand in order that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand. For this also I believe-that unless I believe I shall not understand.”
Anselm of Canterbury

“God does not delay to hear our prayers because He has no mind to give; but that, by enlarging our desires, He may give us the more largely.”
― Anselm of Canterbury

“And what we say – that what He willeth is right and what He doth not not will is wrong, is not so to be understood, as if, should God will something inconsistent, it would be right because He willed it. For it does not follow that if God would lie it would be right to lie, but rather that he were not God.”
― Anselm of Canterbury

“I do not endeavor, O Lord, to penetrate thy sublimity, for in no wise do I compare my understanding with that; but I long to understand in some degree thy truth, which my heart believes and loves. For I do not seek to understand that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand.”
― Anselm of Canterbury

“Lord, give me what you have made me want; I praise and thank you for the desire that you have inspired; perfect what you have begun, and grant me what you have made me long for.”
― Anselm of Canterbury

“A single Mass offered for oneself during life may be worth more than a thousand celebrated for the same intention after death.”
Anselm of Canterbury quotes

“The angels are separated between those who adhering to justice enjoy all the goods they wish and those who having abandoned justice lack any good they desire.”
― Anselm of Canterbury

“I do not try, Lord, to attain Your lofty heights, because my understanding is in no way equal to it. But I do desire to understand Your truth a little, that truth that my heart believes and loves. I do not seek to understand that I may believe; but I believe so that I may understand. For I believe this also, that unless I believe, I shall not understand.”
― Anselm of Canterbury

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