What’s Left Over


I’m loving this quote…beautifully stated. But really, St. Augustine? I was a bit surprised.

“Love is a temporary madness. It erupts like an earthquake and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have become so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is. Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being “in love” which any of us can convince ourselves we are. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident. Your mother and I had it, we had roots that grew towards each other underground, and when all the pretty blossom had fallen from our branches we found that we were one tree and not two.” ~St. Augustine

Any thoughts?


14 responses »

  1. That’s amazing – I have this quote written in one of my journals – same as you, I thought it was so beautifully stated 🙂

    St Augustine’s writing is amazing. I’m reading ‘The Confessions’ at the moment. Well, a page or two at a time, because there’s so much to what he says! Love it.

    Love you xo

  2. That is amazing, Birgit. I just wrote it in my journal yesterday. 🙂

    I think it’s about time I read some of his works. Love you too. xo

  3. Beautiful – But Amazing?

    Before men were made ‘Saints’ they were MEN. Why be amazed that a man ‘of God’ could marry and know and write about what love actually is? 😉

    That first line though… what some men call love is a temporary madness – that of being ‘in love’ – that can burn up and blind us with it’s brightness but burn out and fade in time.

    Love is Eternal. 🙂


  4. Hey, Love. I think it’s amazing that we both (Birgit and I) had it written in our journals. It’s kinda cool when the same writings stir friends. You said it, Love is eternal. I do believe when the passion burns away, what is left is the deep abiding that truly is love.

    Good Morning, Rain. When I read that line I thought it was referring to the fortunate accident of the passion burning away, so now one could tell if the love is real. I don’t know…that’s where my mind went.

  5. He certainly does, Ric. I think I need to read his works. I have a copy of “Confessions” just always thought it would be too stuffy. I’m rethinkin’ that one! (What do you think of the new Cowboy stadium??? I might get to go see U2 there in October.)

  6. Since all my girl friends are ex-girlfriends I am the last one who should be giving an opinion on love. 🙂

    I would say passion is temporary madness. I have been more successful at keeping my passion for life alive, more than any of the aforementioned relationships. 🙂

    “Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away”

    I think I can understand what St. Augustine means by this, after reading the whole quote. I would say it is more accurate to say “Love is what is left over when passion(lust?)had burned away”.

    A relationship can exist, between husband and wife, without love. Commitment, and understanding, can replace passion. However I don’t know how love can exist if the emotional embers of passion have died in your heart.

  7. Hey, Ed! Thinking of the different types of love –eros, phileo and agape — I think you’ve said it well. I do believe a marriage can survive even when eros has “burned away” as long as phileo and most especially, agape is understood. When I read the definition of love (agape) in 1 Corinthians 13, I just don’t find being “in love” as a condition for staying.

    Those roots growing underground are essential. Being entwined…love remains.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You bring much wisdom to the table. 🙂

  8. That is very poetic. My friend and I were just having a conversation the other day about passion in marriage. That’s what this made me think of.

    Hey, Annie. Here I am reading this on Feb. 17, 2012 and just noticed you commented…and now, here we are, neither of us married anymore. It does make me wonder about the roots being entwined… I found that when passion burned away, he didn’t want to stay and fight it out. I suppose I’ve found that the love he knew wasn’t agape afterall… 😕

  9. Where is this quote written? I have the Confession of St Augustine, but i can’t find it.
    Was it in that book? another one?
    Thanks for your help, I’ve search, but can’t seem to get anywhere

  10. I can’t find it in his “Confessions” either, Molly. I saw the quote online and continued to look for substantiation. I only found more and more references to it being his words; however, he may be given credit where it is not due.

    I’ll keep looking. If I find it, I’ll come back here and let you know.

  11. This is not a quote by st Augustine, it’s from a book called captain Coreli’s mandolin.

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