I went to Carthage, where I found myself in the midst of a hissing cauldron of lust. I had not yet fallen in love, but I was in love with the idea of it, and this feeling that something was missing made me despise myself for not being more anxious to satisfy the need. I began to look around for some object for my love, since I badly wanted to love something.
– Confessions III:1
I did not know this then. I was in love with beauty of a lower order, and it was dragging me down.
– Confessions III:13
If the things of this world delight you, praise God for them, but turn your love away from them and give it to their Maker, so that in the things that please you, you may not displease Him. If your delight is in souls, love them in God, because they too are frail and stand firm only when they cling to Him. If they do not, they go their own way and are lost. Love them, then, in Him and draw as many with you to Him as you can. Tell them “He is the One we should love….”
My soul, tell this to the souls that you love. Let them weep in this valley of tears, and so take them with you to God. For if, as you speak, the flame of love burns in you, it is by His Spirit that you tell them this.
– Confessions IV:12