The Divine Love
The two treatises De Laude Caritatis and
De Amore Sponsi ad Sponsam

Hugh of St Victor

Translated by A Religious of C.S.M.V.
Edited by Matthew C. Dallman

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O Charity, what shall I say of you, in what way shall I praise you? If I could savour you, I could assess your value; and, if I knew your worth, I could weigh out your price. But perhaps you are beyond my slender means, and I have not the wherewithal to find your price. However, I will give what I have, and I will give all I have; I will give the whole substance of my house for you. All that is in the dwelling of my body, all that is in the dwelling of my heart, that will I give for you; and, when I have given it all, I shall account it nothing. I will willingly give up my fleshly pleasures and all my heart’s delights to pay for you alone, and to be enabled to possess you only. You alone are dearer to me than all that I possess, you alone are sweeter and more pleasant, you alone content me more completely, save me more safely, and keep me happier.

I will tell of you to others also. Tell me, O human heart, which would you rather choose, to rejoice always with the world, or always to be with God? You choose what you love most. Listen, therefore, so that you may correct your love, or not put off your choice. If this world is beautiful, of what sort is the beauty, do you think, where the Creator of the world Himself is present? Love, then, that you may choose; love better, that your choice may be sounder. Love God, that you may choose to be with God, and therefore make your choice through love.

But the more you love, the quicker you will want to reach the object of your love, and you will hasten therefore to lay hold upon it. So run for love, and through love you attain. Again, the more you love, the avider your grip on what you love. So you enjoy through love.

You see, therefore, how love is everything to you; love is your choice, your journey, your arrival; love is your dwelling and your blessedness. Love God, therefore, choose God; run, seize, possess, enjoy.