"in this world of the Church, which completely follows Christ [(in hoc . . . mundo, hoc est Ecclesia, quae tota sequitur Christum, alternatively: which whole follows Christ)], he has said to everyone [(universaliter)]: If anyone wishes to follow me, let him deny himself.
"This is not a command for virgins to obey and brides to ignore, for widows and not for married women, for monks and not for married men, or for the clergy and not for the laity. No, the whole [(universa)] Church, the entire [(universum)] body, all the members in their distinct and varied functions, must follow Christ. She who is totally unique [(tota . . . ipsa unica)], the dove, the spouse who was redeemed and dowered by the blood of her bridegroom, is to follow him. There is a place in the Church for the chastity of the virgin, for the continence of the widow, and for the modesty of the married. Indeed, all her members have their place, and this is where they are to follow Christ, in their function and in their way of life. They must deny themselves, that is, they must not presume on their own strength. They must take up their cross by enduring in the world for Christ's sake whatever pain the world brings.
"Let them love him who alone can neither deceive nor be deceived, who alone will not fail them. Let them love him because his promises are true. Faith sometimes falters because he does not reward us immediately. But hold out, be steadfast, endure, bear the delay, and you have carried the cross."
St. Augustine, Sermo 96.9 (PL 38, col. 588) (AD 416/17), as translated in the Liturgy of the hours (Office of readings, Common of holy men, vol. 3, pp. 1813-1815).