But he began to see more clearly that the gain was far greater than the loss, and by a miracle of grace he began to recognize the beauty of chastity in the presence of Christ.
"I was held back by mere trifles. . . . They plucked at my garment of flesh and whispered, “Are you going to dismiss us? From this moment we shall never be with you again, for ever and ever.” . . . And while I stood trembling at the barrier, on the other side I could see the chaste beauty of Continence in all her serene, unsullied joy, as she modestly beckoned me to cross over and to hesitate no more. She stretched out loving hands to welcome and embrace me." (Confessions, 175–76)