The primal destruction of man was self-love. There is no one who does not love himself; but one must search for the right love and avoid the warped. Indeed you did not love yourself when you did not love the God who made you. These three sentences set side by side show why the problem of self-love in St. Augustine of Hippo constitutes a problem. Self-love is loving God; it is also hating God. Self-love is common to all men; it is restricted to those who love God. Mutually incompatible assertions about self-love jostle one another and demand to be reconciled.
--from the Introduction
In saying that self-love finds its only true expression in love of God Augustine is formulating in one of many possible ways a principle fundamental to his metaphysical and ethical outlook, namely that moral obligation derives from an obligation to God which is at the same time a call to self-fulfillment.
--from the Conclusion