St. Augustine – Confessions I – VI

Two things to be said about St. Augustine.

To the Light

Blessed St. Augustine’s life was filled with strife, yet he rose up.  He has touched many lives through his writings; he has served as an example of 180-degree repentance.  Some readers would identify Confessions as solely the saint’s outlet for his guilt of past transgressions, but his writings show that he saw the light of Christ, despite the suffering he experienced.  The saint conveyed this–his main intention–through his personal address to the reader: “Why do I speak of these matters [of grieving and weeping over sins]?  Now is the time not to be putting questions but to be making confession to you” (58).

The Saint on his sins

St. Augustine earlier referred to his sins, “I loved beautiful things of a lower order, and I was going down to the depths…That was my kind of life” (64, 37).  Then he immediately followed it by posing the question, “Surely, my God, it was no real life at all?” (37).  After that question, the paragraph ended, that created a pause for the reader for brief (or prolonged) meditation on this question.

How do Augustine’s ideas affect me?  They make me conscious of how sinful I really am and how shallowly I think of others.  God and God alone can heal me of this spiritual sickness.  Scripture, as is made obvious by Augustine, is a clear spiritual medicine for this.

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