Thursday, October 22, 2009
After the death of his mother St. Monica, Augustine remained several months in Rome, chiefly engaged in refuting Manichæism. He sailed for Africa and after a short sojourn in Carthage, returned to his native Tagaste in 388.
Upon arriving, he sold his father’s estate as well as all his possessions and gave the proceeds to the poor. Then, with his friend, Alypius, he carried out his idea of living a life in poverty, devoting themselves to reading the Scriptures and intensive prayer. It was also during this time that Augustine wrote his first philosophical treatises. This sabbatical, however, lasted only 3 years for one day as he entered the basilica, the churchgoer upon recognizing him as the famous rhetorician, suddenly gathered around him, cheered him, and begged Bishop Valerius to raise him to the priesthood. Augustine did not think of entering the priesthood but eventually was obliged to yield to their appeal, and was ordained in 391.
The two friends were ordained priests at Hippo. Alypius became the bishop of Tagaste; serving in that capacity for thirty years. Before long, Bishop Valerius made Augustine coadjutor and then bishop of Hippo in 396. Augustine remained in that post for almost 40 years until his death.
Right in the first paragraph, on his famous Confessions, there is a sentence "You have made us for yourself, Oh God, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you."
Augustine saw that the human heart is created with a great abyss that only God can fill. The earthly satisfactions that we can throw to fill this abyss are but a handful of stones that is not even enough to cover the bottom.
*The one practical thing we can do really is to do the will of God. It can be the most difficult thing we can do but in the end you will realize that the best thing you’ve really done in your life is following God.
*In St. Augustine, we read a great deal about human weakness and how much we need every day to be converted. At the same time, you see God’s grace, His ineffable love, compassion, mercy and infinite goodness. He longs to embrace us... and if we only let Him he can take hold of our lives and change it.
Please feel free to share your reflections/insights/inputs in the comment box below. You can also include your idea on what is a saint. Thank you and God bless.
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