Wednesday, June 6, 2007

St. Augustine

You may already be familiar with St. Augustine's story. His is perhaps the greatest conversion story ever told. Born in 354 in Africa and raised with Christian faith, his adolescence & young adulthood was fraught with indulgences of every kind. He also fell into faithless studies, which ironically, through his curious nature, brought him back to the very faith he turned from. His was, indeed, a repentant awakening. He poked and prodded and confessed and questioned and searched and basically antagonized himself and God to find his belief. And he found it.

Sometimes I think that for most Americans, most days we slumber through. We loll. Few of us actively pursue God—until something rouses our soul to action & awareness.

St. Augustine also wrote wonderfully wise verse. Here are a couple that you might find inspiring, too.

•To be under pressure is inescapable. Pressure takes place through all the world; war, siege, the worries of state. We all know men who grumble under these pressures and complain. They are cowards. They lack splendour. But there is another sort of man who is under the same pressure but does not complain, for it is the friction which polishes him. It is the pressure which refines and makes him noble.

•God has promised forgiveness to your repentance, but He has not promised tomorrow to your procrastination.

•None can become fit for the future life, who hath not practiced himself for it now.

•People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars.... and they pass by themselves without wondering.

•Order your soul; reduce your wants; live in charity; associate in Christian community; obey the laws; trust in Providence.

•Shine over all the earth, and let the day be lighted by the sun, utter the Word of wisdom to the day ('day unto day utters speech' (Ps. 19:2)) and let the night, lighted by the moon, display the Word of knowledge to the night...Run to and fro everywhere, you holy fires, you lovely fires, for you are the light of the world and you are not to be hid under a peck measure (Matt. 5:14-15). He to whom you cleave is raised on high, and he hath raised you on high. Run to and fro; make yourselves known among all the nations!

•The Holy Scriptures are our letters from home.

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