Friday, August 28, 2009

The Feast of St. Augustine

St. Augustine's Confessions is one of the greatest literary works in the West, having inspired countless saints through the centuries.
The chaste dignity of continence appeared to me – cheerful but not wanton, modestly alluring me to come and doubt nothing, extending her holy hands, full of a multitude of good examples – to receive and embrace me. ... [S]he smiled on me with an encouraging mockery ... as if to say: “Stop your ears against those unclean members of yours upon the earth, that they may be mortified. They tell you of delights, but not as does the law of the Lord thy God.”
— Confessions, Book VIII Chapter XI
That last line is particularly striking: "Narrant tibi delectationes, sed non sicut lex domini dei tui." It is reminiscent of Psalm 118 [119]:85, "Narraverunt mihi iniqui fabulationes, sed non ut lex tua," "The wicked have told me fables: but not as thy law." The fables, the lies of this world – all of Satan's empty promises – are nothing when compared with the awesome promises of God – indeed, they would not even compare if they were true. St. Augustine realised this and turned his life around completely, dedicating himself wholly to the work of the Kingdom. God grant us all such a conversion.

St. Augustine, pray for us.

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