Yesterday we read about the life of Saint Monica, who spent the majority of her adult life praying, fasting and doing penance for her family particularly her husband and her son Augustine. Sometimes, as parents, when we look at our young children we are afforded a small grace to see what God has truly created in them…and it is a difficult road when your children fail to see this…and instead of trusting you as their parent, they spend their days diving headlong into the world and all her empty promises and plans…This must have been what it was like for Monica…watching as her son Augustine followed the pagan ways of the world and instead of using the intellect that he had been given to follow the Lord, he spent most of his youth filling his head with every contradiction to the Faith and filling his body with all the sensual pleasures that he desired.
After living in the world and losing himself in a life of sin, Augustine, who was very intelligent finally allowed himself to hear the Truth about God and converted. Upon his conversion he became one of the most prolific writers that the Church has ever had. His writings influenced the development of Western Christianity and Western Philosophy. He was named bishop of Hippo Regius in North Africa and is viewed a some of the most important Church Fathers of Western Christianity for his writings. Among his most important works are “The City of God” and “Confessions.”
Below are some quotes from Saint Augustine of Hippo.
“Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee.”
“Right is right even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.”
― St. Augustine of Hippo
“If you believe what you like in the Gospel, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the Gospel you believe, but yourself.”
― St. Augustine of Hippo
“And men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains, the mighty waves of the sea, the broad tides of rivers, the compass of the ocean, and the circuits of the stars, yet pass over the mystery of themselves without a thought.”
“Once for all, then, a short precept is given thee: Love, and do what thou wilt: whether thou hold thy peace, through love hold thy peace; whether thou cry out, through love cry out; whether thou correct, through love correct; whether thou spare, through love do thou spare: let the root of love be within, of this root can nothing spring but what is good.” – St. Augustine – Homilies on the 1st Epistle of John
“Belatedly I loved thee, O Beauty so ancient and so new, belatedly I loved thee. For see, thou wast within and I was without, and I sought thee out there. Unlovely, I rushed heedlessly among the lovely things thou hast made. Thou wast with me, but I was not with thee. These things kept me far from thee; even though they were not at all unless they were in thee. Thou didst call and cry aloud, and didst force open my deafness. Thou didst gleam and shine, and didst chase away my blindness. Thou didst breathe fragrant odors and I drew in my breath; and now I pant for thee. I tasted, and now I hunger and thirst. Thou didst touch me, and I burned for thy peace.”- Saint Augustine of Hippo