Yesterday we celebrated the feast of St Monica the mother of St Augustine.
He tried many things and later was able to say
‘Our hearts are restless until they rest in you‘.
In his search for meaning, he listened to another brilliant man preach.
Ambrose was the bishop of Milan, a formidable man in many ways.
He was very intelligent and learned. He was also an able administrator.
Ambrose was capable of standing up to the emperor when he needed to.
Where others had failed, Ambrose was able to convince Augustine that being a Catholic Christian was the right place to be. He was Baptised and eventually became a Bishop.
Before this Augustine had a mistress and a son through her. He had also tried the heresy of Manichaeism.
At one stage his prayer was ‘give me chastity Lord, but not just yet!‘.
He was able to say after his conversion,
‘How late have I loved you, beauty so ancient and new’
‘You were with me and I did not know it’.
His influence as a theologian was huge and is still very influential to this very day.
He also said that the human heart is by nature Christian i.e., when we truly live the Christian life, we are truly who we are meant to be.
Seek not to understand what you may believe, rather believe that you may understand i.e., once you believe (not blind belief) then it opens the door to proper understanding.
Augustine has given much hope to those who struggle with chastity and unbelief.
A man with a brilliant mind who was also a Saint, he became a saint despite the odds and a great one at that!
As he lay dying, the world as people knew it in his culture was crumbling around them.
The Roman empire was collapsing, the city of Hippo in Roman North Africa was being besieged by the ‘Vandals’ one of the Barbarian tribes that overthrew the Roman Empire.
However, Augustine survived as a beacon of light for many to this very day.