St Augustine, Bishop & Doctor – 28 August
Saint Augustine was born at Tagaste in Africa in 354. He was unsettled and restlessly searched for the truth until he was converted to the Faith at Milan and baptized by Ambrose. Returning to his homeland, he embraced an ascetic life and subsequently was elected Bishop of Hippo. For thirty-four years he guided his flock, instructing it with sermons and many writings. He fought bravely against the errors of his time and explained the Faith carefully and cogently through his writings.
He wrote an account of his conversion – his very transformation, as Paul described – in his Confessions, which has since become a classic of Christian theology and a key text in the history of autobiography. This work is an outpouring of thanksgiving and penitence. Although it is written as an account of his life, the Confessions also talks about the nature of time, causality, free will, and other important philosophical topics. The following is taken from that work:
“Late have I loved Thee, O Lord; and behold,
Thou wast within and I without, and there I sought Thee.
Thou was with me when I was not with Thee.
Thou didst call, and cry, and burst my deafness.
Thou didst gleam, and glow, and dispell my blindness.
Thou didst touch me, and I burned for Thy peace.
For Thyself Thou hast made us,
And restless our hearts until in Thee they find their ease.
Late have I loved Thee, Thou Beauty ever old and ever new.”