Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Lagura: From the darkness of sin to the light of faith

Feats, Foibles of the Famous and Wise

LIKE a dog without his master, Augustine hopped from one mistress to another, tasted the seduction of more than one heresy. The various schools of thinking, such as the Stoics and Epicureans left him unsatisfied. But his craving for the True, the Good, and the Beautiful remained unfulfilled as he pined for saying, "Long have I searched for YOU!"

Just as he was about to give up his longing for "things that really matter," two men of the cloth, Simplicianus and Pontilianus, gently led him back to the truth. Later, Augustine got inspiration from the powerful preaching of St. Ambrose, Milan's former chief of police turned bishop (he got elected by popular acclaim when at the gathering before Milan's cathedral for the next bishop, a young lad [believed to have been an angel] led the crowd shouting "We want Ambrose!")

Finally, when Augustine was meditating in his garden, he heard children's voices coming from the garden nearby chanting, "Take up, read; take up, and read!" Taking the words [reportedly coming from angels] Augustine picked up a bible and, his eyes fell on the words "as in broad daylight let us behave decently; thus, nothing of drunken revelries, nothing of prostitution or vice, or litigation or envy.

Rather, put on Christ the Lord. Do not be led by the flesh...." (Romans 13:13-14)

The very pagan, sinful Augustine returned to the God of his childhood and asked to be baptized. Returning from a long restless searching for earthly pleasures, Augustine discovered within the faith the truly Good, the really Beautiful in the God whom this saint acknowledged saying, "O Beauty ever ancient, ever new, late have I known Thee!"


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