Today the Church celebrates the Feast of St. Augustine (August 28th): A short synopsis of his life is provided below (courtesy of The Catholic Encyclopedia).
As we celebrate his feast & his life, a question worth asking is “Why does someone who lived over 1800 years ago remain relevant for both disciples & non-disciples of Christ?” The saints have a timeless wisdom that is often captured in some of their most poignant thoughts. St. Augustine is no exception. One of his most repeated thoughts is:
“Our hearts were made for You, O Lord, and they are restless until they rest in you.”
We are made for God & it is for this reason that the Catechism of the Catholic Church begins with the Prologue titled: The Life of Man—To Know and Love God … “God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life. For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek him, to know him, to love him with all his strength…” (read more).
We need to ask ourselves daily – what are our hearts seeking after? If we start to feel agitated, discouraged, “unhappy,” perhaps it is because we are no longer resting in God; no longer seeking to know Him & to love Him.
Am I spending time with God?
Am I seeking to grow in my love for Him?
Am I seeking to know Him more deeply?
When am I “happiest” and most at peace?
How do I define “happiness”?
Whose voice do I listen most intently to – God’s or the culture & media?
At the end of my life, what will happen? Do I trust in God’s promise of eternal life, love, & happiness -with Him?
“FATHER,… this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” 1 Jn.17:3.
St Augustine of Hippo (354 – 430)
He was born in Thagaste in Africa of a Berber family. He was brought up a Christian but left the Church and embraced the Manichaean heresy, later seeing how nonsensical it was and becoming a Neoplatonist instead. He led a wild and dissolute youth. He took a concubine by whom he had a son, Adeodatus. He had a brilliant legal and acedemic career. At length, through the prayers of his mother, and the teaching of St Ambrose of Milan, he was converted back to Christanity. He was baptized in 387, shortly before his mother’s death. He returned home to Africa and led an ascetic life. He was elected Bishop of Hippo and spent 34 years looking after his flock, teaching them, strengthening them in the faith and protecting them strenuously against the errors of the time. He wrote an enormous number of works: the Office of Readings has many extracts from them. He was declared a Doctor of the Church by Pope Boniface VIII in 1308. May we turn to St. Augustine today, and ask him to help us to see that God indeed made us – & we will only be truly at rest when we rest in Him (God).