The only pleasure one gets from doing something that is evil is in knowing that it is evil… that pleasure is fleeting, for it soon grows tiresome and commonplace. -St. Augustine
I finished St. Augustine’s Confessions late last year. It was a book I had to buy for a religion class in College, but I never actually read the whole thing. I read a few passages and decided to hold on to the book because I found it intriguing. Two years later I got around to reading it, and it took me two years to finish.
This book challenged me in many ways. It was a very intellectual read, and I had to tackle it in small sections at a time. There was so much information to be absorbed. So much to learn from this convert. His story is fascinating, but his honesty is captivating. He was the first saint I came across that had such a sinful past. In a way, that makes him much more relatable to our modern world.
His story didn’t start with miraculous visions or sincere piety. It started with rejection. He rejected the Christian faith and he set out to prove it wrong. He lived a life of sin, one that was full of worldly pleasure. His conversion was a long and slow process. He didn’t necessarily believe he was doing anything wrong. He wasn’t unfulfilled in his life. He didn’t feel like anything was missing. Or so he thought…
When his heart was finally softened, it all came crashing down. He realized the gravity of his ways. In hindsight, he saw how unfulfilling his life truly was. He saw how his rejection of the Christian faith had led him astray. He saw that the pleasures of this world are fleeting.
Augustine continued living his sinful life, though he knew he needed to change his ways. He feared he would be unable to turn from his sins because of how heavily he leaned on them. He feared he could never live a pure Christian life.
Of course, God stepped in. He saved Augustine from his sinful ways and now Augustine is a saint. His conversion serves as an inspiration to any and all who struggle with a specific habit or vice. If there is even a tiny bit of will to change ones ways, then it will be done. St. Augustine is living proof that God can turn the worst of us into holy examples of His love and mercy.
If you’re interested in buying Confessions I’ve linked it below!
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