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It was my wrestling with St. Augustine’s Confessions that helped baptise my intellect in the Summer of 1984, digested along with my lunches under the leafy beauty of the local park I worked at, as tanned & muscley raker, mow-monkey, and garbage-boy. Later, reading The City Of God, I saw his pastor’s heart breaking as he contemplated the Sack of Rome in AD410, and his great-hearted mind searching heaven and earth, Scripture and classical wisdom, to understand What It All Meant.
What He Gave Us All
Thing is– though most folks don’t know it– inspired by Christ, St. Augustine invented the literary inward dialogue, the personal novel, the depiction of a soul in pilgrimage. It is the very template for our own lives– even if we are secularized children of the West– to know ourselves, to seek truth, goodness, and life.. even if that’s degraded these days to seeking after the things Augustine was seduced and trapped by as a young man.
He also lived a life partly in answer to “What Happens When It All Hits The Fan?” It may well be that we in the West will be confronted by some of these same hardships in a generation or less, as our insane spending meets reality, and our worship of money fails us, as all false gods do.
Sadly, not all our barbarians are outside the gates; in our form of “progress”, we now produce our own barbarians, some in suits and ties, some in academic sweaters, some looking a lot like our own desolated children.