Autobiographical And Spiritual Narrative: St. Augustine’s "Confessions"

For this week’s assignment, we read Saint Augustine’s Latin narrative Confessions. It is quite autobiographical and spiritual concerning his philosophy and religious indifferences. He made his welcome into the world, in the year 354. He died in the year 430. He had moved around because of educational opportunities, philosophies, religious curiosities, wisdom, and so on. Thagaste (Algeria), Carthage, Milan, Madaurus, and Hippo (Africa) are the places where he laid his foundations and discovered answers to his wandering religious curiosities. He unearthed his humanity. He wrote Confessions for three reasons. One was to be honest and two was for God, and three was to pray for the civilians of the world. He did sin, as many do. He learned to deal with it. He strengthened his urge to convert to Christianity. He did this twice. The first time, he was sick and recovered. Him and his friends stole pears. They sinned. He stole pears with his friends just for the rush of taking something that wasn’t given to them. He discussed his infancy.

According to Book 1, “Even as an infant, Augustine was not free from sin. This obviously was to show how God sees all and knows all. “God is hidden but always present.” He did have an opportunity to get baptized but didn’t do it. He believed by getting baptized that would wash away all his sins and make him good and whole again. The trick is though that if you commit a sin again, you’re back to square one. Other sins of God’s will were how he lied and deceived others, cheated to win, had a bit of a short fuse when accused of cheating, impatient mind, blamed victims when he Should have placed blame on the perpetrators, and double standard beliefs.

His mom, Monica, I enjoyed reading about her. She was a devout catholic, didn’t want him to get married or have sexual relations. Augustine believed his Lust and Sexual escapades were sins. His dad, Patricius, was caring and wanted Augustine to get the most out of his education. He studied in Carthage and read Hortensius by Cicero. He discovered he actively wanted to seek wisdom. After this, he discovered Manichaeism and becomes one. They believe in the separation of what is evil and good. He faces deaths of those close to him. His friend, his mom, and his son are those that met their untimely demises. There were moments he felt he was wasteful with his soul and didn’t want to be thought of as evil. When he was an adolescent, he was restless. His soul and emotions were developing. He discovered as he got older he wanted to find his spirituality and grace.

By Book 6, He still hasn’t fully accepted Christianity because of the trials he has faced. He finds himself fascinated by Neo-Platonist philosophy. It is a form of mysticism. This helps him to better understand Christianity and evilness. It is mentioned throughout Confessions as “divine.” He says before being converted, “Make me Chaste-but not yet.” He didn’t like being judged or criticized. He disassociates himself from Manichaeism. He went back and forth with himself, when it came to him converting to Christianity. During his unsureness, he heard plenty of stories of people converting. He experienced an inner crisis. He heard a child’s voice telling him to “Take and read, take and read” the Bible.

In conclusion, Confessions was written to defend himself, to show how and why he converted to Christianity. Confessions is discussing how he sinned. He developed Western Christianity and Faith. I feel his actions to convert to Christianity satisfiable. Through his written masterpiece, Augustine discussed his praises and a never-ending thirst for truth and answers. He discussed how it was God, who he owes his life to and brought him an inner peace. He no longer felt bad. He went through many conversions in his life. He found his intellect and emotions in Christianity. “To praise God is the natural desire of all men”. When a person finds God and believes in him, that person also finds their humanity.

13 January 2020
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