Home » Br. Peter Chanel Timua, O.S.B.

Br. Peter Chanel Timua, O.S.B.

St. Augustine was born in 354 in Tagaste, in North Africa. Although his parents did not have him baptized as a Christian, because of the custom at the time regarding the baptism of a child whose parents were not both Christian. However, mother Monica, “Had him taken to the Christian Church, so that the Sign of the Cross might be made on his forehead and that he might be entered among the catechumens” (Forbes 18). He was baptized in 398 after the death of his father. St. Augustine became the bishop of Hippo in North Africa in 395. The Lord called Augustine to himself in the 430, in Hippo while the city was being invaded by the Goths.

His writing influenced many young men and women who tried to follow his teaching and his way of life. His main writings are the Confessions and The City of God, which expressed his theological and philosophical thought. St. Augustine grew up in a world that no longer appreciated peace, honor, nor had any respect for human life. In The Norton Anthology of World Masterpieces, Sarah Lawall says that, “St. Augustine was born into a world that no longer enjoyed the Roman peace” (1004). It was at this time that he Goths invaded and defeated the empire’s army and the Church started falling apart.

The empire was Christian, but because of the loss of its power, the Church no longer had any significant influence in the area, because it was “beset by heresies and organized heretical sects” (1004). When St. Augustine was a young boy, his mother Monica taught him the love of God and about Jesus. She was aware of the fact that her son would be influenced by the life of her pagan husband and her household. In Forbes’ book called St. Monica, she illustrates the kind love Monica had toward her son and his future. Forbes says, “Her heart grew heavy within her as she held her young son in her arms and thought of the future” (18).

In the Confessions, St. Augustine demonstrates the knowledge he received from his beloved mother. She was a woman who loved God and was loved by God. “Such a one was she: and You were the master who taught her most secretly in the school of her heart” (Lawall 1026). Out of love for his dear mother, St. Augustine wanted to serve God and accomplish what his mother has desired and longed for him. He knew that his mother showed him the way to seek God above all things so he followed her ways and good xample. He also believed and grew in his faith because of her good love.

In BOOK IX, (Death of His Mother), St. Augustine recalls all the good memories and works of his mother toward him and his father. Augustine says of his mother: She awaited your mercy upon him, that he might grow chaste through faith in you. And as a matter of fact, though generous beyond measure, he had a very hot temper. But she knew that a woman must not resist a husband in anger, she would take the opportunity to give him an explanation of her actions… (Lawall 1025). St. Augustine portrays the unconditional love of his mother as a wife who nderstand the nature and reality and of family life.

He was inspired by her good work and example as a woman who loved God above all things. Augustine’s meeting with the great St. Ambrose inspired him as a remarkable witness for Catholic Christianity. It opened up for him the rich potential of figuratively understanding and interpreting the Scripture. He says, “In a letter I told Your bishop, the holy Ambrose, of my past errors and my present purpose, that he might advise me which of Your Scriptures I should especially read to prepare me and make me more fit to receive so reat a grace” (Lawall 1022). Inspired by the word of the venerable Ambrose, St. Augustine desired to renounce the world and seek the life of holiness and truth. He comes to believe that God not desire the sinner to die but to turn to him and live. St. Augustine’s theology and philosophy have a great influence in the Western World. He expresses his ideas theologically and passionately in his Confessions with the enduring spiritual graces that stimulate the minds and hearts of many thoughtful men and women even today. Theologically speaking, St. Augustine’s conversion emphasizes the heological theory that no one lives well without God’s grace, and anyone who receives grace does live well.

In BOOK 1, Augustine says, “It was a good for them that I received good from them, though I received it not from them but only through them; since all good things are from You, O God, and from God is all my health” (Lawall 1005). Augustine echoes the life of his childhood by reflecting on the sins he committed which broke the bond between him and God. In his Confessions, he discusses his Manichean ways were overcome and how he attained a life of spiritual grace, and he asks God for his pardon and mercy. St. Augustine eloquently addresses his theological arguments through his knowledge about God and his longing for spiritual loveliness. His theological argument expresses the goodness of God, His unconditional love and mercy, and presents Him as the only Truth. “You converted me to yourself so that I no longer sought a wife nor any of this world’s promises, but stood upon that same rule of faith” (Lawall 1021). In God’s searching presence, St. Augustine examines the depths of his memory to find the mysterious pilgrimage of grace, which his life has been, and to praise God for his constant omnipotent grace.

Inspired by the Word of God, he chooses to reject a married life and worldly desires, but turns to Christ for eternal life. St. Augustine recalled the word of Jesus to the rich young man, “Go, sell what thou hast and give to the poor and thou shalt have treasure in have; and come follow Me” ( Lawall 1020). This fundamental and inspirational saying of Christ turns the heart and the mind of St. Augustine to begin an exciting and interesting journey of self-discovery and self-renewal. He comes to recognize the unending love of God and ccepts Him as the fountain of life.

Augustine’s theological arguments in his writings acknowledge the emptiness of his earthly pleasures and proclaim, his desire for the richness of life in God, and the guidance of divine providence. As he (Augustine) says, “It is really God’s search for us rather than our search for God. ” He emphasizes that God does not desire the sinner to die, but to turn to him and live. Augustine’s conversion depicts his theological theory about the compassionate love of God who helps him to escape from sin and convert to Christ in order to live well and attain eternal salvation.

In BOOK V, (Augustine Leaves Carthage for Rome), he says, “For in that instant, with the very ending of the sentence, it was as though a light of utter confidence shone in all my heart, and all the darkness of uncertainty vanished away” (Lawall 1020). Augustine frankly acknowledges his sins to Almighty God, and he comes to trust in the merciful love of God. Augustine interprets in his Confessions the proclamation and recognition of God’s presence and loving mercy in his life, and is more than a mere emphasis on his sins. St. Augustine philosophical thoughts inspired many young philosophers f the 20th and 21st centuries.

He was famous on his teaching about the law of God He believes that worshiping and serving ungodly things is not a fundamental way of obeying God’s commandments. In chapter IX (The Two Cities), from The Essential Augustine, Vernon J. Bourke writes: “For, in general, the city of the ungodly, which did not obey the command of God that it should offer no sacrifice save to Him alone, and which, therefore, could not give to the soul its proper command over the body, nor the reason its just authority over the vices, is void of the true justice” (212). St. Augustine emphasizes that Gods law is our task to take under obedience, and our responsibility to keep and serve God. Philosophically speaking, St. Augustine expresses that by keeping God’s commandment we have our citizenship in heaven. He went on to say, ” I do it for love of thy love, passing again in the bitterness of remembrance over my most evil ways that Thou mayest thereby grow ever lovelier to me [… ]” (Lawall 1009). St. Augustine identified the themes of grace, providence, justice, love, concupiscence, knowledge, and desire as the major elements of his philosophy and theology for God.

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this essay please select a referencing style below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Leave a Comment