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Confessions by St. Augustine of Hippo
"By common consent the work known as the Confessions of St. Augustine has a special place among the world's great books. Autobiographical in character, it is not an attempt to tell the story of all the years of the writer's life, least of all of the outward events of those years. But no writer ever went deeper into his own character and deeds, passed keener judgements upon himself, or revealed himself more fully and more humbly to others...His book is not only a most penetrating psychological study and a unique document for understanding the spiritual and ascetical life, but it is also a storehouse of thought for the philosopher and the theologian, and for others as well.
Augustine of Hippo was the son of a pagan father who converted on his death bed, and of Saint Monica, a devout Christian. Raised a Christian, he lost his faith in youth and led a wild life. Lived with a Carthaginian woman from the age of 15 through 30. Fathered a son whom he named Adeotadus, which means the gift of God. Taught rhetoric at Carthage and Milan, Italy. After investigating and experimenting with several philosophies, he became a Manichaean for several years; it taught of a great struggle between good and evil, and featured a lax moral code. A summation of his thinking at the time comes from his Confessions: “God, give me chastity and continence - but not just now.”
Augustine finally broke with the Manichaeans and was converted by the prayers of his mother and the help of Saint Ambrose of Milan, who baptized him. On the death of his mother he returned to Africa, sold his property, gave the proceeds to the poor, and founded a monastery. Monk. Priest. Preacher. Bishop of Hippo in 396. Founded religious communities. Fought Manichaeism, Donatism, Pelagianism and other heresies. Oversaw his church and his see during the fall of the Roman Empire to the Vandals. Doctor of the Church. His later thinking can also be summed up in a line from his writings: Our hearts were made for You, O Lord, and they are restless until they rest in you.
Catholic Digital Downloads for Sale 06/28/2010