Feast of St Augustine
Born in the year AD 354 Augustine is most famous for the saying, “Lord, make me chaste, but not yet.” He was a wild young man who fathered at least one son before he settled down and became serious about life. He eventually became a priest and bishop and died in the city of Hippo while it was under siege from the Vandals.
Augustine is one of the clearest thinkers in the whole history of the church. His autobiography “The Confessions” is never out of print and is one of the most widely read spiritual books in the world. In it Augustine tells the story of his life and his conversion: his story is as relevant today as it was 1600 years ago.
The readings the church uses for today’s feast are from 1 John and the gospel of Matthew. The first reading focuses on love, God’s love for us and people’s for each other: the second on God as a teacher, stressing that the greatest among us is the least and that we should have no pretentious ideas about ourselves.
These two readings tie in well with the life of Augustine. He lived in community with other priests and monks and ‘The Rule of St Augustine’ by which he and his followers lived, is still the most widely used monastic rule in the world today.
He was also a great teacher and writer, reputedly haven written over 5 million words. His works are among the best theology of the Western church.
Our priest said this morning a great saying from Augustine; if you put your sins beneath your feet it will raise you to heaven.
We wish all our friends in the Augustinian Order a very happy feast day today!