St Augustine, Bishop & Doctor: Wednesday 28th August 2019

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"Our hearts are restless, O God, until they rest in you"

St Augustine, Bishop & Doctor: Wednesday 28th August 2019

1 Thess. 2:9-13; Ps. 139(138):7-8,9-10,11-12;
Mt. 23:27-32 (Ps Wk I)

Saint Augustine is rightly regarded as one of the greatest Doctors or teachers of the Western Church. His mother, Saint Monica, whose feast we celebrated yesterday was largely responsible for his conversion through her tears and unceasing prayers. It was true of her that “blessed are those who mourn: they shall be consoled” (Mt.5:5). She had the joy and consolation of seeing her son converted and baptized after seventeen years of waywardness. Then as a bishop and thinker he wrote much and influenced the development of Catholic philosophy and theology.

Some of St Augustine’s sayings sound very modern. Thus he said: “If you believe only what you like in the gospels, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the gospel you believe, but yourself.” It sounds as if he was criticizing the type of some people nowadays, whom some thinkers have called “cafeteria Christians,” those who select and accept the doctrines of the Church or passages of the Gospel which they find inspiring and ignore whatever demands a sacrifice or a strong spitit of commitment and fidelity.

Perhaps his most famous and most inspiring saying is: “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”

Lord, keep my heart restless, until I come and rest in You.