Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Augustine tells his own story in his Confessions. That is the most famous of his works, but he also wrote City of God and numerous sermons, treatises, and letters. He had a son by his mistress but the son died in 389, two years after Augustine's conversion. Augustine was ordained and made bishop of Hippo and spent the rest of his life defending the Christian faith against heresies. Of all the Latin Fathers, he is the most influential; he had a gift for words. He also gathered his priests together to live; he founded the Canons of St. Augustine and his rule was the basic rule for many other religious orders. He is quoted often, especially "You have made us for yourself, O God, and our hearts are restless until they rest in thee.
When I was in college I talked my way into an advanced Latin course just because they were studying the Confessions of St. Augustine. I remember working hard to translate the pages with an English translation to help me. I loved the course. However, the Dean of Studies then put me into her Latin class the next semester and would put quotes from Pliny and Tacitus on the board in English for us to translate into Latin! That took knowledge that I did not have, but I still have fond memories of the course on Augustine and am glad I struggled to understand him in Latin!