Monday, January 16, 2006

Book VIII, Chapter 12 -- Tolle Lege

Here we have the climax of the Confessions, when Augustine gave his heart to Christ and was born again. I have no comments to make except to summarize.

Augustine is crying and in complete turmoil. He throws himself on the grounds and begs for God’s assistance. In a state of weeping, bitter contrition Augustine hears a child’s voice from a nearby house say, in a sing-song way, “Take it and Read it. Take it and read it.” Augustine, taking it as a sign, opens the nearest book, which was Paul’s letter to the Romans and reads, “Not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying: but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh in concupiscence.” (Romans 13:13) Says Augustine, “it was as though my heart was filled with a light of confidence and all the shadows of my doubt were swept away.”

Of note, a conversion had been going on within Alypius as well. After Augustine read the text from Romans above, he showed it to Alypius, who also read it, but Alypius went further and read the words, “He that is weak in the faith receive.” Alypius applied these words to himself and chose to be born again as well.

Augustine states that God converted him in a way that he no longer sought a wife or any worldly hope. This is actually exactly what Augustine had been striving for.

The chapter ends with Monica’s expression of joy.


Anonymous guile said...

nice, cozy place you got here :)..

10:44 PM  

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