On August 28th, we celebrate with great joy the feast day of St Augustine of Hippo, the great doctor of the Church.
This fourth and fifth century bishop has much to teach us in life. He lived in sin for many years, but the constant prayer accompanied by floods of tears of his mother, St Monica, touched the heart of the proud Augustine. Later on, in his Confessions, St Augustine would humbly admit his folly of living without God when he said: Without you, what am I to myself but a guide to my own self-destruction? Augustine came to realize that the liberty he claimed to have was simply that of escaping from reality. He himself confessed: The liberty I loved was merely that of a runaway.
It was when he hit bottom that he became aware that he had to return to God to find his real peace his restless heart was craving for. In his Confessions Augustine opens our eyes against procrastination. How destructive it is when we keep postponing our conversion! He writes: I myself was exceedingly astonished as I anxiously reflected how long a time had elapsed since the nineteenth year of my life, when I began to burn with a zeal for wisdom, planning that when I had found it I would abandon all the empty hopes and lying follies of hollow ambitions. And here I was already thirty, and still mucking about in the same mire in a state of indecision, avid to enjoy present fugitive delights which were dispersing my concentration, while I was saying: ‘Tomorrow I shall find it…’