|Saint Augustine’s StoryA Christian at 33, a priest at 36, a bishop at 41: Many people are familiar with the biographical sketch of Augustine of Hippo, sinner turned saint. But really to get to know the man is a rewarding experience.There quickly surfaces the intensity with which he lived his life, whether his path led away from or toward God. The tears of his mother, the instructions of Ambrose and, most of all, God himself speaking to him in the Scriptures, redirected Augustine’s love of life to a life of love.Having been so deeply immersed in creature-…Read More
|Friends, on this feast day of St. Augustine, we reflect on the development of Catholic teaching. In one very real sense, the Father speaks all he can possibly speak in his Son, rightly called the Logos. There is no more to be revealed, no more to be said, than what is expressed in Jesus. Nevertheless, the fullness of that revelation unfolds only over space and time, much the way that a seed unfolds very gradually into a mighty oak.A lively mind takes an idea, turns it over, considers it, looks at it from various viewpoints, questions it. Then, in lively conversation, that mind throws the idea to another mind, who performs a similar set of operations.This “play of lively minds” goes on over the centuries. St. John threw the idea of the Incarnation to St. Polycarp, who threw it to St. Irenaeus, who threw it to Origen, who threw it to Augustine, who passed it to Thomas Aquinas, who shared it with Robert Bellarmine, who spoke it to John Henry Newman and others, who have given it to us.Now, who guarantees that this process moves forward? The answer is the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus promised to the Church.