Saint Augustine's contributions to Christian theology are second to no other post-apostolic author in the whole sweep of church history. Yet along side his doctrinal treatises, Augustine tells a story of his life devoted to Christ as his only satisfaction.
The Confessions is at once the autobiographical account of Augustine's life of Christian faith and at the same time a compelling theology of Christian spirituality for everyone. Among the most important classics in Western literature, it continues to engage modern readers through Augustine's timeless illustrations and beautiful prose.
Augustine's Confessions is a work to relish the first time through and then profoundly enjoy over a lifetime of revisiting.
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Anyone interested in religion needs to read this.
A true journey into catholic life
This is an incredibly well read translation of The Confessions, and while it does not correspond exactly to my paper version (ISBN 978-1-937913-70-0) it is still not a modernistic translation. Because of the choice of language used, certain chapters are more challenging to listen to but I will definitely be keeping this one on my iPhone so that I can listen to it frequently.
I found this exposition of a mans internal struggle as he moves closer to a life with Christ to be very modern in its honesty and frankness. This is something that we don't necessarily expect from such an old and esteemed source. I am looking forward to reading much more by St Augustine as I feel there is much which I can learn fro his writings. I am looking forward to getting Retractions next, which was written to respond to some of the things in this little book.
The way that this book was read, is without a doubt it's single strongest point. Simon Vance was able to project these expressions of thought in a way that both followed the text but also imparted a discussive sense to the work. It was far less the reading of an old book and more akin to listening to a friend trying to explain how and why he found his love of Our Lord. The section on memory and it's nature is particularly challenging for a read as it become a series of internalised questions and these need to be read (as they are here) as questions not mere sentences.
I found Chapter 29 of Book 10 to be incredibly moving, it is a short chapter subtitled 'Hoping in God" and discuses what we all as Christians would seek to obtain, a relationship with God through obedience and trust. It expounds on the concept of 'continence' which is this context means to restrict oneself, ones desires, and ones behaviour to that which is acceptable to your stage of life and your relationship with the church. If you are single, be single and chased. If you are married, love and honour your spouse both with you mind and you body. Obey the commandments and the teachings of the Church and her bishops as Christs representatives and the Apostles heirs.
I feel it should be said that I am simply a man who is on his own journey back to the Church after having drifted away for many years. I am not a theologian, nor am I qualified to speak for anyone else's experience with Christ or his Church. However, St Augustine was first a man, and a flawed one at that, but through the eternal love of Our Lord he found his way (often despite himself) back to believing in, trusting in and living in the way of Our Lord. Though the original transcript of this book was written in approximately the year 450, it is as relevant and potent today and still has much to teach us about introspection and the human condition