At a very impressionable age Augustine was quite impressed and influenced by Cicero’s dialogue “Hortensius” and therefore left to Carthage for further studies in rhetoric. He was very unfortunate as he gave up his Christian faith and practiced the Manichaean faith which really broke his mother’s heart when she heard about it. Augustine lived a hedonistic lifestyle in his youth and hence developed a close relationship with a young woman who remained his concubine for fifteen years and got a son by her named Adeodatus. By the age of thirty, Augustine had carved an enviable niche for himself in the Latin world.
“Confessions” written by Saint Augustine, gives us a vivid account of the pagan life he had led as well as his spiritual transformation as a devout Christian. The word “Confessions”, take on two meanings – one is to confess ones sins before God and the other is to acknowledge the truth about God. Therefore “Confessions”, can be taken as praise and glory to God Our Father. (Warner, Rex 1963) Augustine is considered as one of the most steadfast and important figures in Christianity and is considered as a great saint and a patron of the St. Augustine religious order.
In Book One, Augustine tells us of how he hated going to school and used to get beaten by his elders. He also claimed dishonest victories and pilfered things from his parents and traded them with other children. He was also gluttonous and had other disgusting habits. Finally, when realization comes to him he cries out to the lord in despair saying, “Oh, God! Woe to the sins of men! When a man cries thus, thou showest him mercy, for thou dids’t create the man and not the sin in him”. In his ‘Confessions’, St. Augustine tells us of how he lived a dangerous and precarious life and it was only because of Ambrose that he was brought back to the Christian faith.
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