My Musings On The Confessions, Book One

 

I just finished Book One of St. Augustine’s “Confessions” and while it is still fresh in my mind, I will try to lay out my thoughts concerning the content. Please bear with me, as it is in the wee hours of the morning and I am somewhat scatter-brained.

I was fortunate enough to find a free audiobook version which I can listen to on my phone/mp3 player, provided by LibriVox. (If you are interested in reading “The Confessions” yourself, I highly recommend downloading it.The reader has a delightful British accent and I found listening to be much easier than sitting in front of the text. Click here for the free audio.)

One thing that struck me was how many of St. Augustine’s  early questions and self-debates about the sin nature of man seem almost childlike, yet are posed by a sharp and philosophizing intellect. He attempts to reconstruct his infancy and boyhood, grasping painstakingly at any and all clues to possible motives of juvenile sin, while both berating and excusing himself, alternatively.

This introspective monologue is broken up by his dumbstruck adoration for the role of Divine destiny in the minutiae of daily existence and punctuated with various exclamations at the wonderful attributes of God. There were several profound phrases throughout, although, the one in the image above is my favorite by far.

I was further surprised to find humor hidden in the text! From time to time, tiny bits of tongue-in-cheek are sprinkled in, subtly bleeding through the translation.

So far, I am quite glad that I put this title on my list and I fully look forward to continuing onward with my listening/reading. I will update you again soon!

Please do feel free to share your own experiences with “The Confessions” in the comment section of this post.

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The Day After… by Toni Cross

Picture taken from Favim.com

 

the day after Christmas

we are obligated to return

to our normal routines

but will we hold cupped

in the palm of our hands

a bit of that peace

and a sprinkle of joy

for the rest of the year?

those small seeds of joy

can plant a whole field

and a few nuggets of peace

can birth a strong forest

to shelter with your world

 

 

“If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.” Romans 12:18
“If we love our Christian brothers and sisters, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead.” 1 John 3:14
“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. ” 1 Timothy 6-7

 

 

Remember why we celebrate Christmas.

If it is only about the presents and lights and the tinsel and seeing who can be the most “Martha Stewart”, then all the time you spent preparing for one day, the 25th of December, is indeed wasted.

But, if we cling to the true meaning of this season and hold in our hearts the One who came that we might love one another, even as He loved us, then nothing is wasted and yesterday was the dawn of another year of opportunity for us to choose love.

Five Year Old’s Advice For Christmas

 

A letter to the current me from my five-year old self:

 

Merry Christmas!

Don’t you know that this is the very best time of year?

Make sure to enjoy every moment of Christmas! Rip into all your presents with gusto! Let your eyes sparkle with all the lights and colors! Eat plenty of cookies, and don’t forget to hug EVERYONE.

Sing Christmas carols all the time, whether you are alone or in public. Make sure all the people you meet know that it is Jesus’ birthday.

Wonder over every nativity set you see and imagine that you were there, that wonderful night.

Try to fall asleep Christmas Eve, even though you are SOOO excited… you don’t wanna be grouchy on Christmas!

Most important, make sure all your family and friends know how much you love them.

After all, love is what Christmas is about.

I Am Yours, Save Me

The other day, I found myself watching, or rather, re-watching, the movie “Luther“. I must say, it truly inspired me in my faith and made me think about some things I have not thought about for quite some time.

In one scene, Martin Luther is being tormented by his own doubts and fears, as well as the accusation of the Devil. He cries out from his despair, with desire for a God who is merciful, a God who loves, and who he can love. His spiritual father places a cross in Martin’s hands and says “Bind yourself to Christ and you will know God‘s love. Say to Him, I am Yours, save me.” From that point forward, Luther’s life revolved around that very thought. In the darkest times of his journey, when all the world seemed to hate him, he turned to the One he knew would always love him.

As I watched and tears welled up in my eyes, I heard these verses ringing through the corners of my memory:

Ephesians 2 

13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.

and  

Hebrews 4 

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,[f] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

I hope that this will encourage someone else out there. Seek Him, He will not fail you.