Meet Aurelius Augustine of Hippo, a prolific author, philosopher, and pastor in the North African town of Hippo Regis.
Searching for satisfaction in early adulthood, Augustine was a part-time pear thief, professional public speaker, and follower of peculiar philosophies.
Augustine’s mother Monica knew he needed to know the God of the Bible, so she prayed persistently and tearfully for her wayward son.
One day in a garden in Milan, those prayers were answered. Augustine heard the voice of a child nearby repeating the phrase “take up and read.” So he opened the Bible—to Romans 13:13-14, which challenged him to stop chasing worldly pleasure and to start seeking Jesus Christ.
After he encountered God through the Bible, Augustine spent the rest of his life writing about the truth he discovered in the Bible and pastoring his congregation in Hippo. Augustine wrote about education, politics, friendship, and sex, not to mention, the Bible.
Because of his giant influence on our faith and culture, we call Augustine a “church father.”
and cried out loud
and shattered my deafness.
You were radiant and
resplendent, you put to
flight my blindness.
as in the daytime.
Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.
Late have I loved you, beauty so old and so new: late have I loved you. And see, you were within and I was in the external world and sought you there, and in my unlovely state I plunged into those lovely created things which you made (Romans 1:21-23).
You were with me, and I was not with you. The lovely things kept me far from you, though if they did not have their existence in you, they had no existence at all (John 1:3, Colossians 1:17). You called and cried out loud and shattered my deafness. You were radiant and resplendent, you put to flight my blindness. You were fragrant, and I drew in my breath and now pant after you (Psalm 42:1). I tasted you, and I feel but hunger and thirst for you (Psalm 63:1). You touched me, and I am set on fire to attain the peace which is yours.
For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.