Monday, April 23, 2007

Saint Augustine's Confessions

I don't read often. In fact, truth be told, I've never really enjoyed reading. My wife reads a novel a week; over breakfast, in the car, on the treadmill at the gym, and generally at any and every break in her day- reading... I'm simply not wired that way. I read because I have to.

With that said, there are two books that have so radically changed my perspective that they are actually a pleasure to read over and over again. The first is
Hinds' Feet on High Places (Hannah Hurnard), and the second is Saint Augustine's Confessions. While I have a lot to say about both, the book that's currently on my heart is Confessions.

St. Augustine wrote the book (actually, they were 13 books compiled into one) as a sort of autobiography in 397, but to me it reads more like a prayer journal or the book of Psalms. In the book, Augustine writes a prayerful reflection on his life, the sin that ensnared him along the way, and the innumerable mercies of God. He weeps over the darkness in his heart and confesses how he
loved his sin and by it built habits "like a chain" that became heavy and burdensome. With each remembrance comes a greater appreciation for the dimensions of God's unfailing love.

Further summary can't do it justice, so I just want to encourage you all (all two of you) to copy/paste the following link, shell out the $7.95, order the book, and make it number one on your summer reading list. I truly believe it will bless you, as it did me:

"You stir man to take pleasure in praising you, because you have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you... Who then are you, my God?... Most high, utterly good, utterly powerful, most omnipotent, most merciful and most just, deeply hidden yet most intimately present... you are jealous in a way that is free of anxiety, you 'repent' (Gen. 6:6) without the pain of regret, you are wrathful and remain tranquil... But in these words what have I said, my God, my life, my holy sweetness? What has anyone achieved in words when he speaks about you? Yet woe to those who are silent about you because, though loquacious with verbosity, they have nothing to say."

1 comment:

Adam said...

Augustine is called by some "the first introspective man" and his Confessions definitely exhibit that. Truly a great work - were we all more diligent in our repentance, more loathsome of our sin and more appreciative of God's mercies which are new every morning.
Keep bloggin' my friend