AUGUSTIN’ WAS SOMETIMES DISGUSTIN
Memorial of St. Augustine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church
My dear encountered couples:
St. Augustine had a long life filled with variety. He tried many things before he arrived in heaven. He knew there was meaning and value to life and he relentlessly pursued it. Many times he chose incorrectly, but it seems he was wise enough to recognize his mistakes. Then he tried and tried again to find and live the truth. That’s what goes into the making of a saint.
The lives of the saints should help to teach us. I don’t mean those that have been sugar-coated and falsified, but the real lives they lived. Augustine was not always the kind and loving person we might wish him to be - not even after he became a bishop. Who is? The person next door has faults, your favorite person has faults, you have faults. To recognize them and to put forth effort to correct them - that is what is important. Maybe you will never seem successful. But if you try, you will be.
For us to know that those the Church has placed on the pillars of sainthood had unfavorable qualities and committed serious sins are beneficial. For then they become real, we see they were human, and we can find hope for ourselves.
The greatest saints often considered themselves the greatest of sinners. They did not view themselves as examples to be followed. They told people to look to Jesus as their teacher, to God as their Father. They wanted no honor for themselves but wanted to plant honor for God in the hearts of others. They knew that they could not raise themselves to sainthood. Only God could do that. And St. Augustine did. Let him continue that same work in you — let him lead you to greatness.a