In Augustine’s writings we rediscover him. “When I read Augustine’s works, I do not have the impression that he died about 1,600 years ago. I feel he is a modern man: a friend, a contemporary who speaks to me with a fresh and modern faith.”
Two Augustinian maxims express the coherent blend between faith and reason: credo ut intelligas (“believe in order to understand”), believing opens the way to entering the gates of truth, and, inseparable from this, intellige ut credas (“scrutinise truth in order to encounter God and believe”).
Above all, the harmony between faith and reason means that God is not far away from our reason and our lives. God is close to each human being, close to our heart and close to our reason.
Augustine encountered God throughout his life and always experienced the presence of God in such a way that this reality – which above all is an encounter with a Person, Jesus – changed his life. It also changes the lives of all people in every era who have had the grace of meeting Him.
In his old age, Augustine remained strong in faith. At that stage of his life, he continued to provide comfort for himself and others through prayer and meditation on the mysteries of God’s Will.
He spoke of “the world’s old age”. In old age sickness abounds but, although the world grows old, Christ is forever young.
Images (at right)
Pictures 1 & 2: Facade of St Thomas of Villanova Church in the Augustinian parish of Mareeba, Queensland, Australia.
Picture 3: The Augustinian Priory at Mareeba.