Wednesday, August 28, 2013
St. Augustine's conversion through Scripture: Daily Mass Homily--Wednesday, August 28th, 2013 (St. Augustine)
Yesterday we celebrated the model of intercessory prayer St. Monica. Today we rejoice in her son St. Augustine.
Augustine lived a wayward life. He was a womanizer and had a child out of wedlock. He bounced around from several pagan religions and erroneous philosophies. For much of his life he sought the truth in his mind. He ended up receiving a conversion of heart.
Augustine’s conversion came thanks to two verses from Scripture. While in a garden he heard a child’s voice tell him, “Pick up and read!” He opened to the thirteenth chapter of Romans and read: “…let us conduct ourselves becomingly as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires” (Romans 13:13-14). When I read this I first thought this seemed like a regular section of Scripture. I didn’t experience a major life conversion after reading them.
Yet Augustine, “in receiving the word of God from hearing us, you received it not as the word of men, but as it truly is, the word of God…” His conversion shows the great power of the Scriptures. He was meant to be converted through a small section of Romans, even though this passage was written 300 years ago to an early Christian community. So too, passages in the Bible will jump out at us if we but pick up and read.
St. Augustine famously said, “Our hearts are restless until they rest in thee.” Would that each of us would rest in God through resting in the Scriptures.