Today the church remembers Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, and Theologian, 430.Reared in a home with a staunchly Christian mother, Monnica (see May 4), Augustine left in search of truth. He cohabitated with a girl whom he was always to love but never to marry formally. She bore him a son who was the apple of his eye. Augustine seriously sought the counsel of astrologers and all kinds of spiritual advisors and philosophers. He was a sincere Manichaean and, later, a convinced Platonist. Finally, under the influence of his mother, Monnica, and Ambrose, the great Bishop of Milan (see December 7), Augustine turned to Christianity. With the possible exception of Paul of Tarsus, no one has affected the Christian tradition, way of life, and thought as profoundly as Augustine. His autobiography, Confessions, his treatise, On the Trinity, and his famous essays, On the City of God, remain classics of Christian literature. Much of modern Catholic and Protestant theology and practice derives from his original work. Augustine eventually entered the priesthood and later was ordained Bishop of Hippo in North Africa. He witnessed the sack of the city of Rome by Alaric, and as he lay on his deathbed vandals were assaulting his own city of Hippo. In our lifelong pilgrimage, lead us to your truth, Lord Christ. Amen.
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Lord God, the light of the minds that know you, the life of the souls that love you, and the strength of the hearts that serve thee: Help us, following the example of your servant Augustine of Hippo, so to know you that we may truly love you, and so to love you that we may fully serve you, whom to serve is perfect freedom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.