Augustine’s Journey to the Truth in The Confessions of St. Augustine Essay

Augustine’s Journey to the Truth in The Confessions of St. Augustine Essay

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In the Confessions by Saint Augustine, this great philosopher experiences many problems and emotions related to sin and evil. As a boy, he often felt darkness, blindness, and confusion while attempting to find rest in God. Augustine started out in childhood with a restless heart because he had to live in two different worlds. These worlds consisted of his mother’s Christian faith, and the world of everything else. These two worlds confused and disturbed Augustine as a child. Augustine’s father was pagan and his mother was Christian, and they both wanted him to be very successful in the world. As he became confused, he began asking questions that could not be answered such as, “Humans often feel restless, but what is it they need to feel at rest (Chadwick, 1992)?” Do they need God? Augustine wanted to know the truth about sin, evil, and God so he did this by going on a search for the truth. Throughout his search the Manicheans, Neo-Platonists, and Christians influenced him. This journey was difficult for him because he had to overcome his misunderstanding of evil and his own sin.
Augustine was born into the world with Original sin. As a baby, if another baby was nursing he also wanted to nurse. As a boy at school, he would find it hard to discipline himself and would often criticize his teachers for making him read fictional stories. Other than the teachings from his mother, Augustine felt like he was malformed at an early age. This behavior carried into adolescences, as he was addicted to sex. He also had an episode where he and a few friends stole pears from someone else’s pear tree out of mischief. This was an act of rebellion and he then compared this act to that of Adam and Eve. He questioned the act of destruction, “What are...

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...and finally the vision. In this vision he was in a Garden and saw a child chanting for him to “pick it up and read” and there he began reading St. Paul's Epistles, which revealed the truth that he had been searching for. He realized that, “ Only a God who made himself "tangible", one of us, was finally a God to whom he could pray, for whom and with whom he could live (Chadwick, 1992).” He now knew that God, who at once seemed so distant, has made himself near him and even just like him. His first step to conversion was becoming baptized. He now had a different look upon evil; he knows that evil has no substance. Through the journey and figuring out the truth, Augustine learned that evil is the result of the misuse of free choice through rational thinking.

Works Cited

Chadwick, Henry. (1992). Saint augustine confessions. New York: Oxford University Press inc.

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