Augustine Confessions Essay

1120 Words5 Pages
St. Augustine considers his mother as a crucial factor in his conversion to Catholicism. However through the analysis of his Confessions it leads me to believe that St. Augustine’s mother was not a decisive figure. Monica was in the background keeping him in thought and prayer however Augustine’s watershed moments came as a result of his own examination of readings as well as his conversations with his friends and mentors. Therefore I argue that Monica had delayed Augustine’s baptism and it was his own experiences that allowed him to come to God. Baptizing a baby at birth was this was a common practice during the time when Augustine was born. And Monica had decided to keep Augustine from being baptized. Monica’s reasoning is really just an unnecessary precaution. Whether or not your sins are wiped away now or later as long as you go to confession you are forgiven of your sins regardless. More importantly this precaution keeps Augustine from strengthening his relationship with God early on because it had kept him from truly being responsible for his actions and had stunted his involvement in the Church. In the first chapter alone he states “I was already a believer, as were my mother and all the household, with the exception of my father.”1 He was already a steady believer in God and was ready to be baptized however he was kept from it and was influenced by the other people as they said “Let him be, let him do as he likes, he is not baptized yet.” Without the proper reinforcement and teaching he progressively strayed away from his beliefs and eventually lost himself in sin. This leads to one the most important incidents in Augustine’s childhood. Augustine spends more time lamenting on the time he had stolen the pears than he does ... ... middle of paper ... ...e so it may be fabrication or mayhap truly be Godly intervention Augustine had opened up to a passage that had told him to discard his lust for flesh and put on Jesus Christ. This was the last sign that he needed and Augustine converts immediately. Throughout Augustine’s Confession he describes his journey of coming to Christ. He is constantly thanking his mother and giving much credit to her. Many of his developments are not due to any of Monica’s doing. He had always kept her in his thoughts and that is probably why he feels that she was influential. However he was most influenced by his friends, preachers, and even perhaps divine intervention. Without these revelations he could possibly have strayed away from Christianity or even religion completely. Therefore I conclude that although subtly influential, Monica was not an integral part of Augustine’s conversion.
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