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Satisfactory Essays
In Confessions, Saint Augustine tries to understand the complexity of God’s work by narrating his ascent to God through numerous anecdotes of his life. Throughout his biography, Augustine constantly questions the reasoning behind God’s work and repeatedly falls into sin. However, he slowly begins to realize that God works in strange ways. Through his confession to God and to his readers, Augustine comes to the conclusion that through sinning God has opened up Augustine’s mind and body to the light.
Augustine begins with the sin of his body and the craving for physical desires. He tries recalling his earliest memories, but settles with observing other infants and concludes that “none is pure before you [God], not even an infant of one day upon the earth” (9). He realizes that as an infant, he succumbed only to his external desires, trying to fulfill his most basic needs. He witnessed babies in tears “trying to obtain what it would have been harmful to get…and attempts to strike them [parents] and do as much injury as possible [with] never an obligation to be obedient” (9). Augustine reasons that since it is not acceptable performing those actions at his current age, it is not acceptable during infancy either. He then questions where this evil came from, the same evil that allows a baby “pale with jealousy and bitterness glare at his brother sharing his mother’s milk” (9). He believes that he has committed sin from the beginning and that his very nature is corrupt.
One sin that repeatedly occurred and stuck fast to the moment right before Augustine’s conversion was his craving for sexual exploits. At an early age he made company with peers that boasted their lustful deeds. Moreover, they “derived pleasure not merely from the lus...

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...e the power of free will, and Augustine must control himself so that his body and will are on the same path. However, Augustine realizes this is not the case as his “stiff neck took [him] further and further away from you [God]” (38). Augustine must break free of the bondage his body has over his will, and God punishes him as a way to ease him close to the right path. God leads Augustine in different directions, each time pushing Augustine away from Him while simultaneously pulling Augustine closer to Him.
Though Augustine understands now that faith is the key to unlocking God, his accumulation of sins prevent him from that final step to conversion. It is only when he is weeping with internal agony does he hear a voice in a nearby house chanting “pick up and read” (152). God speaks to him through a verse and finally “all the shadows of doubt were dispelled” (153).
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