Today we celebrate the Memorial of St. Augustine. Our Sister Jacqueline is a big fan of his and she shares here her love of this great doctor of the Church:
The influence of St. Augustine could be significant in our society today because he lived in a culture that is very similar to ours: there was much affluent, people were worldly, educated, and the pursuit for power was rampant. Every piece of this brilliant young man fit well into the lavish world of the Roman Empire into which he was born. And then the love of Jesus, though his mother's enormous and continual prayer, broke through to him and St. Augustine met the Lord. With all his erudition and his expansive personality, his circle of influence was huge. The number those who were affected by his conversion was proportionate to the great number of friends whose company he enjoyed.
The story of his falling in love with Jesus Christ -- his "Confessions" -- has been vital in the faith journey of many other seekers through the ages whose lives needed to be anchored in the love of Jesus Christ. When St. Augustine was converted, it was a stunning moment, he heard a voice in the garden: "Take and Read" ... and upon taking up the Scriptures, he was seized by writings of St. Paul.
Two quotations from his "Confessions" -- are but the tip of the iceberg!
"Look on me, Lord Jesus, and love me. Let me love you with my whole being as one set on fire by you."
"I sought a way, God, to gain the strength which I needed to enjoy you but I did not find it until I embraced the mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus, who is above all God, blessed forever. He was calling me and saying, 'I am the way of truth. I am the life.'"
When a choosing a rule for our Order, it is no accident that St. Francis de Sales chose the Rule of St. Augustine. He was touched by St. Augustine's deep love of Jesus Christ and he set that intimate personal love as the fabric of our way of life as Visitandines.
"Abide steadfastly in your determination to cling simply to God trusting in His eternal love for you."
St. Francis de Sales