Fr. Michael says:
St. Augustine of Hippo is one of the most well known Catholic saints because of his story. He was a man who desperately sought meaning, but often looked in the wrong places.
Augustine was raised a Christian in what is now
Algeria, but eventually began living a life of sin -
especially sexual sin.
He searched for truth in his studies of philosophy
and was attracted to the cult of Manichaeanism.
When he realized how little sense it made, he went
to Rome and then Milan. The preaching and
guidance of St. Ambrose, the bishop of Milan,
inspired him to reconsider the faith he had
In a moment of reading the Sciptures, Augustine
received the grace of conversion. He became a
Christian and then, after a time, was ordained a
priest and then the bishop of Hippo in northern
Augustine’s famous Confessions tells the story of
his life and contains some incredibly beautiful
reflections on his search for Christ:
"O eternal Truth, true Love, and beloved Eternity,
you are my God, and for you I sigh day and night.
As I first began to know you, you lifted me up and
showed me that, while that which I might see exists
indeed, I was not yet capable of seeing it. Your rays
beamed intensely on me, beating back my feeble
gaze, and I trembled with love and dread. I knew
myself to be far away from you in a region of
unlikeness, and I seemed to hear your voice from on
high: 'I am the food of the mature: grow, then, and
you shall eat me. You will not change me into
yourself like bodily food; but you will be changed
Accordingly, I looked for a way to gain the strength
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 also God, supreme over all
things and blessed forever. He called out,
proclaiming I am the Way and Truth and the Life,
nor had I known him as the food which, though I
was not yet strong enough to eat it, he had mingled
with our flesh, for the Word became flesh so that
your Wisdom, through whom you created all things,
might become for us the milk adapted to our
Late have I loved you, Beauty so ancient and so
new, late have I loved you!
Lo, you were within, but I outside, seeking there for
you and upon the shapely things you have made
I rushed headlong – I, misshapen.
You were with me, but I was not with you.
They held me back far from you,
those things which would have no being,
were they not in you.
You called, shouted, broke through my deafness;
you flared, blazed, banished my blindness;
you lavished your fragrance, I gasped; and now I
pant for you;
I tasted you, and now I hunger and thirst;
you touched me, and I burned for your peace."