Early Church History 43

Augustine's Confessions:

what he taught and how it taught it

Saint Augustine's life: 354 - 430.  eight popes, twelve emperors, Saint Hilary of Poitiers, Saint Athanasius, Saint Epiphanius, Saint Basil, Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, Saint Gregory Nazianzen, Saint Gregory of Nyssa, Saint Ambrose, Saint John Chrysostom, Rufinus, Saint Jerome, Theodore of Mopsuestia


413: "of collecting together and setting down clearly all the things in my books with which I am dissatisfied."

Councils of Carthage XVI, XVII, XVIII, XIX, XX

Retractations106 books, tracts, sermons written from 386 to 429

"I commended this unhappy -- nay, previously unhappy, woman to your prayers.  We set to work and prayed, and our prayers have been heard.  Let our joy be our thanksgiving!"

Amor vitae amore victus est Vitae!

Non enerat set honorat sarcina Christi!

riches: "Nothing is more unsatisfying than a thing that rolls away; that is why money is made round.  It won't stand still."

Pride: "How can you be proud unless you are empty?  For if you had not been deflated, you could not be inflated."

Donatist schismatic: "a man who does not blush at his schismatic state can surely have no blood in his body."

Pelagians: "To write such things, his ink ought to have blushed."

We believe because we THINK we need to believe, because our knowledge is incomplete and will always be incomplete without the eyes of Faith.

Saint Augustine's goal: "To lead men back to the hope of finding the Truth."  Truth is findable, but it requires both Faith and Reason.

Plato - Plotinus and Porphyry

"Oh, God, who is always the same, may I know myself and know You."

Creation: "Not from His own substance (like pro-creation) nor from something which He has not made (like a carpenter) but from nothing."

Evil: not a substance, not created by God - rather a defect, a corruption, a privation "either of moderation or of beauty or of the natural order."

God permits evil to exist because "He is so omnipotent and good as to be able to draw good even out of evil."

Why study Theology? "the science which generates, nourishes, defends and fortifies Faith."  "Many of the faithful do not possess this science, even though they have a great deal of faith.  For it is one thing to know only that which must be believed in order to obtain a blessed life ... and another to know it in such a way as to be able to place it at the service of the good and to defend it against the bad."

When facts contradict Scripture?  "...it is not lawful to say, 'the author of this book has not spoken the truth.' instead, either the manuscript is incorrect, the translator has made a mistake or you do not understand."  Enter the debate "with holy humility, with catholic peace and with Christian charity."

Trinity: "It is my faith because it is the Catholic Faith."

"god is everything which He has except for the relations by which each Person is related to another. There is no doubt that the Father has the Son, but the Father is not the Son ..."

"He who is man is the very one who is God, and he who is God is the very one who is man; not by the confusion of nature but by the unity of person."

Mary: A) "god was born of a woman." B) Let us concede that God is able to do something which we must admit that we are not able to fathom. In such things the entire explanation of the even lies in the power of the who who is at work." C) We do not consign Mary to the devil because of the condition of her birth, since the condition of birth was removed by the grace of rebirth."