There quickly surfaces the intensity with which he lived his life, whether
his path led away from or toward God. The tears of his mother, the instructions of Ambrose and, most
of all, God himself speaking to him in the Scriptures redirected Augustine's love of life to a life
Having been so deeply immersed in creature-pride of life in his early days
and having drunk deeply of its bitter dregs, it is not surprising that Augustine should have turned,
with a holy fierceness, against the many demon-thrusts rampant in his day. His times were truly
decadent—politically, socially, morally. He was both feared and loved, like the Master. The
perennial criticism leveled against him: a fundamental rigorism.
In his day, he providentially fulfilled the office of prophet. Like Jeremiah and other greats, he was hard-pressed but could not keep quiet. "I say to myself, I will not mention him,/I will speak in his name no more./But then it becomes like fire burning in my heart,/imprisoned in my bones;/I grow weary holding it in,/I cannot endure it" (Jeremiah 20:9).
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