Essay on Analysis of St. Augustine’s Confessions
1927 Words8 Pages
St. Augustine’s Confessions
St. Augustine is a man with a rational mind. As a philosopher, scholar, and teacher of rhetoric, he is trained in and practices the art of logical thought and coherent reasoning. The pursuits of his life guide him to seek concrete answers to specific questions. Religion, the practice of which relies primarily on faith—occasionally blind faith—presents itself as unable to be penetrated by any sort of scientific study or inquiry. Yet, like a true scientist and philosopher, one of the first questions St. Augustine poses in his Confessions is: “What, then, is the God I worship” (23)? For a long time, Augustine searches for knowledge about God as a physical body, a particular entity—almost as if the Lord…show more content…
One of the opening lines of his Confessions may provide a clue: “Man is one of your creatures, Lord, and his instinct is to praise you” (21). This suggests that man possesses an innate instinct to seek God and spiritual enlightenment. It implies that man, as a product of God, will inherently desire knowledge of and a relationship with his creator. Augustine continues by saying: “The thought of [God] stirs [man] so deeply that he cannot be content unless he praises you, because you made us for yourself and our hearts find no peace until they rest in you” (21). This suggests that though man may struggle on earth, should he decide to turn to God he will experience peace and rest in the Lord. Here Augustine also states that unless man has found God, “he cannot be content,” implying that those who have not found God will feel a constant inner void.
Despite the fact that Augustine comes to view a relationship with God as a natural and fundamental part of life, filling an inherent void, he also makes it clear that he derives great pleasure from his newfound religious understanding. So what does Augustine gain from religion, and his relationship with God? What had been lacking in his relationships with other men prior to his Christian awakening that then received fulfillment through his relationship with God? Augustine says: “Dust and ashes though I am, let me appeal to your pity, since it is
Augustine's Confessions Paper
1340 Words6 Pages
When one reads the word "confessions," one would not necessarily associate it with the word "narrative." Confessions seem to be more of something stated directly without any story-like element. They are also a more personal thing- one does not simply put them in a story form unless purposely intending to do so, because usually it is something that expresses guilt for something personal or is between the author and their conscience (or perhaps to themselves). However, there can always be an exception, like Augustine's Confessions. It is written as a form of a narrative, even though the original the main audience for whom it was written is God, yet it is also intended to be read by anyone, almost as a didactic piece that sets an example…show more content…
So one intention is that the narrative be for anyone to read and go off of as an example or guide to their own morality. This is also logical because if he were writing his confessions solely for God, he would have no need to publish it or share it with anyone else, and saying that it is not for God only further supports this intention.
However, Augustine has another agenda- his confessions are also meant to show his praise and love for God. He says this in the fifth book with: "Accept the sacrifice of my confessions by the agency of my tongue, which Thou has formed and quickened, that it may confess to Thy name... But let my soul praise Thee, that it may love Thee; and let it confess Thine own mercies to Thee, that it may praise Thee." This is a clear declaration of his praise to God, and almost another underlying message of the text to the audience. So as he is writing about his life, he is trying also to set an example to the audience about how his choices were not always the best and use this as a guide to their own lives. And finally through his story, use his conversion and change as a way to praise God to show that even someone who "strayed off" the path was able to redeem themselves and how merciful and good God is to accept someone even as sinful as he was.
To bring this all together, Augustine uses details and parallels between some biblical references to