Confessions of St. Augustine

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In The Confessions of St. Augustine, a young boy whose civil servant parents of low status find enough money to send their son to be educated in classical Roman culture as a means to rise in society. The boy gives into the pressures of his friends and his own curiosity in adolescence, only to convert to a moral lifestyle as a grown man. St. Augustine's conversion from Roman pleasure-seeking to the ethical truth-seeking ways of Christianity was quite a transformation. Augustine's mother, among other women, was not a barrier, but, on the contrary, aided Augustine in his pursuit of holiness.

St. Augustine lived in classical Roman society that basically contained three kinds of people as revealed to the readers by Augustine's descriptions. There were Pagans, who gave into hedonistic activities and did not worship one all-powerful God. Catechumens were people who were in the process of conversion that were being taught the principles of the Church by catechists. Lastly, Christians were believers in Jesus Christ who followed ethical principles set forth by the word of Christ while going about everyday lives. Christianity was alluring to women and appealed to the poor, both of which were characteristics of Augustine's mother, Monica.

Augustine's mother was perhaps the single most significant person in leading him to convert to Christianity. She not only encouraged him throughout his entire life, but also offered herself as a humble example to follow. Augustine said, "While I was still a boy, then I had heard of an eternal life promised us through the humility of our Lord God stooping to our pride. My mother had great hope in you, O God, and as soon as I came our of her womb I was marked with the sign of the Lord's cross and was salted with His salt." (13). Monica prayed for her son despite his sinful ways. "My mother knew nothing of my illness, yet, though she was far away, she continued to pray for me." (91). Also, Augustine's mother appealed to high...
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