Analysis Of Augustine's Confessions

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In his Confessions, Augustine relates that, in his school years, he was required to read Virgil’s Aeneid. The ill-fated romance of Aeneas and Dido produced such an emotional effect on him that he forgot his own “wanderings” (Conf. 1.20). He wept over Dido’s death and felt guilty for abandoning God to pursue “the lowest things of God’s creations” (Conf. 1.21). Augustine rejects literature and theater because he believes that they distract the soul from God. Augustine discovers that love can be destructive, just as it was for Dido, and he ends his lustful affairs in order that he may devote himself to his God.
Augustine considers his greatest sin to be the sin of lust. He is held fast by the chains of love and its physical pleasures. Augustine
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Augustine is in “bitter agony of his heart” (Conf. 8.29). His lusts bind his souls like chains. He knows that his life is immoral; however, he is unable to free himself. Every time he thinks of giving up his sordid live, he asks himself, “Do you think you can live without them?” (Conf. 8.28). Augustine receives a divine call, not unlike the call Aeneas receives from Jove. He hears a voice singing “Pick up and read, pick up and read” (Conf. 8.29). Heeding the words, he takes up his copy of the Scriptures and reads the first passage he opens: “Go, sell all you have, give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me” (Conf. 8.29). Like Aeneas, Augustine receives a call to a voyage. However, Augustine’s voyage is a spiritual one. At once, Augustine is freed from the chains of his lusts. It feels as if a “light of relief from all anxiety flooded into my heart” (Conf. 8.29). God has “delivered his heart” (Conf. 8.30). Augustine is baptized shortly after, a sign of his allegiance to Christ. Augustine’s duty is now towards his God. He devotes the rest of life in spiritual service to Christ and to the…show more content…
Whereas Augustine’s heart was consumed with passion for women, now his soul is unswervingly devoted to Christ. Augustine’s desire is to “love Christ’s holy ways” (Conf. 1.24). When he considers the utter baseness of his sins, Christ grows even lovelier to him. Christ satisfied his soul more than any earthly love could. According to Augustine, there is a love far superior and more desirable than mere romantic love. The divine love of Christ for sinners and the love of the believer toward God is the most sublime of all affections. Lust destroyed his heart, but pure love renews and restores his soul. The tragedy of Dido’s death inspired Augustine’s rebellious, adolescent ways, but her love for
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