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Chapter Reading

MMW 12 Chapter Reading: Saint Augustine_ The Confessions


Department
Making of the Modern World
Course Code
MMW 12
Professor
Richard Cohen
Chapter
Reading

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Saint Augustine of Hippo
Saint Augustine is repenting for stealing pears for no other reason than to do it. He feels
very bad about it.
No crime can be committed without a motive. Things on earth are not as good as things
in heaven even though they are tempting.
Once again Augustine feels bad for stealing the pears and asks why he would want to
do something so sinful for no good reason when he has God.
He praises God for forgiving his sins and accepting him. He wishes to be an example to
others.
He keeps mourning the theft of the pears.
Again with the pears.
All good things come through the Lord, Amen.
Ponticianus tells them a story. This guy comes around and introduces them to the
writings of Anthony the Egyptian. This causes half of the men and all the women to convert and
dedicate their lives to God. The key was to get rid of worldly wants and possessions.
After hearing Ponticianus, Augustine started feeling bad about himself and his sinful
ways. He wanted to change but was too scared to change in the moment. He regretted not
immediately giving up everything to follow God.
Augustine wrestles with himself. He really wants to change and to become a good
person, but something in him won’t allow it. He fights with this part of himself. His friend Alypius
comes for moral support.
Everything lies in a steel will.
Just because someone has two or more opposing wills, doesn’t mean that one is
necessarily bad and the other necessarily good. They can be all bad or all good.
Augustine sees a vision of a young mother (Virgin Mary?) as he struggles to let go of his
worldly attachments. She urges him to let go. Alypius stays with him.
Augustine finally converts. He has a weeping spell where he goes away from Alypius to
be alone. He comes back, opens the Bible to a random page and reads the first phrase he sees.
It speaks to him. He puts it down and Alypius tells him what he’s been going through. They read
the Bible together. They go to Augustine’s mother and tell her the news. She’s so happy.
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