Throughout the course of history, we have been graced by great teachers whose wisdom transcends our everyday life and enters the world of timeless time. Their keen insights and thoughts propel our thinking into new realms and allow us to progress in our understanding of the deeper knowledge of the universe that surrounds us. Their thoughts stand as truth even centuries after their existence.
One such luminary who shared his gifts with the world was the renowned teacher and philosopher, St. Augustine. At the age of 19 he read one of Cicero’s essays on truth and at that moment dedicated his life to that pursuit. He converted to Christianity in the year 386 AD and was the Bishop of Hippo, a town in North Africa, for some 30 years. New City Press has embarked on a quest to translate all 132 works of St. Augustine into English as a gift to the world.
Giving Alms to the Poor
Traditionally, members of a congregation give money to the Church through donations during the service and tithing. St. Augustine, though, talked about directly helping those who were less fortunate and in need. He stated “God has no need of money, but the poor have. You give it to the poor, and God receives it”.
Caring for others and helping those in need is indeed a form of worship. When someone is having a hard time in life or going through something that leaves them struggling to survive, a generous gift of money is an act of kindness beyond measure. In those moments in life when all seems forlorn, an act of kindness shines the light and warmth of God into our lives.
The Pure Joy of Love
Love is the unifying and cohesive force that fills the Universe, that binds the molecules and electrons as they sing their song. It is the profound gift we all yearn for, as we embark on our quest for the discovery of love with our treasured soulmate in life. In love we experience union and oneness and feel the warmth and beauty we so seek.
St. Augustine of Hippo wrote that “the measure of love is to love without measure”. When we open our hearts completely to love, we enter a world that is filled with golden light and sublime warmth and peace. It is possible to open to love and then open to love even more, every day deepening our connection with the Divine.
Understanding the Character of a Person
Sometimes in life people create a persona for themselves, and drape themselves in the mantle of an image they have fashioned. It is possible to understand the truth of a person’s character, though, by paying attention to the things that call to their heart and soul.
In the words of St. Augustine, “in order to discover the character of people we have only to observe what they love”. Quietly observing what calls to an individual and seeing what they truly seek and love gives insights into their true nature. You will quickly see if a person seeks deeper values such as kindness and love or is pulled to self-serving pursuits like selfishness and greed. The words of St. Augustine provide a timeless compass that can guide us even today. His insights and knowledge transcend the centuries and offer us a guiding light even in today’s modern world.