St. Augustine of Hippo: At the Start of Lent

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Images: All by James Tissot, all c. 1890, and all in the collection (although not on view) at the Brooklyn Museum in New York:

By St. Augustine of Hippo, The Catholic Thing, Feb. 17, 2021

St. Augustine (354-430) was born in Thagaste (in modern-day Algeria). After leading a wild youth, he became a faithful Catholic under the influence of his mother, St. Monica, and his teacher, St. Ambrose of Milan. Two of his books, “Confessions” and “The City of God,” are considered among the greatest works of Christian apologetics.

St. Augustine of HippoToday we enter upon the observance of Lent, the season now presented to us in the passage of the liturgical year. An appropriately solemn sermon is your due so that the word of God, brought to you through my ministry, may sustain you in spirit while you fast in body and so that the inner man, thus refreshed by suitable food, may be able to accomplish and to persevere courageously in the disciplining of the outer man.

For, to my spirit of devotion, it seems fitting that we, who are about to honor the Passion of our crucified Lord in the very near future, should fashion for ourselves a cross of the bodily pleasures in need of restraint, as the Apostle says:  “And they who belong to Christ have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires. ” (Gal. 5:24)  …

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