Saint Augustine was a prolific writer, philosopher and theologian who lived from the years 354 to 430 AD. When he was 32 years old, he converted from the pagan religion to Christianity. He was also the Bishop for the city of Hippo and was well known for his knowledge across many subject areas, including politics, metaphysics, ethics and church history.
All in all, Saint Augustine published some 132 works. This vast library influenced leaders and thinkers for years and years to come. As part of a scholarly effort to make his wisdom available to even more people, there are efforts underway to carefully translate all of his writing into English. The Works of Saint Augustine will eventually span some 49 volumes that cover all of the original published works by the noted theologian and philosopher saint.
Quotes from the writings of Saint Augustine still have meaning today. His wisdom is still applicable some 1,600 years after he lived.
The Magic of Travel
More and more people are discovering the mind expanding and life changing importance of traveling and experiencing new places and cultures. Saint Augustine knew the value of travel and said “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.” When we travel we expand our horizons and open our minds and hearts to new possibilities and ways of thinking in life.
The Inner Journey in Life
In his book Confessions, Saint Augustine observed that “Men go abroad to admire the heights of mountains, the mighty waves of the sea, the broad tides of rivers, the compass of the ocean, and the circuits of the stars, yet pass over the mystery of themselves without a thought.” His insightful words were a calling to one of life’s great journeys, the journey to the center of one’s self. The Divine mystery is reflected in the beautiful wonder of who we are.
The Paradox of Life
We all struggle at times to overcome the blocks that seem to be holding us back in life. Saint Augustine said “The mind commands the body and is instantly obeyed. The mind commands itself and meets resistance.” Often we are able to clearly see the path others might take in life, and we can share that wisdom with them. For our own journey, however, we often wrestle with how to bypass the resistance so we can move ahead with our life.
Follow Your Bliss
Nearly sixteen centuries ago Saint Augustine wrote that “Where your pleasure is, there is your treasure: where your treasure, there your heart; where your heart, there your happiness”. His wise words were echoed in modern times by Joseph Campbell’s famous directive that one should “Follow your bliss”. When you have the courage to walk your unique path of happiness, the world becomes a truly magical and beautiful place.
The wisdom of Saint Augustine echoes across the ages and brings value to our lives even today. His philosophy and sophisticated understanding of humanity’s very nature is a treasure that informs us even in our modern age.