Ever Active, Yet Always at Rest

"You, my God . . . are the most hidden from us and yet the most present amongst us, the most beautiful and yet the most strong, ever enduring and yet we cannot comprehend you. You are unchangeable and yet you change all things. You are never new, never old, and yet all things have new life from you. You are the unseen power that brings decline upon the proud. You are ever active, yet always at rest. You gather all things to yourself, though you suffer no need. . . . You grieve for wrong, but suffer no pain. You can be angry and serene. . . . You repay us what we deserve, and yet you owe nothing to any. . . . Can any man say enough when he speaks of you? Yet woe betide those who are silent about you!" - Augustine, Confessions, 1.4

Augustine's Confessions

We are reading Augustine's Confessions in the Medieval History class I am teaching high school homeschoolers. According to the Omnibus II textbook, Aurelius Augustine (354-430) was “one of the greatest minds of the ancient and medieval worlds (in a way he ends one world and begins the other ).” In the Middle Ages, “other than the Bible, the two [books] that were probably most read and influential were Augustine’s City of God and Confessions.” “Confessions is the story of Augustine’s journey from his rough and rowdy youth to his conversion.” I was immediately gripped by the quality of writing and depth of understanding in Confessions. It is a worthy read. I will be sharing a number of quotes as I read it.