Great Italians of the Past: St. Augustine. A life between “right and wrong”
- WTI Magazine #129 Jul 19, 2020
These are tough times. We are living a world where everyone wears a mask, trying to reach just his own goal. Never like now, it is important to find a balance, to find a point of reference. That is why for this month we have chosen Agostino D’Ippona also known as Sant’Agostino, or Saint Augustine. A man, a philosopher, who has lived his life trying to discover a balance between good and devil, right and wrong based on a debatable “absolute truth”.
“Confessions” and “City of God” are two of the most important works of his life. A new vision of the importance of religion and the role of God in everyday life.
Starting from the belief that humans are sinners, S. Agostino thought that if everyone takes responsibility for mistakes and decisions the world would be a better place.
The eternal fight between good an devil is in everyone of us and leads us trough our everyday life.
The time that we are living is the demonstration of that.
The work of Sant’Agostino show us the importance of taking responsibility and walk together through problems with what we already have instead of fan the flames of a world already on fire.
Agostino D’ippona was also a theologian and his writings influenced the development of western Philosphy and specially, of western Christianity. He is viewed as one of the most important Church Fathers of the Latin Church.
He was born on November 13th, 354 AD in Thagaste, the old Roman Africa.
After his baptism and conversion to Christianity in 386, Augustine developed his own approach to philosophy and theology, accomodating a variety of methods and perspectives.
He has been one of the last “son” of the Roman Empire and when it began to disintegrate, Agostino imagined the Church as a spiritual City of God.
Agostino is recognised as a Saint in the Catholic Church and his memorial is celebrated on 28 of August, the day of his death.
He has a disputable youth, as he wrote on his “Confessions”, he made so many mistakes that an entire life could not acquit. That is why he dedicated his being looking for the truth, trying to expiate and give a sense to his life.
Agostino strictly believed in a free will of humans, one of the best chance of men as well one of the worst.
The Catholic Church considers Agostino’s teaching to be consistent with free will.
He often said that anyone can be saved if they wish. Free will was not intended for sin, meaning is not equally predisposed to both good and devil. If we bring this belief in our time, we can read it as: We always have a choice, we don’have to hate, we do not have to fight, we do not have to bring others down to feel better, we don’t have to believe in everything that we hear around us. The only thing that we should do is enjoy our lifes at the best of our capacities in the common respect. That is why Agostino’s philosophy is still important, that is why his work is current now that before.
In his works we still find the foundation of respect, a deep public spirit of citizenship that we are loosing.