Saint Augustine. Esteemed among the greatest leaders in Church History, and thinkers in world history. Had a ‘history’ of his own. Today, it would probably ‘disqualify’ him.
Augustine, in his youth… and well beyond… was a profligate. (That’s a ten-dollar word for slut.)
The lines were written by T. S. Eliot in his apocalyptic poem, The Waste Land. Partly famous because they were written by Eliot, they are also famous because of who and what they allude to: the sexual fires that burned in the youthful Augustine. From adolescence to the age of 32, as he later detailed in the Confessions, Augustine was a frequent loser in the battle with lustful passions.
…As an 18-year-old student at Carthage, Augustine reveled in promiscuity. Sex had become an obsession for him. “From a perverted act of will,” he wrote, “desire had grown, and when desire is given satisfaction, habit is forged; and when habit passes unresisted, a compulsive urge sets in.”
After a year of promiscuity in that university city, Augustine settled down with a mistress. Although he never revealed her name, he remained with her for more than a decade.
Today we prefer the Joel Osteen types. Smiley guys that blow platitudes up our ass.
Augustine was gritty, earthy, intellectually solid and morally flawed. And so, an excellent example of the Grace of God.
Did Augustine eventually conquer his lust? Yes. Did it happen easily, or even right away? No. But he eventually DID.
His life story ‘Confessions’ has been an encouragement and template for Christians down through the centuries to get up again after they stumble. He speaks as one who is vulnerable and sympathetic to the sinner’s struggles.
But if Augustine were a public figure today, both Christians and the Left would have this reaction:
Something we may wish to bear in mind as we consider our political candidates.