1 Thessalonians 2:9-13; Ps 139 you searched me and you know me; Mt 23:27-32
"If this or that person can do it, why can't I?"
These are the words St. Augustine thought he heard at the time of his conversion, and they were among the last encouragement he needed for risking the leap into faith and into God's love.
Why Can't I?
As Pope Benedict points out, Augustine became a Christian not by birth but my conversion.
Even in baptism we are reminded we receive the capacity for faith but not actual faith. Actual faith comes by way of conversion, an experience that points us toward a life of holiness.
St. Augustine had a deep thrust and a constant restlessness that kept him from settling for less, settling for mediocrity or superficiality.
He sought truth. He sought it in a prestigious career, in possession of things, in the voices that promised instant gratification. He made mistakes, encountered setbacks, and understood sadness.
But he never quit. Eventually he came to the realization that as he searched for truth, it was Truth that had searched for him.
Augustine was not afraid of the truth and perhaps that is why he is so important for us today.
There is a lot of fear in regards to truth in our society and culture.
There are many who refuse to acknowledge truth but wish to twist it to be what they need at any given moment.
Then it happened. Not that it made his life easy. No but conversion gave his life a new kind of direction, a direction toward something more, a direction that pointed toward a life beyond oneself.
Pope BEnedict points out the following, "For Christian holiness does not consist in being superhuman and inhaling an extraordinary talent or greatness that others do not have. Christian holiness is simply the obedience that puts us at God's disposal wherever he calls us."
This is where actual faith is realized.
St. Augustine pray for us that we never settle for less, for superficiality or mediocrity but allow the restlessness to drive us toward truth head long.