Skip to main content

Pope Benedict XVI on St. Augustine and conversion

Pope Benedict used the occasion of his visit to the Lombardi Dioceses of Vigevano and Pavia to speak of conversion, specifically the conversion of St. Augustine. This from the Catholic News Agency:

The Pope continued by expressing his desire to list the three great steps on this path to conversion. The first fundamental conversion, he said, is the interior journey towards Christianity—that is, the desire to want to know Christ.

The second conversion is described by St. Augustine at the end of the second book of his Confessions. After having been baptized, St. Augustine returned to Africa and there he founded together with his friends, a small monastery. However, the second step was his being called to live with Christ for all. He had to translate his knowledge and sublime thoughts into the language and thinking of the simple people of his city.

Citing his humility as the third decisive step on St. Augustine’s path to conversion, the pope told those present that Augustine ahd found the highest level of humility…the humility to recognize that the bountiful mercy of God was continually necessary for himself and the entire pilgrim Church.

Benedict ended his homily by thanking God for the great light that shines forth from the wisdom and humility of St. Augustine. The Holy Father prayed that the Lord give all of us, day by day, the necessary conversion and lead us towards true life.


I love this acknowledgment that conversion is a continual process and not just a lightning bolt from the sky. The lightning bolt may start us down the conversion pathway, but we must continually seek a deeper knowledge and understanding of our faith and translate this knowledge into daily actions. We must always humbly recognize that all we have is a gift from our most merciful Father.

During this season of confirmations, we need to remind our newly confirmed of our lifelong mission to grow in faith. Confirmation is a Sacrament of Initiation—a beginning. It is not a graduation. We must never grow complacent and think our faith is “good enough”. There is always room for further conversion.

Comments

Ebeth said…
Denise, Your writing is impeccible. This is the reason I wanted to start my blog and become a Master Catechist, so that I can help in this mission of continued education for existing Catholics. My husband is not a Catholic and have been praying to St. Monica for years!!!!! Maybe you can add him on your list of prayers too?
fondly,
Ebeth
still climbing!
Anonymous said…
Excellent homily from the Holy Father. I think many people are discouraged when their conversion doesn't "take" and fall by the wayside. They don't see that it takes a lifetime and has setbacks. And no one illustrates this better than St. Augusine.

Susan

Popular posts from this blog

Find Catholic Mass even when Traveling

First published 1/27/06

There is no such thing as a travel dispensation. Even when you are away from your home parish, you are expected to take advantage of your Sunday opportunity to attend Mass. With most communities offering a Saturday evening vigil Mass as well as Sunday Mass, there is really no excuse for missing Mass while traveling unless you are backpacking beyond the reach of civilization. It takes just a little planning and effort on your part. The question is, “Do you really want to go to Mass?”

Why should we worry about missing Mass while traveling? Well, the easy answer is “’Cause the Church says so!” Missing Mass is considered a serious sin. Jesus told Peter Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven (Mt 16:19)so we must take the edicts of the Church quite seriously. Still, this is a child-like level of understanding. The more mature answer is we have a responsibility to maintain our relationship with God. Like any relationship, if it is neglected, it weaken…

Dispelling the Myth of the Travel Dispensation

One of the fun things about having a site meter on my blog is I can see which posts garner the most attention. I can also see how people find my blog. One of the most read posts from my two years of blogging is this one that discusses finding Mass while traveling. I would like to think this post is so popular because it is so well written. The truth of the matter is that it generates so much traffic because I use the words “travel dispensation for Mass”—as in “There is no such thing as a travel dispensation for Mass.” I would guess that nearly a dozen times every week, someone googles “travel dispensation for Mass” and finds my blog. I wonder how many of these folks are poor souls trying to assuage their Catholic guilt with evidence of a justification for missing Mass while on the road.

I know that when I tell my seventh grade CCD students that attending Mass every Sunday is a commandment (one of the top ten!) and not just a pretty good idea they are amazed. Missing Mass has become so …

Parent Letter from a Catechist

I am going to be teaching seventh grade CCD this year. We do most of the preparation for confirmation during this year since Confirmation is usually scheduled for the fall of the eighth grade year.I have composed a letter to the parents to try and keep them active in their children's religious education. I thought I would post it here and get your feedback before I send it out in a couple of weeks.

I am privileged to be your child’s seventh grade CCD teacher for the 2006-2007 school year. This is a very important year. We will focus on your child’s preparation for confirmation. Of course, you have already been preparing your child for this sacrament for many years. You are the primary catechist for your child. You show how important your Faith is by making Mass attendance a top priority and by family prayer.

Confirmation is one of the Sacraments of Initiation. It is a beginning. It is not a graduation. This year we will work to solidify the foundation of your child’s Catholic Faith.…