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Asia Pacific Augistinian Conference

Brian Lowery OSA: The Subtle Presence of God amid the pages of the Confessions of St Augustine.

This article was originally presented as three talks to the Augustinian novices at Racine, Wisconsin, USA on three consecutive nights: 8th – 10th February 2010. This is one of three articles by Fr Brian Lowery OSA that is made available on this website by the author’s kind permission. It may be downloaded for non-commercial, private and educational uses.

Since 1995 Fr Lowery has led the historic Augustinian monastery (founded there soon after the year 1280) at San Gimignano, which is near Siena, Italy and made it a retreat centre. From there he also travels to give talks and lectures especially on the Confessions to St Augustine, including in the United States, the United Kingdom, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Panama, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic, Korea, Japan and Australia. He is a native of Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

I. FIRST NIGHT

I would like to begin our conversation this evening listening to how another person felt about the book we are going to consider, the Confessions of St. Augustine. It comes from the pen of the great St. Teresa of Avila:

At this time they gave me the Confessions of Saint Augustine. It seems the Lord ordained this, because I had not tried to procure a copy, nor had I ever seen one. I am very fond of Saint Augustine, because the convent where I stayed as a lay person belonged to his Order, and also because he had been a sinner. For I found great consolation in sinners whom, after having been sinners, the Lord brought back to himself. It seemed to me I could find help in them, and that since the Lord had pardoned them, He could pardon me. But there was one thing that left me unconsolable, and that was that the Lord called them only once, and they did not turn back and fall again; whereas in my case I had turned back so often that I was worn out from it. But by considering the love He bore me, I regained my courage, for I had never lost confidence in his mercy; in myself I lost it many times. (Autobiography 9,7)

Click here to download the full article.

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