What Augustine Means by “Confession.”

Augustine, in his autobiography entitled Confessions, praises God for taking him from a dark and sinful state, to the light of faith in Jesus Christ. He boldly admits his sinful past, and asks God to “come into me.” Confession, then, to Augustine, is both a prayer of thanks for God’s great glory and an acknowledgement of his sins and his human weakness.

Augustine describes his wayward past (for example, thinking lustful thoughts during mass, which he attended as a young man with his mother). He also describes his true conversion to the Christian faith, and his regret for having violated God’s moral laws for much of his life.

Although Augustine came from a good family, he stole things and socialized with bad, young people. He confesses that he believed in a false belief system and engaged in illicit sexual activity. When one of his friends dies, he is overwhelmed with emptiness. Because of the great influence of St. Ambrose, as Augustine enters his 30s, he begins to understand the true, Christian God.

Confessions is both a prayer thanking God and a testament to God’s glory for taking Augustine away from a sinful life obsessed with material pleasures and sin, to one of great joy and fulfillment—founded on the truth of what his mother, St. Monica, had always tried to teach him as a youth.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s