The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Sunday, August 8, 2010 Augustinian postscript

I should have mentioned yesterday that one of the best discourses on time was offered by St. Augustine in his Confessions -- see Book XI on "Time and Eternity." It's a remarkable discourse, particularly when one considers it was written near the end of the 4th century. There are many translations of Augustine's Confessions available either online or in book form, but I think the best by far is Frank Sheed's translation. Although it's over fifty years old, it's a reliable translation and Sheed did well to preserve Augustine's vibrant, poetic, and very readable language. Unfortunately, I don't believe it's available for free online, but it is still in print (2nd edition) and can be purchased from Amazon very reasonably.

Augustine's Confessions is one of those classic books of our faith that every Christian should read. I first read it in high school, but in an older (19th century) translation that made the text hard to follow and not particularly interesting. I don't think I even finished it, and probably faked it on the test by reading a synopsis or two. It was only later, thirty years later, that I came across Sheed's translation and read it with some understanding. If you haven't read it, pick up a copy and be prepared to be enlightened by this remarkable Doctor of the Church.

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