Notes of City of God Book One (1)

St. Augustine’s writing is always very attractive to me.   I got this book of English version as a gift from my friend. I was not mature enough to read it. At that time, my English was not good enough to understand it. this time, when I opened this book, I just cannot stop loving it. It is such a strong book to defense our faith in all sense and at the same time answers a lot of questions which are always prevalent among all ages.

I do not know very well the difference between the philosophy and theology since in the place where I study, we do not have theology. St. Augustine for me is a great philosopher.. (one of the few Catholics which could be put in the philosophy books in the universities here….)

Still the notes here are just for my own interests. If you find them are interesting, I like discussing philosophy with people.

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Chapter 8 blessing and disasters often shared by good and bad

Despise the riches of God’s goodness and forbearance, in the hardness and impenitence of their hearts and lay up for themselves a store of wrath in the day of God’s anger and of the revelation of the just judgement of God, who will repay every man according to his actions. ( Rom, 2, 4) Yet the patience of God still invites the wicked to penitence , just as God’s chastisement trains the good in patient endurance.

when the good and the wicked suffer alike, the identity of their sufferings does not mean that there is no difference between them. Though the suffering are the same, the suffers remain different. Virtue and vice are not the same, even if they undergo the same torment. The fire which makes the gold shine makes chaff smoke;  the same flail breaks up the straw, and clears the grain; and oil is not mistaken for lees because both are forced out by the same press. In the same way, the violence which assails good men to test them, to cleanse and purify them, effects in the wicked their condemnation, ruin and annihilation. Thus, the wicked, under pressure of affliction, execrate God and blaspheme; the good in the same affliction, offer up prayers and praises. This shows that what matters is the nature of the sufferers, not the nature of the sufferings.

Chapter 9 the reasons why the good and the wicked are equally afflicted

This chapter really teaches me a lot of things. St. Augustine told us that although as a Catholic we can try to stay away from temptation, if we are scared of evangelize, scared of telling the truth, we will not be free of blame at the final judgement. Sometimes, I am scared of speaking of the truth, because I am the one who is still concerned of the temporary life, I am the one who concerns for the worldly advantage, “which are not in themselves discreditable, but to which he is unduly attached.”

” He indeed will die in his sine, but  I will require his blood at the hand of the watchman.”( EZ33:6) Watchman here, means the leader of people, God appoints them the task to take care of the souls.  I pray that the Lord will help all the priests to take this responsibilities. However, as lay people, we are not totally free from the responsibilities of “watchman”,but at the same time, we should not “take over”. Pray for those watchman and pray that God gives them enough courage and wisdom to guide our souls.  Can we make to Heaven without Church?

Good and wicked are chastised together, not because both alike live evil lives, but because both alike, though not in the same degree, love this temporal life. But the good ought to have despised it, so that the others might be reformed and corrected and might aim at life eternal.

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Book One (2)

 

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