In 373, the 19 year old Augustine already had his first decisive experience of conversion

In 373, the 19 year old Augustine already had his first decisive experience of conversion

The internal unity of the Church’s Bible, which comprises the Old and New Testaments, was a central theme in the theology of the Church Fathers. That it was far from being a theoretical problem only is evident from dipping, so to speak, into the spiritual journey of one of the greatest teachers of Christendom, Saint Augustine of Hippo. His reading of one of the works of Cicero – Hortensius, since lost – brought about a profound transformation which he himself described later on as follows: “Towards you, O Lord, it directed my prayers. I began to pick myself up to return to you. How ardent I was, O my God, to let go of the earthly and take wing back to you” (Conf. III, 4, 81). For the young African who, as a child, had received the salt that made him a catechumen, it was clear that conversion to God entailed attachment to Christ; apart from Christ, he could not truly find God. So he went from Cicero to the Bible and experienced a terrible disappointment: in the exacting legal prescriptions of the Old Testament, in its complex and, at times, brutal narratives, he failed to find that Wisdom towards which he wanted to travel. Read More