The Parish of St. Augustine

As a man of 32 years, Augustine of Hippo was the despair of his mother Monica. His life to that point had been full of trouble, of searching and half-hearted praying that God save him---but not too soon, O Lord. As he wept, tormented by his lack of faith, in the garden of a house in Milan far away from his hometown near Carthage, he heard a child's singsong voice, repeating "Tolle, lege, tolle, lege..." ("Take and read, take and read..."). He again picked up the epistles of St. Paul and saw this: "... put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh." (Romans, chapter 13:13-14)

He felt as if the words were directed to him: "It was as though my heart was filled with a light of confidence and all the shadows of my doubt were swept away." Now ready to open his heart to God's will, he was baptized by St. Ambrose at Easter the following year, 387, along with his son Adeodatus and his friend Alypius. (St. Augustine's Confessions, VIII, 12)

Friday, December 8, 2017

Second Sunday of Advent + + + December 10, 2017

Gospel            Mark 1: 1-8

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Son of God.

As it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you;
he will prepare your way.
A voice of one crying out in the desert:
"Prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight his paths."

John the Baptist appeared in the desert
proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
People of the whole Judean countryside
and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem
were going out to him
and were being baptized by him in the Jordan River
as they acknowledged their sins.
John was clothed in camel's hair,
with a leather belt around his waist.
He fed on locusts and wild honey.
And this is what he proclaimed:
"One mightier than I is coming after me.
I am not worthy to stoop and loosen the thongs of his sandals.
I have baptized you with water;
he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit."