Mastering Conversion: 3 Key Lessons from Saint Augustine’s Life
By Tim Busch
What can you learn from St. Augustine?
There’s no better time to ask this question: Monday, August 28th is St. Augustine’s feast day. He may be the patron saint of brewers, not winemakers (that’s Saint Vincent), but the Napa Institute still has a special devotion to this 4th Century Church Father and Doctor of the Church.
More than anything else, St. Augustine reminds us that even the worst sinners can become true saints. As a young man, he followed the ways of the world, yet he ultimately repented and followed Christ.
St. Augustine’s most famous work is his Confessions, which details his life journey. We’ve picked out three key lessons from his Confessions in honor of this feast day.
- Pray for the lost. St. Augustine’s mother asked God every day to save him. Most people would have given up on him, yet his mother appealed to the Father in Heaven, and we remember her as a saint in her own right – St. Monica. Today, your prayers can help save our sinful society.
- Study the faith. St. Augustine’s love for knowledge and wisdom, especially through philosophy, helped bring him back to the faith. If you devote yourself to understanding the Church’s teaching, it can help you stay on the straight and narrow – and inspire others to faith, too.
- The Church needs leaders. St. Augustine was powerfully influenced by St. Ambrose. The bishop of Milan showed him that a Christian life was a life worth living. In our own day, you need to be such a leader in your vocation or apostolate. There’s no telling how Christ will use you – or who you will reach.
There are many more lessons to draw from St. Augustine. His work and witness have endured because he points the way to our Lord and Savior. He famously wrote, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in You.” May these words change your life as they did St. Augustine’s.
Have a blessed feast of St. Augustine!