St. Augustine of Hippo lived in a Roman-occupied province of Africa during the fourth century. His mother, Monica was a devout Christian, while his father was pagan, but had a deathbed conversion. Both of these heritages led to both his downfall and his redemption. He adopted many pagan beliefs and blended them with Christianity, even at the tender age of eleven. He said in his Confessions that he once stole fruit not because he was hungry, but “because it was permitted”. This slowly led him down the path of sin, into a pit that he had a hard time climbing out of. At the age 0f 19, he began an affair with a woman in Carthage and even had a child out of wedlock. During this time, his mother tried desperately to lead him back to the faith, and it was not until he turned 31 that he finally converted to Christianity.
He gets his designation “of Hippo” from his service as a bishop in Algeria, specifically in Hippo Regius (now known as Annaba). He wrote two biographies, Confessions and City of God.
What I like about Augustine is how he came to Christ. Despite his mother’s urging, he was swayed more by his father’s paganism. He is proof that one cannot serve two masters. His quote that I presented at the beginning of this article is my favorite of his. I believe that all of us need God, whether we realize it or not. Some of us will try to replace that void with drugs, reason, or other influences, but in the end, it will be futile. We must realize that only God is fully sufficient.