Augustine - certainly not a saint at this point in time - sat in the garden reading. According to the custom of the time, he read aloud. He read his new passion, the letters of St Paul and the Holy Gospels. Today he was reading in Galatians. Freedom was God's gift to the Christian. Augustine searched his heart and his body. He was not free. He was attached: attached to his mistress and his son, named ironically Deodatus (God's gift); he was attached to the enjoyment of sexuality; he was attached to his comfortable lifestyle. He was imprisoned by his class, his station. As he paused to ponder these things, a boy ran past the garden. The boy was in rags, as thin as a post, and apparently running from a large man shouting, 'Stop, thief!' The boy was not a slave. He was just poor. Augustine was in two minds: should he intervene? or should he allow the fat man to arrest thje boy and take him to the magistrate, where no doubt he would be flogged, and if no family could be found for him, he could be sold as a slave.
Augustine decided to act. "In here, boy!" he shouted. THe boy entered the garden. The fat man, following, was breathlessly angry. "Why have you given this thief protevction?" he yelled.
Because it was something I am free to do, replied Augustine. Because I thought I could bring some good out of a bad situation. Becau


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Ted (joined over 13 years ago)
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free autonomous moral Roman class


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