Taming The Soul’s Turbulence

In our lives we often encounter people whose behavior seems to make no rational sense.  I am referring to people who do things that seem to be against their own self-interest:  those who say one thing, but do something else.  We ourselves can fall into this trap on occasion.  It is almost as if there exists some morbid consciousness in all of us, a voice calling out for us to exactly what we should not do.

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Augustine’s “Misericorditer”: Benevolent Severity In Correcting One’s Enemies

I have recently learned of an interesting doctrine articulated by St. Augustine in one of his letters.  The letter in question is Epistula 138, and I should describe briefly its context.  One of Augustine’s friends was a pagan senator in Rome named Volusian; his mother happened to be a Christian, but he was not.  The sack of Rome by Alaric in 410 A.D. had been a deeply shocking event for everyone in the Roman world, no matter what their religion was.  There was very much an atmosphere of despair.  People wondered how such a thing could have happened to what seemed the strongest military state in the world.

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Whether It Is Advisable To Change Religions, Or Remain With An Inherited Faith

It is well-known that there is great variability in religious practices across the world.  Climate, geography, and historical memory shape the outlook of man; and what may be routine and normal for one, may be seen as anathema to another.  Yet this variability in practices does not mean that morals, or beliefs, are irrelevant; it only means that man has proven himself infinitely creative in adapting customs to environment.

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