"The Conversion of St. Augustine" by Fra Angelico (born Guido di Pietro; c. 1395[2] – February 18, 1455)
“The Conversion of St. Augustine” by Fra Angelico (born Guido di Pietro; c. 1395[2] – February 18, 1455)
Faith. Why do we need faith in a period like this? We absolutely need certainties. Look around yourself and you will see a world devastated by war, with economies that shake our lives and value systems that are falling down because they are too old for this society. So what can I do, in front of this giant mess? Having faith in God (or in a god, or in something out from me) seems a sort of joke.

“I must rely only on myself” it’s what is saying the voice that comes into our ears every time we watch ourselves at the mirror. Ourselves and nothing else. And then we fall, obviously.

I would like to tell you a story about a man, that lived a long time ago and wrote a lot of books and essays about religion and faith, Christian faith and religion in particular but I don’t care about that point now.

He was born in a great city of the Northern Africa and he studied to become a lawyer. He got the job and, in a short period of time, he became the most important lawyer of the city. This means that he defended also people who were not so worthy of being acquitted, but he did not care about that because he was the most important lawyer of Hippo, he was well-paid. He was powerful.

Walking down the city he felt himself indestructible until he ran into a book, written by an author who died some time before him, who spoke about justice and life after death. After reading that book he understood that he needed something more than power: he needed faith.

So he started studying ancient texts from different religions, he left his work and he travelled a lot.
He became Manichaean for a period but he felt that it was not the right way, so he changed.He became Stoic but also that way did not fit with his need of truth, so he changed. When he became older, he finally found his way: Christianity.

This little fable is the real story of St. Augustine of Hippo, the first father of Christian Philosophy.
I wrote his story in a few lines because I think that he was exactly the kind of man able to understand what does it means a “living faith”.

In this periods of difficulties, in this periods of change, the only possibility we have to maintain ourselves spiritually alive is to living our faith, is searching the way to the truth without hurting the other people who are trying to follow our path.

So we need to put a rucksack on our backs to start a voyage that could also bring us in places that we dislike but we must face all the “demons” with courage and force.


© Mendes Biondo

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