As St. Augustine was distraught and his heart and soul, wrenched, at the conflict between his concupiscence and worldliness and the call of Christ, and the story about the conversion of his fellow rhetoricians and professors in the university, Victorinus, Simplicianus, Nebridius, and Pontecianus, and touched by the calling of St. Anthony, and the Letters of St. Paul, he ran to the garden, beat his breast and cried to God. He said, “You thrust me before my own eyes…. The day had now come when I stood naked to myself.” Through this struggle of heart and soul, he heard the voice of a child from a nearby house: “Pick up and read, pick up and read.”
St. Augustine picked up St. Paul’s epistles and read the first verse that he opened up to: “Let us walk properly, as in the day; not in revelry and drunkenness, not in licentiousness and lewdness, not in strife and envy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” (Romans 13:13-14). St. Augustine told his friend, Alypius, of his experience. Alypius took the epistle and read the next words: “Receive one who is weak in the faith.” Alypius applied these words to himself and decided to join his friend, St. Augustine, in his resolution to convert to Christianity.
Christian friends will never go to heaven alone. They will bring along with them their friends as company!
(August 27 is St. Monica’s Feast Day. August 28 is St. Augustine’s Feast Day.)