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The Last Judgment: From “The City of God” by Saint Augustine of Hippo (vegetarian), Part 1 of 2

2021-02-15
Lingua:English
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Saint Augustine of Hippo was an esteemed late 4th and early 5th century Christian bishop in present-day Algeria. He became Bishop of Hippo, an ancient seaport city, in his early 40s, and remained in the position for the rest of his life. Known as one of the greatest Christian philosophers, St. Augustine was a prolific writer, with about 100 books, 300 letters and 500 sermons on a wide range of subjects such as theology, philosophy and sociology, and has had a lasting influence on the Christian world. Among his most significant writings are “The City of God,” “De Doctrina Christiana” and “Confessions.” The respected bishop was also a compassionate vegetarian, and drew attention to the lifestyle of those who “not only abstain from flesh and wine, but also from other viands. … which flatter taste.”

Today, we will read from Saint Augustine’s “The City of God,” Book 19, where both the earthly and the Heavenly aspects of one’s virtues are discussed, as well as what peace and happiness means for those who believe in God. “For as that which gives life to the flesh is not derived from flesh, but is above it, so that which gives blessed life to man is not derived from man, but is something above him; and what I say of man is true of every celestial power and virtue whatsoever.” “Wherefore, as the life of the flesh is the soul, so the blessed life of man is God, of Whom the sacred writings of the Hebrews say, ‘Blessed is the people whose God is the Lord.’ Miserable, therefore, are the people who are alienated from God.” “For in this life, when this conflict has arisen, either pain conquers and death expels the feeling of it, or nature conquers and health expels the pain. But in the world to come, the pain continues that it may torment, and the nature endures that it may be sensible of it; and neither ceases to exist, punishment also should cease. Now, as it is through the last judgment that men pass to these ends, the good to the supreme good, the evil to the supreme evil.”

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