St. Augustine's Readings On Early Christianity

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As humans, tribulations and temptations are one of the constant challenges out of many that is intertwined in everyone’s lives regardless of the age, gender, religion or social status. Some believe that these peculiar conditions are mere sufferings, however, they are necessary to bring humans’ closer to God. According to the book “Readings On Early Christianity”, the lives of St. Augustine, St. Patrick, and St. Anthony suggests three factors that asserts the claim that hardships and temptations are necessary in order to experience the presence of God: God’s presence during human’s trying times, suffering as part of God’s plan, and professing God worldwide.
Several people during their trying times, ask God a similar question like Anthony did,
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Augustine’s encounter with Victorinus gives him an insight on pain and joy. He asserts that “Even the natural pleasures of human life are attained through distress, not only through the unexpected calamities that befall against our will but also through deliberate and planned discomfort” (13). He indicates that joy and suffering are closely connected, and that humans derive pleasure, not just from tragedies beyond their controls but also from intended suffering. He suggests that the contrast exists, perhaps, because their occurrences are all part of God’s plan and at the appropriate time He gives relief to the troubled (14). St. Augustine claims that the conversions of well-known, influential individuals like Victorinus are even more so important because their action brings more people closer to God. He states that, “and on Victorinus, tongue, which the devil had wielded like a huge, sharp weapon to destroy many, the greater was the gladness with which your children rightly rejoiced on seeing the powerful foe bound by our King and his weaponry seized, cleaned, and made fit to serve in your honor as equipment useful to the Master for every good purpose” (14). God uses a tyrant’s oppression and conversion to influence and bring the oppressed people to
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