Of the intellectual saints, St. Augustine is certainly one of the easiest to relate to. Here’s some reasons why.
1. He wasn’t satisfied with life
Augustine once wrote famously in his book Confessions “our hearts are restless until they find their rest in you.” He was constantly looking for ways to be truly happy. He felt like the world simply wasn’t enough. He knew there was something wrong with fallen humanity, and he wouldn’t be satisfied until he got to heaven. We all feel this way when going to work or class, getting through our chores, and running our errands. We all want something more.
2. He knew what it was like to fail
Augustine is best known for his long struggle against sins of lust. Very early on in his childhood he had completely disregarded chastity and honesty. He also stole pears and neglected his mother. Even after converting and becoming a bishop, Augustine confessed that he struggled with sins of pride and gluttony. Few saints could be so well-acquainted with sins that many of us face every day. This fact, along with his inspiring ability to overcome these temptations, makes Augustine a very approachable figure. He helps us know we can do it too!
3. He had strong emotions
Some saints have a very austere style. They feel like super-humans who knew everything and did everything perfectly. It looks like they weren’t bothered by anything. Augustine is a different story. His writings are easy to read and heart wrenchingly personal. He confesses how he cried and despaired and hoped and prayed—all the way to sanctity! He may have been one of history’s greatest thinkers, but he also knew what it meant to feel things deeply. That helps us when we are overwhelmed by how we feel.
All things considered, Augustine is a truly remarkable saint. He is someone we can easily relate to, and we can talk to him just like we talk to our friends. His writings are well worth the read, and his life is well worth studying. St. Augustine, pray for us!