22.01.02 – Tuesday
Have been thinking about that biography of St. Augustine, particularly such few paragraphs as I marked out for future reference, e.g.:
Augustine was a great intellect, with a healthy respect for the achievements of human reason. Yet he was obsessed by the difficulties of thought, and by the long, coercive processes, reaching back into the horrors of his own schooldays, that had made this intellectual activity possible; so ‘ready to lie down’ was the fallen human mind. He said he would rather die than become a child again (p. 238).
The passage continues in this vein, then speaks of the ‘sweet taste of sinning’ with which Augustine was rather more familiar than one would expect for a bishop, even in the northern Africa of late antiquity just before the Vandals arrived. What, though, does sinning taste like — the isolated and uneaten savor of stolen pears?