Friday, November 13, 2009

November 13: When Carthage Was Monte Carlo (Vol. 7, pp. 31-38)

"Things I used to do/Lord, I won't do no more." The lyrics of that old blues song come to mind reading today's passage from the "Confessions of St. Augustine," selected this day for his birthday in 354. He recounts his wild and wicked days in Carthage, which apparently was a hot town in the fourth century. But, of course, he regrets his debauchery and finds God.

The heavy-handed morality of the Harvard Classics can be a bit stifling at times. It is easy to be mistrustful of any sect that says it has all the answers, and Christians seem to be the epitome of self-assurance. In an age when piety seems to have to replaced reason, it's hard to read stuff like St. Augustine's with a straight face.

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