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St Augustine By The Sea Shore Talking To A Child
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© Christine Till
Saint Augustine, a bishop and doctor of the early Christian Church, is an important figure in the history of Christianity. The story of the life of St. Augustine is different from almost every other saint story, because it is taken from his own words and not from what has been said about him. He wrote a wonderful book called 'The Confessions of Saint Augustine', and in it we find all that he thought and did from the time he was a little child.
Once when this great father of the Church was walking along by the seashore, troubled and perplexed because he could not understand many things about God, he came upon a little child playing there alone. The child had digged a hole in the sand and was carefully filling it with water which he brought from the sea in a spoon. The bishop stopped and watched it for a while and then he asked:
"What art thou doing, my child?"
"I mean to empty the sea into my hole," answered the child, busily going back and forth with his spoon.
"But that is impossible," said the bishop.
"Not more impossible than that thy human mind should understand the mind of God," said the child, gazing upwards at him with grave, sweet eyes.
And before the bishop could answer the child had vanished, and St. Augustine knew that God had sent him the boy as an answer to his troubled thoughts, and as a rebuke for his trying to understand the things that only God could know.
This story is depicted in the Stained Glass Window 'St. Augustine by the sea shore talking to a child' in the Cathedral Basilika of St. Augustine in St. Augustine, Florida.
July 1st, 2013
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