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end of the autobiography. Augustine tells of his resigning from his professorship
and of the days at Cassiciacum in preparation for baptism. He is baptized
together with Adeodatus and Alypius. Shortly thereafter, they start back for
Africa. Augustine recalls the ecstasy he and his mother shared in Ostia and
then reports her death and burial and his grief. The book closes with a moving
prayer for the souls of Monica, Patricius, and all his fellow citizens of
the heavenly Jerusalem.
1. "O Lord, I am thy servant; I am thy servant and the son of thy handmaid.
Thou hast loosed my bonds. I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving."
Let my heart and my tongue praise thee, and let all my bones say, "Lord, who
is like unto thee?" Let them say so, and answer thou me and say unto my soul,
"I am your salvation."
Who am I, and what is my nature? What evil is there not in me and my deeds;
or if not in my deeds, my words; or if not in my words, my will? But thou, O
Lord, art good and merciful, and thy right hand didst reach into the depth of
my death and didst empty out the abyss of corruption from the bottom of my heart.
And this was the result: now I did not will to do what I willed, and began to
will to do what thou didst will.
But where was my free will during all those years and from
what deep and secret retreat was it called forth in a single
moment, whereby I gave my neck to thy "easy yoke" and my
shoulders to thy "light burden," O Christ Jesus, "my Strength
and my Redeemer"? How sweet did it suddenly become to me
to be without the sweetness of trifles! And it was now a
joy to put away what I formerly feared to lose. For thou
didst cast them away from me, O true and highest Sweetness.
Thou didst cast them away, and in their place thou didst
enter in thyself--sweeter than all pleasure, though not
to flesh and blood; brighter than all light, but more veiled
than all mystery; more exalted than all honor, though not
to them that are exalted in their own eyes. Now was my soul
free from the gnawing cares of seeking and getting, of wallowing
in the mire and scratching the itch of lust. And I prattled
like a child to thee, O Lord my God--my light, my riches,
and my salvation.