Irving, Texas

Taking Comfort from the Past (Way Past)

Regardless of which political way we lean most of us feel some concern for the future these days. We are a divided nation with few on either side completely satisfied with the current situation. To whom then can we turn for comfort?

In the fifth century St. Augustine of Hippo was faced with a somewhat similar question following the sack of Rome by raiding Goths and Visi-goths (probably some of our ancestors). People then, as now, were looking for some comforting words. Christians were being blamed and vilified for the pillage by having lured Romans away from their traditional war-like gods (e.g. Mars).  These accusations coming even though some of the angry Romans had only escaped capture and near certain death by taking refuge in Christian churches (it seems the invader’s leader, Alaric, was himself a Christian and had ordered that no one be harmed who took refuge in a Christian church regardless of their religious beliefs).

In response to the cries of dismay from Christians for the seemingly unfair and ungrateful treatment by the surviving Romans, St. Gus wrote a book called “The City of God”. In it he sought to reassure Christians that regardless of what may be going on around them and to whatever secular authority they were under they remained citizens of the City of God and, thus, heirs through eternity to all comforts afforded that citizenry.

Perhaps even today we can take some comfort in what St. Augustine had to say.


–Dick Comstock