Due to his restless nature, St Augustine traveled for much of his life through the most diverse paths: student, speaker, teacher, philosopher, Manichean, etc. And it was precisely at the limit of the possibilities these paths could offer that he saw the light of a different path, the true path of happiness, Christ, the Way.
Life presents a thousand opportunities each day for us to exercise freedom. And small decisions bring big options. We can thing of a real case scenario as an 🤔 example: Everyone agreed Matthew’s birthday had to be celebrated. Everyone shared options in the WhatsApp group chat, and then the final decision was made; Italian dinner at 🍝 ”La Nonna” restaurant. While at the restaurant which turned out to be a comfortable and relaxing place, the crucial moment came when we all had to choose our meal from the menu. After asking the waiter about various dishes, which dish was the best had to be decided.
This simple and everyday example tells us about the importance of personal involvement in the exercise of one’s freedom, to shape our life. 🎯 Yes, life is a gift, but it’s not a completed gift; it involves the task of designing and shaping one’s destiny. Freedom is the main instrument to be the co-authors of ourselves.
Like that sculptor 🔨 who contemplates a log imagining all the various things that can come out of that giant piece of wood. All those possibilities ARE in there. His job is to rescue one with his tools, knowing that he would have to exclude all the rest that paraded in his imagination. The sculptor froze while thinking all this, especially when he was enlightened with the reality of his own life which was like that wooden log. Many options but one single destiny he had to start carving away with his own talented hands.
To make the best choice you need at least two good options. St Augustine himself speaks to us about this great truth: “Now only thee, Lord, I love you, only I follow you and seek, only you am I willing to serve, for only you are the Lord of my life; I only desire to belong to you. Command and command, I beg you, whatever you want, but heal my ears to hear your voice; heal and open my eyes to see your signs; take away my ignorance so that I may recognize you. Tell me where I should look to see you, and I hope to do everything you demand of me. Receive me, Lord, merciful Father; what I have suffered is enough in the roads of the evil enemy which has seduced me, I now surrender under your feet. Receive me, Lord, at once as your servant, for I come fleeing from your opponents, who held me hostage, while far from you. Now I understand the need to come back to you; open the door for me, because I am calling; show me the way to you. The only possession is my free will; I know that the outdated and transient things of this world must be despised to decide to go after the safety of eternity that is in you. I do this, Father, because this only I know, even though I still don’t know the path that leads to you. Show me you, show yourself to me, and give me the strength for the journey towards you” (St. Augustine, Soliloquios I,1,5).