Today is the feast of St. Augustine who is in a tie with Tomas Aquinas for the title of our greatest Theologian. Theology is defined as “Faith seeking understanding.” That makes a Theologian one who makes a difficult aspect of our Faith understandable. Let me quote three statements of Augustine that made things understandable for us.
First. “Our hearts are made for you, O Lord, and they cannot rest until they rest in you.” That is everyone’s favorite. It’s the theme of Francis Thompson’s “Hound of Heaven.”
Second. “The sacrifice aspect of the Mass consists in Christ and us worshippers submitting entirely to God.” While first century documents referred to the Mass as a sacrifice, later scholars debated about how it was a sacrifice. One theory had it that it became a sacrifice by the separation of the Body and Blood. But Augustine rings so true: the Mass is a sacrifice for you only if you submit yourself fully to God.
Three. “A Sacrament is an encounter with Christ who is the ministering agent for all the Sacraments.” Even though the priest who married you or heard your confession was living in sin, the sacraments were still valid, because it is was really Jesus who administered them.