Augustine Describes a Part of His Conversion Process

Lady Continence, to receive and embrace me, stretched out her pious hands [which were] filled with numerous good examples for me to follow. There were large numbers of boys and girls, and a multitude of all ages. In every one of them was Continence herself, in no sense barren but “the fruitful mother of children,” the joys born of you, Lord, her husband. And she smiled on me with a smile of encouragement as if to say: “Are you incapable of doing what these men and women have done? Do you think them capable of achieving this by their own resources and not by the Lord their God? Why are you relying on yourself, only to find yourself unreliable? Cast yourself upon him, do not be afraid. He will not withdraw himself so that you fall. Make the leap without anxiety, he will catch you and heal you.”

—Augustine, Confessions, 8.11.27

In a very poignant way, Augustine reminds us here why the Christian life, from the very beginning to the very end, is never to be lived alone.