Today Augustine is 1655 years young. Yes, just read any of his writings, especially his Confessions or some of his letters and sermons, to see how young he continues to be in his constant quest for truth and sincere communion with God.
I will celebrate his birthday with the prayer that the small biography I wrote for children will help many to appreciate his writings and have a greater desire to know and love God. (Click on the links on the left side of this blog to see the cover and some sample pages of my book on Augustine).
The cake on the left is an attempt, by Pasticceria Colzani, in Cassago, Italy (supposedly the same place as Cassiciacum, where Augustine spent some time preparing to be baptized and join the visible church) to reproduce the cake Monica prepared for her son Augustine on his 32nd birthday. It is made of the same ingredients described by Augustine: spelt flour, honey, and almonds – very healthy by today’s standards.
On that grey and rainy day, the cake brought joy and comfort to all: Monica, Aeodatus (Augustine’s son), Navigius (Augustine’s brother, who apparently had a propensity for sweets), his friend Alipius, possibly his friend and host Verecundus, and some disciples. In fact, it prompted a three-day discussion on the pursuit of happiness, and the treatise De Beata Vita (On the Blessed Life) was the happy result.
The desire for happiness was very important for Augustine: an inborn, universal instinct which is meant to lead us to true happiness in God. For Augustine, happiness is… ultimately, to enjoy God forever.