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Saint Augustine of Hippo was one of the most distinguished theologians in the history of the Church and may have exercised more influence on the shape and direction of doctrines of faith than any other theologian including Saint Thomas Aquinas.

He was born in 354 to Saint Monica, a Christian, and Patricius, a pa­gan until just before his death. He was registered as a catechumen but not baptized since Baptism at the time was delayed until adulthood. His formal education as a lawyer and rhetorician took place in the North African city of Carthage, a major metropolitan city of the Roman Empire. He entered into a relationship with a woman who bore him a son, and at age 22, started his own school of rhetoric and grammar. At age 29, he and his companion and their son travelled to Rome so he could further his career. He was appointed professor of rhetoric in Milan, the seat of the imperial court.

While in Milan, Augustine became captivated by the eloquent sermons of Saint Ambrose, and after a long interior conflict, vividly described in his Con­fessions, he was baptized at the Easter Vigil. Augustine was 33 years old.

Augustine’s mother, Monica, had followed him to Rome and then to Milan while his companion, after having lived with him for fifteen years, returned to Af­rica. Augustine’s mother died in 387 and his son passed away in 390 at age 17.

During a visit to the African port city of Hippo in 391, Augustine was rec­ognized and acclaimed by the local Christian community and was practically compelled to accept ordination. In 395 he became their bishop and remained bishop of Hippo for the rest of his life, preaching, writing, administering the sacraments and engaging in a broad range of other pastoral activities. He was especially devoted to the care and relief of the poor. He presided over synods and councils, and adjudicated civil as well as ecclesiastical cases.

A prolific writer, Saint Augustine produced a number of major works. They include not only the Confessions, arguably one of the greatest books in West­ern literature, but also his sermons on the Gospels, Epistles, and Psalms, the De Trinitate (“On the Trinity”), and the De Civitate Dei (“On the City of God”). His writings were especially influential in the development of the doctrines of creation, grace, the sacraments and the Church. On Christian stewardship, he insisted: “Find out how much God has given you and from it take what you need; the rest is needed by others.”

Augustine died on August 29, 430. He is one of the four original West­ern Doctors of the Church along with Saints Ambrose, Jerome and Gregory the Great.

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Christ Our Lord,

risen Lord,

light of the world,

to you be all praise and glory!

Shine your light on us

this Easter season

so that we may reflect brilliantly

the glory of your resurrection.

Make us a blessing

for those who suffer,

live in fear or

who are overwhelmed by life.

And let the Spirit fill our hearts

with your loving presence

so that we may become

good stewards of your Gospel

out of love for you

who, for our sakes,

lived, died and rose from the dead;

you who live and reign with your

Father,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.

Amen.

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Christ Our Savior,

As our Lenten journey brings us

closer to Easter,

We see with a deeper awareness

our world’s desperate need

to experience

the healing power of your

justice and peace.

Make us sacraments of your mercy

and instruments of your compassion.

Show us how to be better stewards

of your people;

through our families,

our brothers and sisters

with whom we share your Eucharist,

our neighbors, and the stranger.

Show us how to carry the cross

so that by dying to ourselves

we may give new life to others.

And strengthen our faith, so that

we may proclaim your Easter triumph

more confidently,

every day,

in word and deed.

Amen.

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Merciful Lord,

As we prepare for our journey of renewal toward the great paschal feast of Easter,

teach us to be good stewards of

your mercy and forgiveness,

so that we may extend these gifts to others.

Give us the strength to bear witness to you at all times,

even in times of stress and adversity.

And fill our hearts with love that we may be faithful to the Gospel Jesus proclaimed

and ready to celebrate his resurrection.

Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.

Amen.

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Gracious God,

You sent us Your Spirit

to help us

live the Gospel

according to the gifts

we have been given.

 

Show us how to be

good stewards of

your grace and

passionate followers

of Christ, Your Son.

 

Grant us the wisdom

to recognize that

through His gift of the Eucharist

there is one bread,

and we are one body.

 

Give us the strength

to proclaim His Good News

in word and deed.

 

And teach us to live,

no longer for ourselves,

but in Jesus Christ

who lives and reigns with You

and the Holy Spirit,

one God forever and ever.

 

AMEN

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Lord God,

As we prepare for the transitions of August; 
of routines becoming regular,
signs of schools beginning to emerge, 
and traffic patterns getting heavier,
help us to appreciate the sacred rhythms in our lives.

Give us the wisdom to make our hearts be still, much as the August wind is still, 
so that we may listen to the gentle words you speak to us.

Help us understand that you alone are the source of every good gift, 
of the vast array of our universe, 
and the mystery of each human life.

And help us see that we are called to be good stewards of all the gifts you have entrusted to us;
tending them faithfully and responsibly so they may ultimately be returned to you with increase.

In this month of August while a measure of summer’s stillness remains,
speak to our hearts,
guide us in your Son’s ways,
and through your Spirit,
give us the strength to proclaim your justice and peace in our every day words and deeds.

We ask this through Christ, Our Lord.

Amen.

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