The Pleasure of Mistakes that Persist No More

Augustine, Confessions  10.3.4

“Now you, then, doctor of my deepest self, tell me what benefit I will reap from my work. For the confessions of my previous mistakes–the ones you have pardoned and buried so that I might feel joy in you, changing my soul with faith and your worship–when they are read and told move the heart so that it may not slumber in desperation and just say, “I can’t”.

Instead, it will stay awake in its love of your pity and the sweetness of your grace, which makes everyone who is weak strong when you help them understand their own weakness. It pleases good people as well to hear the mistakes of those who have now escaped them. They take pleasure not because of the wrong that was done, but because those mistakes existed once but persist no more.”

(4) Verum tamen tu, medice meus intime, quo fructu ista faciam, eliqua mihi. nam confessiones praeteritorum malorum meorum, quae remisisti et texisti ut beares me in te, mutans animam meam fide et sacramento tuo, cum leguntur et audiuntur, excitant cor ne dormiat in desperatione et dicat, “non possum,” sed evigilet in amore misericordiae tuae et dulcedine gratiae tuae, qua potens est omnis infirmus qui sibi per ipsam fit conscius infirmitatis suae. et delectat bonos audire praeterita mala eorum qui iam carent eis, nec ideo delectat quia mala sunt, sed quia fuerunt et non sunt.

Hieronymus Bosch- The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things

Leave a Reply