From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste
THURSDAY, AUGUST 28, 2014
Today August 28, 2014, the Catholic Church celebrates the life of Saint Augustine of Hippo, the North African educator who converted from sexual addiction to sainthood. Sexual addiction is best described as a progressive intimacy disorder characterized by compulsive sexual thoughts and acts.
While it could be argued that Augustine used sexual activity to seek pleasure and avoid unpleasant feelings or respond to outside stressors, on the other hand, it could also be argued that he inherited his sex addiction from his father who was also an addict.
Research has found that sex addicts often come from dysfunctional families and are more likely than non-sex addicts. Sex addicts maintain that like eating, having sex is necessary for human survival. That is why it is very difficult for sex addicts to stop having sex.
Augustine became sex addict when he was only 17 years of age. Augustine entered into relations with a young woman with who conceived and bore him an illegitimate son, whom he named Adeodatus or “Gift of God”.
Augustine had to stop his addiction due to his mother, Monica, consistent prays, night and day. Miraculously, after reading St. Paul, Augustine had an instantaneous conversion. Since then he became an intrepid defender of the Faith he once scoffed and rejected
Augustine was convinced that it was the grace of God that he recovered from sex addiction. This can explain why he got interested in studying Grace, a subject he pursued up to Doctorate level. He then realized that God created humans and angels as rational beings, possessing free will.
He maintained that free will was not intended for sin, which means that it is not equally predisposed to good and evil. A will that has been defiled by sin is not considered to be “free” as it once was because it is bound by material things, things that can be lost and difficult to part with, thus resulting in unhappiness.
Sin he argued impairs free will, but it is restored by grace. Only a will that was once free can be subjected to the corruption of sin. He often believed that any can be saved if they wish. He further believed that the evil of sexual immorality was not in the sexual act itself, but rather in the emotions that typically accompany it.
He admitted that this is a difficult state to come out from, unless with the grace of God. Augustine contrasts love, which is enjoyment on account of God, and lust, which is not on account of God.
For Augustine, proper love exercises a denial of selfish pleasure and the subjugation of corporeal desire to God. His view of sexual feelings and erection were sinful. Anyone who had sexual feelings and erection even if he did not do the actual sex could not go to receive Holy Communion unless you went for confession.
He considered a man’s erection to be sinful, though involuntary, because it did not take place under his conscious control. His solution was to place controls on women to limit their ability to influence men.
Augustine’s sexual impulses were clearly a source of intense emotional pain for him, and this fact alone may account for the emphasis he places on his sexual sins. Throughout the Confessions, the language Augustine uses to describe his sexual impulses is negative, reflecting images of disease, disorder, and corruption.
Until his death, Augustine served as the Bishop of Hippo in North Africa. He led a religious order of men who lived in apostolic poverty without personal possessions. He also led the local Church through challenging times that included the breakdown of Roman imperial authority and widespread confusion about basic Catholic beliefs.
After his death, through the legacy of his writings, St. Augustine became the most influential theologian in the history of Western Christianity. Pope Benedict XVI, who once described the saint as his “traveling companion” in life and ministry, devoted six general audiences to St. Augustine’s life and thought since his election.
St. Augustine’s life, the Pope observed teaches all people – even those weak or challenged in their faith – “not to be afraid of the Truth, never to interrupt the journey towards it and never to stop searching for the profound truth about yourselves and other things with the inner eye of the heart. God will not fail to provide light to see by, and warmth to make the heart feel that he loves us and wants to be loved.”
Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578