chapter  6
14 Pages


In a Milanese garden, beneath a fig tree in spring, Augustine hears the fugitive voice of a child from a nearby house: tolle lege, tolle lege; “Pick up and read, pick up and read” (VIII.xii (29)). He does so, opening to Romans 13:13-14: “. . . put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make no provision for the flesh in its lusts.” “At once, with the last words of this sentence, it was as if a light of relief from all anxiety flooded into my heart. All the shadows of doubt were dispelled.” With this divine admonition, Augustine decides his future course as a Catholic Christian pledged to asceticism.