How can we understand God? In this first book of his Confessions, Saint Augustine explores the existence of God and how creation relates to him. He begins with a reflection on his life as an infant and as a child. He discovers how even his earliest actions as an infant reflected a natural movement toward God. In the journey of learning as a child, he reflects on how his early childhood school life (and the threat of punishment) enabled him to learn to pray as an early child.
All this leads us through a powerful reflection on our origin, the relationship between our desires and our free will, and the role of language and memory in our ongoing journey to God. Book I invites us to reflect on how our own early childhood years influenced the relationship we have with God today. How did we learn to pray? How might our own early childhood experiences impact our understanding of how God works in our lives and the world today?
1. How did you learn to pray?
2. What memories come to mind when you reflect on your own childhood memories of how you came to know God?
3. How might these memories impact your own understanding of who God is and how God works in the world today?