I mentioned in the previous posts how Augustine’s love for children changed my perception of his theology. Below are a few quotes.
One of the saddest parts of Augustine’s personal biography is the end of his long-term relationship with the woman who bore his son. This happened before his conversion. Augustine was expected to leave this woman and to settle down into a “real marriage.” Very few early theologians experienced anything close to child rearing, let alone could speak to the intimacy of nursing a baby. That Augustine even had access to a look at child nurturing of this kind tells you something about his relationship to his son.
“My father and mother have abandoned me (Psalm 26:10). The psalmist has made himself a little child in relation to God. He has made God both his father and h is mother. God is our father because he created us, because he calls us, gives orders and rules us; he is our mother because he cherishes us, nourishes us, feeds us with milk, and holds us in his arms” (Exposition 2 of Psalm 26, par. 18).
“I looked for a way to gain the strength I needed to enjoy you, but did not find it until I embraced the mediator between God and humankind, the man Christ Jesus, who also is God, supreme over all things and blessed forever. Not yet had I embraced him, though he called out, proclaiming, I am the Way and Truth and Life, nor had I known him as the food which, though I was not yet strong enough to eat it, he had mingled with our flesh; the Word became flesh so that your wisdom, through whom you created all things, might become for us the milk adapted for our infancy” (Confessions 7.18.24).
That’s right, folks. The Incarnation as breastfeeding. Take that.