Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The child who taught a Saint the Greatness of God!

The following story is believed to date as back as the 13th century, which has as protagonist St. Augustine. Nevertheless, other versions exist with other saints (in the East St. Augustine is replaced in this story with St. John Chrysostom), maintaining nonetheless the same story and meaning. The story is as follows:

St. Augustine was walking one day by the beach. During that time he was endeavouring to write his book on the Trinity. Walking, he saw a young kid who had dug a hole in the sand. The boy then began taking water from the sea and placing it in the hole. St. Augustine, watching him for a while, went up to the boy and asked him what he was doing. The boy, taking his project seriously, he replied by claiming that he was trying to empty the sea in the hole. St. Augustine, amused by his answer, replied that this was impossible, due to the fact that the sea was so vast and the hole so small. The boy then answered that his project was easier than the one that the Saint was trying to achieve, i.e. endeavouring to fit the infinite and vast Trinity in his limited human intellect, and after he said this the boy disappeared.
This is a fantastic story, highlighting how man cannot understand God, ontologically. It is hard for man to comprehend even the creation around him. Philosophers, since antiquity, have tried to grasp the environment around them. Despite this, man has always wished to know the entirety of God’s nature. This is an interesting notion; how can man understand the creator, if he cannot even understand the creation around him? God is the ocean, while we are the hole. It is impossible for the creation to know the ontology of the Creator. Nevertheless, due to His coming to us, His cross and His eventual resurrection we are blessed to being in communion with God, through the Divine Eucharist.

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