Confessions Books I-II
Study Questions


1. Augustine is convinced that the person who is separated from God through his own sinfulness can never be fully happy. What proof does he give? Do you agree?

2. What difficulties does St. Augustine have with praying to God? How does he resolve those difficulties?

3. How does St. Augustine say that we can prevail over our sinful nature?

4. Discuss St. Augustine’s views on infancy and childhood? Is he being too harsh in his views, or are we modern people too soft?

5. St. Augustine says that he wasted time during his youth reading literature instead of Scripture. One such work of literature was Vergil’s Aeneid. Should Christians “waste” their time on literature? is it harmful?

6. Why did St. Augustine’s mother want to baptize him? Why did she put it off? Why did St. Augustine regret never having been baptized as a young man?


1. Why is an adolescent (that is, a teenager) held accountable for his sins, and not a child?

2. How does St. Augustine distinguish between “ordered” love (caritas) and “disordered” love (cupiditas)? Why does it matter?

3. Why did St. Augustine have premarital sex? What did his mother do to prevent it? Could she have done more?

4. Why does St. Augustine steal pears? Was this sin as grave as he suggests (see 1 John 5:16)? Does St. Augustine see this sin as representative of all human sinfulness?

5. St. Augustine says that pride is a worse sin than theft. Why? Do you agree?

6. Why should we not boast about how great we are? What’s the danger?