no St. Augustine without St. Ambrose
This is a chapel I gave at Cascia Hall on this date in 2011, and here is a link to a great article by leading Catholic apologist Jimmy Akin entitled, "St. Ambrose: Strangest Life Story Ever? (8 things to know and share)." Enjoy!
Today the Church celebrates the man without whom none of us would be here in this chapel today. No, not St. Augustine, but St. Ambrose. Ambrose was bishop of Milan and the man who baptized Augustine when he finally succumbed to the Lord’s call in his life. Ambrose prepared the way for Augustine with his sound teaching and preaching and eventually baptized him. The parallel I’m about to draw is not perfect, but does this sound familiar? This past Sunday’s Gospel [in 2017, we'll hear it this coming Sunday!] saw Mark identifying John as the one who fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah—“Behold, I am sending my messenger ahead of you; he will prepare your way”—and this John, John the Baptist, would later baptize Jesus.
Again, admitting that my comparison here has many flaws, as an Augustinian Catholic, I nevertheless like the fact that Ambrose’s feast day falls in Advent. It reminds us that even such great figures as Augustine need others to pave the way for them, and it reminds us that, as Isaiah teaches, God himself calls us to pave the way for him.
Lord, you made Saint Ambrose an outstanding teacher of the Catholic faith and gave him the courage of an apostle. Raise up in your Church more leaders after your own heart, to guide us with courage and wisdom. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.