There is a major theme in Augustine's thought that sin means alienation not only from God but from oneself, too. Grace, then, is conceived as returning the sinner to his real self, where he also discovers the God who is "more inward than my inmost self."

When God raises a body, he returns it to the world; when he raises a soul, he returns it to itself (Augustine, EnPs 70/2, 4; PL 36, 893).


Rev. Joseph A. Komonchak, professor emeritus of the School of Theology and Religious Studies at the Catholic University of America, is a retired priest of the Archdiocese of New York.

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