“If one person reads of mixed behavior and is able to recognize virtue and vice, while another leans more heavily on their sense of sympathy and relatability to a character and his course of action, virtuous or vicious, then it may speak to the person’s inner makeup, and not necessarily his upbringing. The latter person is a more experiential person, while the former may be more, shall we say, calculating and controlled,” Pavel said.

“It seems St. Augustine believes that grace is the reason both types are either preserved in or brought to virtue. So does the latter person learn from experience or from grace?”

“There are some who die in their sins, so experience isn’t a guarantee, even if one believes that vice is ultimately unfulfilling. But I don’t think you could say it is all grace either, because the one who comes around must desire correctness in order to eventually find it. I wonder if St. Augustine’s passionate nature is a Roman and thus western thing, though. St. Basil is so cool headed. Could western literature be a product of this passion?”

“I am surprised that there is western literature in our Saint’s trove. I’d like to test your theory.”

“He was probably more cool headed though.”

Advertisements