I have not really decided to make this into a mini-series, and the readership is low on these Augustine posts so far.
However, Augustine obviously speaks to us now in 2015. The saint tells us from the first page of his work that the proud want dominion of the earth and others, therefore building up the City of Man. This city, "aims at dominion". This city holds "nations in enslavement".
Immediately, Augustine describes the Fall of Rome, and the fact that Alaric, the leader of the barbarians, spared all those who fled to the shrines and churches of Catholicism.
The saint notes that "For God's providence constantly uses war to correct and chasten the corrupt morals of mankind, as it also uses such afflictions to train men in a righteous and laudable way of life, removing to a better state those whose life is approved or else keeping in this world for further service."
In other words, some righteous men die in war and some do not. There is a false teaching going around both some Catholic and Protestant circles that the Christians will be spared death and horror in the coming tribulation. This is not only an idea contrary to the teaching of the Church, but reminds one of some type of science fiction novel where the good are made invisible or put under a bubble of protection.
All will suffer something.
The key is to be in the City of God, surrounded by holy people who will help one stay firm and true.
to be continued....