I haven’t read a lot on St. Augustine or even Confessions for that matter, and maybe at times I quote “God give me chastity, but not yet” too often…
But one thing I’ve read about him is that he fathered a child, a son, by the name Adeodatus.
Now as far as I can tell, Adeodatus and Augustine never had a relationship, there was some prompting of Augustine by his mom to marry his lover and therefore be a father to his son…
But he doesn’t, and while he mentions him in prayer as well as his writing, the story kind of ends there and all that can be said after that is that his son is smart but passes away at the age of 16.
Yet in my own life, I have Adeodatuses (Adeodati?)… Not that I have children that bear half of my chromosomes and I choose not to be involved in their lives, but there are people were in my life, for one reason or another, are no longer in my life. I know some of the people are out because of distance – physical as well as emotional – and while there are some that I keep at bay for good reasons some I do not for bad reasons.
There are moments in my life where I am plagued with the “what-if’s” and I mentally contemplate [too much] of what was and what could’ve been, and then when I get to that point I let go, I break down, I grab the few remaining strands and surface as quickly as I can. Consequently I suffer the fallout, “the bends” from moments where I delve to deep…and I go deep…and I wish I didn’t.
I’m not writing to say “but from this point I won’t do __________ but will do _____________” because I am human, I recognize my frailty that is my humanity, but I will say that I will try (apart from the abandonment of Augustine’s son) to keep the people who are no longer in my life in prayer and keep it at that.