Why St. Augustine's pears~?

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Why St. Augustine's pears~?

Post by Diehardpetrafan:) » Mon Jan 13, 2020 1:22 pm

Why is St. Augustine's Pears called that? I mean, what does St. Augustine have to do anything with the song? I just listened to it today.
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Re: Why St. Augustine's pears~?

Post by George Harrison » Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:25 pm

Basically it is referencing Saint Augustine of Hippo (in Northern Africa I believe).

Here's something from an article about Saint Augustine's pears

Why Has the Story of St. Augustine and the Pear Tree Had Such Staying Power?
"It was foul, and I loved it. I loved my own undoing."
Perhaps we tell a lie, and we have nothing to gain from this lie. We steal, and we do not want what we’ve stolen. We turn on the lights, and walk out of the room.

These actions are hard to explain, but not impossible. Of the stories related by St. Augustine, the one with the most continual resonance is a short passage from Book 2, where he describes once stealing from a pear tree as a teenager. Seems simple enough—a youthful indiscretion.

Nevertheless, his story of teenage hijincks has been adopted and adapted through the centuries, recited whenever social scientists, philosophers, or poets need to address the topic of guilt or disobedience. Twenty-first-century neurologists have used this story to illustrate the rewards provided by adrenaline-inducing thrills. The great poet W. H. Auden pointed to it as evidence that “St. Augustine was the first real psychologist."

Let’s look at the story.

As is well known, St. Augustine ran with a sketchy crowd as a teen, they’re name was something like “The Destructors.” One night, after the gang had finished playing sports in the streets of their neighborhood, their attention turned to a pear tree that was heavy with ripe fruit. The tree did not belong to any of their families, but it grew on a plot adjacent to that of Augustine’s family. The boys did not find the pears tempting in their color or flavor.

Nevertheless, they wanted to steal them. They went to the base of the tree and shook down the ripe pears. Augustine relates:

We carried off a huge load of pears, not to eat ourselves, but to dump out to the hogs, after barely tasting some of them ourselves. Doing this pleased us all the more because it was forbidden. Such was my heart, O God, such was my heart–which thou didst pity even in that bottomless pit. Behold, now let my heart confess to thee what it was seeking there, when I was being gratuitously wanton, having no inducement to evil but the evil itself.
Writing in his mid-40s, Augustine looked back on this theft and was stuck by the fact that he did not even want the pears. Yet, he knew the pears were not his. The natural law that he should not steal the property of others--this is what pushed him to steal the pears. He took a pear merely to throw it to the pigs, not for the pigs’ sake, but for the sake of his own desire to disobey.

He explains the act this way:

It was foul, and I loved it. I loved my own undoing. I loved my error–not that for which I erred but the error itself. A depraved soul, falling away from security in thee to destruction in itself, seeking nothing from the shameful deed but shame itself.
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Re: Why St. Augustine's pears~?

Post by Diehardpetrafan:) » Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:28 pm

Ohh- thank you. I had no idea who he actually was. I personally love pears! :lol: That is a good message though. I laughed when John goes "I don't even like pears that well" at the end of the song. :lol:
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Re: Why St. Augustine's pears~?

Post by George Harrison » Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:34 pm

Diehardpetrafan:) wrote:
Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:28 pm
Ohh- thank you. I had no idea who he actually was. I personally love pears! :lol: That is a good message though. I laughed when John goes "I don't even like pears that well" at the end of the song. :lol:
Yeah. Little things like that can make songs quite interesting. John certainly has some weird tastes in food 😂
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Re: Why St. Augustine's pears~?

Post by Diehardpetrafan:) » Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:39 am

Hahaha what if John did like pears but Bob didn't so he had to say he didn't because Bob and St. Augustine didn't :lol:
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Re: Why St. Augustine's pears~?

Post by George Harrison » Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:10 pm

Diehardpetrafan:) wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:39 am
Hahaha what if John did like pears but Bob didn't so he had to say he didn't because Bob and St. Augustine didn't :lol:
I don't know, but I bet if John saw this conversation he'd be surprised that people are discussing the possibility of him liking pears on the internet 😂
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Re: Why St. Augustine's pears~?

Post by Diehardpetrafan:) » Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:39 pm

George Harrison wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:10 pm
Diehardpetrafan:) wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:39 am
Hahaha what if John did like pears but Bob didn't so he had to say he didn't because Bob and St. Augustine didn't :lol:
I don't know, but I bet if John saw this conversation he'd be surprised that people are discussing the possibility of him liking pears on the internet 😂
😂😂😂😂 Oh my that would be absolutely hilarious :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Why St. Augustine's pears~?

Post by no one » Tue Jan 14, 2020 10:38 pm

It is also a Protestant-vs- Roman Catholic thing. Is the name pronounced:
St. A-gust-tin
Or
St. August-teen
Last edited by no one on Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why St. Augustine's pears~?

Post by Diehardpetrafan:) » Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:36 am

Oh I would've said steen but was he a Catholic?
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Re: Why St. Augustine's pears~?

Post by no one » Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:58 am

Diehardpetrafan:) wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:36 am
Oh I would've said steen but was he a Catholic?
It depends who you ask.
A Roman Catholic would say yes. The Roman Catholic Church goes back to Matthew 16:19 when Jesus said to Peter: "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven..." According to Roman Catholic doctrine, Peter handed the keys to the kingdom down the line, and the keys belong to the Pope. The Pope is the Vicar of Christ.

A Protestant might point out that there was church unity until 1054 when the Roman Catholic Church broke off from the Orthodox Church. https://www.christianitytoday.com/histo ... chism.html
The Protestant Reformation comes after that. The reformation was meant to restore the true faith. So a Protestant might claim Augustine for their own.

Then there are some evangelicals who have no memory of their past, and only consider the teaching of living authors. They would shudder with referring to anyone as a St.
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Re: Why St. Augustine's pears~?

Post by Diehardpetrafan:) » Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:26 pm

no one wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:58 am
Diehardpetrafan:) wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:36 am
Oh I would've said steen but was he a Catholic?
It depends who you ask.
A Roman Catholic would say yes. The Roman Catholic Church goes back to Matthew 16:19 when Jesus said to Peter: "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven..." According to Roman Catholic doctrine, Peter handed the keys to the kingdom down the line, and the keys belong to the Pope. The Pope is the Vicar of Christ.

A Protestant might point out that there was church unity until 1054 when the Roman Catholic Church broke off from the Orthodox Church. https://www.christianitytoday.com/histo ... chism.html
The Protestant Reformation comes after that. The reformation was meant to restore the true faith. So a Protestant might claim Augustine for their own.

Then there are some evangelicals who have no memory of their past, and only consider the teaching of living authors. They would shudder with referring to anyone as a St.
I vehemently disagree with Catholics and evangelicals are… well let's just say that they kind of need a letter from Paul (which we have).

I read something which says he was thoroughly a Catholic. Still not sure though.
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Re: Why St. Augustine's pears~?

Post by George Harrison » Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:33 am

Diehardpetrafan:) wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:26 pm
no one wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:58 am
Diehardpetrafan:) wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 6:36 am
Oh I would've said steen but was he a Catholic?
It depends who you ask.
A Roman Catholic would say yes. The Roman Catholic Church goes back to Matthew 16:19 when Jesus said to Peter: "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven..." According to Roman Catholic doctrine, Peter handed the keys to the kingdom down the line, and the keys belong to the Pope. The Pope is the Vicar of Christ.

A Protestant might point out that there was church unity until 1054 when the Roman Catholic Church broke off from the Orthodox Church. https://www.christianitytoday.com/histo ... chism.html
The Protestant Reformation comes after that. The reformation was meant to restore the true faith. So a Protestant might claim Augustine for their own.

Then there are some evangelicals who have no memory of their past, and only consider the teaching of living authors. They would shudder with referring to anyone as a St.
I vehemently disagree with Catholics and evangelicals are… well let's just say that they kind of need a letter from Paul (which we have).

I read something which says he was thoroughly a Catholic. Still not sure though.
Some of his beliefs line up with that of the Catholic church, such as his belief in transubstantiation.

At that time in history there was not yet any division into Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant churchs, although of course people still had different beliefs.
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Re: Why St. Augustine's pears~?

Post by Diehardpetrafan:) » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:36 am

Oh, ok. I might end up reading about St Augustine in my history book actually :lol:
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Re: Why St. Augustine's pears~?

Post by no one » Thu Jan 16, 2020 9:13 am

https://ccel.org/ccel/augustine/confess/confess

You can read his confessions here. Fun tidbit. Confession has two meanings
a) confess what was done wrong (he stole pears)
b) confession of faith (God is good).
Theft is punished by Thy law, O Lord, and the law written in the hearts of men, which iniquity itself effaces not. For what thief will abide a thief? not even a rich thief, one stealing through want. Yet I lusted to thieve, and did it, compelled by no hunger, nor poverty, but through a cloyedness of well-doing, and a pamperedness of iniquity. For I stole that, of which I had enough, and much better. Nor cared I to enjoy what I stole, but joyed in the theft and sin itself. A pear tree there was near our vineyard, laden with fruit, tempting neither for colour nor taste. To shake and rob this, some lewd young fellows of us went, late one night (having according to our pestilent custom prolonged our sports in the streets till then), and took huge loads, not for our eating, but to fling to the very hogs, having only tasted them. And this, but to do what we liked only, because it was misliked. Behold my heart, O God, behold my heart, which Thou hadst pity upon in the bottom of the bottomless pit. Now, behold, let my heart tell Thee what it sought there, that I should be gratuitously evil, having no temptation to ill, but the ill itself. It was foul, and I loved it; I loved to perish, I loved mine own fault, not that for which I was faulty, but my fault itself. Foul soul, falling from Thy firmament to utter destruction; not seeking aught through the shame, but the shame itself!
Book III, chapter IV

Not for hunger or poverty, I don't even like pears...
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