I came to Carthage, where a caldron of unholy loves was seething and bubbling all around me.

Now it was this book which quite definitely changed my whole attitude and turned my prayers toward you, lord, and gave me new hope and new desires.

You omnipotent good, you care for every one of us as if you cared only for that person, and so for all as if they were but one!

Context for Book 3Quotes

Leaving for Carthage from his hometown of Thagaste, Augustine enters a place and a lifestyle in which "all around me hissed a cauldron of illicit loves." His range of "rotten...ulcerous" sins expands from teenage pranks to include attending public spectacles and reading tragedies. This is a low point in Augustine's relationship with God—turned almost entirely toward transient diversions, he seems to feel he could get no lower. It is at this point, however, that Augustine first suspects that seeking truth might be more important than worldly success. Shopping around for the right philosophy, he stumbles onto the Manichee faith (a heretical version of Christianity). Listening to the Manichees will turn out to be perhaps the biggest mistake of his life, and much of Book 3 is devoted to an initial attack on the Manichee faith.