But as for my temporal life, everything was uncertain, and my heart had to be purged of the old leaven.

The greater joy is everywhere preceded by the greater pain.

And now you set me face to face with myself, so that I might see how ugly I was, and how crooked and sordid, bespotted and ulcerous.

Context for Book 8 Quotes

Having achieved both some understanding of God (and evil) and the humility to accept Christ, Augustine still agonizes over becoming a full member of the church. Book 8 tells the story of his conversion experience in Milan, which begins with an agonizing state of spiritual paralysis and ends with an ecstatic decision (in a Milan garden) to wholly embrace celibacy and the Catholic faith.