Several years ago in preparing my morning's homily, I confused St. Augustine of Canterbuy with St. Augustine of Hippo and was all set to preach about the famous "our hearts are restless until they rest in thee" Augustine. I feel only slightly better to learn that early church historians made the same mistake!
St. Augustine of Canterbury, however, is a good saint to know about. A friend of Pope St. Gregory the Great, he was sent to convert an Anglo-Saxon king (who had married a Christian, thus giving some hope of success.) Tales of the ferocity of the Celts and Saxons reached Augustine and he thought better about going to Britain without better preparation. Gregory the Great eventually persuaded him to continue his journey and he did succeed in converting the king along with many of his subjects. His mission to Britain was a mixture of successes and failures, however.
How many times we set a goal and retreat from it because we find it too difficult, or refrain from setting one in the first place. How often we are tempted to consider results rather than faithfulness the measure of our service.
May we all have St. Augustine's perseverance and persuasive friends like Gregory the Great.