That is our calling, too, amidst the brokenness—including the threat of terrorism—all around us. We are to be faithful to God's calling, to bear witness to the beauty, the light, and the divine reality that we shall forever enjoy in heaven. We are to do this in a culture that seems, at times, like Augustine's, a crumbling world beset by dangers we cannot predict.
As Augustine aged, he increasingly thought of the world, its politics, culture, and institutions, as a tottering old man whose days were numbered: "You are surprised that the world is losing its grip? That the world is grown old? Don't hold onto the old man, the world; don't refuse to regain your youth in Christ, who says to you: 'The world is passing away; the world is losing its grip; the world is short of breath. Don't fear, your youth shall be renewed as an eagle.'"
As Augustine lay dying in 430, a new wave of terror swept across the Mediterranean world. The Vandals, led by a ferocious warrior named Genseric, surrounded Hippo—bringing torture, violence, and disarray to its churches and its people. As Augustine chanted the psalms on his deathbed, he might have come across this verse in Psalm 31:21: "Blessed be the Lord, for he showed his wonderful love to me when I was in a besieged city."
Timothy George writes at Christianity Today,