And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made:
Read Chapter 8
Augustine of Hippo
You do not know when that last hour is going to come and yet you say, “I am reforming.” When are you going to reform? When are you going to change? “Tomorrow,” you say. Behold, how often you say, “Tomorrow, tomorrow.” You have really become a crow. Behold, I say to you that when you make the noise of a crow, ruin is threatening you. For that crow whose cawing you imitate went forth from the ark and did not return.
Noah wanted to know how things stood on the face of the earth when the inundation had come to an end, and he sent forth a raven, which scorned to return to the ark, signifying those who, although they have been cleansed by the waters of baptism, nevertheless neglect putting off the very black dress of their old selves by living more faultlessly; and lest they deserve to be renewed by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, they at once fall away from the inmost unity of catholic peace and rest by following exterior things, that is, the desires of the world.
But for the present we need to explain the reason why the bird [the raven] did not come back. Perhaps, with the waters subsiding, the bird, being unclean, happened upon corpses of men and beasts and, finding nourishment to its liking, stayed there! This would have been something that proved to be no little sign of hope and encouragement for the just man [if the raven had returned].