Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Catholic Discussion Ping List.
The Rule of Saint Augustine
One of Saint Augustine's most important legacies is his Rule: a brief set of principles, fewer than a dozen pages in length, for the guidance of those living in a religious community.
Augustine advised his followers to "see yourselves in this little book, as in a mirror." The oldest of its kind in the Western world, the Rule has been chosen by the Augustiniansand by more than a hundred other religious orders and congregationsas the pattern for their daily lives.
The Rules most fundamental message is this: Lovelove of God, love of neighboris the center of Christian life. By their love for one another, by their ability to live together in harmony, a religious community's members embody the truth of Christ's teachings. They make Christ's love visible to others.
The Rule addresses, concisely and in the plainest of language, what Augustine saw as the major elements of monastic daily life: prayer, moderation and self-denial, chastity, the sharing of goods, the care of the sick, obedience to authority, friendship. Though the occasional detail reminds us that Augustine was speaking at a different moment in history, the Rules lessons are timeless. For Augustinians, this "little book'" is as powerful a model of conduct as it was when Augustine wrote it more than sixteen centuries ago. The challenge for those who wish to follow Augustine is twofold. We seek God not in philosophical speculation alone, but in careful observance of the guiding presence of a loving, personal God always at work in our lifes journey. At the same time, we strive to be dedicated servants of the Church in the ministries of word, sacrament, and justice.