This page and the following pages are an adaptation and abridgment of the indicated sections of Plan of Augustinian Formation (Ratio Institutionis), which details the preparation of candidates for the Order of St Augustine.
Regarding its bibliographical details, this edition was first published in Rome during 1993. The document’s chapter on the basic elements of Augustinian formation appears elsewhere on Augnet.
31. Religious life is only one of the ways in which the Gospel of Jesus can be lived. Jesus' appeal to follow him was addressed to everybody who accepted his message, without distinction.
All who have expressed their will to follow him through baptism participate in his mission to build up the Reign of God. In other words, every believer has the task of making God reign in this world by doing his will, which consists essentially in bringing about justice, peace, and love among human beings.
This applies not only to life choices, such as marriage or religious life, but also to the different professions of baptized persons. A laborer, a lawyer, a physician, an employer, all have to practice their profession as Christians in the light of the Reign of God. This is no denial of the particular character of religious life.
Following Christ always implies personal fidelity. When it is a question of a life choice that is a response to a particular call from God, such fidelity is all the more required. Religious life is a radical form of living the Gospel.
32. The identity of religious life and what distinguishes it from other ways of Christian life consist mainly in two aspects:
a) In order to follow Christ, religious make a certain evangelical value, that is, the original inspiration of the founder, the center of their community life. They wish to realize the charism of the founder in and for their own time and environment. Each religious family has received the mandate to model a particular form of Christian life and community within the Church. One of the reasons for which we become Augustinians is that we find Augustine's spirituality significant for today's world, and we want to live it together with others.
b) From the very beginning of religious life the members of religious groups have wished to realize their original inspiration through an evangelical commitment.
(Continued on the next page.)