Augustinian Religious Life finds inspiration in the Gospel message, especially as highlighted in Augustine's life, thought and work.
From their own community life over hundreds of years, their teaching and study in universities and schools down the centuries to their current educational and pastoral ministries in as many as forty nations, the Augustinians seek to promote a search for learning, love and community life based on friendship
that is the spirit of Augustine himself.
The members of the Order find the life and thought of Augustine an attractive legacy. Augustine passionately believed the search for understanding and truth to be a common quest, leading seekers ultimately to God, the source of all truth and wisdom.
The life and work of Augustine, plus the charism, experience and writings of the formative Grand Union
of Augustinians in the year 1256, comprise a notable and distinctive tradition in the Christian church of the West.
The distinctive characteristics of this intellectual, spiritual and pastoral tradition include an emphasis upon the following ideas and practices: the priority of love, the mystery of Christ, the efficacy of grace, the importance of the Bible, and a critique of human power and institutions.
These characteristics are certainly not unique to the Augustinian tradition.
The understanding of love and spiritual relationship by Augustine, his witness to Christ, his interpretation of the Bible, and his critique of social structures have all entered the mainstream of the Western Church as foundations of its theology and spiritual tradition.
Recast in their original settings, however, and woven together in the tapestry of Augustinian history, the varied and subtle shadings of the thought of Augustine present rich resources for an integrated spiritual tradition for persons in the busy and impersonal world of today.
This Augustinian spirituality (spiritual tradition)
offers much that can deepen and broaden the quality of life of any religious or lay community that follows it.
(Continued on the next page.)