Augustinian Religious Life is firmly based on the Gospel message, especially as highlighted in the life, thought and work of Augustine.
A strong emphasis in the Augustinian charism is life in community. Saint Augustine in his own life as a Christian was strongly influenced by the description of the early Church as portrayed in the Acts of the Apostles 4:32: "they were of one heart and one mind."
As a Christian layman
, and then as a priest
and finally as a bishop, Augustine lived in community.
This was not just for social purposes but was an integral part of his faith - to love one's neighbour is the way in which our love of God becomes concrete.
Augustine paid attention not just to the concept of people living under the same roof but to the quality of the human relationships within the community.
Following from his way of living the Gospel, Augustinian religious life values the communion that should exist among those living this way.
For those being welcomed into and prepared for life as an Augustinian, being part of an Augustinian community is an essential dimension of their formation.
Through the ups and downs of life in common the candidate is encouraged to grow in openness to others, a sense of belonging, acceptance, trust, support, sensitivity, capacity to seek and accept forgiveness, and being present to others. (Cf. Plan of Augustinian Formation, Rome, 1993, n. 17.)
For all of us this growth is a journey that is as long as our life, hence a patient love for oneself and for others is at the heart of the endeavour of Augustinian religious life.
As you read this you will rightly observe that what is said here about attention to the quality of our relationships applies to all of us in our various vocations.
It has been noted that the perspectives of Augustine on religious life is nothing other than a conscious, focussed effort to live the Christian life well in a particular way.
Just as Augustinians are called to articulate in words and deed the values underlying our way of life, we are continually formed in them by experiencing among the people we serve your commitment to living your family relationships and friendships.
To use an Augustinian image, we carry one another on our common journey towards God. ID2068