Thought
Let us live well, and the times will be good. We are the times. The way we are will the times be.
(Sermo 80,8)

Saint Augustine

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14 - IMMIGRATION AND GLOBALIZATION

Let us feed the hungry Christ here on earth, let us give him something to drink when he is thirsty, let us clothe him if he is naked, welcome him if he is a pilgrim, visit him if he is sick

Sermo 263,3

Motivated by this social commitment of ours, we are to listen attentively to the concerns of the Church and of society, and offer assistance so that the questions which the groups among whom we work present to us may be more clearly identified and more easily resolved, such as: the defense of life, human rights, THE SITUATION OF MIGRANTS…

Const. 185

The Constitutions invite us to find our place in society. This is the authentic place from which our evangelizing mission is fulfilled. It is evident that the Church of Jesus Christ cannot live enclosed in itself, and, consequently, neither can the Order of Saint Augustine, concerned only about its own problems, thinking only about its interests. It must be in the midst of the world, but not in any way whatever. If it is faithful to Jesus and lets itself be inspired by the principle of mercy, the Order will then need to be in a very precise place: there where suffering is experienced, there where there are victims, the poor, the mistreated by life or by the injustice of men, the immigrants, abused and terrorized women at the hands of their companions, undocumented foreigners, those who do not find a place in society nor in the heart of people. In a word, it must be along the roadside with the injured. Compassion is the only thing that makes the Church more human and more credible today.

As it was said at the 2007 OGC: Immigration-emigration is a global reality that implies the movement of peoples in search of a better economic life or to escape situations of intolerance and violence in their own countries… The negative effects of these phenomena cannot be confronted simply by preaching, but rather by giving witness to authentic love and commitment to justice, to the fundamental rights of each person and of their dignity, to dialogue and welcome, and to a style of life based on fundamental values of our Augustinian spirituality (“unitas, veritas, caritas”).

1. Does it seem to you that the Order offers a response to the needs of immigrants?
2. Our Order is a great global community. In what way do our ministries reflect this dimension of the Order?
3. Which communities of your circumscription have a concrete commitment to the needy Church?

You can share your reflections if you want

by email: cap2013


13 - NEW TECHNOLOGIES, NEW LANGUAGES, NEW COMMUNICATION, NEW RELATIONSHIPS

If a talkative word-lover says "I teach in order to talk", you might perhaps respond to him "Why don't you instead talk in order to teach?

De Magistro 9,26

We live in an age of technological revolution that has changed our world. These new technologies offer many advantages to humanity: better and more rapid communication (electronic mail, chat rooms, web pages…), tools of economic efficiency, etc. But, they also cause social problems and a situation in which one more often communicates and with a greater facility, even if only superficially, with another person on another continent than with a member of the family or the religious community, bringing about loneliness, extreme autonomy, and personal isolation. At the same time, these technologies are not available to all, creating a “technology gap” that necessarily leads to increasing the unjust social imbalance.

CGO 2007, 1.3.5

The ability to employ the new languages is required, not just to keep up with the times, but precisely in order to enable the infinite richness of the Gospel to find forms of expression capable of reaching the minds and hearts of all. In the digital environment the written word is often accompanied by images and sounds. Effective communication, as in the parables of Jesus, must involve the imagination and the affectivity of those we wish to invite to an encounter with the mystery of God’s love.

Benedict XVI, Message for the 47th World Communications Day, 24/01/2013

During the last 30 years, new technologies in communication have given a new meaning to time and distance. Messages are sent instantaneously and globally; no-where is too far and everyone receives it at the same moment. Access to these new technologies is very useful for the friars of the Order to grow in a sense of belonging to a family which extends throughout the whole world (cfr. CC. 8).

New tools have made possible a new type of language which take elements from written language (text), from visual communication (images, videos) and from oral language (audio) but which combining them and creating a new form of communication where ideas are transmitted in a short form rather than in discourse (tweets of 140 characters). Information is mixed with opinion (blog) and truth is measured in function of the number of followers of a post.

The worldwide web, which thirty years ago was simply imagined as a storehouse of information has been transformed into a communication environment and consequently into a circle of human relationships. New language has established new ways of human interaction, with a new sense of private space and a new sense of spheres of interest. Above all, it has led to a new form of communication in which the receiver exercises a major role when receiving and interpreting the message.

No longer do we find ourselves using tools which can make our work more efficient, but rather having discovered a foreign territory in which to announce the Good News of Jesus Christ. It is something like a new continent to be evangelized, announcing the eternal truth in a completely new language. If we compare it to other historical moments of the evangelization of new lands, the digital continent requires less economic resources and fortunately the majority of our communities has access to the technology. Nonetheless, it continues to be necessary to invest time and personnel to learn the new language and communicate in that language.

Personally, am I capable of using these new technologies? Do I consider them as tools or as a language?
Does my circumscription invest human and economic resources to set out in mission on the net?
Do I believe that communicating on the internet (tweet, blog, …) can be considered work as in being in a parish office, a library or at the reception desk?

You can share your reflections if you want

by email: cap2013


12 - WHAT’S NEW ABOUT THE NEW EVANGELIZATION?

The Lord is the one who sows the seed. I am merely the basket in which the sower allows the seed to be placed, the seed which is spread among you: the basket has no value, but the seed is of great value, and great is the power of the one who sows.

St. Augustine, Sermon on Christian Discipline, n. 1

The Order’s sense of mission is an essential part of her identity and vocation. It is thus that apostolic activity, by which we intend to preach the Kingdom of God throughout the world and make all human beings partakers of his redemption, embraces our whole life, namely, prayer, study, and activity, in forms consistent with the nature and spirit of the Order.

Constitutions n. 144

The New Evangelization seeks to invite modern men and women as well as culture into a relationship with Jesus Christ and his Church. The New Evangelization strives to engage our culture and to help us draw our inspiration from the Gospel. The New Evangelization calls believers first to be evangelized and then in turn to evangelize. While it is directed to all people, the New Evangelization focuses specifically on those Christian communities that have Catholic roots but have “lost a living sense of the faith, or even no longer consider themselves members of the Church.” (Pope John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio, n. 33).

The role of consecrated men and women in the “new evangelization” is seen first and foremost as the call to be authentic witnesses to our relationship with Jesus Christ through the faithful living of the evangelical counsels as expressed through the charisms received in the various institutes of religious life. “Of this supernatural horizon of the meaning of human existence, there are particular witnesses in the Church and in the world whom the Lord has called to consecrated life. Precisely because it is totally consecrated to him in the exercise of poverty, chastity and obedience, consecrated life is the sign of a future world that relativizes everything that is good in this world… [The Synod of Bishops] exhorts religious to hope in situations that are difficult even for them in these times of change. We invite them to establish themselves as witnesses and promoters of new evangelization in the various fields to which the charism of each of their institutes assigns them.” (Message from the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization)

Evangelization is always the transmission of the message of the Gospel. What is new is the way in which we understand the invitation to enter into a relationship with the source of the Good News, Jesus Christ, who is “ever ancient and ever new”. Culture today is changing constantly and rapidly, and our effectiveness as agents of spreading the Good News will depend at least in part upon our ability to live in relationship with Jesus Christ and to share the joy of our faith with others.

1. How do our lives, in the context of Augustinian community, promote evangelization?
2. What are the greatest challenges facing the Order today, and the Church today, that are looking for a gospel based response?
3. How can we respond today to the mandate “Go and make disciples of all nations…” (Matt. 28:19)?

You can share your reflections if you want

by email: cap2013


11 - IS A COMMON APOSTOLATE POSSIBLE?

Even though individual friars are often assigned authority and responsibility for a particular apostolate, nonetheless these apostolates are to be looked upon as committed to the community. All, therefore, are to feel themselves responsible, and, as far as ability and circumstances allow, cooperate for the common good.

Const. 149

It is not adequate to argue that our works are apostolic and that we are obliged to take up the works that the Church asks of us. But, are these works in accord with our character as Augustinians? “For St. Augustine, our first apostolate within the Church is the formation of a community of love....The work we do outside, the more external apostolate, can never run counter to this fundamental inspiration” (T. van Bavel, “La Espiritualidad de la Regla de San Agustín” Augustinus 12 [1967] 447).
The relationship between community and apostolate requires not only a necessary balance but also that the apostolate be planned on the basis of the community, that a hierarchy of values be clearly established, and that we not give precedence to the ministry over what is specific to Augustinian life.

#98 IGC n 22

We evangelize on the basis of the community and we offer the model of a Church that is a community and of human beings who form a community. “Postconciliar clarification of our charism and our Augustinian identity had helped us to value our community life-style as a privileged channel for a new evangelization” (CGO 95, Program Document 12).

#98 IGC n 27

The apostolate is one of the central themes of our life because the two axes around which it converges frequently enter into conflict: community and mission. Our life in great part depends on how the apostolate is understood and directed. Remembering the ’74 IGC in Dublin and some writings of our Prior Generals, it would seem that for us Augustinians community ought to be our first apostolate. In the same way, the Order cannot forget that it is at the service of the Church to announce the Good News and the Reign of God.

This commitment should be realized with total availability and with passion but always as a community commitment. The excerpts from the Constitution found above are clear. The general chapters likewise express it clearly. This communitarian commitment to the apostolate should lead us to question seriously which are the works we should continue to carry out which we should abandon.

Not everything is equal nor should it be given the same weight. A serious reflection in community and in our chapters about our apostolates should lead us to question ourselves deeply about a restructuring in our circumscriptions of those structures which many times were created more in favor of providing a service (because of its urgency and with the best intentions) than as a function of our own charism and life.

There are commitments being carried out by a single person. Communities of one or two friars exist because we respond in function of the apostolate. We frequently forget and always with the desire to serve in the best way possible, that the service which the Church asks of us is that of a witness to community.

1. In your house, is community itself the primary apostolate?
2. In your community are the outside apostolates communal, based on the needs of the Church, or are they individual, personally sought out?
3. Are the tasks of the apostolate programmed by the community at the beginning of the year and are they evaluated by the community at year’s end?
4. Do the structures of your circumscription favor communitarian life and an outgoing mission in community?

You can share your reflections if you want

by email: cap2013


10 - COMMUNITY LIFE

There were other joys to be found in their company which still more powerfully captivated my mind – the charms of talking and laughing together and kindly giving way to each other’s wishes, reading elegantly written books together, sharing jokes and delighting to honor one another, disagreeing occasionally but without rancor, as a person might disagree with himself, and lending piquancy by that rare disagreement to our much more frequent accord. We would teach and learn from each other, sadly missing any who were absent and blithely welcoming them when they returned. Such signs of friendship sprang from the hearts of friends who loved and knew their love returned, signs to be read in smiles, words, glances and a thousand gracious gestures. So were sparks kindled and our minds were fused inseparably, out of many becoming one.

Conf. IV,8,13

Community is the axis around which Augustinian religious life turns: a community of brothers who live harmoniously in their house, united by a single soul and a single heart, seeking God together and open to the service of the Church.

CC 26

The Augustinian community is called to be a prophetic sign in the world to the extent that fraternal life becomes a source of sharing and a cause of hope.

CC 33

Besides the fact that community life is a value in itself, it can also by its existential, incarnational affirmation, give witness to mankind that true community is possible. No other values, like those of financial advantages or work efficiency, should take precedence over this consideration.

CGI 1974,38

The community in itself is an apostolate of the fist order, indeed our primary apostolate (...) Our impact could be much greater on the Christian people around us if they saw us actually working more as a community. First of all they have to be able to see clearly that we are a real religious community, not just a fraternity type group of priests and religious who live together under the same roof.

T.Tack, Augustinian Community and the Apostolate, Acta Ord. 19 (1974) 31,34

Upon his conversion, Augustine renounced everything except living in community with a group of friends and brothers. “One soul and one heart in and on the way to God”, the famous phrase at the beginning of the Rule, is surely the most concise and well-known expression of the basic conviction of Augustine: there is no more complete way to be a person, to be Christian and to serve the Church than to live in community. At the same time, mendicants accept the challenge to be present in the world leaving behind a monastic life-style, but maintaining a strong community (conventual) life.

Under various formulations and through diverse expressions (community, social life, friendship, koinonía, communion, participation, sharing ...), a communitarian spirit should always characterize the Augustinian experience and charism. It is easy to allow oneself be carried away by individualism, activism and the fragmentation that frequently marks our cultural environment. But the price is very high: loneliness, poor interpersonal relationships, inability to carry out serious study projects and pastoral activity, lack of identity and witness, loss of authentic community life .... Our houses, remarked one friar, are no longer Augustinian friaries, but rather simple “landing strips” for over-worked teachers and pastoral ministers.

Our life: is it really a life in community, or do we only hold on to the name and to some minimal and secondary structures?
Can the Augustinian communitarian ideal be lived in “communities” of two or three persons? What would be the minimum desired number of friars in each community?
Our service to the Church: would it be worse and less, or much better and more authentic if we worked out of true communities with a greater number of members?

You can share your reflections if you want

by email: cap2013


9 - TO WHAT DO I BELONG: COMMUNITY, PROVINCE OR ORDER?

"Anima tua non est propria, sed omnium fratrum."

Ep. 243,4

Community for an Augustinian is not limited to the house in which he lives, nor to the circumscription to which he belongs, because our family is the Order, as such the community and the friars will be at the service of the Universal Church. For this reason, in order to facilitate an exercise of the apostolate, which would respond better to the needs of the People of God, the popes placed us under their direct dependence, granting us exemption.

Const. 8

Every now and then, we receive a new assignment, informing us of a transfer to a new community or house. This assignment sometimes involves a transfer to another circumscription (another Province, Vicariate or Delegation). The Constitutions of the Order, providing for such an eventuality, thus mention affiliation and ascription. The fact remains that despite these new assignments, we remain Augustinians. By virtue of our religious profession to the Order, made to the Prior General, we made ourselves available in any way and at any time for service to the Church and to the People of God. Whether by reason of apostolate, studies, etc., we should never lose sight that what we do, we do as Augustinians.

In the last 20 years or so, a common awareness of collaboration has grown within the Order. This phenomenon brings to the fore the fact that it is possible to go beyond the limits brought about by over-identification with our respective community or circumscription.

1.) To what extent do we identify our sense of belonging to our (a) community, (b) circumscription, i.e., Province, Vicariate, Delegation and (c) to the entire Order?

2.) In what way can we concretize our sense of being part of the entire Augustinian Order, and not just part of any community or circumscription.

You can share your reflections if you want

by email: cap2013


8 - SHARING VOCATIONS AND GOODS - CIRCUMSCRIPTIONS RICH AND POOR

"...but let everything be yours in common. Rule I,3

"...for it is better to suffer a little want than to have too much. Rule III,16

...it is in keeping with the Augustinian fraternal spirit that communities and provinces should share their resources with one another, so that those who are better supplied help those who sufferneed.

Const. 71

It is also necessary that, in assisting our friars, the individual houses and, as regards interprovincial undertakings, all provinces should take anactive part. The poorer houses and provinces should give an example of industry and frugality, while the better situated should generously donate of their goods or grant loans, according to the norms of the Constitutions, so that a suitable community of goods in the whole Order may be anoutstanding sign of our unity of hearts.

Const. 495

We have circumscriptions which have many vocations but are struggling financially on the one side, and on the other circumscriptions which are stronger financially but do not have sufficient friars to accompany new vocations. Throughout the Order, ways should be found for sharing our resources and at the same time helping one another concretely and actively with either personnel or financial resources.

It is true that a solution is not always easy. Nonetheless, it is unfortunate that a certain hesitancy can be noted on the part of “rich” circumscriptions to help those in greater need. It is as if fears over the future lead to an undesirable consequence: excessive concern over ensuring the future of one’s own members blocks the ability to see beyond one’s own local situation.

What are the possibilities or resources available in my circumscription?
What can I do, what can we do with these possibilities?
Do we have friars or goods to share with other circumscriptions?
Am I concerned – are we concerned - about the life and the needs of other circumscriptions of the Order?

You can share your reflections if you want

by email: cap2013


7 - OBEDIENCE TO THE PRIOR GENERAL AS A RESPONSE TO GLOBALIZATION

"Caritas autem compagem facit, compages complectitur unitatem, unitas servat caritatem, caritas pervenit ad claritatem.

En. in ps. 30, II, d. 2, 1

The Prior General is the head of the Order and its supreme authority,after the General Chapter. The Order commends its administration andgovernance into his care with confidence in his foresight and faithfulness.The Prior General, therefore, is to be obeyed as a father. He himself shouldbe the servant of all, in order that the common good of the Order may berealized.

Const. 457

A characteristic of our Order, as of the other Mendicant Orders, is adecentralized form of government which allows significant autonomy toindividual circumscriptions in making decisions and taking initiatives. Suchorganization has often served us and the Church well, providing flexibility andpromptness for mission, and favoring healthy and attractive diversity. At thesame time, we aspire, by our religious profession, to unity of mind and heartwith one another, as we pronounce our vows to the Prior General, the visiblehead of the Order.

Recent General Chapters have raised the question as to whether someof our governance structures and organization help us sufficiently today toovercome tendencies to provincialism, arguing that greater collaboration canensure greater effectiveness.

Is the authority of the Prior General (with his Council) adequate today to address contemporary challenges to our way of life and our mission in the Church?
How might the office of the Prior General further greater collaboration?
In which areas are structural changes needed for greater effectiveness in our service to the Church?

You can share your reflections if you want

by email: cap2013


6 - CONSECRATED LIFE AND THE SECULAR MILIEU

"Qui enim aliud credit, aliud sperat, aliud amat, necesse est ut aliter vivat".

Contra Faustum 20,23

This radical following of Jesus constitutes the very identity of consecrated life and implies not only the practice of the evangelical counsels but also the ensuing acceptance of the options prioritized by Christ himself:
- The beloved Father (cf Mt 11:25; Mk 14:36; Jn 8:29);
- The Reign of God and his justice above all else (see Mk 1:15; Lk 12:31; Mt 13:44.)
- The poor, the little ones and the excluded as the first and privileged recipients of the Good News (Lk 6:20 and 7:22; Mt 25:31.).

The baptized person who seeks to live radically in Christ, is called to give prophetic witness in the Church and the world, to an alternative way of human existence and to fulfill his communal and universal vocation to holiness.

CGO 07,1.1.

The New Evangelization movement within the Church is "new" because of "secularism." The so-called "culprit" for causing people to leave the faith is nothing more than the prevalent belief that denies the existence of God and transcendent spiritual values. After Christianity and Islam, the “religion” -- or ideology -- of agnostics and atheists is the next largest group of “believers” on the planet. Yet, the term "secular" (saeculum) implies not just a godless oxygen people breathe, but the “span of a human lifetime,” the specific era of human experience defined in time and in spatial context. The secular is where the divine is ignited and discovered in self-awareness and in historical events. The secular is the kindling for fire.

Inserted into the secular context is the life style of those committed to the "consecrated" life and profession to live radically the Gospel though vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience. The Second Vatican Council calls this life style "a blazing emblem of the heavenly kingdom" in the world (PC, 1); its purpose for existence is to do something with fire, energy, enthusiasm and joy (Isa. 60:1-3). If there is a need for fire, it is because there is so much darkness in understanding and vision.

Fire never exists for itself; it is shared, self-sacrificing, life-giving. In a similar way, consecrated life does not exist for itself, warming and protecting itself from the cruel winds of secularism. It does not keep a light under the bushel basket but points to a direction, to a light at the end of a tunnel. What is the role of consecrated life in the secular world today? The role of those in consecrated life is not to separate themselves from the secular, reinforcing the dualism of sacred and profane; rather, they are to insert themselves and engage secular reality, and sharing in the “aspirations and yearnings” of every woman and man (GS, 4). Secular institutes, different though they are, share in the same character but in the world and for the world (PC, 11).

Secularism holds high an attractive torch. Many are attracted to its brightness. Consecrated life and secular institutes, on the other hand, challenge others to discover for themselves the fire within and to use that energy to transform the world, and together, build the city of God (cf. GS, 39). Is dialogue and engagement with opposing worldviews possible? Jesus himself desired that the world would be on fire (Lk. 12:49). Augustinians, both religious and secular, are privileged to have a logo that bears a heart with flames of fire.

The question is: Are Augustinians on fire? Is there ignition?

You can share your reflections if you want

by email: cap2013


5 - What motivates you to get up in the morning?
Identity vs. Work

"First, that you dwell together in unity in the house and be of one mind and one heart in God".

Regula 2

The purpose of the Order consists in this, that united harmoniously in brotherhod and spritual friendship, we seek and worship God and work for the service of his people.

Const. 13

Motivation is the result of certain impulses and the respective choices made that will determine our behavior. The various causes underlying motivation ought to explain why a person behaves in one way and not in another, and with various degrees of intensity.

The Rule, as well as the Constitutions, invite us to look at ourselves - or the mirror of our lives. Our search for God and for holiness is found in what we give to the community. One of the fruits of our communitarian experience is that our ministry is enriched and beneficial to others.

Therefore when you get up in the morning what is the first thing that comes to your mind?
What are the various motivations that are strongest in your actual experience of life?
Do these variables for the end of the Order help you?
Remember that motivational variables mark the tendency of our conduct, that is, do I get up unwillingly to do what must be done?
What is it that moves me every morning, the satisfactions of work or is it my own consecration?
Is work more important than community life?
Is my consecrated life satisfactory or has it become merely the easy road of least resistance?

You can share your reflections if you want

by email: cap2013


4 - THE INTELLECTUAL LIFE

"Bene vivit, bene orat, bene studet".

De ordine I, 19, 51

As our Holy Father Augustine teaches, studies constitute an excellent means of intellectual formation and the perfecting of human and religious life; foster community dialogue; equip us for a more adequate response to the apostolic mission entrusted to us by the Church, which is responsible for the evangelization of culture. For this reason, the Order should be ready to offer the Church the service of her studies as a particular dimension of pastoral commitment.

Const. 124

Augustine lived a busy life as a pastor, yet he still found time for reading, reflection, and writing, and is our model for the religious life. However, study is not confined to gaining academic qualifications. We need to take an interest in the world around us in order to relate our pastoral work and religious lives to the societies we live in. This is particularly urgent in a world where education is no longer the preserve of an elite.

Can one be in a parish and have a life of study as well?

Or do we leave study solely for the time of formation and for those who teach?

You can share your reflections if you want

by email: cap2013


3 - BALANCE BETWEEN ACTION AND CONTEMPLATION

No man has a right to lead such a life of contemplation as to forget in his own ease the service due to his neighbor; nor has any man a right to be so immersed in active life as to neglect the contemplation of God.

And therefore holy leisure is longed for by the love of truth; but it is the necessity of love to undertake requisite business.

Civ Dei XIX, 19

Through the course of our history, with the teaching of Saint Augustine as our basis and in full consonance with our eremitical roots, we can affirm a contemplative dimension, which ought to be understood, respected, and accepted as a component of Augustinian tradition. For our Father, the life of the religious ought to be dedicated essentially to a holy leisure in which his only ambition is to love God, who dwells in the interior of man. For his part, man recognizing himself as an image of his Creator ought to transcend himself to be united with God. This holy leisure should not make us forget the love of neighbor, because love of God and neighbor form an indivisible unity in the thought of Saint Augustine.

Const. 5

Arising always out of his profound personal reflection, the word of Augustine is more luminous than most others on this topic and more necessary now than ever. The balance between action and contemplation, symbolized in the dialectical tension between the “philosopher” and the “revolutionary”, between “praying” and “doing”, continues to be an important choice to be made.

Who has not felt perplexed before this choice, in the conflictive and fast-paced world of our times,? Who has not commented upon, or criticized the attitude of friars who don’t have time to pray nor study because of school or pastoral ministry, and that of other friars who pray a lot, but are never available to take on responsibilities within or outside of the community?

Do we understand, as Augustine did, that praying and working are two inseparable forms of loving?

Does activism or spiritualism impede us from living and giving witness to the balance between action and contemplation? How and why?

You can share your reflections if you want

by email: cap2013


2 - POOR SHARING THEIR GOODS (Nov 27)

For not to that end are the rich, in this Christian warfare, brought low unto piety, that the poor may be lifted up unto pride. As indeed it is by no means seemly that in that mode of life where senators become men of toil, there common workmen should become men of leisure; and whereunto there come, relinquishing their dainties, men who had been masters of houses and lands, there common peasants should be dainty.

De Opere Monachorum 25,33

Through this sharing of goods, we give evidence that we are steeped in that love, according to which we no longer seek what is our own, but rather the common good, and prefer what is of advantage to the many before our own interests. Thus the greatest wealth of the Augustinian community is ever “that vast and extremely rich estate, common to all, which is God.” Consequently, we must earnestly cultivate poverty and, where possible and appropriate, express it in forms that are new and more suited to the understanding of today’s society, as well as particular cultures. It is not sufficient that we depend on the permission of the superior in the use of goods; rather we must be poor both in spirit and in fact (Mt 5:3), storing up our treasure in heaven (see Mt 6:20).

Const.66

The unity of hearts and souls in community is based upon the search for the common good. Sharing material goods in common is just a first step that initiates and expresses the dynamics of a life in common. But sharing also prepares and educates hearts to set aside the private love that separates us from communion with others (Gen ad lit. 11,15,19).

Our Augustinian life embraces poverty as a disposition of hearts free from the desire for material things(CC 65), and expresses this freedom when it is able to share other goods, such as dreams, projects, relationships, missions, duties, troubles, intellectual and spiritual gifts, etc.

What goods –material or otherwise – am I not able to share with the community?

Is the criterion that our communities may live “slightly below the level of > the people to whom our immediate service is directed” still valid (CGI 74, 77)?

You can share your reflections if you want

by email: cap2013


1 - BEING μόνος (Nov 13)

Those who live in unity in such a way that they form but one person are rightly called “μόνος”.

Sermon on Psalm 132, 6

In order to promote deep communion of mind and heart among the friars in community, we should be mindful that our personal relationships require the same qualities that are needed in all genuine human relationships. Sincere communication is an essential human factor that can strengthen fraternal life in community.

Const.110

Augustinian life places priority on the task of forming true unity, one alone, out of the different individuals, different longings, souls, desires and hearts. The word one (μόνος - μοναχος - monk) is used not because the person lives in isolation, not even because he or she has achieved a certain level of balance and unity between his or her passions and will. The person is μόνος / monk insofar he is making himself one with the other members in the community; insofar as the many have become truly one.

In light of the commentary on psalm 132, Augustinian communities, in which diversity is brought into unity, offer a light of hope to a world where differences cause the wounds of division.

Do people sees us as individual friars or as one community?

You can share your reflections if you want

by email: cap2013


TO ALL THE MEMBERS OF THE ORDER

Dear Brothers and Sisters:

As you know, the Ordinary General Chapter will begin on the Solemnity of St. Augustine, 2013. In order to prepare for this significant event in the life of the Order, the General Council appointed a special Commission to reflect with us on the most significant challenges facing the Order, and to look for ways of continuing the renewal of our lives so we can respond more effectively in our service to the world.

Beginning today, the Feast of All Saints of the Order, we will be sending to all of you a series of reflections, sixteen in all, that are prepared with the goal of involving all members of the Order in the process of preparation, and we are hopeful that many will choose to take part by responding to the reflections and questions that will be sent out over the coming months. Our hope is that these reflections, brief in format but significant in their content, will be helpful in promoting personal reflection and community discussion. They are organized under three major topics: identity, structures of the Order and mission/apostolate.

To the Major Superiors, we ask that you make every effort to communicate these reflections to all the communities in your circumscriptions. And we invite individuals and communities to respond, either by sending an e-mail message (cap2013@osacuria.org), or preferably, by sharing responses on the blog that has been created for this purpose (http://dreamosa.weebly.com/), thereby permitting your reflections to be read by others, and in this way becoming an additional incentive for further consideration of the matter at hand.

The first reflection, sent with this letter, is on the nature of our call to live as ONE, in unity. With your active participation as well as with your prayer and dialogue in community, we can all be enriched with the very gift that has been given to us through the Holy Spirit, who has inspired Augustinians through the centuries to be authentic promoters of unity with all who believe in Jesus Christ.

Happy Feast Day to all of you!

Fraternally,

Fr. Robert F. Prevost, O.S.A.
Prior General

Rome, November 13, 2012
Feast of All Saints of the Order


TO ALL THE MAJOR SUPERIORS OF THE ORDER

Preparation for the Next Ordinary General Chapter 2013

Rome, October 19, 2012

Dear Brothers:

As you know, next year we will celebrate another Ordinary General Chapter. At a later date we will send the official letter of convocation. However, we think it is opportune now to mention some details, such as the opening date, so that everyone can make necessary plans, arrange calendars and elect definitors to the Chapter, according to number 420 of the Constitutions.

The Chapter will begin in Rome on August 28, 2013, the Solemnity of Our Holy Father Augustine, with a Eucharistic concelebration at the Basilica of Saint Augustine in Campo Marzio, and the work of the Chapter will be carried out at our Generalate of Saint Monica in Rome.

The General Council wishes to remind you to inform the members of your Circumscription of this information so that Constitution number 412 can be followed regarding the forwarding of observations and proposals which are deemed timely for the good of the Order.

As you already know, one of the topics to be studied by the Chapter will be the document approved by the Intermediate Chapter of 2010, which was held in the Philippines, and which is to be finalized in light of the observations of Circumscriptions and communities and the responses to the questions which accompanied the document.

There is still time to send observations, suggestions and responses to the questionnaire before March 31, 2013.

At the same time, I remind you that the General Council has appointed a special Commission to help prepare for the General Chapter. This Commission has prepared a blog which can be a channel for opinions and ideas. Invite the friars to consult and participate in it. It can be found on the web page of the Order (www.augustinians.net).

We hope that with the collaboration of everyone, the Chapter will do its work of promoting and strengthening the Order. Thank you for your attention. With warm and fraternal regards,

Fr. Robert F. Prevost
Prior General OSA