The Order of Saint Augustine begins a course of formation and spiritual deepening as we move toward the extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy with a series of reflections made by friars of the Order, published on YouTube and on the principal channels of communication of the Order. The Word of God and the deepening of its understanding in the light of Augustinian thought and in the light of the Augustinian charism are central in this proposed course in preparation for the extraordinary Jubilee event that will begin this coming December.
The first reflection was given by Fr. Joseph Farrell, the Vicar General of the Order of Saint Augustine, on the eve of the Feast of Saint Augustine which will be celebrated, Friday, 28 August and which will be celebrated by Cardinal Edoardo Menichelli, the Archbishop of Ancona-Osimo in a solemn pontifical liturgy at the tomb of Saint Augustine in the ancient Basilica of San Pietro in Ceil d’Oro. “As Augustinians, I believe that a way in which we can best prepare for the Jubilee Year is to re-discover, to discover anew, the treasure of wisdom, spirituality, and faith that we have in the writings of Saint Augustine,” Fr. Farrell explains. The references to Mercy in the works of Saint Augustine are particularly relevant and also very numerous because Augustine was mindful of the great mercy that he received in the course of his own life. “The Letters, the Sermons, the Expositions on the Psalms of Saint Augustine contain numerous references to Mercy, which brought him to his own conversion and which he continually received in the course of his life,” Fr. Farrell emphasized as he spoke on the day that the Church remembers Saint Monica, Augustine’s mother, August 27. She was the one who prayed for her son’s conversion and experienced this mercy of God.
Fr. Joseph Farrell in the first of these brief videos, reminds us of an example of Mercy in the works of Saint Augustine, as Augustine comments on the parable of the Prodigal Son: “When the merciful father comes close to his prodigal son he puts his hands on his son’s shoulders and it is as if he places on his shoulders Christ himself. No other burden is placed on the shoulders of the prodigal son. Thanks to mercy, the weight that the prodigal son was carrying has become lightened thanks to Christ, the Mercy of God.” Fr. Farrell concludes by inviting all to reflect on the writings of Saint Augustine as a reflection on the place of mercy in our lives and on the need to share mercy with our sisters and brothers.