The Ten Values and the Augustinian Way


Back To TopAugustine As A Guide

Christian life is rich.  There is no uniform way of living it.  Although there is only one call -- the Call to Discipleship -- there are many ways by which that call is responded to.  St. Augustine of Hippo is a valid guide to Christian living.  His proclamation as Saint by the Church makes him worth imitating.  The fact that the Church also names him Doctor makes his thoughts and teachings a valid guide for the enrichment of the way we think through our faith.  But Augustine of Hippo is more than a Doctor:  he is also revered as Father of the Church, that is as a guide for the way this -- OUR -- generation  can carry out the mission to evangelize.  To live our faith in the service of the Resurrected Lord (Discipleship), to deepen our knowledge of the faith (Christian Reflection and Theology) to proclaim that faith in life and words (Evangelization) is Christian life in its three dimension of Worship, Study and Action.  And Augustine is presented to us by the Church as someone worth imitating, studying and following in our lives as Christians.

Back To TopThe Augustinian Ideal and the Social Dimension of the Faith

What makes Augustine really special is that he is a guide both for the personal and communal way of living out the Christian vocation.  A Francis of Assisi or a Therese of the Child Jesus can be good examples for enfleshing one's personal Christian calling.  Many have also found Augustine's struggles and triumph as described in the Confessions an inspiration for living out the Christian vocation (e.g. Teresa of Avila).  But it is only Augustine who offers our generation a communal way of living the Christian life.  Our generation's new interest in social questions have led us to rediscover in the ideals of Augustine the layman (that is, before he was ordained a priest) a new way of looking at the life of the Church as a community immersed in the historical events of its time.  While we still feel that we ought to have a deeper commitment to live out the consequences of our baptismal consecration as individuals, we are now becoming more aware that we cannot do so apart and detached from others.  We have become more sensitive to the social dimension of our faith.

Back To TopThe "One Heart One Mind Ideal"

We live according to the values that we make our own.  Christian life is to live according to the values that the Lord wants for us.  When the Lord was still ministering to us, he preached two values:  the Kingdom of God and the Fatherhood of God (Abba).  The Lord also said that one needs to repent in order that one can truly live according to these two values.  Luke the evangelist tells us that the early Christians, while they waited for the coming of the Kingdom of God, lived together with one mind and one heart as they held on to the teachings of the apostles and to the worship of God whom they have learned to call "Abba."  After his conversion in Milan, Augustine returned to Tagaste resolved to live with his friends according to the "one mind one heart" ideal of the first Christians.  Thus he lived as a baptized Christian according to the "rule of the apostles"  -- a rule that later on he will re-express in a short monastic rule for those who would like to live the life of the servants of God.

Back To TopThe Augustinian Way

The "one mind one heart" ideal that so struck Augustine when he was a newly baptized Christian remained with him until the end.  It was for him one of the concrete signs of the progress of the City of God on earth as it makes its pilgrimage towards God.  The Christian is a citizen of the City of God and he/she is so because of the kind of love he/she has.  True love makes one a citizen of the Heavenly City.  The Augustinian Way is the way of a Love that has been verified (in Interiority, Humility and the Devotion to Study and the Pursuit of Truth) exercised in Freedom that matures in Community and is expended for the Common Good in the spirit of Service and Friendship both of which nourished and enlivened by a life of Prayer.