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Friends of Augustine....
Are part of the growing Lay Community who, in different ways are associated or affiliated with the International Religious Order of St Augustine; (OSA).
The 1st Augustinian Lay Congress was held in Rome in 1999, the 2nd in 2006 and the 3rd in July 2012. These congresses have been developing unity and communication between the many lay groups along with close association with the Religious Order. They have been an excellent guide and vehicle guiding us in growth as One Body.
This web site is currently run by the Friends of Augustine Group at Clare Priory in Suffolk UK. The site strives to be of use not only to our own group but to others internationally and we welcome both comments and articles from around the World. We would like to support groups that do not have the facilities for maintaining their own web site.
The history of our Group's formation and growth is explained as is the Augustinian Lay Congress.
There are, for our Group, two important pieces of text that we print in our Meeting Booklet; a quotation from St Augustine's "Confessions" and our interpretation of the Rule (of St Augustine). We have taken the Liberty of printing them here:
Thoughts from St Augustine:
There were joys to be found in their company which still more 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 honour one another, disagreeing occasionally but without rancour, as a person might disagree with themselves, 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.Augustine Confessions (IV, 8)
The Rule of St AugustineAt the Friends of Augustine National Meeting held at Boarbank Hall January 2009, we were urged to study The Rule of St Augustine but from a modern Lay view point. Time permitted only the first four chapters of the Rule to be discussed. The Clare Priory group continued to study and complete the Rule encompassing thoughts aired at Boarbank and in our following three monthly meetings:
Chapter I ‘Purpose and Basis of the Common Life’
‘Live together in one mind and heart on your journey to God through life. God is love and we must love each other. Share everything humbly: your riches and experience, time and talents, for the glory of God. Give from your heart, not just material things, but yourself. Don’t seek your advantage alone but try to be of benefit to everyone.'
Chapter II ‘Prayer’‘
Persevere faithfully in prayer: think over in your hearts the words that a come from your lips. Let the words that come from your lips be alive in your hearts.’
Chapter III ‘Moderation and Self-Denial’
‘Remember we are equal but not the same: we should all have what we need but simplicity should be our guide in life. Enjoy what you have but try not to be too attached to this. At meal- times be thankful and encourage conversation around the table, being mindful of God in each other.'
Chapter IV ‘Safeguarding Chastity and Fraternal Correction’
‘Exercise mutual care over your purity of life: seek inner beauty and purity of heart especially with regards to the opposite sex. Be open and accountable to each other because God looks after you through your brothers and sisters. Be vigilant for each other.'
Chapter V 'The Care of Community Goods and Treatment of the Sick'
'Desire and work for the best for everybody, though remember this includes looking after yourself adequately. Be compassionate to those who are ill and give them all the time and help they need from you. Try and do all you have to do cheerfully!’
Chapter VI 'Love and Conflict'
'Avoid conflict, if it occurs, be conciliatory preventing further escalation. Be quick to give and receive forgiveness but forgive even if not forgiven. Always love one another from the heart.'
Chapter VII. 'Love in authority and obedience'.
‘Pray and work in a spirit of love, charity and friendship for and with the friars to further Christ's Kingdom, giving thanks for the richness and depth that this brings to our lives.’
Chapter VIII. 'Final Exhortation'
'Lovingly observe all that is written here, living not as slaves but as free people in the Love of Christ.
Refer to this text frequently and use it to view yourselves as in a mirror.'