DAY 4: EVANGELICAL POVERTY - SIMPLICITY OF LIFESTYLE
In the name of the Father + and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
“Sometimes when the Church had no money, Saint Augustine informed the faithful that he had nothing more that he could give to the poor. In order to help prisoners and a great number of poor people, he had some sacred vessels, broken up and melted down. What he then received from the sale, he distributed to the needy.”
Let us reflect on our personal values and attitudes, how far or how close are we to the values and attitudes of our Saint Augustine? (Pause)
READING: From the Book IF AUGUSTINE WERE ALIVE
Religious poverty is not simply an economic condition, but an attitude of the heart based on love: it effects should also be felt beyond the walls of the religious community in an outgoing service to others. Jesus Christ emptied Himself when He came among us; though abundantly rich, he became poor for our sake, so that through his poverty we ourselves might be enriched. It is a challenge to give oneself to God’s little ones. Augustine fully understood and accepted this self-offering in his own day and was a model to his followers to go and do the same.
But beyond these material cares for the companions of his poverty, as He was accustomed to call all the poor, he also put himself out continually, to help people through various works of mercy, for he well understood that one does not leave on bread alone. We can find a number of areas in which the poor of Christ can be better served in the world. But this service cannot be achieved without a real spirit of self-sacrifice, a willingness to put oneself out. Once again the challenge is laid down, to live that admirable simplicity which characterized Augustine’s life, to experience deeply within ourselves the need for God and one another, and to hunger for God and the coming of his kingdom. The real gift that is being asked of us through evangelical poverty is nothing less than the gift of self. Augustine challenges us to accept whole-heartedly, not only the giving up of our possessions for the poor, but also in a very positive way, a meaningful following of Christ , who invites one: Come follow me. (Pause)
LITANY IN HONOR OF SAINT AUGUSTINE
Lord, have mercy on us…
God the Father of Heaven Have mercy on us
God the Son, Redeemer of the World Have mercy on us
God, the Holy Spirit Have mercy on us
Holy Trinity, one God Have mercy on us
Mary, Mother of Jesus Pray for us
Mary, Mother of Consolation Pray for us
Mary, Mother of Good Counsel Pray for us
St. Augustine, bright star of the Church Pray for us
St. Augustine, filled with zeal for God’s glory Pray for us
St. Augustine, dauntless defender of the truth Pray for us
St. Augustine, the triumph of divine grace Pray for us
St. Augustine, on fire with the love of God Pray for us
St. Augustine, so great and so humble Pray for us
St. Augustine, prince of bishops and doctors Pray for us
St. Augustine, father of monastic life Pray for us
St. Augustine, holiest of the wise and wisest of the holy Pray for us
Pray for us St. Augustine That may become worthy of the promises of Christ.
ALL: We praise you Lord by our commitment to share our resources to the poor, to give sanctuary to the people in need, to be in solidarity with one another and to line in simplicity and transparency with one another. Give us the enduring strength to carry these in our life, so that we may be real witness to the great generosity of God. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.