DAY 9: OPENNESS TO THE NEEDS OF THE PEOPLE

In the name of the father + and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
 
Augustine was always mindful of his companions in poverty. He gave to them by taking from what was set aside for his own use and that of those who lived with him, that is, the income from the goods of the Church and the offerings of the faithful. Sometimes when the church had no money, he informed the faithful that he had nothing more that he could give to the poor. In order to help 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.
 
Augustine’s solidarity with the people is felt keenly in these words. “My brothers, let your primary purpose, be openness with the needs of the poor…Focus your attention on Christ, who is hungry and suffering.”
 
Let us pause for some moments to allow these words of our patron Saint to enter into our consciousness and move our hearts and will to a compassionate response to the human condition of the people.
 
READING: From LIVING IN FREEDOM UNDER GRACE
We are rightly urged to practice solidarity with the poor. But this solidarity must not be limited to those materially poor. As has been indicated above, it should also embrace the ignorant, the insecure, the lonely, and the ill, those who suffer from failure, sinners. The whole area of justice and peace comes to mind here, an area that has been brought more and more to the forefront of our awareness in recent years. But as must be clear, we cannot attempt to speak out to others on this matter unless we have already set our own house in order. Our whole attitude toward the under-privileged, the exceptional, minority groups, those who work with us and for us, needs to undergo close scrutiny, for it is precisely in this very personal area that the quest for the greater justice in the world must begin. When we take this aspect of our lives seriously, then our solidarity with all the poor in the society, will take on a new and more significant meaning. (End of the reading).

Let us stay quiet for a moment and ask ourselves. If Augustine were alive, how would he respond to the poor in our place of work, and in our own communities?
 
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.

CONCLUDING PRAYER
ALL: Lord, renew in your Church the spirit you gave St. Augustine. Filled with his spirit, may we thirst for you alone as fountain of wisdom and seek you as the source of eternal love so that we will be open to the needs of the people in our communities. We ask you this through Christ our Lord, our friend and brother. Amen.