Monday, July 12, 2010

More Thoughts on the Augustinians of the Holy Eucharist

I see the idea has sparked some interest. (See comments on previous post).

It takes time to get out what I am thinking about this, and I certainly welcome others' ideas.

A new type of prayer group. One that is masculine and intellectual. All groups and orders are set up around the inspired teaching of some great master. There is hardly any more suitable than Augustine. I don't want it to take the place of any other devotion anyone has. It's not a way of life, it's a prayer group. Nor does it have to incorporate the greatness of any other charism or devotion. It can be a healthy addition to one's life of prayer. I think there's room for increasing the intellectuality of one's experience of Catholicism, and room for men growing in prayer together.

Its Way of Life

Commit to live a life pleasing to the Lord:
  •  By growing in love for the Holy Eucharist.
  •  By committing to discern His will in prayer.
  •  By living a life in obedience to the Church.
  •  By being free from excess in drink, food, and all other indulgences, according to the spirit of the Rule of St. Augustine.
  •  By living a life of modesty in speech, dress and life, according to the spirit of the Rule of St. Augustine.
  •  By committing to intercede for mercy from the Lord for the Church and the world.
  •  By committing to learning from our spiritual guide, St. Augustine of Hippo.
  •  By aiding works of charity consistent with our calling in Christ.

 Its Way of Prayer

Eucharistic adoration services, once a week, as a group when possible, otherwise individually. These services will include a reading from the spiritual works of St. Augustine and the recitation of the 7 Penitential Psalms, and periods of silent meditation.

This is what has come to my mind so far. I need to re-read the Rule of St. Augustine to draw some further inspiration.


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  2. Hi Colin: It's late, but the house is quiet and I like that. It gives me time to think.

    In fact, I've been thinking on and off about your proposal for some sort of men's group and I have a few ideas to toss out. However, before doing so I guess I need to clarify whether what you have in mind is a prayer group, or something more than that. You wrote in your post of July 12th: "It's not a way of life, it's a prayer group." However, below that in the bulleted points you have suggested that there be what I'll call "norms" with respect to: drink, food, speech, dress and life. And that, it seems to me, goes beyond a simple prayer group.

    It's your idea and I don't want to derail it, or try to take it in a direction you really think it shouldn't go. So, before I propose any ideas that aren't very helpful, I'd be glad if you were clarify whether it's a prayer / study group you have in mind, or something more formal and comprehensive.

    For what it's worth at this early stage of sort of thrashing it out, my inclination is to a prayer / study group, and then one can see where it leads. But, if you know now that what you want to launch is something more, that's fine. I'm just trying to understand better what you have in mind.

    I'll keep this initiative in my prayers and l look forward to reading future posts.


  3. You've spotted the lack of clarity in my thinking. When you are talking about a lay group one should be hesitant about created too many obligations for people whose lives are already full with family and work. But on the other hand, why have something at all if it does not challenge you to grow? So that's the dilemma. Yes, please keep thinking and praying. I am.

  4. A few thoughts...

    1. I think that you are in a privileged position with respect to initiating a group for men, two of the main features of which are prayer and study. By virtue of your work at OLSWA you are in continuous contact throughout the academic year with young men who take their faith seriously and who are looking to better understand their faith. It seems natural to me that this initiative would include them. They need to build a lifelong habit of daily prayer and an intellectually serious worldview of which their faith is an integral component. Could not this group help to lay that foundation?

    2. It strikes me as significant that your idea was proposed and is being discussed on the net. Could not members of the group include those beyond Barry's Bay? Would it be possible to participate through the net? For example, could you use the net to promote discussion of the thought of St. Augustine? Could you have a regular weekly, or monthly post that might include a short reading assignment and links to relevant resources on the net? Discussion could take the form of comments about your post.

    3. Of course, there is nothing to prohibit members of the group who are local to Barry's Bay from getting together; however, I think that the use of the net is essential. Every year you will see new students and every year graduates will move on to another stage in their lives. With the annual influx of new students and the ubiquity of the internet, in five years your group might have grown quite substantially, and the online community might be the largest part.

    Hope this helps.

  5. Those are tremendous ideas. Sorry I took so long getting back, I was away. I'll post soon!