You are currently viewing Unitas (Unity)

Unitas (Unity)

“The main purpose for you having come together is to live harmoniously in your house, intent upon God in oneness of mind and heart.” (The Rule, I, 3).

The principal aim of all Christian vocations is union with Christ.

As we see in the Augustinian core value of Veritas, union with Christ involves the search for truth about God in the ever changing and mysterious circumstances of life that we find ourselves in. The deeper Augustine got into his own search for truth about who God is, the more he realized he could not search alone. He needed the company of others and decided to found a community of friends with whom he could continue his lifelong search.

As Saint Paul teaches, we are all one body in Christ, though we are many parts (1 Cor. 12). While the Church consists of various gifts and vocations by which those gifts are shared (e.g., married life, single life, ordained life, religious life, etc), every gift is a contribution to the search for the source of all truth: God.

All are therefore called to bring these diverse gifts in union with God and each other. Thus, the journey to union with Christ involves union with each other.

We see how unity was established among the early Christian community through a dediction to the mutual sharing of gifts in such a way that no one was in need or had possessive power over another (Acts 4:32-37). This same sentiment is echoed by Saint Augustine in his Rule through which Augustine exhorts those who follow his way of life to freely and generously share their gifts for the common good of the whole community (The Rule I, 4). This Rule of Saint Augustine governs the Augustinian way of life today.

Some of the ways the Rule of Augustine calls us to unity are

  1. Shared identity through our common journey to Christ. Though we bring different gifts and life circumstances, we are all searching for God together (The Rule I, 3).
  2. Prioritizing prayer and worship as our source of unity with each other in God (The Rule II).
  3. Eagerness to serve the common good rather than just our own (The Rule I, 31).
  4. Respect for one another as being made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:27) and the unique gifts that each person brings to the community in spite of our differences (The Rule I, 9).

These same characteristics can be applied to all vocations in life. Whether one is married, ordained, in religious vows, or single; all Christians share an identity in the search for Christ; all are called to share in prayer, worship, and dialogue around that search; all are called to contribute their unique gifts and talents to the common mission; all are called to eagerly contribute their unique gifts and talents for common good of all humanity; all are called to respect for human being as being made in the image and likeness of God.

Yet, freely giving of oneself for the benefit of others involves generosity. The human condition tempts us towards the desire for control and possessiveness. We see how in the early Christina community Ananias failed to contribute what he and his wife had been given by God to the common good, choosing rather to retain it for themselves (Acts: 5:1-11). Perhaps we can all identify with the temptation that Ananias faced in those times when we chose not to freely give.

Generosity is propelled by love. Love comes from God, and it is love that draws us into union with God and with others. Thus, the cultivation of love that propels unity through mutual sharing of our gifts is a key part of the Augustinian way of life, and leads to our third core value: Caritas.

See Augustinian Quotes on Unitas

See Posts Related to the Augustinian Value of Unitas

Heroic Hope

by Jeremy Hiers, OSA If you drive past just about any hospital or healthcare facility these days, you will likely see a sign that says, “Heroes Work Here.” These signs remind us of the brave and dedicated men and women who have dared to work in healthcare during the pandemic. We could put similar signs […]

A Path to Unity in a Divided World

“God does not demand much of you.  He asks back what he gave you, and from him you take what is enough for you.  The superfluities of the rich are the necessities of the poor.  When you possess superfluities, you possess what belongs to others.” – Saint Augustine (Exposition of the Psalms 147) Why did Augustine say this? […]

Introductory Rites: The Collect

by Jeremy Hiers, OSA This post is part of a series called The Mass: An Augustinian Perspective offered on AugustinianSpirituality.org. As the Introductory Rites come to a close, the Priest calls upon the people to pray.  Saint Augustine says: God wants you to pray so that you may experience desire, itself a gift from him, […]

Introductory Rites: The Penitential Act

by Jeremy Hiers, OSA This post is part of a series called The Mass: An Augustinian Perspective offered on AugustinianSpirituality.org. Our sinfulness stands in stark contrast to what we are about to participate in.  So, the priest invites us to “prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries” by turning back to God through a public […]

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.


Suggested Next Topic

Caritas


0 0 votes
Article Rating

Join the Discussion! Leave a Reply

3 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

[…] divine love. A love that always leads to the truth about who God is and why people do what they do, unity among people rather than division inspite of their differences, and charity that leads to true […]

1 year ago

[…] Thus, the Augustinian way of life is founded on the search for God with others, leading to our second core value: Unitas. […]

[…] level that brought nearly seventy people together in a spirit of deep prayer, compassion and unity. The location Isabel chose was just five blocks away from the Augustinian parish of St. […]