Augustinian Contemplation

Discovering the presence of God within.

"Let us leave a little room for reflection in our lives, room too for silence. Let us look within ourselves and see whether there is some delightful hidden place inside where we can be free of noise and argument. Let us hear the Word of God in stillness and perhaps we will then come to understand it."

- Saint Augustine (Sermon 52, 22)

Augustinian Contemplation

The Constitutions of the Augustinian Order teaches that contemplation (along with common prayer, reading, and study) are indispensable requirements for the apostolate (no. 194). Yet, the Rule of Saint Augustine does not say anything about contemplative prayer.

The short chapter on prayer in the Rule (nos. 10-12) says only the following: In the Oratory no one should do anything other than that for which it was intended and from which it also takes its name. Consequently, if there are some who might wish to pray there during their free time, even outside the hours appointed, they should not be hindered by those who think something else must be done there. And when you pray to God in Psalms and hymns, think over in your hearts the words that come from your lips.

However, as Fr. Allan Fitzgerald, OSA observes, we find a contemplative spirit beneath all of Augustine’s letters, tracts, and homilies.  We can therefore turn to Augustine’s Confessions to discover the conversion that slowly prepared him for contemplative prayer.  Fr. Allan calls this phenomenon “routes to contemplation.”

Fr. Allan Fitzgerald, OSA

Augustine's Routes to Contemplation

What do our life experiences, our life questions, our desires, hope, and our desire for love have to teach us about God?  In this series of posts (adapted from a retreat given by Fr. Allan Fitzgerald, OSA) we invite you to reflect with us on this very question.

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