St Augustine of Hippo 354-430 and the Augustinians
Words of St Augustine
“My soul was restless until it rested in you O Lord”
“Upon you I call, O God, my mercy, who made me and did not forget me when I forgot you.”
“Lord, you pierced my heart with your word, and I fell in love with you.”
from The Confessions of St Augustine
Life of St Augustine
Augustine was born in North Africa, probably of a Berber/Roman family. Although brought up a Christian, in his early adult life he tried out every fashionable trend in belief and philosophy and was particularly drawn to be first a Manichaean, then a Neoplatonist. His brilliant mind and ability to reason out an argument led to a very successful legal and academic career in Milan, Italy.
Under the influence of St Ambrose of Milan and his mother Monica's prayers, he was converted to Christianity in 387. Renouncing his life-style and successful career, he returned to his homeland to lead a quiet ascetic life with a few like-minded companions. However within a short time he was elected Bishop of Hippo (now in modern Algeria) and spent the next 34 years teaching and writing such great works as his Confessions. This book poetically maps the many struggles he fought, and blind alleys he entered, before finding his peace in God.
See the wonderful new translation of the Confessions of St Augustine in the Recommended Reading section.
Teaching on, and practising, Praying in Silence is not unique to Augustinians, but two recent books have been written by members of the Augustan Order which are excellent reads. See below
Prayer of St Augustine
"O thou, who art light of the minds that know Thee, the life of the souls that love Thee, and the strength of the souls that serve Thee; help us so to know Thee that we may truly love Thee: so we may fully serve Thee, whom to serve is perfect freedom. "
The Augustinians are represented in our Diocese by the Canons Regular of the Immaculate Conception at St Augustine's, Milton Keynes. Our Datchet parish was formerly run by another Augustinian order, the Canons Regular of the Lateran. In the pre-1976 Diocese, there is also Clare Priory in Suffolk. For individual or group retreats and events and workshops see www.clarepriory.org.uk
Augustine of Hippo by Ben O'Rourke OSA
If you have ever struggled with heavy translations of The Confessions of St Augustine this wonderful new translation is for you. It would be worth reading just for the lyrical turn of phrase and language used. But it is much more. Augustine, who was closer in time to the ancient Greek philosophers than to our time, comes alive. Augustine was an ambitious young man with a glittering career before him, sampling every new idea of his age and finding them all unsatisfactory, until he falls into the arms of a loving God. It speaks to every age, including ours.