The Prior General, Miguel Miró, reminds us that St. Augustine teaches us to “put our trust in the mercy of the Lord”. Furthermore, he calls to live “with joy the vocation and mission” of the Augustinian Recollects.
Greetings to the entire Augustinian Recollect Family on this occasion of the Solemnity of Saint Augustine!
Together let us thank the Lord for the company and example of Augustine, father, teacher and friend in this shared journey. From his experience, he guides us in the search for Truth, invites us to return to our hearts and inspires us to create new networks of friendship, peace and solidarity today. Saint Augustine leads us to Christ, the inner Master. In Christ our hearts are filled with joy and our lives with hope and happiness.
A Family that dreams
The dream of having “one soul and one heart directed towards God” is restlessness, it is prayer and it is the desire that the young, the middle aged and the elderly of the entire Augustinian Recollect Family feel at the bottom of their hearts. Our communities, our fraternities and our RAY youth communities today need to dream and live their vocation and mission with joy. The joy of the Gospel springs up in the hearts of those who meet Jesus or allow themselves to be found by him. We can hear his voice when listening to the Word, in the community, in the family, in the celebrations and in moments of pain. We sense his voice in serving others, in the cry of the poor and in the silence of Creation. Jesus always shows us the love of the Father and infuses us with his Spirit so that there may be fire, light and life in our hearts. For this reason, we can say with Saint Augustine: “And the happy life is this – to have joy unto You, in You, and for You; this is it, and there is no other.” (Confessions 10, 32).
Young people teach us to return to the first love
This year the Recollect Augustinian Youth (RAY) turns 25 . The RAY serves as a channel, an itinerary for young people who want to grow in faith and love with the spirituality of the Order. The celebration of this anniversary is a good opportunity to give thanks to God for the many young people who, throughout these 25 years, have felt called and have decided to live their Christian life united by bonds of friendship and brotherhood in the style of Augustine. Augustine was a good friend to his friends, and together with Alypius and Posidius he sought the Truth. In it the RAY will always have a signpost for true friendship.
We are also very grateful to the young men and women who have responded with love and enthusiasm to the personal call of Jesus to live and follow him in the consecrated life. We thank those who are in formation houses and all the young men and women religious of the Augustinian Recollect Family. They are the new wine that requires new wineskins so as not to lose the evangelical vitality and the transforming force of the Spirit. We put our trust in them, they are not only the future, they are already our present and with them we share life and hope.
All of them fill our hearts with joy and hope. Pope Francis tells young people: “We must not regret spending our youth being good, opening our hearts to the Lord, living differently. None of this takes away our youth, but rather strengthens and renews it: “Your youth is renewed like the eagle” (Ps 103,5). That is why Saint Augustine lamented: «Late have I loved you, Oh beauty so old and so new! Late have I loved you! » (Confessions 10, 27). But that rich man, who had been faithful to God in his youth, let the years take away his dreams, and he preferred to remain attached to his goods (cf. Mk 10:22)” (Christus vivit 17).
As we approach the solemnity of Saint Augustine, let us all learn to put our trust in the mercy of the Lord and let us dare to be bold by making our own the prayer he kept repeating on so many occasions: “Give me, Lord, what you ask and ask what you will” (Confessions 10, 40). Through the joy and generosity of young people, the spiritual ardor and apostolic vigor of our communities can be renewed. “Young people can heal the wounds of the Church and the world, bringing us back to that fullness of love to which we have always been called: the young saints encourage us to return to our first love” (Christus vivit 50).
Let’s spread life and hope
We are living in complex times due to the Covid 19 pandemic and its effects on people and society. In some countries, confinement continues in others “normality” has begun, but there is fear for the resurgence of new cases. The pandemic makes us feel poor before God, reveals our fragility and the vulnerability of our world. Let us recognize Christ in the cross of those who suffer infection and in the cross of those who suffer poverty. Let us trust in the providence of the Lord and offer our prayers for the victims, their families and the medical personnel. With humility and simplicity, let us give witness to the hope that keeps us going and show solidarity with all those who suffer and are in need.
May the Lord, through the intercession of Saint Augustine, infuse you with his Spirit to overcome all discouragement and live the faith with joy and renewed hope.
Miguel Miró OAR
Rome, August 28, 2020