st augustine

st augustine - Saint Augustine wrote be assiduous in prayer...

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Michael Penna The document is a guideline, or rule, of the order of monastic life. It outlines how one should live in a monastic community. The document is divided into eight chapters, ranging from prayer to chastity to forgiveness. In each chapter there are points that explain how one would go about each quality. For example, in the chapter entitled safeguarding chastity, the first point mentioned is “there should be nothing about your clothing to attract attention. Besides, you should not seek to please by your apparel, but by a good life.” The intended audience of the document is those new people who are first joining a monastic community – their expectations of behavior in living a monastic lifestyle. The ideas and values of the monastic community, as described in the document, have changed little since the creation of the Rule of Saint Augustine. Prayer, for instance, remains the bedrock upon which a monastic community is created.
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Unformatted text preview: Saint Augustine wrote be assiduous in prayer (Colossians 4:2), at the hours and times appointed. However, these ideas and values are significantly different from those in the world around us today. For example, when referring to chastity, Saint Augustine wrote you may not fix your gaze upon any woman. Seeing women when you go out is not forbidden, but it is sinful to desire them or to wish them to desire you. Present day readers bring their own assumptions of monastic communities when reading the document. The document supports the Letter to a Soldier written by Saint Jerome, who himself was influenced by monasticism. The creation of monasticism itself was a response to the legalization of Christianity in the Roman Empire. Those who wanted to enter a monastic community wanted to escape the worldliness they saw around themselves. The same reason attracts those wanting to join a monastic community in the present day....
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