Pope asks Augustinians to keep St. Augustine’s restlessness to help others
Augustinians from across the world are in Rome to choose their prior general for the next six years, and set their agendas. The Pope accepted their invitation and celebrated the Mass to start of the Chapter General for the Order in the Basilica di Sant’Agostino in Campo Marzio, Roma. The Pope asked them to live with the same restlessness that led St. Augustine, despite his sins, to find God.
“Look into the depths of your heart, look deep within yourself, and ask yourself: Do you have a heart that desires something great, or a heart that is put to sleep by material things? Has your heart has kept the restlessness of searching or have you let it suffocate, so that it wastes away?”
Pope Francis, as a member of a religious institute, addressed the Augustinian members that make up the Chapter General. He explained to them what their attitudes should be.
“Do we, as consecrated, think about personal interests, the functionalism of our works, or careerism? We can think about a lot of things. Have I, to put it this way, conformed myself my Christian life, my priestly life, my religious life, and my community life? Or do I keep the strength of restlessness for God, for his Word, that takes me to ‘go out’ towards other?”
He also stressed the importance of going out and searching for people to help, without waiting to be asked.
“One can live in a community without actually knowing their bothers. With pain I think about consecrated persons that are not fruitful, that are ‘spinsters.’ The restlessness of love leads always to go out and meet others, without the other person showing the need for help. The restlessness of love gives us the gift of pastoral fruitfulness, and we must ask ourselves, each one of us: how is my spiritual fruitfulness, my pastoral fruitfulness.”
At the end of the Mass, the Pope prayed to the image of Our Lady, and lit a candle, which will remain as a memory of his visit to the Basilica of St. Augustine.