St. Norbert and the Rule of St. Augustine
Why fear the devil, armed as we are with Jesus Christ? – St. Norbert
The Rule of St. Augustine is not a long rule with details precepts, such as that of St. Benedict, but rather it is a short treatise including the basic requirements for a life lived in common. The first duty enjoined by Augustine’s rule is love of God and of neighbour and draws much inspiration from the common life lived by the first apostles in Jerusalem as described in Acts. Its flexibility has allowed it to become one of the most widely used rules of religious life and throughout history it has been used by communities of both sexes and by a multiplicity of different religious communities.
Whilst Our Holy Father norbert set about establishing conventual life at Prémontré the question arose of which Rule the new Order was to follow. Holy Tradition tells us that St. Augustine himself appeared to St. Norbert and presented him with the Augustinian Rule. The Order has retained a great love for Our Holy Father Augustine and many of our churches have altars dedicated in his honour. St. Augustine has always been regarded as the father of our Order and in our confiteor we seek the prayers of ‘Our Holy Fathers Augustine and Norbert’.
Let us pray then for every house of our Order across the world and for each of its members, that all may grow in deeper love and appreciation for the Rule of Our Holy Father Augustine. Let us pray too that all Christians may heed the injunction of the Augustinian Rule:
“Before all things, most dear brothers, we must love God and after Him our neighbor; for these are the principal commands which have been given to us”
V) Pray for us, O Holy Father Norbert,
R) That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray,
Awake O Lord, in Thy Church the Spirit by Whom St. Norbert, Thy Confessor and Bishop, was guided in order that, filled with the same Spirit, we may love what he loved, and live as he taught us. Through Christ, Our Lord. Amen.