Poverty December 7
Food and clothing shall be distributed to each of you by your superior, not equally to all, for all do not enjoy equal health, but rather according to each one’s need (Rule of St. Augustine 4).
His undisciplined youth, his experience of human instability and his struggle for personal integrity down through the years gave St. Augustine sympathy for others’ weaknesses. How many times did he have to fight for moral mastery over himself? He also suffered from frail health and knew the limits of physical strength. It is hardly surprising that in his Rule there is a certain moderation and discretion when it comes to asceticism. Augustine always invites others to the summit of the ideal of poverty, without ignoring the personal and social handicaps that hinder a fast climb. Throughout his Rule, he makes temporary concessions in favor of confreres who are spoiled and delicate, weak and sick. He nods to the human condition of each one while encouraging each to arrive at the spiritual goal of complete union with God. Like the Suffering Servant of God, “he does not break the crushed reed, nor snuff the faltering wick. Faithfully he presents fair judgment.” (Is. 42,3).
If you don’t live in this house, you can’t know what insects bite here. (Bakongo)