Throughout the Constitutions, frequent mention is made of the importance of the “common life.” According to the Rule of St. Augustine, the primary reason why we are gathered together is that we may dwell together in unity, and that there may be in us one mind and one heart in God. Rooted in the love of God, the unanimity of our life should provide an example of the universal reconciliation in Christ, which by word we preach.
Living the common life means being united through obedience, joined in a higher love through the discipline of chastity, dependent more closely on one another through poverty. The brothers strive to accept and embrace each other as members of the same body, differing indeed in talent and work, but equal in the bond of charity and of profession. In addition to engaging together in prayer, study, and ministry, the common life entails both informal recreation in order to build up bonds of fraternity as well as formal chapters and meetings which allow the brothers to face the challenges of communal life in an open and charitable manner.
The common life is ultimately rooted in the unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: our communion is founded, established, and strengthened in the same Spirit in whom we receive the Word from God the Father with one faith, contemplate with one heart, and praise with one voice; in whom we who share one bread are made one body, in whom we hold all things in common and are committed to the same work of evangelization.