Day 24 – “One mind and one heart intent upon God”
Augustinian community life is described by a statement comprising of two phrases: “One mind and one heart,” which derives from Luke’s description of the Jerusalem community, and “in Deum” (= ‘intent upon God’25). It is interesting to note that the Lucan phrase “one in mind and heart” is closely linked with the description of the disciples not calling anything their own, selling what they possessed and placing the proceeds at the feet of the apostles who would then distribute them to each as was needed (Acts 2:44; 4:32.33-34).
This sharing of goods was understood by Augustine as the visible sign of oneness of mind and heart. The following selection from Augustine’s commentary on Ps. 131 serves to illustrate this point: My brothers, how many thousands were they who believed, at the time when they brought to the feet of the apostles the price of their goods. And what does Scripture say of them? That they certainly became the temple of God. Not only each one alone, but all of them together, became God’s temple. They thus became a place for the Lord. In order that you may understand that all of them were made into one single place for the Lord, the Scripture says: “They had one mind and one heart intent upon God.” (Acts. 4:32-35)
There are many persons who do not create a place for the Lord, because they look out for their own interests; they love their own advantage; they rejoice in their possessions; they seek their personal good. Whoever wants to make a place for the Lord must be content, not with private goods, but with what is common … My brothers, let us too, abstain from private property at least in a spirit of detachment, if we cannot do it in fact, and we also shall prepare a place for the Lord.