Formative Practices

Andrés G. Niño (*)  

Formative practices

in Augustine’s Confessions.


Stabo et solidabor in te, in forma mea,

veritate tua (Conf. XI, 30,40)


In a previous article1 I discussed a cluster of spiritual exercises that emerge from a reading of Augustine’s Confessions as a meditative ascent towards God through a radical change of mind and affects. In this paper I show that the transformative power of those exercises expands through some formative practices to consolidate the choice of a Christian way of life. Among them, attentive silence, assiduous lectio divina, construction of a personal narrative, participation in ritual, engagement in ministry to the community, spiritual counseling and observance of the Rule. They all have a private and social dimension and together constitute a solid core of Augustine’s distinctive and fundamental discipline of spiritual development.


Studies in Spirituality 20, 149-191. doi: 10.2143/.21.0.2141949

© 2011 by Studies in Spirituality. All rights reserved.



(*) NIÑO, A G. (2008) “Spiritual Exercises in Augustine’s Confessions”. Journal of Religion and Health. Psychology, Spirituality, Medicine 47: 88-102. (OnlineFirst, 2007).