Spirituality Studies 9-1 Spring 2023 73 Miloš Lichner by Augustine. He describes three styles of life: “In three ways of life, the first one consisting of contemplation and the search for the truth, although not idle; the second one filled by worries about human matters; the third one where both ways are in balance.” (Augustinus 1955, 660). He discovered the first two ways in the images of biblical figures. The CAG Online Database of Augustine’s texts in their Latin version shows that he found three pairs of different figures in the Bible which served as the models for his thinking. There are two sisters, Martha and Mary, from The New Testament described in the Gospel of John (Bonnardière 1986, 411–425); in The Old Testament he found two women, Leah and Rachel, both wives of the patriarch Jacob (Augustinus 1891, 648–653) and from the Gospel of John he took the New Testament figures of the apostles Peter and John (Augustinus 1954a, 680–687). According to Augustine, the figures of Mary, Rachel and John represented life dedicated to religious contemplation and prayer or intellectual thinking, while Martha, Leah and Peter represented active life dedicated to deeds of mercy for the sake of people in need. We can also say that active life is connected to a paradigm of temporal existence, while the second way of life implies peace and stability of eternal life to which we are oriented. It is obvious that Augustine sensed real tension between the active life and the contemplative way of life. There is a complementary relation between them, which – as it seems – represented the third way of life mentioned by pagan thinker Terentius Varro, quoted above. Hence, the active life is an inevitable part of a life directed towards contemplation, both on earth and in future life. In his sermons, Augustine regularly encouraged almsgiving, the practice of which purifies the sinful soul of a person: “Practice mercy, practice almsgiving, fasting, prayers. Through them the hearts are purified of daily sins which would not tear souls if there was no human fragility.” (Augustinus 1953, 141). It is necessary for man to share wealth with the poor to save his soul (Augustinus 1931, 203): If you love wealth, you do not want to lose it, because it will die with you wherever you go. Here, my advice regarding your wealth. Do you love it? Thereby send it where you can follow it. Avoid loving it in this earthly world, because you risk losing it while you are here or leaving it behind when you die. There, I have for you advice: I did not say you would have to destroy it but to make better use of it. Do you want to gather wealth? I am not telling you not to, but I advise where you should gather it. I am not the one who forbids, but the one who gives advice. So where should you gather it? ‘Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor decay destroys’ (Mt 6:20). Serving those who are in need is nothing but the means of purification of the soul to enable it to contemplate God. Both ways of life are necessary, and it is crucial that neither of them interferes with the goodness of the other way of life but complements it, thus creating the third way of life – contemplation in action. This is why Augustine tried to harmonize both ways in his search for a Christian ideal of love that consists of love for God and love for our neighbor, which according to Christ are two principal parts of the main commandment: “driven by one and the same love, we love God and our neighbor: if we love God for the sake of God and neighbor also for the sake of God” (Augustinus 2001, 286). In the Book 19 of The City of God, Augustine (1955, 686) reminds us that each of these ways of life may lead to salvation: It depends on what he does out of love for the truth and what out of duty for love. Nobody should be overly contemplative and neglect in his peace the benefit of his neighbor. And nobody should be overly active and neglect the contemplation of God… Thus, love for the truth searches for sacred peace and perceives rightful activity as a duty of love for neighbor. If nobody imposes this heavy burden upon us, it is desired to reflect on the truth. And if we have this burden laid on our shoulders, we ought to accept it out of duty to love our neighbor. And although the contemplative way of life is better: “Mary has chosen the better part” (Lk 10:42). Jacob indeed married Leah, who represented the active life, but served other years to also get Rachel who symbolized contemplation (Gn 29). This cannot mean that the apostolic action would be bad. It only means that it should lead to something more complete (Augustinus 1865, 615). Hence, we should adopt active way of life when the Church reminds us of our talent; however, even during our striving we should not neglect the magic of contemplation. 4 The Anthropological Base of Augustine Thinking Augustine’s perception of the relation between action and contemplation is based on his view of man and human nature as an essential unity of soul and body that represents the inner and outer part of a person. The human soul is created, not born, and as such it is obliged within its essence