The Rule of St. Augustine and the Book of Constitutions and Ordinations (LCO) comprises a fundamental rulebook for the work we do as Dominican Friars, and for the life we friars live.
The secular world is full of rulebooks. You can bet on any successful corporate entity (Coca Cola, Amazon, Google etc.) having a handbook that lays out expectations and structure for employees to follow. The LCO does this; it tells us, for example, that hearing Confessions and preaching the Eucharist is central to our mission (LCO 105).
But the LCO is not just an employee handbook for Dominican Friars.
A corporate handbook is written with the ultimate end goal of making a company as profitable as possible. This Dominican handbook is more concerned with profits than any corporate handbook. It is so concerned with profits that it lays claim to Friars’ lives in a way that no corporate handbook could ever get away with. The difference is that the LCO has been written with heavenly profits in mind, both for Dominican Friars and the people we serve, and that it has been written by Augustine – a saint and Doctor of the Church – and by the Friars themselves.
The LCO for men called to live as Dominican Friars, is more than a set of rules. If a Dominican Friar strives to let this living document, properly understood, govern his life, he may know with mystical certainty that he is acting in accord with God’s will. That Friar may be assured that his Dominican life will bear fruit in this life and in the life to come.