“Proclaiming of the Word of God to those whom He places along their path… Such a grace requires a profound union with the Lord”
Our life of prayer includes
- Daily Mass, Eucharistic Adoration, and chanting the Liturgy of the Hours.
- Places and times of silence and solitude, regular retreats.
- Reading Sacred Scripture and spiritual exercises.
- Devotion to the Saints, especially the Blessed Virgin Mary.
Eucharist: The summit of each day is the Holy Mass. The intimate union with the Trinity by reception of Holy Communion gives our community its life which then overflows into evangelization: Jesus in the Eucharist is “both the source and the summit of all evangelization, since its goal is the communion of mankind with Christ and in him with the Father and the Holy Spirit.”1 It is the source of our prayer life for “the Holy Spirit makes it come alive in contemplative prayer so that our charity will manifest it in our acts.”2 At the center of every house is reserved the Blessed Sacrament where Jesus is frequently visited and worshiped especially in Eucharistic adoration.
Liturgy of the Hours: After Mass the Sacred Liturgy continues to sanctify the day with the chanting of the Liturgy of the Hours. The hymns, Psalms, canticles, Scripture readings, and prayers are offered to God, the Father, through Jesus, the Son, on behalf of his bride, the Church. For the brother who makes this life his profession it becomes not just his “opus Dei” (“work of God”) but becomes his joy to praise, thank, adore, confess to, and petition the Father in union with his brothers as one heart and with one voice.
The Sacred Liturgy is “the font from which all her power flows” and is “the aim and object of apostolic works”, “that all who are made sons of God by faith and baptism should come together to praise God in the midst of His Church, to take part in the sacrifice, and to eat the Lord’s supper.”3 The Society “evangelizes and is herself evangelized through the beauty of the liturgy, which is both a celebration of the task of evangelization and the source of her renewed self-giving.”4
Contemplative prayer: The external, communal prayer of the Sacred Liturgy “reaches its full effectiveness when it is intimately linked to personal prayer,” to the effect that “greater emphasis must be placed on the inner aspect, on the filial relationship to the Father, on the intimate and spousal relationship with Christ.”5
Aiming to become “Spirit-filled evangelizers”, it is essential to cultivate a deep interior union with God because “without prolonged moments of adoration, of prayerful encounter with the word, of sincere conversation with the Lord, our work easily becomes meaningless; we lose energy as a result of weariness and difficulties, and our fervour dies out.”6 Continual cultivation of contemplative prayer deepens the wellspring of God’s grace in us which he fills to overflowing, and from this overflow do we pour it out in evangelization. Our own encounter with the living God becomes a source of transforming encounter with Christ for others.
Silence and solitude: Contemplative prayer is nourished by “the interior and exterior silence that leaves space for the Word and the Spirit to regenerate the more hidden depths. (Fraternal Life in Community #15). “Times of silence are demanded by love of God. As a rule he needs a certain solitude so that he may hear God “speaking to his heart..” “the search for intimacy with God involves the truly vital need of a silence embracing the whole being, both for those who must find God in the midst of noise and confusion and for contemplatives.” (ET 46.)
Sacred Scripture: “The word of God is the first source of all Christian spirituality. It gives rise to a personal relationship with the living God and with his saving and sanctifying will.” (VC 94). Whether in study, meditation, or lectio divina, the Sacred Scriptures are read frequently in private or in common. Meditating on Scripture in common “leads to a joyful sharing of the riches drawn from the word of God, thanks to which brothers or sisters grow together and help one another to make progress in the spiritual life.” (VC 94). Spiritual reading consists also of Church teaching, the lives and writings of the Saints, and that which assists us in our mission and charism.
Blessed Virgin Mary: “Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary is an ‘intrinsic element of Christian worship’” for she holds “the highest place and [is] the closest to us after Christ” (Paul VI, MC 28). In the Society Our Lady models each element of our charism and intercedes for us in a profound way.
As the “Mother of God”, we become her spiritual sons united to Jesus the Son and are adopted as sons of the Father. Through her spiritual maternity our brotherhood in community reachest its greatest potential as we gather around her as disciples in the Upper Room. She teaches us to love one another as Christ did but only as a fruit of our union with Christ. As her spiritual children we become united to her, “a type of the Church in the order of faith, charity and perfect union with Christ.” (LG 63).
As “Mother of the Eucharist” she “is the model for each of us, called to receive the gift that Jesus makes of himself in the Eucharist” (Sacramentum Caritatis #33). We live the Paschal mysteries in awe and adoration, ardently longing to worship Jesus and to receive him in the next Holy Communion. She received him in perfect love throughout her whole earthly life, from the Annunciation to the Passion to Pentecost, but most affectionately as she “received Christ’s sacrifice for the whole Church” (Sacramentum Caritatis #33).
As “Spouse of the Holy Spirit”, she is “prayerfully imploring the gift of the Spirit” (Redemptoris Mater #26) for us as she did with the disciples on Pentecost to prepare us for the missionary mandate, to lavishly bestow the gifts and charisms upon us for the building up of the Church.
As “Star of Evangelization” (EG 287) she guides our apostolate, navigating the way to Jesus and the souls he so longs to save. (Pope Francis’ Prayer to the Blessed Virgina Mary in Evangelii Gaudium)
Out of tender filial devotion we consecrate ourselves to Jesus through Mary in the manner of St. Louis de Montfort and St. Maximilian Kolbe.