3. Prayer (C3)

  1. We place the highest value on the sacred liturgy, which is the exercise of the priestly function of Jesus Christ, the summit of all the church's activity and the source of Christian life. Individually and in common we devote serious effort to nourish our spiritual life with the liturgy and to open its treasure to the faithful. For that reason we cherish the mystery of the Eucharist and the Liturgy of the Hours. The monastic founders and St. Francis wanted the entire life of the community to be shaped by them. With due primacy given to monastic liturgical customs for the monastic expression, the brothers and sisters also adapt themselves, to regulations given by competent ecclesiastical authority of the region.

  2. Liturgy of the Hours:
    In the Liturgy of the Hours we speak to God with God’s own words taken from the scriptures, and in God’s word God meets us and speaks to us. So that the word of God celebrated in the office may penetrate our hearts more deeply, and shape our life and activity more effectively, it is sung or spoken and heard with reverence. Whenever possible the brothers and sisters should sing the psalms, since they were originally sacred songs. In accordance with the early monastic customs appropriate silences are also introduced into the offices after each psalm to allow the words to soak in slowly, steadily, and surely. For this reason we pray the psalms slowly and mindfully. Let us try to sing to God more with our hearts than with our lips lest we incur our Savior’s reproach to the Pharisees, “This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” As St. Francis says, “Say the office, not concentrating on the melody, but being careful that our hearts are in harmony so that our words may be in harmony with our hearts and our hearts with God.”

  3. Eucharist and Communion:
    We participate in the Eucharistic sacrifice as fully, actively, and consciously as we can since we are celebrating the paschal mystery of Jesus Christ until He comes. We keep nothing of ourselves for ourselves in this offering so that God may receive us totally, who gave Godself totally to us.

  4. As the one Bread, broken for many, brings many into unity, so do our lifestyle and liturgical celebrations manifest both sacrifice and unity.

  5. Each house or community can determine the time and other circumstances of the celebration of the Eucharist, the Communion Service, the Liturgy of the Hours, the celebration of the Word of God, and all other forms of prayer in common. These must always be in tune with the true gospel spirit, the monastic traditions, and the directives and norms given by competent church authority. The Av sets the schedule for the motherhouse in consultation with the Executive Council.

  6. Charismatic:
    Since the community was birthed out of both the religious and charismatic traditions of the church, openness to the charismatic gifts is always prevalent during common prayer.

  7. Contemplation:
    The spirit of prayer and devotion, encouraged by our socio-eremitical and monastic traditions, demands that the brothers, sisters, and families spend a substantial amount of their time in more contemplative prayer.

  8. Renewal and Recollection
    Silence faithfully guards the interior spirit and is required by charity in community life. We, therefore, cherish silence in our communities to support a life of prayer, study, and reflection.