“It is by contact with God, by periods of particularly intense prayer, by a spirit of habitual prayer, that a man grows in holiness.” From Call to Commitment
Fidel Aizpurua, OFM Cap, in “Following Francis: A catechism of Franciscan Spirituality”, writes: “According to Francis’s way of thinking, prayer is the Franciscan’s first duty (RegNB 3; RegB 3) and the most important one (RegB 5; EpAnt), because it is the first and only way to succeed in truly following Christ. Francis firmly believed that prayer is not just one more element in our devotional life, but an integral part of every Christian life. This is so because, when we cease to pray, our lives as followers of Christ have begun to lose all meaning. Therefore, the primacy of prayer in the Franciscan life does not simple mean that prayer is an important part of that life, but rather that it is essential to that life.”
Prayer is central in the Franciscan way of life. In his Letter to the Faithful, St. Francis advises us to worship God with “a pure heart and pure mind” and to raise to Him praises and prayers “day and night”. On prayer, St. John Vianney said that “prayer is nothing else than union with God.”
Our Rule and Constitutions provides us with spiritual exercises and devotions to encourage us to set aside special times for prayer. Some of these are required on a daily basis, for example, the Divine Office, the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin, the Office of the twelve Our Fathers/Hail Marys/Glorys and the examination of conscience. Others are required monthly, for example, Confession, and others yearly, for example, a yearly retreat. The intent of these are to help us develop a “spirit of prayer”, a sense of “praying at all times”.
Devotion to Eucharistic Adoration is promoted and encouraged within our community. As the Eucharist is the center of the life of our fraternity, our community is committed to visit Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament on a daily basis. This is essential for any apostolate or work of evangelization to be fruitful.
Our monthly gatherings are an opportunity for us to join in community prayer. Together we pray the Liturgy of the Hours, pray with the Gospel in the practice of Lectio Divina, and devote time for intercessory prayer. Our efforts to grow in holiness are dependent on the graces that flows through prayer.
“We have not deserved to pray; but God, in His goodness, has permitted us to speak to Him.” St. John Vianney