Friday, August 28, 2009

Living the Life of Nazareth

Sometimes people will ask, "What is your charism?"

I think this is a good question. In this day and age of so much confusion about consecrated life and religious life, it is important to have an adequate explanation.

The charism of our association is rooted in what we call the Nine Elements of Nazareth (take from the allocution of Pope Paul VI at Nazareth in 1964; you can find it in the Office of Readings for the Feast of the Holy Family in the Liturgy of the Hours): silence, contemplation, poverty, chastity, obedience, work, prayer, study and charity.

All our members live this spirituality according to their state in life.

As monastics, we live this according to the classical contemplative life in the spirit of the Rule of Saint Benedict. Last September 8th, the Feast of the Birth of Mary, we began to wear a black scapular in honor of Saint Benedict. The Sacred Liturgy holds a "pride of place" along with sacred reading, lectio divina, and work.

We have a special work as monastics: the writing of sacred iconography. To share the fruits of our contemplation and to assist others in their journey to God we are committed to the Sacred Liturgy (in both Forms using Gregorian chant) and the writing of icons.

By our simple monastic life, we aspire "to live at the Heart of the Church, our Mother," in the words of Saint Therese of Lisieux.

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