Teachers of the Faith are drawn into an ever-deeper union with Jesus Christ by the habit of daily prayer, a habit that develops and is nurtured slowly over time. The life of habitual prayer transforms us so that we might become authentic witnesses for Our Lord. The following spiritual practices, which are an integral part of the prayer life of Consecrated Marian Catechists, are to be adopted gradually by Marian Catechists in formation:
- Mass and Holy Communion (daily)
- Holy Rosary (five decades daily)
- Morning Offering to the Sacred Heart of Jesus(daily)
- Angelus (twice daily)
- Stations of the Cross (daily)
- Spiritual reading (fifteen minutes daily)
- Meditation (fifteen minutes daily – meditation on Scripture using Lectio Divina is recommended; a helpful guide is available from the International Office)
- Examination of Conscience and Act of Contrition (daily, upon retiring)
- Confession (every two weeks)
- Thirty-Day Ignatian Retreat (made once, at home, through the International Office)*
*Prior to Consecration as a Marian Catechist, each Candidate is required to make an at-home 30-Day Retreat through the International Office. This retreat is designed specifically for members of the Apostolate according to guidelines established by Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke. The International Office coordinates the 30-Day Retreat schedule, and assigns a priest to act as spiritual director for each retreatant. To effectively complete this retreat, some knowledge of the Catholic Faith is required; therefore, retreatants must have completed Father Hardon’s Basic Course.
The Importance of the Spiritual Practices
Never neglect your spiritual life. I continue to say, you cannot be teaching Christ, if you are not spending time with Christ; if you are not with Him in prayer, everyday. If your apostolic work is so much that you do not have time for prayer and meditation, then you have got to cut it back! The primary textbook from which we teach is our spiritual life; and, if we do not have a spiritual life, what kind of a textbook is that going to be?
It is one of Satan’s oldest tricks. He does it with priests. He does it with Bishops. He does it with all kinds of people. He convinces you that you have so much to do, that you do not have time to pray; or in your prayer, you are so distracted, that you are not even conscious that you are in the presence of God.
Be very attentive to Satan’s deceptions. Make a daily plan for your spiritual practices and be faithful to it. Fidelity to periods of prayer throughout your day counteracts the temptation to spiritual sloth.
–Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke