“For each other, let us have thoughts, words and actions that are suitable for that home in Nazareth around the Blessed Mother and Saint Joseph and at the feet of Jesus.” Blessed Charles de Foucauld
Blessed Charles de Foucauld reminds us that, in the Gospel Jesus shows us two types of communion which between them comprise the entire Christian vocation. One of them is a call to intimate and filial communion with God and the other is a call to achieve sisterly intimacy with our fellow brothers and sisters. The communion with one another has to grow broader and deeper as communion with God grows more intimate. The Daughters of Mary of Nazareth live in community. They have a communal life of prayer, and they share a communal apostolic life. Our common life is a pledge of mutual prayer and encouragement as we walk together on this pilgrimage of faith and service.
In our Nazarian Spirituality, we are called to imitate the Holy Family by putting everything in common efforts, joys, pains, and perseverance in prayer and charity to achieve, by the grace of God, the mission entrusted to us.
Our community should be characterized by the feeling that each Sister truly belongs. Communal love among the Sisters is an important aspect of our life. As Blessed Charles used to say, if we don’t love our community, we can’t draw life from it. Although our apostolates may be varied, we will strive as much as possible to work at them in groups or at least in pairs recognizing the importance of maintaining the bond of community at all times.
As previously mentioned, it is very important for each member in our community to foster a joyful spirit. This joy will give them the vitality to carry out their mission in serving the body of Christ.
Daughters of Mary seek to be a reflection of the true identity of Christian family life. By living community life well, we hope to offer a witness to the real possibility of communion between people, and the joy that it brings, even when at the cost of personal sacrifice. With that in mind, Sisters take turns shopping and cooking, share a common table, recreate together and dedicate ourselves to a common apostolate. In our convent we don’t watch television for recreation. Our Sisters are encouraged to spend recreation time with each other.
Another important element of our communal life is the attitude of sharing. The Sisters will not have individual cars, cell-phones, computers or other means of technology. While we will depend on Divine providence, our benefactors, and our own work to provide us with the implements and means necessary in carrying out our apostolic labor, all these possessions will be held in common for the good of the community.
Following in the example of Blessed Charles de Foucauld, and in the rich tradition of many other religious communities, we will foster an atmosphere of solitude. This is not a life in loneliness, but rather the cultivation of a solitude which allows for a deeper communion with our Lord.
To care for the well being of our Sisters there are a few further things which will be essential to our community life:
- Healthy diet and regular exercise: Our body is God’s temple and the healthier the Sisters are the better we can carry out our mission.
- Each Sister will observe once a week a day of solitude.
- As a community we will have a monthly weekend for spiritual refreshment and recreation.
- Each Sister is expected to take an annual eight day retreat outside of the annual community retreat.
- Each Sister is encouraged to meet with a spiritual director every month
- The spiritual directors for the Sisters will be selected prayerfully according to the spirituality and charism of our formation. The mother servant of the community, along with her council will review the selection of spiritual directors