Looking Back at Bishop Brute: Prayer Life
Looking Back at Bishop Brute: Prayer Life
May 25th, 2011 by vocations

The last post I put up was about community life and one thing that I intentionally left off was community prayer. Prayer was the most important thing that we did as a community; its the glue that holds the community together and without it, living together really didn’t make much sense. The heart of our day is our meetings in the chapel.

We met every morning at 6:45 for Mass and Morning Prayer and in the evening for Evening Prayer and three times a week we had a Holy Hour in the Evening. Meeting twice a day gave wonderful rhythm to daily life; day-to-day activities were built around prayer. In the same way the life of a priest is built around prayer. Another perspective might think that mandatory prayer and holy hours are rigid and too structured but I would disagree. It provided a good rhythm and made prayer a regular thing. It was kind of like growing up. When we were young, our parents made us to go to Mass every Sunday, but at some point (hopefully) it was second nature going to Mass every Sunday and we desired to go to the Holy Sacrifice. In the same way the structure is there to form good habits so that prayer becomes second nature.

Of course, after the mandatory community prayer we were urged to take personal time for prayer. I could see it in others and myself that when we first entered seminary, we attended the mandatory times of prayer, and little else. Slowly, though, we grew in our prayer life and began to pray more outside of mandatory community prayer. One of the things I noticed as a common theme at Bishop Brute was that responsibility was important, guys who were responsible seemed to flourish. This was no different for prayer; taking time out of a busy schedule to pray gave us zeal and excitement.

The prayer life was not something that I expected to fall in such love with when I entered seminary. A strong relationship with God tries to quench that unquenchable thirst. Both the formation staff and the spiritual directors encouraged us to make prayer a priority even though it can get lost in the midst of community life, class work, and ministry assignments. Prayer gives everyone, especially seminarians, priests, and religious, a rhythm of life and the energy to carry out days.

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