Being consciousof God in the momentof ministry is a gift. Myhead and heart knowthat God is within eachperson I am servingand that God is alsoministering to me.
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BRO HERSSACRED HEART OF THE
Sister Angelique Geay, C.B.S.—awise leader in the early days of theSisters of Bon Secours—was animated by a deep faith and saw Godin everything. She said we shouldrefrain from traditional devotions inorder to respond to the urgent needto care for others. We can feel freeto leave our mental conversationwith God to find God physically inthe person we are called to serve.
Our work is our prayer, too. Wepray with others or silently in ourheart. Although this prayer may notformally end with “amen,” it is anactive prayer that shares God’s lovewith others as we do God’s workhere on Earth. Before and after ourservice and prayer, we come togetheras a community using other forms ofprayer.
A balancing act
with God at the center
Striving for balance between prayerand ministry is challenging sometimes. For active communities,prayer without service, without action, can be an escape from the callto experience God in those we serve,
ACTIVE APOSTOLIC RELIGIOUS menand women, such as Sisters of BonSecours or the Jesuits, are availableand mobile for their mission andfocus on service in the world. Theystrive for a balance of service andprayer.
MEMBERS OF MONASTIC COMMUNITIES,such as Benedictines, usually takea vow of “stability” and live theirentire lives at a specific monastery.
Their life focuses on common life,common prayer, and work. Varyingby community, their work may be inor outside the monastery to whichthey return at day’s end.
Different styles of religious life
CLOISTERED NUNS AND MONKS,such as the Trappists and someCarmelites, live and work solelyin one place they rarely leave,practicing a more contemplativelifestyle centered on prayer for theworld, silence, and solitude withsome work like retreats, teaching,farming, and other activities. Themain difference between thesecommunities is that monasticand contemplative communitiesemphasize a life of prayer, andactive apostolic communities focusmore on service.