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Guidance and Rule of Life

Part I - Guidance

Hermitage

The Son who is the way which leads to the Father (cf. John 14:6) calls all those whom the Father has given to him (cf John 17:9) to make the following of himself the whole purpose of their lives.  But of some, those called to the consecrated life, he asks a total commitment, one which involves leaving everything behind (cf. Matt 19:27) in order to live at his side and to follow him wherever he goes (cf. Rev. 14:4)                                                 Vita Consecrata 18

The Church recognises the life of hermits or anchorites, in which Christ’s faithful withdraw further from the world and devote their lives to the praise of God and the salvation of the world through the silence of solitude and through constant prayer and penance.                                                                             Can 603


Evangelical Counsels

The evangelical counsels, by which Christ invites some people to share his experience as the chaste, poor and obedient One, call for and make manifest in those who accept them an explicit desire to be totally conformed to Him.  Living “in obedience with nothing of one’s own and in chastity”,  consecrated persons profess that Jesus is the model in whom every virtue comes to perfection.  His way of living in chastity, poverty and obedience appears as the most radical way of living the Gospel on this earth, a way which may be called divine, for it was embraced by him, God and man, as the expression of his relationship as the Only-Begotten Son with the Father and with the Holy Spirit.                                                                                                                    Vita Consecrata 18

Life consecrated through profession of the evangelical counsels is a stable form of living, in which the faithful follow Christ more closely under the action of the Holy Spirit, and are totally dedicated to God, who is supremely loved.  By a new and special title they are dedicated to seek the perfection of charity in the service of God’s Kingdom, for the honour of God, the building up of the Church and the salvation of the world.                                                            Can 573


Part II – Rule of Life

By God’s providence, by his calling, and for his own purposes, as a member of Christ’s Church through baptism and guided by the holy scriptures and the Gospels, the life of the hermitage is to be a life of thanksgiving, hidden in Christ for the sake of his Church, sharing through prayer and penance in his continuing purpose of redemption, and in him to be transformed into a fragrant offering, acceptable to the Father:  “This is my body, this is my blood”.

And so, by God’s mercy, and in imitation of Jesus who “during his life on earth offered up prayer and entreaty, aloud and in silent tears, to the one who had the power to save him out of death, and who submitted so humbly that his prayer was heard.” (cf Heb 5:7): -

To live simply, in solitude and silence,  staying and returning there insofar as duties permit.

To work for a sufficient living,  seeking means which are directly supportive of simplicity, solitude and silence.

To spend time each day in prayer, in silence, in study, and in joining with the Divine Office of the Church.