Prayer Profile of a Claretian
Prayer is essential to the life of a Christian because it centers the individual on God’s work and assists him in maintaining balance and direction in life. For Claretians, prayer is very important because it focuses one to become Christ for the people with whom we live. Working in an inner city or missionary setting, Claretians witness Christ’s message. It is only through a healthy prayer life, nurtured by silence and reflection, that one can experience God’s presence in the world. Prayer is an ongoing dialogue with God, and allows Claretians to be ever mindful of the sacred task ahead.
As the inspired Word of God, Scripture serves as the never ending source of strength for all Christians. By reading and reflecting on passages from the Old and New Testaments, Claretians find guidance in understanding and dealing with personal and external challenges. Through prayerful reflection on the Scriptures, Claretians become immersed in God’s Word in reaffirming their sacred ministry as well as keeping them focused on the Christ-centered labor they undertake.
Prayer has a dynamic meaning in Christian spirituality. St. Anthony Claret's missionary zeal was enkindled through prayer and prayer moves Claretians to be Christ for others. It is prayer that opens us to life, history, and creation. It is prayer that helps us constantly strive to recognize God’s presence in our world and moves us to solidarity with our brothers and sisters, especially the poor and those who suffer.
In the midst busy lives, Claretians see the need to find time to set aside for prayer. Personal prayer has to come from a daily commitment. The Claretian charism as hearers and servants of the Word demands that Claretians cultivate this contemplative dimension in a special way. The Word of God is the primary source of all Christian spirituality. Passion for the Word nourishes and impels Claretians to give ourselves to others. Claretians are servants of the Word in community and mission is the heart of every community. The community offers support for that deep vocational reason of our being as consecrated people and our local community is called to be a school of missionary spirituality. The Claretian community is missionary and not monastic. Claretians live out their fellowship for and among the people.
Claretians are servants of the Word in community. Claretian communities are called to be true schools of spirituality where, as Mary did, the Word is listened to, welcomed, and shared. Mary, Mother of Jesus, mother of the Claretian congregation, is an abiding presence. The Claretians are called “Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary,” sons of her heart, and she is called upon as directress and above all as spiritual mother.
The Eucharist is the core of Claretian spirituality; the generative center of the Claretian missionary and community life. The Word is a summons to the table of the Eucharist in solidarity and in going forth to our sisters and brothers, especially those who suffer. Gathered around the table of the Lord who shares his life with his disciples we experience the sorrow and the exclusion of so many people. The Eucharist is the powerful call to work together to transform the world according to God’s plan. United to Christ we intercede for the men and women of the earth and in prayer. Claretians unite themselves to all conflictive situations in the world. Claretians allow the tears and crisis of the suffering of humanity and nature to penetrate, leading us to a greater commitment on behalf of those who are oppressed.
Leading a religious life can be challenging. It is necessary for all Christians and especially those committed to living religious life to have a spiritual director or mentor. A spiritual companion allows the believer to share his joys and sorrows in following Christ and serves as a mentor in the journey to be with God. At times everyone needs encouragement or constructive criticism.
The Claretian vocation is but one expression of religious life. Committed to bring the Word of God to all peoples, Claretians are people of prayer ready to respond to what is most timely, urgent, and needed to build God’s Kingdom of love and justice.