Nurturing our Franciscan spirituality and its attending charism requires an ongoing dynamic attentiveness and application. Being attentive reflects the desire; pursuing the application reflects the fire.
It goes without saying that it is the spirit of God that we wish to nourish and make strong within us. This internal quest is realized through the external stimulus of prayer.
Prayer, being the lifting of the heart and mind to God, establishes the direction in which we as a whole person are to go. If there is quality and sincerity in private prayer then it will be extended to communal prayer and there will be life-giving worship. On the other hand, if there is simply rote recitation lacking spirit and vibrancy, then there is no prayer. Whatever prayer mode we engage – personal, communal, spontaneous or formulary – all is to be done with a vibrancy and spirit that truly engages the Almighty.
Our fraternity encourages this relationship with prayer in several ways. We pray as a community whenever we gather, whether in council, in gathering or in formation. We pray in our activities, and we take time for prayer by ourselves as needed.
We encourage prayer for ourselves, our community and those in need around us.
We use formal prayers that our centuries old, including many given to us by Francis himself. We use other formal prayers of the Church, such as the Divine Office (Liturgy of the Hours), prayers of petition and love to Mary, and prayers for all those Franciscans who have journeyed before us. We use spontaneous prayer that wells up from the heart, and prayers of the secular world, finding in those realities around us a moment in which we can connect with the living God. We use silence as the deepest prayer. However we pray is not important, only that we pray . . .
Prayer is the first and last thing we do – it defines all that we are and hope to become in our relationship with God.