We are all called to make our daily living an act of prayer. Within this call, there is a beautiful array of opportunities: create and live your own Rule of Life, become an Associate or Third Order member of an already existing Religious Order, join a New Monastic Community, become a professed monk or nun (join a Religious Order or Monastic Community). A call to integrate your whole life in prayer is the work of the Spirit. Don’t be afraid! Explore the options.
Creating a Rule of Life: A Rule of Life outlines how you will live and cultivate your relationships with God, Self, Others, and Creation. Check out this free resource from the brothers of SSJE to help you grow a rule of life. There is also a resource for youth in the following link. Growing a Rule of Life
Associates or Third Order Members:
Religious Orders have people associated with them who adopt a simplified version of their Rule of Life. This is a great way to integrate monastic spirituality into your life while continuing to work, have a family and live your vocation whatever it may be. Each Religious Order will have different ways of going about this, so look into the Order that interests you (see below for links).
New Monasticism is a growing movement in the Christian Church wherein a new generation is yearning to incorporate monastic spirituality into their daily lives. Intentional communities are forming in different places with the desire to pray, serve and seek justice in community and some live together in shared accommodation. The Archbishop of Canterbury recently opened Lambeth Palace to house one of these communities! Each community is different so start exploring! Here are a few in Canada.
Emmaus Community -Victoria, BC
Jeremiah Community -Toronto, ON
A vocation to the religious life (becoming a monk or a nun) is discerned in community and each religious community has a different way of doing this discernment. Those seeking religious life can be lay or ordained, young or old and are unmarried and without immediate family commitments. If you are feeling a call to a life of prayer-in-community, celibacy and service to others start by learning about the different kinds of Anglican religious communities. Each community is formed around a Rule of Life and certain charisms (gifts). Some orders are residential (live together) and some are dispersed (live apart). Most orders require taking vows of stability, celibacy and poverty. Listen to the deep desires of your heart and start exploring!