People of Prayer

‘Preserve faithfully in prayer’ Rule of St Augustine (Col 4:2)

Relationship with God is fundamental to our life.

Prayer, in some form, is indispensable to this relationship and our life should be a witness to the authenticity of this. First and foremost, prayer is personal and will also be expressed in a liturgical form with others, in community.

Our prayer and liturgy are essential to our life as Canonesses. Prayer is the ‘heartbeat’ of our life, and our day is punctuated by our prayer together. Through an openness in prayer, we seek to find God present in our life and world. And so it is through prayer that we come to live something of the power of love which can strengthen the power of goodness in the world. We learn to understand prayer as a potent force, a passion of being, moving in minds and hearts and hands… the mystery of God.

Our mission is to hand on that spirit of prayer; to encourage people to have a relationship with God through prayer and to live in a way which is a true reflection of that prayer. Discussing and sharing our faith will build up each one’s life with God and strengthen and deepen the community.

When we respond to God’s call to us as Canonesses and gather together to pray, our liturgy strives to be inviting and creative, open and accessible, focussed on the participation of all the people present and on what is happening in the world.

‘To deepen our faith and nourish our life of prayer, we listen receptively to God who speaks to us through the preaching of the Gospel, through reading and study and the explanation of Holy Scripture – lectio divina – , through the liturgy, through the signs of the times, through relationship and dialogue, through all that reveals God’s presence among us’ Constitutions 39

‘Where two or three are gathered in my name there am I in their midst’ Mt 18:20

‘They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers’ Acts 1: 14

‘May they then find with us a liturgy that calls up the deepest and best in them and allows it to find expression’ General Chapter V 1987

‘Liturgy should be accessible and inviting’ General Chapter VI 1990

As people of the Resurrection, ‘Joy and hope should predominate in our liturgy, as a message to the world with so many signs of suffering and death’ General Chapter VI 1990

‘As Religious we are on the interface between Church and world; we therefore have the freedom and responsibility to use our liturgical mandate as Canonesses to speak of God to people in a way which is inclusive and challenging’ Canonesses Exhibition 2013

‘No one leaves liturgy unchanged, but like the three wise men departing from the stable where they had encountered Christ, each worshipper is encouraged by liturgy to take a more life-affirming route onwards’ Frances Novillo – ‘In Shape: but…’

‘There is no greater priority than this: to enable the people of our time once more to encounter God’ Verbum Domini Pope Benedict XVI

for reflection…

  1. ‘Growing towards a closer reflection of what we pray in psalms and songs, there has to be a harmony between lips and heart’. Reflect on this challenge.
  2. How can we find the opportunity for both personal prayer and communal prayer in our life?
  3. What is the value of a praying community?
  4. What does it mean to ‘pray at all times’?
  5. How can our prayer embrace the world and all its great needs?
  6. ‘Prayer is praying in union with the whole people of God’. What can this mean?

Creating a community of love, filled with hope