Category Archives: Rule of Life

Sacred Time Ceremony

One of the constant factors in the lives of those who make significant progress in prayer and peace  is that they give God specific time every day wherein they seek to pay attention to Him alone. This time is spent in mental or interior prayer through practices like Lectio Divina.

In my book on this topic entitled “Into the Deep – Finding Peace through Prayer” I outline a simple way for an individual to make and keep a commitment like this. Recently the Apostoli Viae community was blessed with six holy women in discernment who made new commitments and a few who formalized past commitments in a simple but beautiful ceremony.

The remainder of this post is dedicated to how to do this in a group or individual setting. This basic ceremony is a bit more involved than the one in my book and has helpful notes and rubrics for all who will attend.

Sacred Commitment Ceremony

Special medals of some kind should be prepared for each participant that will serve as a reminder and symbol of this commitment. For those in or discerning with Apostoli Viae, these bronze medals have St. Teresa of Avila on one side and Saint John of the Cross on the other. These have all been touched to first class relics of these saints from my altar.

Once the presider/leader is in place, all those who will be making commitments move to kneel before the Blessed Sacrament with current commitments in hand (dated and written out). Those making their commitments begin their time of prayer in silence for the span of two to five minutes.

PRESIDER begins the prayer by making the sign of the cross: Lord we come before you as witnesses, friends, and family of those here whom you are calling into deeper union with you. Pour out your blessings upon them now as they seek to make a firm commitment to follow you more purposefully every day.

Family and friends supporting those making commitments take their positions standing behind them with hands on their shoulders and prepared to pray for them as they offer themselves to God.

THOSE MAKING COMMITMENTS pray audibly initiated by the PRESIDER: Lord Jesus, I come before you now to answer Your call to follow You in prayer. What I offer You now I offer because I love You and I know what You have done for me. I want to respond to Your gift of love to me in the best way that I can.

Each participant individually reads their commitments in the form below in order starting with the person on the far left and proceeding one by one to the right until all are finished.

Accordingly, I solemnly commit to “give You the full attention of my heart and mind in prayer for ______ minutes every day in the (morning, evening etc.) _________________.”

After making your commitments, allow for a moment of silence with the Lord.

THOSE MAKING COMMITMENTS pray audibly initiated by the PRESIDER:  In making these solemn commitments to You Lord, I recognize that my will is not sufficient to achieve what I desire and what You have asked of me. As I seek to give myself to You in this way, I beg for the graces necessary to orient my heart, my mind, and my life to You. I affirm in faith that You have initiated and desire this work in me and that You, will be “faithful to complete it.” I affirm in faith that You will give me all that I need to love You as You deserve and to know what it means to live a life of love in You.

After this prayer, all remain before the Lord again in silence. Look at Him and allow Him to look at you in the depths of your being. Give your heart to Him. You are His precious child and He delights in your desire to follow Him.

PRESIDER prays: Lord, these your faithful people kneel before you in humility, recognizing that it is just and right to commit to turning their hearts to you every day. They also desire to make this commitment to you out of love and gratitude for all You have done for them. In their commitment, we join together and pray for them that they might be encouraged by your consolation, and strengthened in desolation. That they may never give up in their efforts to draw near to you despite obstacles that may come from the world, the flesh, and the devil. Remind them that when they fall they can seek forgiveness, renewal, and strength in your Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist. Remind them that when they are successful You are the reason for their success and that You will continue to help them as they seek Your face. You have promised to reveal Yourself to those who live in this covenant of love with You. Reveal Yourself to them, show them the way to ever deeper intimacy with You. Pour out your grace and Holy Spirit upon them now as they say “yes” to your call.

To the exemplar of what it means to say “yes” to God we pray, Hail Mary…

To the most Holy and Blessed Trinity who calls us into this divine intimacy we pray, Our Father…   Amen

“And I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6 RSVCE

If a priest is presiding then all stand and present their medals to the priest for blessing and this concludes the ceremony.

Daily Prayer for Strength in Commitments

My beloved Jesus, my Lord and my strength, please help me to keep my commitments to you. You are the vine, the source of any good that I can do or pursue. Apart from You, I can do nothing. With You, I can accomplish all You ask of me. By your grace, I resolve to do all that I can to keep my commitments to You, and to rise and fight again no matter how many times I fall. I also commit to bring each failure and success to You. For my successes, I will offer You my gratitude. For my failures, I will offer You my humility and desire to get up and fight again. I thank you that you have promised to “be faithful to complete the work” you have started in me. Lord Jesus, I trust in You.

“And I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6 RSVCE