Our Life in Union with Jesus Christ
As missionaries, we know that we are called and sent by Jesus Christ. Hence our whole missionary service must come from an intimate union with him. Then we may hope that this service will be fruitful. We have the assurance: "I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, with me in him, bears fruit in plenty, for cut off from me you can do nothing" (Jn 15:5).
Union with Christ is impossible without prayer. Our every-day life can become an encounter with him if we succeed in seeing him in people and events. That presupposes a deep faith which is nourished by prayer. Therefore we take seriously the periods of time which we dedicate to conversation with Christ, who has called us his friends (Jn 15:15). In prayer we submit to his guidance and become willing instruments of his Spirit.
Our missionary mandate urges us to include in our personal and community prayers the human needs and expectations that we daily encounter. Thus our prayer attains apostolic dimensions. Prayer in turn encourages and strengthens us not to grow weary in our service, but to transmit to others the love we ourselves experience.
Our daily prescribed prayer for the confreres in Sacred Orders is the Church's Liturgy of the Hours and for the other confreres a part of the Liturgy of the Hours or of the rosary.
We say these prayers in the name of the whole Church and all creation. We join in their praise, their thanks and their petitions and bring them before God. In doing so, we are never praying alone. Christ, the head of his Church and the Lord of creation, is praying with us and offers our prayers to the Father.
The Gospel is the foundation of our missionary life. It exhorts us to love God and our neighbour, urges us to selfless service to the poor and oppressed and encourages us to make the sentiments of Christ our own. That presupposes that we read and study the word of God and by daily meditation let its strength permeate our life.
The highlight of our union with Christ is the celebration of the Eucharist. In it we encounter the mediator, between God and man, who gave himself as a ransom for all (1 Tim 2:Sf). Partaking of the one bread makes us one with him, makes all of us, though many, one body (1 Cor 10:17) and strengthens our readiness to surrender ourselves to him.
Because our dedication to God and men is threatened by our egoism, the exhortation of the Gospel to conversion is a constant appeal to us. Daily examination of conscience, regular reception of the sacrament of penance, the monthly recollection and the yearly retreat will help us to renounce our selfishness in order to approach God and men in freedom.
It is part of the following of Christ to take up the cross of everyday life and our assigned work and willingly bear the burdens of sickness and old age.
Where confreres live in a community they come together for daily prayers, especially
for celebrating the Eucharist;
for the recitation of one or the other part of the Liturgy of the Hours;
for praying for the intentions of our Congregation and its benefactors, as our founder did.
Common prayer is not only an expression of community, but also builds community. The time and form of common prayer are regulated by the respective community, unless there are other provisions.
We know that our Congregation from its beginnings has been united with Mary, the Virgin Mother of God. In her faith and love she is a guide for our life in service of the salvific work of her Son. Consequently we have a special veneration for her.
The principal feast of our Congregation is the Presentation of the Lord, February 2nd. In this mystery the Church honours Christ as the Light who shines on all peoples. In a singular manner this feast also demonstrates the role of Mary, Mother of God, in the history of salvation.
We revere the founder of Mariannhill and the great mission pioneer, Abbot Francis Pfanner. We remember him especially on the anniversary of his death, May 24th.