of divine things and assiduous union with God in prayer." ~ Canon 663
This excerpt from the Code of Canon law beautifully expresses our primary responsibility and fundamental orientation as religious: union with God in prayer. Prayer unifies the whole of our life of consecration and mission, the two primary facets of the vowed life. Prayer is the "soul of the apostolate." It is the animating factor that makes the actions of each Sister efficacious for God because they flow from union with Him.
The Sister's prayer must first be individual and personal. A deep relationship is formed and fostered through the Sister's fidelity to seeking Him in everything and setting aside time to simply be with Him Whom her soul longs for. She seeks Him in the Eucharist, where His face is most clearly revealed and concealed, in meditation, spiritual reading, Lectio, and those little aspirations of the heart that draw her back to Him throughout the day. Her periods of personal prayer assist the sister to internalize and make her own the communal and liturgical prayer of our life.
For her prayer is also communal. Her personal relationship with her Spouse must find expression in the particular prayer life of the community. It is fed by the communal spirituality and is supported by the communal effort. Each Sister has a right to be able to rely on the community to pray for her and on her behalf. She enters into the efficacy of the prayer of those gathered "in His Name", benefiting from it personally and praying with the confidence of one who knows the prayer of the community will be heard before the throne of God. The way that a community prays and worships demonstrates the community's beliefs and values. Our communal prayer has a liturgical character, a meditative quality, and a Marian dimension that publicly expresses our orientation and charism.