Angela’s primary vision for her company was that its members should be united with Jesus: that they should be contemplatives in action.
“Let Jesus be your one and only treasure.” Angela 5th Council
There are as many ways of praying as there are Ursulines, but two are universally important:
- Community Prayer
- Personal Prayer
and these form an essential part of any Ursuline life.
“God alone knows what you need and can and wants to provide for you.”
Praying together as a community punctuates our day and strengthens our sense of mission. We follow the Liturgical Prayer of the Church and as far as possible recite Morning and Evening Prayer together. People often ask us to pray for them, especially at times of sickness, bereavement, job loss or family break up as well as times of celebration and great joy. Our Prayer celebrated in community gives us an opportunity to pray specifically for these people, often by name, and so to bring them to the centre of our lives.
When possible we share in the Liturgy of the Mass each day. We welcome the opportunity of joining the local community where we live. The Eucharist in which we all have a place binds us together strongly in our local areas and in fellowship with all human beings around the world.
“Blessed are those who try to persevere within themselves this noble yearning to seek the truth of God” St Angela Prologue to the Rule
Our foundress St Angela is an excellent role model. Prayer and fasting were an essential part of her life and the many people who came to her for advice and support were drawn by her prayerfulness.
It is particularly in daily private prayer that Ursuline sisters seek to deepen their knowledge and love of Jesus.
“It is there that we come to listen to and to love Jesus, that we come to a practical sense and realistic knowledge of who we are before God, and it is from this wellspring of love and knowledge that we draw the spark that we need to fan into the flame of devotion in serving others.”
Prayer can take many forms and in our earliest training we were given the sound advice “Pray as you can, not as you can’t because prayer is above all personal communion/conversation between you and Jesus”.
However we realise that the calls of an active life and the distractions of a crowded mind can come between us and the ideal, so sisters generally set aside specific times, and seek places that are conducive to contemplation. Then we can encourage our bodies to be silent our minds to be stilled and in an atmosphere of listening our spirit can be open to the God within us.
Just as we take an annual holiday to refresh our minds and outlooks and to see the old from a new perspective so Ursuline sisters spend a week or so in a quiet place apart to review their commitment and deepen their relation with Jesus. Sometimes this experience is shared with other sisters under the direction of a retreat guide, or is spent in solitude. The warmth and sunshine of the summer months are generally preferred for this period of withdrawal!
“Teach Us How To Pray”
We will all remember this plea from the apostles - and it remains a life search for all of us. In today’s very active and busy world where we often experience stress increasingly we find people seeking out some form of spiritual experience. If you would like us to pray for a special intention please send the request form below. The sisters undertake to pray specially on the 27th of each month.