Rule of Life examples
- Carmelite Rule of Life for Laity
- 123 MRE – PS
- Cardinal Newman’s Short Road to Perfection
- Crafting a Rule of Life 🔗
- Instructions for developing a Personal Rule of Life 🔗
- Making (and Keeping) a Personal Rule of Life 🔗
My personal Rule of Life is based on the 123 MRE (PS) sermon listed above, with the addition of the Little Office of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mt. Carmel as time allows. However I study the Manual of the Third Secular Order of our Blessed Lady of Mount Carmel and St Teresa of Jesus from time to time (the basis for the Carmelite Rule of Life for Laity) to refresh my memory on virtues neglected and to renew the flame of affection for Our Lord through Carmel.
I also do not currently have a permanent spiritual director (although I do have a priest that advises me from time to time on small matters), and the simplicity of the 123 MRE (PS) rule keeps me on a very safe and proven path without worry of any deviations that may become excessive or distorted. – Ed.
The importance of a Spiritual Director in developing a Rule of Life
Excerpted from Thesaurus Fidelium
To make a rule of life which shall help and not hinder a soul is not an easy matter. It requires much prayer for grace from God to see how we are to plan out our time ad majorem Dei gloriam [For the greater glory of God]. We must certainly ask our director to advise and help us in so important a matter, as, if we are left to ourselves, we shall make it either too strict or too elastic. Just as a well-designed saddle fits a horse so that he is hardly conscious of its pressure, so must our rule fit us. We shall feel its pressure a little but it must not gall us. Our rule must be a light to our feet, a staff for us to lean on, and a mirror in which we can see if our actions correspond to the design from which we are working. Our Lord tells us,”My yoke is sweet and My burden light ” (Mt 11:30); let us then offer ourselves willingly to serve Him by rule. A well-planned rule is a sacramental thing, for it brings us the grace of God, and by keeping it we become, and remain, His friends.
When we have made up our minds to give ourselves to a prayerful life, the first thing, and the most important thing is, to find a suitable director if we have not already got one. People often go on year by year receiving the Sacrament of Penance regularly, but they obtain no guidance nor direction. They tell their sins and they receive God’s pardon through the appointed channel — the mouth of the priest to whom they confess. He may speak to them from time to time about their faults, or he may answer a question, if asked, or solve a difficulty, or he may really teach them about the interior life. On the other hand, he may do nothing more than state a penance and give absolution. It may be he is a very busy priest in a single-handed mission, or he may believe the penitent does not desire guidance. It is for the penitent to ask for direction. The direction of souls is the ars artium [the art of arts], as St. Francis de Sales says, and to obtain a good director very fervent prayers should be constantly offered to Almighty God, Who will not fail to give us one if He sees we are in earnest. ” It is not good for man to be alone (Gen 11:18),” and that is why our Divine Lord gives us His priests to be spiritual fathers and teachers and guides to us.
If we attempt to lead a life of prayer without a director, we shall make great mistakes, and perhaps
injure our souls very much ; so, as I have said, pray earnestly to know whom God means you to have, and when you have found him, thank God every day for him, and pray for grace to be really obedient and child-like in your relations with him, for he is the vicar of Jesus Christ to you. Pray also every day for him, for his increasing sanctification, and that he may be given all the graces necessary for his work with your soul and the souls of others. Commend him constantly to our Lady, for She is the Seat of Wisdom ; to St. Joseph, for he is the master of the interior life ; to his own holy patrons and his guardian angel, and to St. Philip Neri and [St.] John Vianney, because they had so great a devotion to the work of the confessional. Think of him always with respect and
filial affection, and do not gossip about him.
Having found your director, tell him quite simply all that is in your heart, and that you wish to lead a prayerful life, and ask him to help you with your rule. If he allows it, it will be a great help to make a general confession of your whole life to him as he will then know your temptations ; tell him also your age, and if you are strong and healthy or delicate. Tell him briefly your home circumstances and your duties, and the amount of time available daily for prayer. Be quite honest about this, and tell him your usual hour for rising and going to bed, that is, the hour you have hitherto been used to rise and retire. He will probably ask you to draw up a rule for yourself and submit it to him.