The Four PillarsThe important elements of our life as consacrated women
Sometimes we are asked: “What do you sisters do the whole day? You pray … and then?
Our day is divided into the four components that reflect our Charism and rule of life: Prayer, Community Life, Formation, and Apostolate. The structure of our daily schedules doesn’t always look the same from day to day or between our different houses, but they all incorporate these four elements.
The Apostle of the Interior Life has a special love for the Lord, a desire to consecrate her life completely to Him, giving Him her undivided heart. The Virgin Mary is the perfect model of docility to Him, and to His Word.
“The spirituality of the Apostles of the Interior Life is permeated with the contemplation of the mystery of the intimate life of God and of the redemptive mystery of Christ through his Priesthood” (RoL #1).
An intense life of prayer united with wise spiritual direction is the basis of their interior formation.
Daily prayer consists of:
- One half-hour of Meditation
- Holy Mass with at least ten minutes of thanksgiving after Communion
- Complete recitation of the Liturgy of the Hours
- One hour of Eucharistic Adoration
- Recitation of the Holy Rosary
- Spiritual reading
Their complete prayer time, spread throughout the day, as said above, in practice, lasts from three and half to four hours” (RoL # 34-35).
The Apostle of the Interior Life desires to share her life with her sisters in Christ, women of different ages, backgrounds, nationalities … and more. Each sister is called by the Lord to the same Charism: in Him we find unity despite different temperaments, personalities, habits. We have a comon call and the same desire: to become a Saint. Community life is essential to our growth in Christian life. Each house is composed of at least three sisters to maintain a healthy and vibrant home life. For this reason, meals are always in common and each evening we gather for recreational time. We also come together as a community at different times during the year, particularly during the Christmas season and in the summer in Italy.
“The reasons for which they choose community life are many:
- For continual accountability and reciprocal witness
- For mutual growth and enrichment through the integration of personal qualities and values
- For reciprocal help ordered towards preparation for apostolate
- For the presence of Jesus, promised where two or more are gathered in his name
- For the spreading of God’s kingdom: “As you Father, are in me and I in you, they also are in us, so that the world may believe that you sent me” (Jn 17:21)(RoL#41).
The Apostle of the Interior Life has a passion to learn the Truth, to know God and the human being. She desires to be shaped into the person God desired her to be when He created her and is open to ongoing formation. Therefore personal formation is an ongoing aspect of our lives. You cannot give what you do not have. During the five year formation period, we attend a pontifical university to receive philosophical and theological training. This is complemented by weekly formation meetings that cover a broad range of topics from affective maturity to studying the Charism. We take a hands on approach to apostolic training, where the women in formation are introduced to varied forms of evangelization and apostolate. Once the formal time of formation is concluded we seek to maintain our own personal learning through seminars, Church documents, and other formative experiences. We continue our formation personally and also together as a community within each apostolic house.
“Because of her natural tendency, as a woman the Apostle of the Interior Life is most attentive to the formation of the person” (RoL #6).
“Intellectual formation must be fit to the importance and needs of their apostolate. Therefore the Apostles prepare themselves through philosophical and theological studies, possibly in a Pontifical University, attaining the academic titles that are suitable with and in conformity to the apostolic goal of the Community. (RoL #34)
The formation of the Apostles of the Interior life is ongoing and continues even after the completion of the academic curriculum, so as to be able to pursue the apostolic ends” (RoL # 35).
The Apostle of the Interior Life desires to bring Christ to all nations and cares for the spiritual needs of her brothers and sisters. As Christ the priest she desire to be a bridge between God and man. The spiritual life, the unity with the Lord overflows naturally in the evangelization. Following the example of the Samaritan woman (the model and inspiration for each Apostole of the Interior Life), after meeting with the Lord she reaches out to any brother and sister she encounters in her life.
“The vows of Poverty, Chastity and Obedience are not only for their personal sanctification but also for an apostolic goal that consists in the direct apostolate of evangelization aimed at interior formation and spiritual assistance” (RoL #20).
We are a missionary community. An Apostle of the Interior Life must be able to adjust to a culture, language and environment that may be different than her own. We are required to be open, flexible, and trusting in the Lord.The Apostle is someone who is sent. We are a missionary community, with houses in Italy and the United States. The Apostle of the Interior Life desires and is called to actively engage in the pastoral mission of the Church through evangelization and interior formation. In a particular way, the Apostle privileges the art of spiritual direction as a means to inform, form and transform people. In addition to this, we also offer parish missions, retreats, formation programs, street evangelization…