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Can religious men and women stay faithful without prayer?

Nuns praying in church

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Philip Kosloski - published on 03/01/24

Priests, religious, sisters and nuns need a personal prayer life. Without prayer, it is very difficult to remain faithful to their vows.

Prayer is an important pillar of any Christian’s life, but it is one of the primary foundations of consecrated men and women.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains first how bishops, priests and deacons need to pray and teach others how to pray:

Ordained ministers are also responsible for the formation in prayer of their brothers and sisters in Christ. Servants of the Good Shepherd, they are ordained to lead the People of God to the living waters of prayer: the Word of God, the liturgy, the theological life (the life of faith, hope, and charity), and the “today” of God in concrete situations.

CCC 2686

Furthermore, all consecrated men and women need to have prayer as a basis of their religious life:

Many religious have consecrated their whole lives to prayer. Hermits, monks, and nuns since the time of the desert fathers have devoted their time to praising God and interceding for his people. The consecrated life cannot be sustained or spread without prayer; it is one of the living sources of contemplation and the spiritual life of the Church.

CCC 2687

It makes logical sense that a man or woman dedicated to prayer needs to maintain a consistent prayer life.

If a consecrated person does not drink first from the waters of prayer, they will not have any energy to be faithful in their ministry.

St. Teresa of Calcutta understood this reality first hand, as she always prayed a holy hour every day before she worked with the poorest of society.

Personal prayer remains a central pillar of any man or woman dedicated to serving the Church.

CCC PrayerPrayerVocations
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