By Kathy Keary
It’s commonplace and prudent for an organization to be guided by a mission statement. A few years ago, the Precious Blood Renewal Center (PBRC) team and the Provincial Director of the Kansas City province gathered with a trained facilitator for the purpose of discerning the mission statement for the Renewal Center. At the end of the day and after prayerful reflection, our purpose, goals, and values were solidified:
“Precious Blood Renewal Center welcomes you. We are a safe and sacred place, offering healing and hope, renewal and reconciliation for all people.”
The Renewal Center’s mission statement is concise but at the same time, rich. It is our guiding light. It expresses who we are before God. Our programs are planned and implemented with this blueprint in mind. Our way of being in the community and in the world echoes the sentiments expressed in our mission statement.
A structure that supports spiritual growth is often called a rule of life. You may have heard of The Rule of Saint Benedict. It contains not only inward attitudes but also outward practices that guide monks and sisters in communal living.
Have you ever considered writing your own mission statement or rule of life?
Marjorie J. Thompson in her book, Soul Feast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life, describes the value of implementing a rule of life as a “way of ordering our lives to catch the wind of grace.” As we grow in our spiritual life, we realize how integral this aspect of our life is to our whole being. Our tendency to compartmentalize various parts of our life no longer works in our pursuit of the fullness of life.
Thomson explains: “The purpose of a rule of life is to help us grow into wholeness and holiness. God calls us to be holy as God is holy, to grow into greater intimacy with the One we are created to resemble. … A rule of life allows us to cultivate and deepen this growing likeness.”
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A rule of life should be created with a discerning heart — a heart that invites and welcomes the Spirit into the conversation. Avail yourself to silence and solitude as you consider your responses to the following questions.
Take your time. Do not rush to set forth the plan that will stand as a beacon on the path to becoming the person you were created to be. Writing your responses will encourage a deeper search for your own truth.
Study the answers you provided to these questions to determine which ideas you sense God is inviting you to include in your rule of life. With the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, pen your own rule of life — your own mission statement designed to move you closer to the person you were created to be. Keep it concise.
Place your rule of life where you will happen upon it from time to time — perhaps in your Bible. Occasionally size up your life in comparison to the ideals expressed. Discern if adjustments in your life are needed that will facilitate movement toward the person Thomas Merton referred to as the “true self.”
In all things, follow the whisperings of the still, small voice that arise from the depths of your soul and can be heard with the ear of your heart.
Note: New articles in this series are posted to the website every Monday. The full series can be found here: An Invitation to Something New: The Contemplative Life. On Thursday’s we’ll send an email to remind you of the articles.
[Kathy Keary, a Precious Blood Companion and spiritual director, holds a master’s degree in theological studies and is a graduate of the Atchison Benedictine’s Sophia Center’s Souljourners Program, an intense study of spirituality and spiritual direction. Kathy believes that the divine is present and active in all of life and encourages others to be awakened to the God in all including the divine within. She enjoys accompanying others on their journey to wholeness discovering the person they were created to be.]
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