National Directory




69. The spiritual life cannot be nurtured nor maintained without a habit of prayer. In addition to the requirement that a deacon pray daily the offices of Morning and Evening Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours, he should foster his love of the Lord through the practice of mental prayer. Blessed Luis of Grenada describes the process: “Once [people] have made some progress in the spiritual life and have acquired some devotion, their love of God prompts them to find ways of expressing their sentiments in a more personal and inti mate way. . . . As one’s devotion increases, the type of prayer prac ticed habitually by the individual will likewise rise from vocalized prayer to mental prayer and eventually to contemplation.” 56 To help cultivate such a life of prayer, the deacon should reflect daily on Sacred Scripture, employing the steps of lectio divina often. If pos sible, it is recommended that he attend daily Eucharist. The deacon should frequently receive the Sacrament of Penance and devote time to spiritual reading. 57 70. Deacons are charged at ordination to shape a way of life always according to the example of Christ and to imitate Christ who came not to be served but to serve. Therefore, deacons are called to a sim ple lifestyle. Simplicity of life enables a cleric “to stand beside the underprivileged, to practice solidarity with their efforts to create a more just society, to be more sensitive and capable of understanding and discerning realities involving the economic and social aspects of life, and to promote a preferential option for the poor.” 58 The pro phetic significance of this lifestyle, “so urgently needed in affluent and consumeristic societies,” 59 is its important witness in animating the diakonia of every Christian to serve “especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted.” 60 Simplicity of Life

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