Personal Rule Of Life
In trying to become the person we were created to be, we each keep a Rule of Life, tailored to individual needs, which contains the following main elements:
Holy Communion is the heart of prayer, so your worship should include the Eucharist on Sundays and at other times that fit with your personal lifestyle.
Tertiaries are expected to review their lives on a regular basis. They are also asked to remember in their prayers the need for God's forgiveness and heasling, both for themselves and the world.
As Christians, we need to be able to give an answer for the faith we hold, and, for this reason, members of the Third Order are encouraged to read not only the Bible itself, but other books that help us know more about God in the church and the world. You will be asked to set aside time for this purpose each week.
This is simply saying "no" to yourself by putting God first, others next, and self last. Often we know our particular weaknesses - these are where we should impose some discipline, eg. listening instead of talking, getting up in time to pray without hurrying, eating or drinking less, the need for exercise.
With the ever-increasing speed and pressures of life today, we all need to get away at least once a year to find an opportunity to rest and grow - physically, mentally, and spiritually. To make this possible, the Third Order organises retreats to be times of great renewal.
Tertiaries make a commitment to set asisde time each day foe prayer and worship of God.
This is the spirit of poverty. Almost every parish has some form of planned giving as part of its life today, in which every commited Christian will want to share. Giving should include every aspect that you have to offer - your time, your posessions, and your money.
Franciscans, like all Christians, dedicate their whole lives to our Lord Jesus Christ, and bring Saint Francis' spirit of humility, love and joy to this dedication. For some in the Third Order, this happens in their normal work, but many also undertake service for their local church, charitable or "gift" work in their fields of interest, or a personal endeavour, such as visiting the elderly.
You will benefit from regular sessions with your spiritual director, who could be a suitable priest or layperson you know and trust. This normally occurs at least twice a year. In the initial stages you will also benefit from sessions with a nominated Novice Counsellor, who will guide you in your early days with the Third Order.