Contemplative & Apostolic Life
As a semi-contemplative monastic community, with eremitical roots, the Order fosters a spirit of contemplation among its members. The Pauline monks, mindful of the character and spirit of the Community, strive to properly unite contemplation and the spirit of prayer with various forms of apostolic work. These two parts of our charism are lived out in a community life; as Jesus said, “Where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst” (Matthew 18:20). This connection of contemplative life with pastoral life has been an evident characteristic of the Order since the beginning. As the first Pauline Brothers would submerge themselves in living out more intensely the community’s motto Solus Cum Deo Solo (Alone with God Alone), more people started seeking out pastoral care from them. The semi-contemplative charism of the Order reminds the spiritual sons of St. Paul the First Hermit that every apostolic work begins with an intimate relationship with God, with going out into the desert and encountering God there.
“The news about Him was spreading even farther, and large crowds were gathering to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray”
– (Luke 5:15-16).
Key Characteristics of Our Charism
The charism of the Pauline religious community is defined in the Constitutions of the Order, described in four key points:
“The characteristics of the Pauline Community which express the rich heritage, healthy traditions, and historical evolution of the Order, and which also define more closely its mission, are the following…”
– (Constitutions of the Order of St. Paul the First Hermit, Article 3).
The cultivation of the contemplation of God in solitude and the development of a love for liturgical prayer;
A life characterized by diligent work and poverty together with the practice of penance as a means of sharing in the salvific self-immolation of Christ;
A special devotion to the Mother of God that expresses itself principally in the imitation of Mary in the action of one’s personal sanctification and in the carrying out of apostolic works;
Apostolic zeal in the service of the Church and in the service of our neighbor under the guidance of the Holy Spirit and always accommodated to the signs of the times. This zeal expresses itself most especially through the preaching of the Word of God, through a life of witness, the celebration of the sacraments, and most especially through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.