Life of Prayer
The primary activity of our Institute is prayer. Prayer and devotion are closely interrelated, and the primary cause of devotion is God Himself. Charity both causes devotion, as it readies us to serve, and feeds on devotion. Striving to make each Sister’s whole life one of union with God, the community of Mercy prays in three ways: liturgically—in union with the whole Church; communally and individually or personally. Liturgical prayer is the highest form of prayer and centers on the celebration of the Eucharist. The Sisters of Mercy begin each morning in prayer together with the Liturgy of the Hours a time for silent mediation on the Gospel for the day and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and conclude each day with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Evening Prayer, or Vespers. The last activity for the day of every Sister and Alma Mercy community is Night Prayer, or Compline.
In Liturgical Prayer, the Sisters join the prayer of the Church. This includes daily participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, frequently receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation, living the graces of Baptism and Confirmation, and praying the Liturgy of the Hours. Our Institute corporately prays four hours of the Divine Office: Office of Readings, Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Night Prayer.
Devotional prayers prayed in common have a long and sacred tradition in religious communities. These prayers are vocal prayers prayed with the local community for particular intentions. Typically, these prayers are grouped around the formal times of prayer in the morning, the afternoon Holy Hour of Adoration, and Night Prayer. These prayers in common reflect the charism of the Institute and particular community intentions for which we have obligation or concern.
In addition to corporate liturgical and communal prayer, the life of a Sister of Mercy includes daily times of personal prayer. These include a daily meditation, spiritual reading, reading of Holy Scripture, a daily examen, and quiet recollection. Each Sister also makes an annual retreat.