In the spiritual life, it is vital to have what is often known as a rule (or plan) of life. A rule of life is a list of commitments that we undertake for God to ensure that Jesus is the true center of our lives. A rule of life should often be simple, and focused on daily, weekly, and even monthly commitments. The goal of fulfilling these commitments is not merely to fulfill them for their own sake, but to draw us closer to the Heart of Christ by helping us to live for Him. Ultimately, our rule of life should be leading us so that, with St. Paul, we can say, “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20).
A sample rule of life may be:
Making a daily morning offering (a short prayer offering your day to God)
Praying 30 minutes of mental prayer with Scripture daily
Attending mass three times a week
Praying five decades of the Rosary daily
Praying an Examen at the end of each day (a short prayer that includes an examination of conscience, thanking God for what went well, asking for pardon for our sins, and then resolving to love Him more tomorrow)
Receiving reconciliation every month
This rule of life could take about an hour (a little longer on days you would attend mass) and can fit with the practical vocational duties of family life. As you discern the right rule of life for you situation, here are some important considerations:
What is your state of life?
What gifts has the Lord given you?
What things needs to be in place for God to be primary in your life?
How is God calling you to know, love, and serve Him?
Depending upon the answers to these questions, you can begin to understand how God is calling you to connect with and love Him on a daily basis.
If you do not already have a rule of life, praying Psalm 139 with devotion and asking the Lord to lead you in creating one is a great place to start! And if you do have a rule of life, ask the Lord if He wants you to make any changes. Finally, in creating or amending a rule of life, consulting with a spiritual director is very helpful. A spiritual director can help you understand how God is calling you to live, and to help you discern what an appropriate rule of life looks like.
Adopting and living by a rule of life can help you live a life after Our Lord. It can help you to seek Christ with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul, all your strength, and to truly find Him who delights to be found (Jeremiah 29:13).