+ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. +
I. Promises of the Oratorians
Oratorians promise to live by this Rule, particularly promising Stability of Heart, Fidelity to the Rule of the Oratory, and Obedience to the Will of God.
II. The Act of Consecration
Oratorians make this act of consecration to the Crucified Jesus:
O Jesus my Lord, to you I consecrate and offer up my person and my life, my actions, trials, and sufferings, that my entire being may henceforth only be employed in loving, honoring and glorifying you. This is my will, to belong entirely to you, and to do all for you love, and to prefer nothing to you.
I take you, dear Jesus, for the sole object of my love, the protection of my life, the pledge of my salvation, the remedy of my frailty and inconstancy, the atonement for my sinful nature, and my secure refuge at the hour of my death. O Most Merciful Savior, you are my only justification before God the Father. Without you, I am left to my own weakness, brokenness, and sin, but placing my entire confidence in you, O Lord of Love, I have a new hope which rests in your infinite goodness. Imprint your pure love so deeply in my heart that I may never forget you or be separated from you.
I pray you, through your love shown to the world upon the Holy Cross, grant that my name be engraved upon your Heart, for in this I place all my happiness and all my glory, to live and to die as one of your devoted servants. Amen.
III. The Holy Eucharist
Oratorians will celebrate or attend a celebration of the Holy Eucharist daily, unless for major reason impeded. If the Oratorian is unable to receive communion on a given day, he or she shall by prayer make an act of Spiritual Communion.
IV. The Daily Office
Oratorians will pray the Daily Offices of the Church, Lauds and Vespers at minimum, unless impeded. When praying in community with others, Oratorians will take special care for the singing of Psalms according to Gregorian Chant, an important piece of our Oratory’s charism.
Each office is concluded with the following prayer:
O God, who are glorified in the Bishop Saint Martin both by his life and death, make new, we pray, the wonders of your grace in our hearts, that neither death nor life may separate us from your love, through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
V. The Holy Hour
On the night of his arrest, Jesus prayed and agonized in the Garden of Gethsemane, having asked his disciples to wait in the distance, watching and praying. Yet, they fell asleep. Jesus asked Peter, "Could you not watch and pray with me one hour?" (Matthew 26:40). Oratorians will devote, to the best of their abilities, one hour each Thursday, preferably in the evening or early in the night, to silent meditation and prayer. The best setting for this time of prayer is before the Blessed Sacrament.
VI. Private Confession
Oratorians will make use of the gift of Private Confession and Absolution as necessary, but no fewer than four times yearly, including once during Holy Week before the liturgy of Holy Thursday.
VII. Theological Study
Oratorians will make every effort to spend time daily in theological reading. However, the demands of pastoral work may impede this. If an Oratorian is impeded from daily study, she or he should at minimum set aside a larger portion of time weekly. Continuing theological study and contemplation on the mystery of God is essential to the life of an Oratorian.
VIII. Works of Corporal Mercy
Oratorians connect their spiritual lives to the needs of the wider world by engaging in at least one continuous corporal work of mercy in the Name of Jesus Christ, who calls us to care for the needs of the world, especially the poor, the hungry, the sick, the infirm, and those imprisoned.
IX. Spiritual Works of Mercy
Not out of a desire to try to do good works to set ourselves in good stead before God, but out of a response to the love we have experienced from God in the passion and death of Jesus, we commit ourselves also to continuous spiritual works of mercy, among them comforting the afflicted, instructing others in the faith, declaring the forgiveness of sins, and intercessory prayer.
X. Chapter and Convocation
The Oratory will work to provide an annual gathering, the Convocation in the form of a retreat, so that Oratorians may spend time living together the charism they live out in their daily lives and work. The work of the Oratory will be done and decisions made in a Chapter meeting during Convocation. All members of the Oratory together comprise the Chapter, led by the Prior. Oratorians are expected to make every effort to be in attendance for Convocation. If unable, written notice is to be provided to the Prior.
XI. The Rule of Saint Benedict
While the Oratory of Saint Martin is not a cloistered community, we are patterned in the Benedictine way. Our use of the Daily Office is informed by the Rule of Saint Benedict, but more importantly we take our spiritual guidance from the rule. It is for us a "school of the service of the Lord" (Rule of St. Benedict, Prologue). Oratorians will read and contemplate upon one chapter of the Rule of Saint Benedict every day.