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Selecting a Rule of Life

Selecting a Rule of Life


 Before you explore all Rules of Life available today, a word of wisdom is necessary. A Rule of Life is not “one size fits all” It is more like “one Rule fits one person.” Living a Rule of Life is a vocation, that is, a direct call from the Holy Spirit.


Selecting a Rule of Life to live as a lay person is not like selecting an article of clothing, an appliance, a book, or a vehicle. It might be safer to say that the Rule selects YOU. If you feel the desire to go beyond the requirements of being a “good Catholic,” then the Lord may be calling you to live a Rule of Life that will help you to achieve this. How will you know? First, pray about this question. Ask God, “Do You want me to live a Rule of Life? Do You want me to live it now?” If the Lord seems to be directing you to investigate this idea, how do you find the Rule that you ought to try to live?

An internet search will unearth many Rules of Life. A call to your Diocesan offices can put you in touch with groups in your area. Your parish priest and other lay Catholics may know of groups nearby. Ask questions. Follow leads.

Each Rule of Life requires certain obligations from its Members. Some Rules are very specific and others more general. Some allow more personal choice and others allow less. Some groups require a specific plan of study before permitting a Member to make a Church-accepted commitment to live that Rule. Others have less structure. You will discover these differences as you investigate different groups and their Rules of Life.

Should you investigate several groups and Rules? Yes, probably you should. Bathe your search in prayer. Certain groups and Rules will resonate with you. Others will not. Keep a list of the Rules and groups that seem promising and pray about that list. Contact the ones that intrigue you. Keep in touch until you know that a certain group or Rule is not for you, no matter how good it is. In time, the Holy Spirit will whittle down your contacts until you find the group whose Rule seems made for YOU.

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