rule of Life
The "rules" of the Society are ways to shape, grow, and preserve the holy life, character, and dual purpose of the Society. They are inspired by the historical Benedictine tradition, consisting of disciplined prayer, scripture reading, the sacraments, work, study, and community. Spiritual direction and growth are sought in relationship to the Holy Spirit and with the pastoral guidance of clergy.
Daily Prayer & Scripture
The Daily Office of Prayer is a spiritual discipline to be learned and practiced by each member, but is the obligation of those life-professed. Times of prayer may vary according to each individual's daily personal schedule, but generally, a time in the early morning when you arise, and then a time in the evening, or at minimum, once per day, usually in the morning. This prayer time is for your own edification and strengthening as well for the purpose of intercession for others, particularly the clergy who lead the Church and are often under spiritual attack because of their position of leadership.
The exercise of daily prayer should always include usage of Old and/or New Testament Scripture readings or quotations, as the Word of God contains all things necessary for life and salvation, serves as a weapon of spiritual warfare, and since Jesus said, "if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted" (John 15:17), we want to follow Jesus as close as possible as true disciples. Further reading and study of Holy Scripture is encouraged.
The ICCEC abides in the historical sacramental life of the Church, holding to the belief that grace is imparted through them. Members of the Society must therefore abide in the same belief, although possibly differing on nuances of understanding, somewhat expected since there is mystery attached to the working of God's grace through the sacraments of the Church.
Fasting is a form of discipline which fosters spiritual growth, challenging us in the Christian principle of self-denial, while helping us to better realize our dependency on God. There are various forms and levels of fasting that can be practiced.
work & study
While work is not typically considered a traditional spiritual discipline by most, in creation, God did put man into the garden to work it and take care for it, and created woman as his helpmate. Holy Scripture also instructs us to work six days before resting, speaks against idle hands while commending diligent ones, so we know that there are virtuous benefits related to work. Therefore, it is expected that Societal members will adhere to some amount of work, even if retired from secular employment, even in such forms as gardening, volunteering, or serving others.
Learning is inherently essential to the call of a disciple. As we learn from the Lord, and about the Lord and His Kingdom, we will hopefully grow in true knowledge, understanding, and wisdom; in both theory and practice. Learning can be accomplished through various means, such as, books, podcasts, seminars, bible and theology classes, etc. Besides individual study, local group members can arrange joint efforts to study together or allow times for discussion in group meetings, in an effort to foster learning.
While spiritual direction is a practice that all Christians can benefit from, but given the importance and nature of this Society, it is required that all members seek guidance from one of the ICCEC clergy, as a means of assistance in following in the Way of the Lord. The spiritual health of each member also affects the group as a whole. Life-professed and novices are required to meet for guidance twice a year, and a postulant at least once per year.
Assembling together is a core and necessary Christian principle. -ref. (Hebrews 11:25)