however, I am a bit worried if I were to discern with a secular third order and it became a requirement. I am not very consistent at doing it. scruples
and another more logistical problem is, because of my visual impairment, I can’t do it unless I have access to a computer.
so depending what I am doing that day or where I am, I have been trying, during lent to do morning prayer and either evening or night prayer. but if I am out of the house, then I can’t, because I obviously don’t bring my laptop everywhere I go. for most of you, I’m assuming there’s some booklet with all the prayers that you can use and just take along wherever you’re going?
are there any order that are more flexible at what time you do it? does evening prayer have to be at 4, for example? or are there some orders where this is not a requirement?
so far, this is the main deterrent that I am seeing
I am an aspirant as a third order Carmelite, and we are required to pray morning and evening prayer and night prayer if able. I would check with a formator of any group you are thinking of entering, but I don’t think you would be bound to pray them if you are unable to in certain situations, such as lack of access to a computer. Personally, I just prayer them when I am able (first thing in the morning when I get up, before bed time). We are not obligated to pray them at a certain time of day, so just do them when able. Don’t get too caught up in the details- no one expects the impossible.
Consider seriously and prayerfully the Lay Dominicans. The rule is solemn promise and not binding under penalty of sin, and contains an abundance of the phrase “insofar as possible.” Prayers for your discernment.
Most of the Third Orders Secular have moved toward the Liturgy of the Hours, from decades ago. Of the main ones, I remember that the Servite Secular Order and the Mercedarian Third Order had not, as of recently. I was never a spiritual director for a Trinitarian tertiary.
That said, given your visual impairment, that particular spiritual practice could be commuted to something else, such as the rosary. That is something to discuss with those who have the direction of the Third Order in which you are interested.
*Sacrosanctum Concilium *and the reform of the breviary wants us to pray the Liturgy of the Hours in keeping with the time of the day and not saying the breviary all in one setting to “get it out of the way”…but the hours are understood in a broad sense of the word, especially for the laity. Even in the monasteries, Vespers can take place anywhere from 4 to 8 o’clock, as I have experienced it when visiting.
Morning Prayer should be prayed in the forenoon and Evening Prayer sometime during the late afternoon/evening with Night Prayer at or near bed time.
Also, the rule for secular orders with regard to prayer do not bind under pain of sin.
The following are the chief sources from which the lay members of Saint Dominic draw
strength to advance in their proper vocation, which combines at one and the same time the contemplative and the apostolic:
a. listening to the Word of God and reading the Sacred Scripture, especially the New
b. daily participation (as far as possible) in the celebration of the liturgy and participation in the Eucharistic sacrifice;
c. frequent celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation;
d. celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours in union with the entire Dominican Family, as well as prayer in private, such as meditation and the Marian Rosary;
e. conversion of heart according to the spirit and practice of evangelical penance;
f. assiduous study of revealed truth and constant reflection on contemporary problems under the light of faith;
g. devotion to the blessed Virgin Mary, according to the tradition of the Order, to our holy
father Saint Dominic and to Saint Catherine of Siena;
h. periodic spiritual retreats. *
Beyond the Rule, there are the particular directories as, in the case of the original poster, would be those in effect in Canada. Of them, the rule states
*6. Individual Directories should determine among other things:
a. conditions for admission to a Fraternity;
b. the time for probation and profession or promise;
c. the frequency of Sacraments, and the prayers which the lay brethren and sisters should each day raise to God;
d. the frequency of fraternity meetings and the form of their celebration, also the frequency of spiritual retreats;
e. both the internal constitution of each fraternity and the common constitution of the
fraternities of a province or country;
f. the procedural manner of election of those officers about whom there is found nothing
determined in the Rule;
g. the manner and limitation of dispensation;
h. suffrages for deceased brothers and sisters and for the whole Order. *
There are, as I said above, commutations which can be made within a chapter or under the Provincial Promoter.
In the Lay Carmelites it is not binding under pain of sin either. We make promises. Of course, we should not make easy excuses for ourselves, but there are some times when we cannot pray part of the LOTH.