I am founding a secular institute for men based on the spirituality of Blessed Charles de Foucauld. The institute is called the Fraternity of the Hidden Life. Men are sought who feel called to a life of holiness in the practice of the evangelical counsels of poverty, chastity, and obedience.
A secular institute for women was founded in the 1950s, but there is no institute for men.
If you sense a calling to the life of Jesus at Nazareth, to live as the hidden leaven of the world, please contact me at my website, fothl.org, or send me a message through this site.
Here is a summary of the spirituality of the institute:
“The life of Nazareth is that of the majority of people, very much like their ordinary life. It is also that of religious who live a hidden, contemplative life and, at the same time, are in touch with the people around them.” – Fr. Charles de Foucauld
When we seek to draw near to God through a consecrated way of life, we look first to Jesus. As Fr. Charles said, he is our model. Then, we look to those who embraced the charisms of life that we are seeking. We look to those members of fallen humanity who persevered and showed us how we might follow The Crucified One in the concrete situations of life.
The ideal of Fr. Charles was to live the hidden life of Jesus at Nazareth. The Son of God spent 30 years of his life hidden, buried, in the joys and tediums of everyday life. Though God incarnate, he lived and worked among others. He was The Leaven, The Salt.
Hiddenness as exemplified by Fr. Charles does not mean a complete obscurity of our call. He was a visible sign of the Church in the midst of others, especially in the midst of unbelievers. The hidden nature comes from, as much as possible, burying ourselves in the everyday banality and beauty of life in a secular world. It is a gentle presence of witness. We are also hidden because so much of our spiritual life is never seen by those around us. Hours of adoration, The Divine Office, and retreats are usually performed as a solitary. In this sense, those around us will never know the sacrifice and lonely battles of the spiritual life we lead. They also, though, will not be present to our deepest joys of the interior life.
To live this life requires the initiative to pray when no one is there to encourage us. It also requires a never-failing trust that God is always there, deep inside, in the unending splendor of the Trinity. Only with His grace will we persevere and triumph.
Following is a brief listing of the spiritual obligations of this way of life. Under the documents section of this site, we will expound further upon the different aspects of living this life in the concrete.
THE SPIRITUAL OBLIGATIONS
**Daily Mass** **Holy Hour of Adoration** – “Remain here, and watch with me” – Matthew 26.38 * Adoration of Jesus was of critical importance to Fr. Charles. We would do well to imitate him in his love of staying with the Lord.* **The Divine Office** – “Seven times a day I praise thee” – Psalm 119:164 *The prayer of the Church. Let us join ourselves with our brothers and sisters throughout the world in giving praise to God.* O**nce monthly, a Day in the Desert **- “I will allure (him), and bring (him) into the desert” – Hosea 2:14
- We draw away from the world to spend a day in silent recollection and love. With only a Bible and our breviary, we seek to abide in God.*
To be under the guidance of a spiritual director - “He who hears you, hears me” – Luke 10:16
As Fr. Charles wisely said, the first thing one needs when entering the desert is a guide. To the best of our ability, we must find a spiritual director and be obedient to them.
20-30 minutes of meditation per day, ending with a concrete resolution – “I meditate and search my spirit” – Psalm 77:6
- If necessary, this period of meditation may be integrated into the Holy Hour. For further details about meditation and resolutions, please see the link “Documents” at the top of the page.*
These daily prayer requirements will take sacrifice and time; however, consider the time, attention, and love that parents devote to their children. May we who have forsaken marriage and children never be accused of having a lesser love towards God.