The Three Ways of Service
(13) Tertiaries desire to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, whom we serve in the three ways of Prayer, Study, and Work. In the life of the Order as a whole these three ways must each find full and balanced expression, but it is not to be expected that all members devote themselves equally to each of them. Each individual’s service will vary according to his or her abilities and circumstances, yet each individual member’s Personal Rule of Life must include each of the three ways.The three ways of service are three ways in which we express our love for God. Prayer is the most direct expression of our love for God. Study is seeking to love God with all our mind. Work is love in action in the world.
The Principles make it clear that our circumstances dictate the balance between the different areas. This is emphasized precisely to prevent tertiaries feeling guilty about not devoting enough time or energy to one or other of these areas. Conversely, it should also prevent us from looking down on other tertiaries for whom the balance is different. (1 Corinthians 12 obviously comes to mind here.) We have different gifts, different personalities, different circumstances, which go to making up our own personal equation of prayer, study, and work. But God graciously combines those different equations to create a balance in the Order as a whole.