Spirituality is the practical relationship of God’s people to God. Said another way, it is the way in which the People of God express their love for and understanding of God, and of the teachings of the Church.
Some academic writers make a distinction between those practices which have been adopted by and beneficial to many Maronites that we have received from others and those practices which the Maronite Church to offer for our own benefit and for the benefit of the greater Church.
Many Maronites have great devotion to Mary in litanies and in the Rosary. Our parish, in particular, has a specific devotion to the Eucharist as expressed by Adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament. Many Maronites love the Stations of the Cross. Many Maronites enjoy reading the writings of St. Therese the Little Flower, St. Ignatius, St. Aloysius, St. Francis deSales, and the writings of Franciscan fathers. In recent years, Maronites have readily accepted the new devotions promulgated by recent popes or encouraged by recent lay movements.
Yet, the Maronite Church is not a mother unable to nurse her children. The Maronite Church purposes a liturgical spirituality, which inserts daily life into a liturgical frame and inserts liturgy into life. There is a way in which Maronite spirituality is directly connected to it’s monastic roots and to Syriac spirituality as expressed by writers like Jacob of Serugh and St Ephrem, Doctor of the Universal Church. This type of Maronite spirituality was centered on the liturgies of the monasteries. Yet, the laity would participate through participation in the morning and evening prayer before going off to work where they would sing hymns. The monks would be the teachers and spiritual fathers to the people, and monasticism was an option for most children. The Syriac fathers (Ephrem, Jacob of Serugh, Balai, Aphrahat) provide spiritual food.
However you view Maronite spirituality, it is safe to say that at its heart are the fonts of Scripture and the Eucharist. The Eucharist is something for the people, not for the priest alone and not for the perfect alone, but Christ comes to us to forgive our sins and to be new life in us. Scriptures are read frequently and expounded upon for the benefit of the hearer, and neither the Eucharist not Scripture are diverted into public acts, but are ordered to connect the community to God.