‘Go to the Heart of Jesus and draw from it, and when you need more, go back to the Source and draw again.’ St Madeleine Sophie Barat
These words, written by St Madeleine Sophie Barat in the introduction to the 1815 Constitutions, still hold true for RSCJ more than 200 years later. Prayer is the basis of our daily lives, our mission and interactions, our concerns for others and the world and our awareness of God’s presence and action throughout. As our 1982 Constitutions state:
“This contemplative attitude permeates our whole being,
helping us to live ever more united to Christ
in our relationships, our tasks and our ministry;
it becomes a powerful force
of conversion and transformation for mission.
In welcoming God's word
Mary gave Christ to the world.
In receiving the life of Jesus
we give ourselves with Him so that all may have life.”
Concretely, RSCJ centre their daily lives on personal prayer, nourished by the Eucharist, the study of Scripture, reading, reflection and daily examen. Communities pray together each day, meet regularly to reflect upon their lives and celebrate the Church’s seasons and feasts.
RSCJ are called to union and conformity with the Heart of Jesus, by which, through prayer and reflection, we are invited to enter into the feelings and attitudes of Jesus’ Heart; to learn from him and to discover his Heart, wholly given to God and to all people, and to make his attitudes and desires our own. Our starting point is always the Gospels, but we also learn to contemplate his Heart in people, situations and events. Christ is ever-present, often hidden in the heart of the world, with all its pain and woundedness, and is at work in efforts to build a world of justice and love.
Inherent in our call and spirituality is a call to contemplate the Heart of Jesus through the pierced heart of humanity. “The pierced Heart of Jesus opens our being to the depths of God and to the anguish of humankind.” (Constitutions, para 8) Thus we learn to discover the love of Jesus: our mission is to make this love known, in all the circumstances of our lives, and especially in places and situations where love, tenderness and reconciliation are most needed.
Through the Eucharist we enter into the mystery of the open side of Jesus.
In our daily life, the Eucharist celebrates His death and resurrection, the reality which lies at the heart of the sufferings and hopes of the human family. Through the Eucharist we are drawn into the gift of Jesus to His Father for the life of the world, and in His Body we are gathered into one.
Constitutions, para 5
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