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The same spirituality

It was in a Congregation dedicated to the Heart of Christ that Josefa spent four years of her religious life, first as a novice and then as a professed sister.

Even if the Message is marked by Josefa’s personality and by the time during which it was given, it is firmly rooted in the spirituality of the Society of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Whether it be the original Constitutions drawn up by St. Madeleine Sophie in 1815 or the new Constitutions revised during the Chapter of 1982, we find the same principal ideas as those found in the Message, an identical inspiration going beyond differences of language and culture...

The experience Josefa lived through is essentially one of love: it was granted to her to be immersed in that fire of love which is the Heart of Christ and where she lived intensely her union with the Risen Jesus. He had called her to « a personal encounter with Him »; He wanted « to reveal to her the feelings and the preferences of His Heart ».
Josefa responded freely to this grace letting herself be guided and transformed through it. She accepted to live in conformity with Him who loved her and whom she loved – and this unto the cross. From Him she learned to give her life in meekness and humility.

The « Constitutions » have traced for the Congregation a « way » along which the Lord has conducted Josefa and every religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in a unique manner.

In our days, the Congregation’s commitment to serve in the world entails most certainly a more social and more political dimension than that which existed in Josefa’s life. Nevertheless, her insertion in the workplace, before she entered religious life, has certainly helped her to « contemplate reality and to experience it with His Heart». Following the example of Jesus, she committed herself and gave her life for the salvation of souls, to « the service of the Kingdom », as stated in our present Constitutions. Her life and the Message attached to it remind us that the building of the Kingdom is primarily the Work of Christ before being a human undertaking.

In the Constitutions of 1982, the religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus often express their conviction as follows :

« The pierced Heart of Jesus opens our being to the depths of God and to the anguish of humankind. Jesus draws us into His movement of adoration of the Father and love for all, especially those who are poor ».

« The love of the Heart of Jesus and the desire to make Him known « animate all our activities ».

For them, as for Josefa, the experience of a personal love of Jesus comes first; it orientates their mission. This experience is the source of their commitment to serve in the world.

Inspired by the 1815 Constitutions, those of 1982 define the vocation of the Religious of the Sacred Heart in these terms:

« By our charism, we are consecrated to glorifying the Heart of Jesus : we answer His call to discover and reveal His love letting ourselves be transformed by His Spirit so as to live united and conformed to Him, and through our love and service to radiate the very love of his Heart».

Extract from: The Introduction to the 2004 edition

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