Spirituality and Prayer
Each religious community has a distinctive spirit or “charism.” This charism is a gift given by God for the good of the larger community.
We name our charism in various ways. Many call it unifying love. Others use the phrase unity and reconciliation. We recall the prayer of Jesus at the Last Supper: That all may be one, Father, as You and I are one. That unity is the unity we seek and long for. It is this longing which informs all we are and all we do.
Another phrase from our tradition describes our work as “to bring unity of neighbor with neighbor and neighbor with God.” This language may seem strange, coming as it does from seventeenth-century France, but the concepts and ideals are absolutely timeless.
Our consciousness of the violence which permeates so much of our world convinces us that there is a critical need for the charism with which God has gifted us as Sisters of St. Joseph.
Our Constitution tells us that prayer is a living relationship with God, a relationship moving and growing with the rhythms of life. In prayer we try to open ourselves to the transforming power of the risen Jesus who calls us to share His life and friendship and to seek the love, the will and the glory of God.
In our prayer as individuals and as community, we delight in God's love in a spirit of thanks and praise. We unite ourselves to Jesus in contemplating His life and attitudes and in recognizing in Mary and Joseph examples of fidelity to the Spirit and humble, cordial service to the neighbor. We seek the inspiration of the Spirit, wait for it without anxiety and embrace it when it comes.
For our congregation, the Eucharist is the primary sign, source and expression of our unity. Communion with the Holy Trinity is the heart of our religious life and the source of our fruitfulness in ministry.
Prayer in solitude and prayer together affects the quality of our presence to one another and to all people. Our prayer unites us with God whose power can accomplish more than we can hope for or imagine.
Our Consensus Statement
Many Sisters of St. Joseph have done research on our original documents which date from the seventeenth century. These documents are still being studied and translated. We have a short document which we call our Consensus Statement. This document was prepared by the research teams after they had explored the original French materials. They believe that the Consensus Statement reflects the heart of our founder, Jean Pierre Medaille, SJ, and his central ideas in establishing the congregation. The Consensus Statement follows:
Stimulated by the Holy Spirit of Love and receptive to the Spirit’s inspirations,
the Sister of St. Joseph moves always towards
profound love of God and
love of neighbor without distinction
from whom she does not separate herself
and for whom, in the following of Christ,
she works in order to achieve unity
of neighbor with neighbor
and neighbor with God
directly in this apostolate
and indirectly through works of charity:
in humility-the spirit of the Incarnate Word;
in sincere charity-the manner of St. Joseph whose name she bears;
in an Ignatian-Salesian climate: that is, with an orientation toward excellence,
tempered by gentleness, peace, joy.
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