The Passionist Nuns
CHARISM: Remembrance of the Passion
What is a Charism?
It is a free gift of the Holy Spirit for the sake of the whole Church; a particular way to conform our minds to the mind of Christ and to live intensely a particular aspect of His life. In this way, the religious give witness to a particular aspect of Christ's mystery.
To remember the Passion of Jesus Christ:
As Passionists, we are called to keep alive the Memory of Christ's Passion. We do not only recall it in our minds, but we render it present in our lives by living His self-emptying love in our daily lives for the salvation of souls. Passionists live intensely the Mystery of Redemption for the benefit of the whole Church and for all people.
How do we live the Passionist Charism?
During His earthly life, Christ called to Himself those whom He chose to come and remain with Him. To accept this call demands a free personal response of love. We offer ourselves as brides of the Crucified: 1) to possess Him; and 2) to be found in Him. To possess Him means to grow in intimacy with Him through our faithfulness to silence, solitude, prayer, and the practice of virtues. Solitude is for the purpose of growing in communion with God and neighbor, not for isolation. The deeper we grow in communion with Christ Crucified, the more we will be found in Him, i.e. become identified with Him, espousing His attitudes, His mind, His Heart, His love, His will, which is identified with the Father's will. "The life I live now is not my own; Christ is living in me." It is the love of Christ Crucified, His pierced Heart in me, that enables me not only to love Him in the Father and the Holy Spirit, but all others with the affection of Christ. This means that we are always in process of deepening our own personal communion with Christ Crucified, so that what we give to others is the affection, not of ourselves simply, but the affection of Christ.
We surrender ourselves to the transforming power of Divine Love through a life of solitude, prayer, poverty, and penance.
"The Passion of Jesus Christ is the greatest and most overwhelming work of God's Love."
St. Paul of the Cross, Founder
In solitude, we give ourselves to God alone. We do not seek to be alienated from the world, but to be more deeply united with it. In seeking God alone we find all others in the Heart of Christ. By giving witness to the reality of God's existence and intimate presence, we are signs to those who suffer temptations against faith, hope, and love.
In the solitude and silence of the cloister, we seek God through constant prayer. At the heart of our prayer life is the word of God and the Eucharist, which contain all the fruits of the Passion to which we are vowed. Our hidden lives of love and prayer sustain the missionary activity of the Church and play a great role in the evangelization of the world.
"How pleasing to the Lord is the contemplative life,.... Jesus need souls for Himself in love and reparation."
Sr. Mary, CP, Co-Foundress
"I try to keep my soul, my heart, my thoughts, at the foot of the Tabernacle."
Mother Mary Hyacinth, CP, Foundress
We share in the poverty of Christ. It is rooted in the remembrance of Christ Crucified, who emptied Himself and died naked on the cross. Through our self-emptying poverty and detachment from all that is not God, we center our lives on Christ Crucified and His love while enriching God's people on earth.
We can become people of great prayer only by a life of penance. We live a life of conversion, cultivating a sense of sin in the presence of Christ Crucified, changing our minds, hearts, and will to be in harmony with Christ. It is also a great grace from God to love penance for the sake of filling up those things that are lacking in the sufferings of Christ's Mystical Body, the Church. We manifest our spirit of penance by the loving acceptance of all the burdens and difficulties of community life. In our contemplative-penitential life, we mourn for the sufferings of Christ today because God is dead in the conscience of so many people.
Copyright (c) 2015 The Passionist Nuns, Pittsburgh, PA
"The conversion of souls is obtained by sacrifice,..., I offer myself as a victim of Thy Will for the salvation of souls."
Mother Mary Louise, CP, Co-Foundress