Living out our spirituality
Our Spirituality is Eucharistic. We share thus the sentiments of Christ when He gave us the Eucharist (Eucharistia meaning thanksgiving). The spirit of thanksgiving to God therefore permeates our daily living. This we try to make concrete in our day-to-day living by bearing witness to the Eucharistic Lord who in all things gave thanks.
We, as a result, model our lives after the special characteristics of Christ – simplicity, total self-surrender, self-forgetfulness, self-immolation, self-transcendence, sacrifice, service to our neighbour, etc. A deep love for the Heart of Christ is the stirring force in our lives. Like Jesus, Who in all things gave thanks to God His father, and in union with our Founder’s mind, we the Sisters of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus live our lives bearing witness to the Eucharistic Lord in love and thanksgiving.
Women of courage – Witnesses to the Eucharistic love of Jesus Jesus having just completed the Passover meal with his disciples proceeded immediately to Gethsemane to actualize his act of self-giving, showing us by his example that love must be backed by actions. To the consternation of the Apostles, he gave himself up to arrest. He rebuked Peter who came to his defense, “Am I not going to drink the cup given me by my father” (Jn 18:6-11; Mt 26-28). He surrendered totally to suffering and an excruciating death on a cross. What a cry that must have been for Jesus: “It is finished.”
No wonder the paschal mystery of Jesus is seen as the source and summit of our faith. What a remarkable blessing that was, when Archbishop Leo Taylor, in founding a new Congregation in 1943 named it after “The Eucharistic Heart of Jesus.” It is so true that there is something in a name. In embracing a name, lies the call to enter into its depth, and spirit. No wonder words and images such as – praise, thanksgiving, Eucharistic love in action, sacrifice, reparation, consolation, adoration, bread, broken, shared, consumed, presence, loving sacrifice of God and neighbour, reverberate in “the books” and life of the Sisters of Eucharistic Heart of Jesus. “Eucharistic Love in Action” among others, surmise for us the challenge to live out the Eucharistic spirituality in the concrete. “Love” goes beyond feelings but what Pope Benedict XVI in Deus Caritas Est, described as agape “no longer is it self-seeking, a sinking in the intoxication of happiness . . . it becomes renunciation and it is ready to and even willing for sacrifice” (no. 6). Sacrifice purifies the heart for love and thanksgiving. “Thanksgiving” (Eucharistia) becomes more than words but a cup of salvation raised in praise of the name of the Lord. The mystery of the cross is central to the Eucharistic spirituality, “if we do not find the cross, the cross will find us.”
A self-sacrificing love impels those who love into action. In the words of Pope Benedict XVI, “But if in my life I fail completely to heed others, solely out of a desire to be “devout” and to perform “my religious duties” then my relationship with God will also grow arid. It becomes merely proper but loveless.” For him the saints constantly renewed heir capacity for love of neighbour from the encounter with the Eucharistic Lord (Deus Caritas Est, no. 18).
The Sisters of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus are women of courage for daring to accept the challenge to witness to the eschatological presence of the Lord among us in the Eucharist. This challenge can only be sustained by a continual contemplation of their beloved Lord. As we enter another stage in our life as a Congregation let us do so with enthusiasm and renewed resolve to be the bread broken for the life of the world.
Adoration: The chief distinguishing trait of our Congregation is the spirit of reparation. Each Sister of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus is to spend at least two hours before the Blessed Sacrament every day – one hour in common and the other hour rivately. This time is a period of profound union with God in prayer.
Holy Mass: Daily participation at the sacrifice of the Holy Mass is a must for every Sister of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus. Addressing our Sisters our Founder said: “It must be something exceptional that deprived you of Mass even one day” (Founder’s letter, 1947).
Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary: Pope John Paul II, in one of his messages to Consecrated persons said that Mary is the first consecrated person. And so he urged Consecrated Women and Men to take her as their model in many regard. We, Sisters of the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, cultivate a sincere and an affectionate devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary; we continuously ask her to intercede for us and help us to be faithful to our religious commitment.