Fundamentals of Our Life
The Passionist Vocation
- Saint Paul of the Cross
gathered companions to live together and to proclaim the Gospel of
Christ to all.
The first name he gave
his community was "The Poor of Jesus". This was to indicate
that their lives were to be based on evangelical poverty,
which he held to be necessary if they were to observe the other
evangelical counsels: to persevere in prayer, and to preach the
Word of the Cross in season and out of season.
Moreover, he wanted
them to live their lives like apostles. They were to foster and
develop deep spirit of prayer, penance, and solitude and witness
to His love.
Keenly aware of the
evils that afflicted the people of his time, he never tired of insisting
that the most effective remedy is the Passion of Jesus, "the
greatest and most overwhelming work of God's love." See: The
Way of the Cross with Saint Paul of the Cross
- Recognizing in Saint Paul
of the Cross the action of the Holy Spirit, the Church with her supreme
authority approved our Congregation and its Rule, and entrusted us
with a mission: to preach the Gospel of the Passion by our life
Today this mission retains
its seminal force and authenticity.
We come together therefore
in apostolic communites so that we can fulfill this mission of ours
by working for the coming of God's Kingdom.
Confident that God
will help us to overcome our human limitations, we are determined
to remain faithful to the patrimony and evangelical spirit of our
- We are aware that the
Passion of Christ continues in this world until He comes in glory;
therefore, we share in the joys and sorrows of our contemporaries
as we journey through life toward our Father. We wish to share in
the distress of all, especially those who are poor and neglected;
we seek to offer them comfort and to relieve the burden of their sorrow.
The power of the Cross, which is the wisdom of God, gives us strength
to discern and remove the causes of human suffering.
For this reason, our
mission aims at evangelizing others by means of the Word of the
Cross. In this way, all may come to know Christ and the power
of His resurrection, may share in His sufferings and, becoming like
Him in His death, may be united with Him in glory ( Phil 3:10-11).
Each of us takes part in this apostolate according to his gifts,
resources, and ministries.
- We accept the urgent
demands made on each of us by the personal call of the Father to follow
Jesus Crucified, namely:
- a personal
and continual vigilance to make the Gospel the supreme rule
and criterion of our life;
- a steadfast
will to live and work joyfully as a community of brothers,
observing these Constitutions in the spirit of Saint Paul of the
- a firm resolve
to foster in ourselves the spirit of prayer, and to teach others
- a keen
attention to the needs of others, as we strive to lead them
to the fullness of their Christian calling through the message
of the Cross.
Our Consecration to
the Passion of Jesus
We seek the unity of
our lives and our apostolate in the Passion of Jesus. His Passion
reveals the power of God which penetrates the world, destroying the
power of evil and building up the Kingdom of God.
Since we have been called
to unite ourselves to the life and mission of Him who "emptied
Himself taking the form of a servant"( Phil 2:7), we contemplate
Christ through persevering prayer. By giving His life for us He
reveals God's love for all people, and shows the path they must
follow as they make their way towards the Father. Faithfulness to
this contemplation enables us to show forth His love more fully,
and to help others offer their lives in Christ to the Father.
- We express our participation
in the Passion by a special vow, which is at once personal, communitarian,
and apostolic. Through this vow we bind ourselves to keep alive
the memory of the Passion of Christ. By word and deed we strive to
foster awareness of its meaning and value for each person and for
the life of the world.
By this vow our Congregation
takes her place in the Church so as to dedicate herself fully to
In the light of this,
we seek to incorporate this vow into our daily lives by living the
Then, as we relive
the memory of the Passion of Christ today, our communities become
a leaven of salvation in the Church and in the world.
questions or comments about this page to Victor Hoagland, C.P.
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