Our Foundress, Madeleine Sophie lived through the tumultuous period of the French Revolution. What inspired Madeleine Sophie to such activity in the face of many difficulties, in the confused and unsettled times of the first half of the 19th century? The source was in her deep union with the Heart of Jesus.

During her lifetime she repeatedly encouraged the Sisters to unite themselves to the Heart of Jesus and to pray without ceasing. Her heart was always full of peace, as she was deeply united to the Heart of Jesus.

During her lifetime she repeatedly encouraged the Sisters to unite themselves to the Heart of Jesus and to pray without ceasing. Her heart was always full of peace, as she was deeply united to the Heart of Jesus.

The spirit of the Society is essentially based upon prayer and the interior life, since we cannot glorify the adorable Heart of Jesus worthily except inasmuch as we apply ourselves to the study of His interior dispositions in order to unite and conform ourselves to them." (Constitutions)

The Spirits of the Society of the Sacred Heart has inherited the original vision of the Foundress; however, its expression can vary according to the period of time, to countries and to cultural milieu. We, the Japan Province, have been searching for our in-culturated expression of the Spirituality of the Society in this country which has a unique history and culture of her own. The following is the statement of the Japan Province about our Spirituality, which was composed at the Provincial Chapter, which had been carried out in December 2007. We have proposed this statement to the next General Chapter which will be held in Peru in July 2008.

Spirituality

RSCJ in Japan are confronted with the following social reality

  • The total population of the Christians is less than one percent. On the one hand, we find religiosity based on Shintoism as well as Buddhism, and tolerance of various religions that can coexist. Yet on the other hand, very few people belong to a specific religion. The younger generation have doubts about existing religions, and yet they grope for a religion in search of the meaning of life.

  • Materialism/consumerism brought about by a highly developed economy is spreading, and social disparity due to the tidal wave of globalization together with priority on efficiency is becoming quite evident.

  • As one’s values and diversity of life-style change, one falls into individualism and family bonds tend to be weakened. With the advance in an information-oriented society, there is change in what communication should be and there arises difficulty communicating with people, and this  results in the phenomenon of withdrawal from society.

  • The dignity of life is neglected, and social problems such as bullying and suicide are becoming serious social problems.

  • A declining birthrate/aging society is moving forward, and it is not easy to find hope for the future.

  • Foreigners who come to Japan looking for work are increasing, and various problems arise with regard to coexistence.

Accordingly, we wish to reconfirm the grace of the particular spirituality of RSCJ that has been cultivated on the spiritual soil of Japan, and to make the heart of the Incarnated Jesus our own by drawing closer to the people in their pains and weaknesses.

  • We grasp the essence of being human as “ being animated in relationship.” We experience Communion of Life in the oneness of being united with one another and with nature. Thereby we encounter God Incarnate, and open ourselves again and again to new relationships.

  • Freed from possessing we find value in simplicity. We appreciate “space” as perceived within this simplicity and silence. In this space and with a contemplative outlook on the world, we listen to God who speaks through nature, persons and events.

  • We sense the presence of the holy in the beauty of nature and the transience of seasons, and become conscious of the spiritual heritage of our culture which cherishes reverence and gratitude toward the Invisible. Thereby, we are being drawn into an intimacy of profound Communion with the Divine.

  • It is the “Way” for us to embrace the Presence of God with our whole being responding to His call through our own life. Within this “Way”, our prayer is nurtured and enriched by the body-posture and practice which are being acquired by daily repetition.

  • We yearn to re-awaken in ourselves an intrinsic open-mindedness that allows the acceptance of whatever is different from bringing forth Communion in today’s world that calls us to live interdependently among multi-cultures, multi-religions and multi-nations

Prayer

“The spirit of the Society is essentially based upon prayer and the interior life …” (Constirurions #17)
(会憲#17)
Prayer fundamentally supports our ways of life. In whatever activities, our prayer life becomes the foundation for our attitude for life. We nurture this comtemplative attitude for all through our life, and it would be completed in God’s grace.

“The Spirit dwelling within us gradually transforms us, … The Spirit unites and conforms us to Jesus and makes us sensitive to His presence within ourselves, in others and in all that happens. Thus we learn to contemplate reality and to experience it with His Heart, to commit ourselves to the service of the Kingdom and to grow in love: ‘Have this mind among yourselves which was in Christ Jesus’[Phil 2:5]” (Constitutions #21)

serial articles on prayer and discernment (coming soon)

prayers of the elderly sisters of Dai-1 Shudo-in (coming soon)

“Our Vocation Stories” (Watashi no Yobareta Michi)