To form his sisters, Charles Lavigerie chose Ignatian spirituality. The deepening of apostolic spirituality is a crucial issue for us if it is truly to inspire and energize us for the mission.
Our apostolic spirituality is rooted in the mystery of salvation: God is present in the whole of creation. God is at work in our history, transforming the world into the Kingdom of God. This conviction is the driving force and the unifying factor of our lives: it fashions our way of being, of praying, of carrying out the Mission, of relating to others, and of living the vows.
The conviction that God is at work everywhere through his Spirit makes us recognize every place and, even more so, every person as “holy ground.” Nothing is profane and we can truly “find God in all things”. Of course, we need times set apart for prayer, for listening to the Word of God, but our contemplation is equally nourished by the events of everyday life. The basic inspiration of a truly apostolic spirituality is that it delivers us from the dichotomy between contemplation and action. We treasure this sacramental view of reality which is the key to unity in our lives.
We are also called to “find all things in God”, that is: to see how everything, every person, every reality has a special place in God’s loving plan. This conviction transforms our way of looking at reality and can make us into true bearers of hope in the midst of any situation… We need to be “contemplative in action”.
We are invited to enter creatively into God’s vision for the world and to collaborate with the Spirit in making God’s vision a reality.
« They must make themselves all things to all, so as to win souls to Jesus Christ and his Church, by teaching and by the practice of charity, not hesitating before any difficulty, not even death, when it is a question of extending the Kingdom of God”.
Since the origins of our Congregation, from generation to generation, this sentence, so rich in content, accompanies us. It is part of our family treasure, for Lavigerie has expressed there, in a few words, the heart of our missionary spirituality.
“I made myself all to all, because I said to the God of all: I am all yours”.
Under the impulse of the Cardinal, we have been marked from our very beginnings by a special characteristic: going out towards people in order to encounter them where they are. Today, more than ever, we are called to
“move out of” our mentalities, our prejudices, so as to go
“towards” persons, religions, cultures…
“in order to” be transformed by others and by the milieu which receives us, be filled with wonder at another’s gift and unique contribution to humanity, discover the longing that can be found in every culture, and welcome it freely, help the other to recognize this longing as “the place” where the Kingdom of god is already begun,
“with” the other, in order to play an active part in the transformation of the world, like “yeast in the dough”.
Extract from our Capitular Acts 1993, p. 39