The Memoria Passionis

The Passionist Charism

The Passionist Charism is rooted in the experience of Saint Paul of  the Cross; central to the Charism are the Passion of Jesus and the passion of humanity and of the earth. Our Charism is expressed clearly in the Constitutions and documents of Chapters. The Passion of Jesus reveals the love of God for humanity. The logos of the Cross becomes the manifestation of the passion of the Father for humanity; thus, the Passion is the centre, the motive for our life. The love of God revealed on the Cross gives meaning to life; it gives meaning to our life. The Memory of the Passion is the source and foundation of our lives as Passionists; this is what gives us our identity. This Memoria Passionis offers a meaning to life that is profound and enduring; it helps us to discover meaning even in situations of suffering and pain – moments that often appear to be devoid of meaning. The Charism of Saint Paul of the Cross helps us to celebrate life in the midst of death. The two dimensions of the Charism are identification with Christ crucified and being present to the “crucified” of today. The Passionist Charism is not so much to be defined as to be lived and experienced, through contemplation, community life and mission; it is about loving, not about doing. The Charism is a gift, but it also brings a responsibility. When it is lived in a serious way, it calls us to a transformation not just of our personal lives, but of the very structure of our Congregation. It is this light, the power of the Cross, which can transform our lives in a real way. We have personal experiences which incarnate the Charism: being with the persecuted, the struggle for justice, the memory of the Crucified and the “crucified”, the centrality of the Memoria Passionis, pastoral life, prayer and contemplation, the encounter with Christ and the experience of being loved, the experience of peace and of suffering in the world. [Passionist General Chapter 2006]

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