We, Faithful Companions of Jesus today, need to probe our founding stories for the desires, the courage and the wisdom to live now with the same integrity and faithfulness of Marie Madeleine and the FCJs who have gone before us. We need to know our own experience and attend to the desires God elicits in our own hearts. We need Courage and Confidence, but above all, great Confidence! God is with us, God is in our story, our story has roots and, if we will receive it from God, a future full of hope!
The Rule we have chosen is that of St. Ignatius, not to walk in his footsteps but in those of our Lord Jesus Christ.
We have the opportunity to live the Constitutions which Marie Madeleine so desired to give us. In 1985 the Holy See finally approved them, with some modifications, but faithful to the great principles of:
- Apostolic companionship in discernment for mission
- Service for the greater glory of God
- Unity and diversity
- Excelling in the obedience which sends us on our mission
- Formation to interior freedom and maturity of spirit.
We will be fashioned to the identity of a Faithful Companion of Jesus by living the way of life of these Constitutions which, Marie Madeleine tells us, one either follows wholeheartedly or has to abandon. These are, in so far as it is possible for us, the Jesuit Constitutions: the Rule we have chosen is that of St. Ignatius, not to walk in his footsteps but in those of our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Constitutions remain an expression of our vision for all time – the vision of the Incarnation as the meaning of our life and mission, of making Christ present and finding him present everywhere in this created world, of the mystery of creation in Christ, for Christ. This way of life is an essential condition of our identifying ourselves with Jesus ‘sent’; with Mary and the Holy Women we confront the mystery of the cross and witness by our lives that the self-emptying of the crucified-risen Christ has conquered.
We bear the name of Jesus and from the cross have received the gift of his Heart and the outpouring of His Spirit. Mary, his Mother, has been given to us as ‘mother and superior of our Society. We seek, like Marie Madeleine, to make known and loved the name of Jesus, his Spirit, his Heart and his Mother.
We follow Christ in his saving mission in poverty, humility, obedience and gentleness, four companions who are to be very dear to us and from whom we must never for an instant part.
We FCJs are called to follow Jesus in faithfulness, to stand at the foot of the cross with Mary and the holy women and there, to become one with Christ in his thirst for the coming of the reign of God. Strong in companionship with Jesus and with each other we work together in the service of the Church to build the body of Christ. There is no end to God’s willingness to share both being and labour with creation, with all people, with us! Together we become co-creators with God, recognized by our love, bearers of God’s vision.