Keeping alive the memory of the Passion is more than remembering history. Christ’s sufferings continue in the sufferings of people today – the injured and the oppressed, the deserted and the despairing. The cry of Jesus “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” rings out across the ages, insisting that in peoples’ sufferings it is he who suffers. Passionists are intent to “see both the Crucified One and the crucified of the world today in one and the same glance”.
Keeping alive the memoOur Charismry of the Passion is more than finding the right words and images. To preach this “overwhelming work of God’s love” requires also the works of love – reaching out in practical ways to those who are in need, those who today are ‘crucified’ by injustice, seeking ways to overcome the causes of poverty and oppression.
Passionists intend their way of life to be one of compassion with those who are suffering, so that all may “know Christ and the power of his Resurrection by sharing in his sufferings and reproducing the pattern of his death” (Phil. 3).
We keep alive the memory of Christ’s Passion through our service of others, especially those who suffer. We preach parish missions and give retreats to bring the message of the Passion to God’s people. We work in parishes, building up the local community in the areas where we live. Our communities are available to people for the celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation and for spiritual counselling. We are involved in chaplaincies, in the academic world, in publishing and the media.
Our life of prayer, communal and individual, draws us to live in communion with the Most Holy Trinity. In prayer, we respond to the loving initiative of the Father. Led by the Holy Spirit, we unite ourselves with the Person of Christ, especially in the Paschal Mystery of His suffering, death, and resurrection. In this way, through prayer, our life is united with Christ in his journey towards the Father. (Passionist Constitutions)
Passionists live in community; they celebrate the Divine Office in common and devote time each day to contemplative prayer. They wear a black habit on which can be seen the Passionist “Sign”: a heart surmounted by a white cross, with the words “the Passion of Jesus Christ” inscribed within it. As well as the three vows of poverty, chastity and obedience, they take a distinctive vow to promote the remembrance of the Passion of Jesus.