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As women rooted in the heart of Christ, Religious of the Sacred Heart reaffirm our heritage of contemplation that springs from “a compelling love written in our hearts by the Spirit” (Constitutions, §24). This urgent call challenges us to keep hope alive in a world of violence, fragmentation and woundedness that threaten the survival of our planet. The future of humanity depends on a spiritual rebirth. The beauty and the suffering of our world and of nature, and the wisdom of other religious traditions touch and affect the quality and depth of our contemplation.

Many in our world today are searching for the meaning of life. This movement calls us to revitalize our spirituality of the heart and to discover the gratuitous presence of the love of God in humanity.

We are called to stop, to choose silence and to open and let ourselves be opened to our inner depths where the Spirit of God allows us to feel, see and understand life and reality with God’s heart. When we allow our bodies to be silent, our senses awaken, and we are able to hear the voice of the Spirit within us. Then in the secret place of the heart, the Spirit gradually transforms our feelings and responses, and draws us into an intimate relationship with God. The Spirit attunes us to the heartbeat of our people to discover the presence and love of God in everyday life. When we contemplate the heart of Christ we enter into the movement of the Spirit who develops in us a listening heart, bringing us closer to God’s reality, with the desire to promote justice, peace and the care of creation.

Contemplation is at the core of our spirituality and leads us to discover the depths of our humanity. Our contemplation allows us to hear the cry for relationships that reflect human dignity. Being contemplative women will give color and warmth to life.

(Adapted from General Chapter 2008 Documents, ©Society of the Sacred Heart)

Reflection on Contemplation by Mariola Lopez Villanueva, RSCJ.