Our Life in the Community
The Holy Trinity is the model of our community life, and therefore we anchor ourselves in the words of Jesus, “That they be one as we are One.”
In our living together, we believe that God, who brought us together supports, journeys with and inspires us to live in communion in sisterly love and understanding.
Our union and harmony in the community are nourished by prayer, distinguished by generous mortification and characterized by joy and hope. The shared Vision and Mission keep us together with ‘one heart and mind’, which is the hallmark of an Ecclesial community. (Cont.38)
We proclaim to the world that the ideal evangelical community is possible. We believe that God has placed us together to fulfill His Mission.We manifest it by showing concern for one another, sharing our responsibility, inspiring through our very life example, respecting the common traditions, and through our regular participation and practice of forgiveness and reconciliation.
Thus, our identity as members of the Congregation of Jesus Mary Joseph, our community life and our mission are three inseparable dimensions of one single reality. Our community is for mission and the community itself is mission. (Cont.39)
We live together as a community in a legitimately established house and to carry out the ministries of the Congregation for the needs of the universal Church and of the world.
Community prayer, sharing of meals and recreation are important means to shape our communities. (Cont.40)
Three hall marks of our community life are -
- Hospitality to everyone who visits us.
- Compassionate care of the sick and ailing sisters in our Congregation.
- Great value for our ageing members recognizing their hard-labour, richness of their experience and valuing their presence in the community.
External Identity - Congregation’s Cross and Ring
We wear a simple uniform, religious dress, adhering to the norms which bear witness to our Consecration. Our identity is recognized by our Congregation’s Cross and Ring. (Cont. 47)
Meaning of the Cross and imprints on the two sides of the Cross
Love: Christ chose to die for us, sinners, and this choice is made in love.God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8).
Humility: Christ’s death was an act of His willful humility. Christ hung on the cross with a purpose. Jesus humbled Himself in obedience and died a criminal death on the Cross (Phi 2:7-8).
Sacrifice: Laying aside His Divinity, He was born a helpless baby, completely dependent upon others. During His public ministry, He faithfully carried out God’s plan all the way to His death on the cross. (Romans 12:1–2).
Service: Jesus said “I did not come to be served, but to serve and to give my life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Christ’s supreme act of service was dying on the Cross so we might have eternal life.
As Sisters of JMJ, we are constantly invited to die to our will, as Christ did. Our life’s prayer should be “Thy will be done.” Christ calls us to deny ourselves and follow Him through sacrificial service to others (Luke 9:23).
And just like Jesus, it is our responsibility to become symbols of love, humility, sacrifice and service involving ourselves in the Salvific Mission of Jesus.
IHS (on one side of the JMJ Cross)
The Christogram IHS (IesusHominumSalvator) is a monogram symbolizing Jesus Christ as Savior.
In 1541 Saint Ignatius adopted the monogram IHS as an emblem to represent his newly founded order, the Society of Jesus.
JMJ Founder being a Jesuit used this monogram on the one side of the Cross to indicate Jesus Christ as Savior of us all.
Hearts of Jesus and Mary on the other side of JMJ Cross
The joint devotion to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary formally started in the 17th century. The Hearts of Jesus and Mary are mentioned explicitly in the New Testament. Luke 2:19 states: "Mary kept all these things pondering them in her heart", and Luke 2:51: "His Mother kept all these things carefully in Her Heart". John 7:38 refers to the heart of Jesus: "From His Heart will flow rivers of living water."
Rev. Fr. Mathias Wolff a man of faith grew in devotions to the hearts of Jesus and Mary like many other holy men and women of his time, depicting the Heart of Jesus thorn-crowned and the Heart of Mary pierced with a sword. Hence, the JMJ cross has this imprint, so that the sisters of JMJ practice this devotion to the two hearts of Jesus and Mary. By this devotion we pray that Jesus and Mary lead us to selfless love of God and our neighbor.
JMJ Ring with the imprint of crucifix
The crucifix image on JMJ ring represents the path of transformation. It reminds us of the narrow path that we constantly need to choose. It means to die and rise with Christ. We find this in St. Paul. "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me." Galatians 2:20
Jesus’ Crucifix proclaims that love is more powerful than hatred, compassion triumphs over oppression, and vulnerability overcomes power. The Crucifix invites us to put our trust in God, even in the face of dismay, oppression, cruelty and death. God is with us. God feels and suffers deeply with us.
We wear the ring with the imprint of the crucifix as a sign of our total commitment to God following the path of Christ crucified faithfully till the end of our life.