On March 1st. Fr. Chris Chaplin, MSC, was visiting our communities in the United States to interview each member as an initial preparation for our 2024 Provincial Chapter.

After the interviews, Chris facilitated a community meeting to give a summary. The PA community met with Fr. Chris on March 6. By noticing the movements of the Heart of Jesus, Chris affirmed that our spirituality is Christ-center and summed up in three steps:

  1. Christ before our eyes—contemplative and adoration
  2. Christ in our hearts—affective and communion
  3. Christ in our hands—union with Christ in action.

Jules Chevalier lived out these three aspects, enabling him to keep his life fixed on the Heart of Jesus.

There are four movements in Chevalier’s vision: A deep concern for those affected by the mal modern (Jansenism, Rationalism, loss of guiding values leading to rigorism, indifference and religious apathy).

  1. Encounter: Awareness of interior & exterior realities. “What is?” Appreciating, Intimacy– Awakening to freedoms and unfreedoms. “What could be?”
  2. Envisioning: A belief that the love of God manifested in the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the remedy to society’s ailments, and devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus provides direction, unity and purpose.
  3. Conversion, Letting Go, Transformation, Re-orientation: “What should be?” Co-Constructing
  4. A Mission of Love, manifesting the kindness of God, is carried out in the work of service of the Sacred Heart and by the way of serving. Mission Greater Confidence. Responsible Freedom. Crystallizing. “What will be?” Sustaining Chevalier’s experience of God, which he saw summed up in devotion to the Sacred Heart, was not individualistic piety. In an extant manuscript (1856) describing his seminary experience, he said it came to him ‘while reflecting on the sickness-consuming society’. Put simply, if social life was a matter of knowing how to live together constructively, God’s incarnate Word had much to contribute.

Denis Murphy MSC: Chevalier would claim that the society of his time was dying precisely because of its lack of theology, not only of God’s meaning but of the world in which we live. And he was convinced that devotion to the Sacred Heart, as he had come to see it, was the answer to this lack, for ‘it contains the quintessence of all that can readily lead people into social life’. Jules Chevalier 1900: 280.

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