The Spirituality of the Congregation of Jesus Mary Joseph

Fr. Mathias Wolff, a Jesuit himself lived the spirit of St. Ignatius. His whole life was concerned with the ‘ad majorem Dei gloriam,’ a Latin phrase meaning "for the greater glory of God"

Fr. Wolff directed himself to God in such a way that he does not desire anything but what God asks of him. In such a heart and mind he experiences that everything is guided by God’s providence. His whole being is directed to God’s glory. P.M.109.

People experience him as a man of unshakable trust in God.

Convinced of God’s mercy for himself, Mathias Wolff wanted to make this mercy known. “I wish to execute my priestly task from an attitude of gentleness, helpfulness and I wish to be there for everyone. I wish to be merciful and easily approachable for the sinners. (M.W)

Mathias Wolff allowed God to order his life according to His will: “We must surrender to God. Our only prayer should be, Your will be done.”

This attitude forced him to be ready to take on the responsibility of God’s redeeming and liberating message in imitation of Christ. His whole life and numerous texts indicate his apostolic zeal.

  • “I wish to work like a giant, certain of God’s continual help”
  • “I wish to work without ceasing”
  • “I wish to redeem as many people as I can”
  • Fr. Wolff spirit proceeds along two lines:Ascending to God. Descending to the people.

The Spirituality of the Pedagogie Chretienne

In the preface of the ten day retreat Fr. Wolff summed up what he viewed as the spirituality of his congregation: ‘The Spirit who moves us is the same spirit who moved Jesus’. Moved by the Spirit, Jesus went from city to city to bring good news to the poor. He did not himself choose the route he had to travel; it was the Spirit who sent him. Moved by the Spirit, Jesus in turn sent the disciples out ‘to proclaim the Kingdom of God and to heal’ (Lk9:2).

Inspired by this Gospel text, Fr. Wolff wrote: ‘Like the apostles of long ago, so we today are sent out to give education to poor children and to administer mercy. (Sent by the Lord page 13 & 14)

The Spirit of the CJMJ is a sharing in the Spirit of Jesus Christ.

As there are two natures in Jesus Christ, a divine and a human, so also is the spirit of a true JMJ, two fold and we can speak of an interior and exterior spirit.

Interior Spirit:

A true member of CJMJ is interiorly possessed by God, and this state of being filled by God;s will influences her external works and inspires her to seek in everything only the greater glory of God.

The interior spirit consists of

(Sent by the Lord Pg.18)

  • A deep spirit of self-denial
  • A comparative insight into the comparative value of what is earthly
  • Extensive knowledge of spiritual matters,
  • The enjoyment of God and a taste for the Divine
  • A fervent prayer life; great love of prayer
  • Unremitting trust in the Holy Spirit
  • Inner freedom of heart
  • A fervent zeal for everything that concerns the honour of God.

Exterior Spirit:

A true JMJ sister should confirm her normal way of life to that of other people. She is obliged to devote herself to the tasks with the apostolic dedication and the love of her neighbor.

The following is needed to form this exterior spirit:

(Sent by the Lord Pg. 19 & SC 61)

  • Obedience
  • Modesty in external behavior
  • Incessantly thoughtful – Constant recollection
  • Courageously carries out the tasks assigned to her – Great courage in apostolic works
  • Is cautious in speaking – a great prudence in speaking.
  • Does not put herself in the foreground

Our Spirituality is a perfect integration of interior and exterior spirits which is reflected in the following key statements –

Thus the spirituality of the Congregation of Jesus Mary Joseph, is an ever renewed search for God’s will, a spirituality of ongoing discernment in integration of both interior and exterior spirit. (Const No:3)

  • With Lord of the World; for the World of the Lord
  • Ascending to God; descending to the people
  • Ora et Labora
  • Contemplation in action