Passionists see their vocation as a call to be alive to Christ in the embrace of love that is his Passion, and to draw others – the whole world – into that embrace. We are easily forgetful of love – of being loved and of the love we owe others – and the world today risks losing its memory of Christ’s love. Our many desires, so easily satisfied in a consumer way, can suppress our deepest longings – what St Paul of the Cross in his day saw as a “profound forgetfulness of the Passion”.
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 memory 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.