Charicteristics

We center our lives in the Person of Jesus Christ, the presence of God-living-among-us. Essential aspects of our spirituality are contemplation, personal and communal prayer, daily celebration of the Eucharist, living the liturgical cycle of the Church year, praying with and studying Scripture, and devotion to Mary, mother of the Incarnate Word. We commit ourselves by our vows to live simply (poverty), lovingly (celibacy), and openly (obedience).

Jeanne’s daughters continue to strive to live in a contemplative attitude. With the Incarnate Word, we live for the glory of the God in the love of the Holy Spirit. This Trinitarian relationship is the basis and model of our consecrated life. In addition to communal prayer, we spend time each day in personal prayer. We acknowledge that, through fidelity to and love for prayer, the Spirit of the Word enlightens and enriches us, so that we can become channels through which God speaks and acts in the world. We seek in our personal prayer to surrender in wonder to the mystery of our becoming in Christ.

Jeanne was gifted with a deep understanding of God’s word in Scripture. The Bible was a continual source of nourishment and enlightenment for her. Her writings are filled with Scripture quotes and references, applying them to her own situation. She understood that Scripture was the key by which she would know God’s secrets and will. We are to listen, deepen our knowledge of it, and obey in faith. Jeanne understood the Incarnate Word say to her, I wish to speak to you through the Scriptures; and through them, you will learn my Will. I want them to be the code that will show you what I want you to understand for my glory and that of my saints and for your own salvation and your neighbors’. Complete Works I: Autobiography, Jeanne Chézard de Matel, p. 21. And so, we strive to be attentive to the movement of the Spirit Who speaks to us through Scripture. God’s word in Scripture is a primary source of inspiration for our lives. We hope to welcome this word with an ever deepening faith and to share it with one another. Our prayer life is enriched as we return, again and again, to be formed by the Gospel. We grow in our encounter with the Word through the liturgical life of the Church. Our liturgical life expresses our desire to adore God in all things, our oneness with God and our neighbor, and our call to give our lives in service to each other. We seek to foster and express devotion to all the mysteries of the Incarnate Word according to the liturgical seasons of the Church year.

We live our lives in adoration and in service, striving to bring the Gospel of Love to life for others by imitating Christ in the mysteries of Jesus’ humanity and by living the Beatitudes. We are consciously oriented toward the mystery of the Trinity and encounter the Word of God in scripture and in eucharistic worship. We cherish a special devotion to Mary, Mother of the Incarnate Word. Mary exemplifies for us the faith and love that are needed for the Word of God to become incarnate in our lives. In the spirit of our foundress, Jeanne Chézard de Matel, we strive to be faithful to our communion with the Church. (Jeanne Chézard de Matel and the Sisters of the Incarnate Word, John M. Lozano, CMF, p. 87)

Jeanne celebrated God’s presence in a special way in the Word and in the Sacrament of the Eucharist. She yearned to manifest that presence by allowing God to make of her life a word and sacrament of love. The same spirit and vision that gave direction to the life of Jeanne Chézard de Matel has continued to inspire women of faith from many nations to be visible signs of God’s presence in the world through a life of contemplation, community, and service.

Jeanne was attracted to the Eucharist because the Incarnate Word was made present there. For her it was a sacrament of union in which the Word-made-Flesh drew her into the love of the Creator and the Spirit. In the same way, in the Eucharist we experience the presence of the Incarnate Word in our lives and with Christ offer worship to God. The celebration of the Eucharist is central to our prayer. The celebration of the Eucharist is central to our prayer. Daily Eucharistic celebration, periods of adoration of Christ, present in the Eucharist, and a monthly day of recollection, offer opportunities for worship. Our love of the Eucharist challenges us to “reverence Christ present in all of creation and serve Christ in our neighbor.”

Jeanne is most insistent that prayer be offered for all the needs of the Church, especially for peace, the propagation and conservation of the Church, union among the hierarchy, and for the conversion of heretics. We pray Morning and Evening Prayer of the Church together in our local communities to share in the Church’s prayer of adoration and praise. Intercessory prayer for the Church is central to our apostolic spirituality. We pray in a special way for peace, the unity of the Church, and the reconciliation of Christians. Jeanne felt a lively sense of communion with the Church which she thought of as “mother.” To be a “daughter of the Church” was for her a very great grace. She saw the Church as a mother who feeds us (Eucharist), shepherds us (governs), and teaches us (through the Holy Spirit). She called others to share in the building up of the Kingdom and to be faithful to the Church.

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