Come and draw from the well

Spiritual center operated by the religious of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

The spirituality of the Sacred Heart and Ignatian spirituality

The religious of the Sacred Heart are marked by a double heritage:

  • the spirituality of the Sacred Heart,
  • the Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius of Loyola.

The spirituality of the Sacred Heart

The spirituality of the religious of the Sacred Heart is based on a fundamental intuition: “going to the heart of life with the attitudes and sentiments of the Heart of Jesus”, an intuition clearly expressed in par.8 of their Constitutions.

For us, life, community, apostolic service,
all spring from our union and conformity
with the Heart of Jesus.
This grace of vocation
is a way of conversion and of apostolic fruitfulness.
The pierced Heart of Jesus
opens our being to the depths of God
and to the anguish of humankind.
Jesus draws us into His movement of adoration of the Father
and love for all, especially those who are poor.
We keep returning to this word of Jesus,
As to a light which gradually transforms us in His image:
“Learn of Me, because I am gentle and humble of heart.” (Mt. 11:29)

For Sophie Barat, “the spirit of the Society is essentially based upon prayer and the interior life” (Constitutions 17).The Spirit who works in us, transforms us within, and we can contemplate the world with the eyes of Jesus. This is not something magical, it is a process which makes us grasp from within the love of God dwelling in us.
Sophie saw how important it is to preserve the interior life; there are two ways of living it:

  • stimulated by the love of God,
  • stimulated by the situation of the world.

We cannot exist without the interior life, without prayer. Today there are people who are ardently seeking interiority, a more silent prayer. Our spirituality is rooted in our deep relationship with Jesus, and it has been given to us for the good of the Church and the world. This is how we express our Mission: “To discover and reveal the Love of God”; and the particular expression of that Love is union and conformity with the Heart of Jesus.

Ignatian Spirituality

In the footsteps of Sophie Barat, whose elder brother and spiritual director were both Jesuits, the spirituality of the Society also followed the ignatian tradition. That is why the spiritual exercises of St Ignatius of Loyola are given at the Sophie Barat Centre.

For Ignatius Loyola, the spiritual life is rooted in an experience of the heart: “it is not knowing a lot about things that fills to overflowing and satisfies the soul, but feeling and savouring them interiorly.” (ES 2)

The prayer of the exercises consists above all in listening to God’s Word, and takes root in “seeking and finding God in all things”. It allows people to decide freely and to make choices that commit their lives, basing itself on a specific process of discernment, and on the review of life.

The spiritual exercises are an exceptional invitation to enter into an experience of God, who releases energies in order to commit himself in a concrete way in this world.