Spiritual Directory

 

The spirituality that permeates the thinking of the Foundresses and founder, born from the Mystery of Redemption, namely the love of Jesus in his passion and death that reveals the Father's love for humanity and fulfills the plan of salvation.

 

0 A school of virtue for the formation and education of all the sisters of the Institute of the Daughters of Calvary”, so that, animated by the same spirit and impelled by it they may be distinguished anywhere, ever acting as if they were one alone, living the same life and producing the same fruits.

1 The statutes of the Daughters of Calvary have as their only source the Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Its rules and counsel refer to the observance of the duties of every Christian which are; the keeping faithfully of all the obligations which rise from the sublime virtue of Charity in these fundamental principles of our Religion, “To love god above all things and our neighbor as ourselves” that is to say, to fulfill perfectly the precept given to us by God himself loving one another just as Christ has loved us.

2 This virtue of charity, the first and foremost among all other virtues, according to the expression of the Apostle, “Major aute eorum est Charitas”, obliges all the Daughters of Calvary to despise all things in order to “Love God with all their hearts, soul and with all their strength and the neighbor for god; in such a way that this charity in action must constitute for the Daughters of Calvary a first and foremost aim which is God himself, and a second relative aim which are the people. Consequently, two distinct but not diverse actions arise: one internal and stemming from the heart dominates all her being; it is the wellspring of all her actions, referring everything to God through love. The other, which is the fruit of the latter, emerges from that same divine Love and shows itself in love of neighbor, that is, in the practice of charity.

3 The Daughter of Calvary must always be united to God through prayer, mortification and all the other acts of interior life. At the same time she must be tireless in the active life, embracing with a spirit of abnegation and sacrifice to all acts of charity, doing all things for the love of God who is the only Centre of her heart.

4 From it follows that there are two essential characteristics which constitutes the life of the Daughters of Calvary, that is, meditation, where the soul in solitude learns to overcome itself, to renounce all things and to love God perfectly, strengthening herself through all these acts and the practice of all other virtues; the external acts of charity by which the Daughters of Calvary consecrates herself to the service of others, are the precious outcomes of those holy virtues in which she exercise herself and learns at the foot of the alter In intimate communion with God, the fruitful seed of virtues which she will cultivate in her soul in holy retirement.

5 For this purpose the mistress of Novices must try, from the beginning, to uproot from the heart of the young confided to her care the manners, worldly way or thinking, affections and inclinations they brought from the world, forming them gradually in the school of perfection, helping them to overcome their defects and bad inclinations, sowing in them the seed of virtue by means of trials more or less demanding, according to the capacity of the novice. She must exercise them in these practices until the acquire this spirit which is characteristic of the Daughters of Calvary; renunciation and death to self for the love of God, seeking and loving suffering as our Devine Redeemer sought and loved it.

6 A holy indiff3erence in all things, readiness to renounce family affection, worldly honors and love of country, overcoming the natural repugnance of human nature. Such is the practical result of all their work and efforts. When the Novice has acquired theses holy dispositions, the ground is then dully prepared to sow the seed of the holy vows. The vows are precious links which, like the nails of the cross, bind the Daughters of Calvary to the cross of their Crucified Spouse.

7 The vow of obedience consists in that heroic sacrifice which is distinctive of Religious Life. By means of it, we die to our own judgment and to our own will submitting ourselves blindly to the superiors, walking in the footsteps of our Devine Master who, being the God-made Man, lived always submitted to the will of the Father and was obedient unto death, a death on the Cross.

8 Therefore, the Daughter of Calvary must be equally willing and disposed to leave or to remain in the place and duty assigned to her by obedience, without attaching her heart to this or that nation, this or that house, this or that superior or these or those Sisters.

9 In the same way she must be totally indifferent whether to dedicate herself to teaching and the education of girls, to the care and service of the aged and the sick, or to procure the conversion of the sinners for she should be certain that by dedicating herself to any of these ministries she is fulfilling the will of God and making herself pleasing in the divine eyes. Therefore, she must be happy to dedicate herself to any field of education or charity she is sent to, knowing that there she can find her own sanctification as everything can serve her as ladder to reach heaven.

10 The spirit of abnegation, sacrifice and holy indifference, must be the characteristic of all the Daughters of Calvary and they must unceasingly strive until they acquire it. This is not only necessary for the good order and management of the Institute, but it also sweetens the life of the Sisters, making it easy and agreeable to them and sparing them countless disappointments, contradictions and sufferings.

11 The second vow is the vow of poverty. This vow consists in that holy difference by means of which we renounce the things and riches of the world, detaching our hearts from them in order to embrace a humble style of life, without having anything of our own, being happy when submitted to privations and living always dependent on Devine Providence, making holy Poverty, therefore, another distinctive sign of the Daughters of Calvary.

12 The way in which the Daughters of Calvary must observe the Holy vow of poverty is clearly and sufficiently explained in our Holy Constitutions. Now I only wish to add in this instruction that it would serve very little to the Sisters to lead a poor life style, deprived of comforts and subject to privation and sacrifice, if all these things were not embraced with love and with true spirit, not allowing their hearts to remain attached to the very things which by vow they have renounced.

13 All my dear Daughters must strive more and more to root the virtue of humility deeply into their hearts, seeking for themselves and for the Institute the poorest and most despised things in the eyes of the world, which perhaps are the greatest and most agreeable in the eyes of God. Thus our schools will be opened preferable to the poor and the working classes without minding if these are less successful or if they afford less celebrity and satisfaction.

14 They must not care if other Institutes are of high standing and renown in society because the Daughters of Calvary, in imitation of their Crucified Spouse, cannot seek for satisfaction or glory in Calvary, but the tribulations and scorn with which our Devine Redeemer saw himself surrounded in Golgotha. For their own persons they will also seek that which is the poorest and the most humble, otherwise, their life which will necessarily meet with privations, lacking all comfort, may become difficult and unbearable, losing all merit before God and not being in conformity with the spirit of poverty and self-sacrifice.

15 Striving to acquire these holy dispositions of the soul, the sisters will at the same time, grow in humility and in the spirit of mortification and self-denial observing thus the vow of poverty and making themselves worthy of Christ´s promise, “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven”

16 The third vow of Religious life is the vow of Chastity. It is the most beautiful vow that can shine over us. It is the perfume of the soul, the treasure of the heart and the glory of the Religious state. Together with modesty, it surrounds us with celestial charm. Through it, the Sister passes spotless among from the allurements that want to seduce her she overcomes nature itself. It exalts the Sister who consecrates her heart to God to such a degree that its simplicity and grandeur and the self-denial that accompanies it, fills the soul with enthusiasm and captivates the heart with a secret attraction.

17 Chastity is a sublime virtue that makes us almost like angels. It is the most glorious distinction of the immaculate Mother of god, attracting with its splendor the eyes of the Almighty. The Daughters of Calvary bind this heroic virtue by reason of their religious state. It implies purity of heart in such a way that their thoughts, their words and their deeds must be pure and chaste.

18 Thus the Sisters have to be vigilant over themselves and all that surrounds them avoiding calling to mind memories of their past life or holding conversations, desires or ambitions contrary to angelic virtue because purity is like a shining mirror that can easily get tarnished. The spouse of the Immaculate Lamb must shun even the smallest stain that could make her unworthy of Him.

19 All that could be said on this point would not be enough to exhort the sisters to be zealous and extremely delicate in acquiring the virtue of purity and to avoid all that is contrary to it so as to be able faithfully to keep the holy vow of chastity which makes them so dear in the eyes of God.

20 However, they must not be ridiculous or prudish in their dealings with the people because sociability is opposed to virtue. The conscience is a very sever judge as to which things are allowed and which are forbidden.

21 As everything related to this is sufficiently explained in the Constitutions and the directory or Norms of Conduct, now it only remains for the earnestly to recommend to my dear daughters, not to BE set so much on exteriorities but rather on the purity of the soul and the righteousness of the heart wherein chastity and purity do especially abide.

22 Even though the daughters of Calvary are not obliged by vow to observe strict enclosure like the monastic Institutions, by reason of the activities of their apostolate, they, nevertheless, will keep certain privacy in their houses. The fact that the sisters can only have a partial enclosure is for them a motive for strengthening their efforts in virtue and vigilance as they are exposed to dangers and difficulties which they have to overcome.

23 The enclosure is the precious key which safeguards the contemplative Nun, consecrated away from the world, hiding her from the sight of men, separating her from dangers. They become like sheltered soldiers less exposed to the hazards of war.

24 The Daughter of Calvary, on the contrary, who by reason of her ministry must continually be in contact with the people and with the world, like a soldier in the midst of a thunderous battle, must struggle courageously to defend herself from all the dangers, without shunning away like a coward, knowing how to avoid and overcome with shrewdness that attacks of the enemy. The Daughters of Calvary will try to live in the midst of the struggle of the world and the fight against passions, avoiding all snares and sheltering themselves under the bulwark of “enclosure” which for them should not be the high walls of the convent but rather the unbreakable rampart of their will. The sisters will seek in God all their strength and the grace to triumph over all their enemies.

25 The enclosure which all the Sisters must strive to acquire is; the enclosure of the heart, dead to the world but living for God alone; the enclosure of their senses, restraining them always through acts of mortification and with the help of the continuous Devine Presence; the enclosure of their will, not by fleeing away from the struggle but resolutely and courageously rejecting all that separates them from good or that leads them to evil. They will exercise themselves in this order to be able peacefully to consecrate themselves to fulfilling their mission in holy confidence and serenity, for whoever has her will united with God, trusting and resting in Him, will have nothing to fear and can repeat in all truth the words of the Apostle. “I can do all things in Him who strengthens me”.

26 Charity is a special promise which the Daughters of Calvary formulate in pronouncing their holy vows. This sublime virtue, the root and source of all the other virtues, the stand upon which these holy Statues are based, does not oblige the Sisters by vow , otherwise, they would commit a multitude of faults against it as charity is the “The perfect love of God and the perfect love of neighbor”. They obliged however, to the essential and material practice of the virtue striving for an ever-growing and loving union with God, living continually in His presence, His greater honor and service being the only aim of all their actions.

27 They should also avoid scrupulously every thought or judgment, conversation, word of action which in any way could hurt the feelings of the others by lack of charity. In order to accomplish this essential part of the promise, the Daughters of Calvary must always distinguish themselves by their union with God, by peace and fraternal union among themselves and by a disposition of the self-giving and sacrifice for the good of others.

28 Animated by the virtue of charity, they must be always ready to serve with holy indifference in any establishment or ministry of charity assigned to them by obedience. Overcoming all fear, dislike or even the inclinations of their temperament, the Sisters will dedicate themselves with generosity to the relief of the downtrodden and the service of humanity by their obedience to the call of the Superior.

29 Finally, the Daughters of Calvary are obliged to train themselves in the practice of true acts of charity, loving their fellow-Sisters and all other people with a pure and unselfish love as the Lord wants us to love one another, not desiring for others what we do not desire for ourselves, loving and considering all the image of God.

30 With this ideal in mind, life will become pleasing to them and they will be better able to serve people imparting all their tenderness and concern for their physical, moral and religious good: caring for the sick, helping the orphans, they needy and the handicapped, converting sinners, instruction the ignorant, education and caring for the children, forming and guiding all the needs of humanity under the large tree of charity whose root is God and whose branches reach of God.

31 One characteristic trait of the Daughters of Calvary and which is the essence of their spirituality is the love and warm devotion to the Passion and Death of our Divine Redeemer.

32 On choosing the name of our institute “Daughters of Calvary, which distinguishes it from others, the idea was that continually the Sisters may, in spirit , be gathered together at the foot of the Cross lovingly accompanying the holy Victim of Golgotha, in that place of torments where He saw Himself abandoned by his own. Only his sorrowful Mother, the Virgin Apostle, and Magdalene the sinner and the pious women were present partaking deeply in his sufferings. The Daughters of Calvary must identify themselves with these extraordinary examples of love and fidelity, living their same spirit, and like them, never separating themselves from the glory scene of the passion and death of the redeemer of the world. Likewise, as true apostles of this Holy Sacrifice, the sisters must unceasingly work to extend and propagate among people the devotion to the Passion and Death of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

33 The heart of God could not have invented a most sublime and heroic sacrifice than that of the incomprehensible Mystery of Redemption. At the same time, there cannot be a more atrocious, infamous and incomprehensible ingratitude than that of the criminal indifference with which the whole of humanity has corresponded to this wonderful mystery of mercy and love.

34 Like a drop of water in the immensity of the seas is the Congregation of the Missionary Daughters of Calvary in the immensity of the world. Therefore, every Sister must avoid having any part in that criminal ingratitude indifference of mankind. On seeing that Christ´s Sacrifice is so poorly gratefulness, of love and consolation to Him in the midst of the ocean of grief which overflows His Devine Heart.

35 For this reason, the Daughters of Calvary may never seek for herself the joys, pleasures, satisfaction or luxury of a comfortable life because things can never be found at the foot of the cross. She must keep conviction deeply and perpetual engraved in her heart. Thus her spirit must always be that of mortification and sacrifice, forming herself in this high ideal from the time she joins the Institute and persevering in this same spirit until she dies.

36 A daily meditation on some of the events of the Passion and Death of the Crucified Spouse will help the Sisters to acquire this spirit. They must always have the sufferings and the cross of Christ before their eyes and try to imitate him in his sufferings, and with their love, gratitude and sacrifice alleviate his sorrows giving some relief and consolation to his heart in the midst of so much universal ingratitude.

37 During her time of adoration in the Chapel and especially during the three hours of agony in which the Divine Victim of Golgotha was on the cross, the Sister must also offer herself in sacrifice as a Victim of gratitude, of love and reparation for the immense ingratitude with which the world has responded to the supreme goodness of Redemption.

38 Let these three hours of agony never pass unnoticed for any Daughter of Calvary wherever she maybe, regardless of her occupation especially at three in the afternoon, the hour of His death. Her heart and her mind can always be always lifted up to God and united to Him even though her body may be occupied in any type of work very distant from the Chapel. All the Sisters must try during this supreme hour, to be united in spirit to their Divine Spouse who sacrificed His life for the salvation of humanity through the torments of the Cross.

39 The fortunate Sisters who happen to have their turn of adoration in the Chapel, mystically accompanying the Divine Redeemer in his agony and death during these three blessed hours are exhorted, in a special way, to do so with fervor and enthusiasm in the name of all the sisters of the Institute and of the whole of humanity, offering themselves as victims of gratitude, expiation and love to the Lord. They will implore the downpour of the blood of the Redeemer and the grace and blessings from God and the Institute, on the hearts of sinners and on the entire world.

40 It is only normal that the Institute should also make its own the devotion of the times, that is, the devotion of the Holy Eucharis to counteract the advance of impiety, atheism and the immorality of customs in all their aspects. Thus the Daughters of Calvary will consider themselves the handmaids and the perpetual adorers of the Scared Heart of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament by continually meditating on the love shown us by Jesus Christ who wanted to remain a prisoner in our tabernacles and by uniting this sublime devotion with that of the suffering of the Redeemer on the Calvary.

41 Consequently, the superiors in the respect houses and the Mistress of the Novices in the Novitiate should try to keep always alive in the heart of the Sisters the flame of this holy devotion in such a way that the life of all the Daughters of Calvary may be centered in the Eucharist. The Sisters will learn at the foot of the Tabernacle the virtues needed in the struggle to overcome themselves and flamed by this holy devotion they may enkindle the hearts of men, counteracting the indifference of many who so cruelly wound the heart of God.

42 Another characteristic trait of the spirit in which the Sisters must be formed is the tender and enthusiastic devotion to the Holy Virgin, especially in her Sorrows at the foot of the Cross. As good Daughters they must always have her present in their hearts loving her and accompanying her in her Sorrows and imitating her virtues. In this way they will give some consolation and relief to her maternal heart.

43 The Holy Virgin must be the model they should continually keep before their eyes in order to follow in her footsteps, the support they must always seek in their afflictions and the mysterious anchor that encourages their hopes in all the struggles of life.

44 The image of Mary, the sorrowful Mother, must always be in their; the memory of her tears and of her sufferings should frequently occupy their thoughts; the invocation to this Mother of Sorrows should be continually on their lips. Each Daughter of Calvary must be herald who proclaims everywhere the devotion to the Sorrows of Mary to help the world to understand that it was at the foot of the Cross that she was made the mother of the humanity when she received all men as her inheritance from the lips of her dying son. Likewise, it is in the devotion to her Sorrows that everyone had to recognize her as Mother and must give her the most fervent homage and gratitude and filial love.

45 The Daughters of Calvary being formed in this holy school of love, abnegation, sacrifice and detachment from all that is human, striving only for the divine will pass through the world without fearing its dangers and sufferings. They will be spreading good everywhere and bringing souls to God by their words, their actions and their example.

46 Having modeled their hearts on these precious maxims, the Sisters will be better able to overcome themselves, to avoid comfort and everything that can feed their passions and to seek the cross and sacrifice for the love of God. They will acquire that mysterious secret of bearing joyfully, sufferings and hardships and the holy indifference which helps them to conform to the Divine Will and to endure peacefully and serenely every good or evil that may befall them.

47 To be by the side of those who suffer from any kind of disgrace, like angels of consolation, in order to alleviate and remedy the misfortunes and miseries of men, will produce in the Sisters’ hearts one of the greatest satisfactions that can be experienced in life, that is, contributing to the happiness of others by doing good.

48 Living always at the foot of the Cross, sprinkled with the blood of the Devine Victim and the tears of the Sorrowful Mother, the Sisters will feel the flourishing of Christian virtues in their souls. And when they realize that by their fidelity to and love of the Mystery of Redemption they become like a drop of balm that softens the wounds and agony or their Crucified Spouse, they will embrace the Holy Cross wholeheartedly and their own sufferings will become more bearable as the proof of their love for Him who gave His life out of love for them.

49 With these sentiments deeply engraved in her heart, glorying in the Cross like Christ, the Daughter of Calvary will fulfill her mission on earth.

50 This is the spirit that must animate the entire life of the Sisters. Living in the body on earth but with the spirit and the heart in heaven, they will become acceptable to God and at the hour of their death will hear these most consoling words: “Well done, good and faithful servant, you have been faithful in the small things, I will trust you with greater; come and join in your Master´s happiness,” crowning their foreheads with the precious crown promised to those who persevere unto the end.

Mª ENERSTINA LARRAINZAR

 

 

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