CharismOur charism can be summarised as living out the Hidden Life of the Holy Family according to its aspect proper to the consecrated state. Doing so, in a particular way, modeled on the “little” and “hidden” role of St. Joseph, who served and adored Christ and lived out a perfect true devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Our charism is thus predominately contemplative. Like St. Joseph, we seek to perpetually adore Christ. We strive to do so by tending to Christ, in the words of St. Patrick, who dwells “in me… beneath me… above me”. Doing so sacramentally in the physical chapel wherein He is present in a manner par excellence in the Holy Eucharist. This crowns and ties together our seeking Christ in the chapel of our heart, through a personal relationship with Him; in the chapel of our neighbour, through service and intercession; and in the chapel of creation, through giving praise to God on its behalf.
Spirituality“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness…” (Mt 6:33). This is at the heart of our spirituality. For us this means seeking not just ‘to do’ God’s Will but to live in God’s Will through the oblation of our human will in a continual ‘fiat’ to the Divine Will. As is our motto we hope to make the words of the Psalmist our own: “Thy will is my delight” (Ps 40:8). Practically this involves living in a spirit of prayer; invoking and being docile to God’s operation in us and our daily actions for the goal of allowing Christ through us to sanctify the world and give the Father the glory He is due. This is the essence of the Hidden Life, lived to perfection by Jesus, Mary and Joseph in Nazareth. Hence the Holy Family is our sacramental model. We hope to live in communion with the Trinity by our lived devotion to Mary and Joseph, centered on Jesus in the Eucharist. This vertical dimension of our faith is inseparable from the horizonal—love of neighbour. As contemplatives the main way we have been called to serve our neighbours is through prayer: offering reparation and intercession. The fruits of this prayer compel us to reach out to the world as joyful, ‘down-to-earth,’ and loving witnesses of Christ: seeking to be our true-selves in Christ, so as to encourage others to be their true-selves in turn. God’s Will is for us to love Him and our neighbour for His sake. Love in the soul thus finds its summit in living in God’s Will. In the quest to live in God’s Will all things are taken care of: “…and all these things will be added unto you.” (Mt 6:33). Our spirituality is grounded in a sense of the Jewish roots of the Catholic faith, deeply Scriptural, inspired by the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta, and is especially indebted to the Franciscan and Carmelite spiritual traditions.
These refer to the eight ideal characteristics that make up our spirituality, inspired by the words of St. Paul, “For we are a sweet fragrance of Christ to God” (2 Cor 2:15).
St. Joseph is our head-patron. We feel especially called to pattern ourselves after the example of Joseph, the Silent and Hidden One. We pray a perpetual novena to St. Joseph. Each brother takes the name “Joseph” as part of his religious name, in honour of this Saint whose dignity we seek to proclaim, above all by a lived devotion to him, testifying to the place of Joseph beside Jesus and Mary, honouring Mary thereby, and imitating Christ, as Son, by the Holy Spirit, for the greater glory of the Father.
Our devotion to St. Joseph does not eclipse the Trinitarian and Christocentric substance of our spirituality, nor its integral Marian quality, proper to Catholic spirituality. Rather, it necessarily incorporates devotion to Mary, worship of the Triune Godhead in Christ, and helps to perfect them.
Moreover, Jesus, a son of the Chosen People, was born, lived and died a Jew (cf. Rom 9:4-5). Mary, his Mother, likewise invites us to rediscover the Jewish roots of Christianity. These close bonds are a unique treasure of which Christians are proud and for which they are indebted to the Chosen People. (Benedict XVI, Ecclesia in Medio Oriente, 2012, 20).
Understanding, and advancing an understanding of, the Jewish roots of the Catholic faith, are a key part of our LEB charism and apostolate. This understanding sheds light on our understanding of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, the Scriptures, and the depths of Catholic faith and spirituality. We seek to take up the invitation of Mary “to rediscover the Jewish roots of Christianity” (Benedict XVI, 2012).