The spirit of the Congregation of the Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows is essentially a “spirit of service in charity and humility, simplicity, cordiality, joy in duty, gladness of spirit, and love leading to sacrifice and the hidden life.” This spirit lays the foundation for and characterizes the spirituality of the Congregation that well up from the contemplation of Christ Crucified, Our Lady of Sorrows, and the Eucharist.
Mother Elisabetta loved the cross as a means which allowed her to share Calvary with Christ, beginning with her everyday life; she made this a way of living, a full expression of her own convictions and of her behavior. It was the cross of Jesus that filled her life, her love for the pierced hear was an experience of faith, certain that “the union of the soul to Jesus Christ is done through love and the virtue of the Cross.”
It is from Mary, as Our Lady of Sorrows, that we learn to be women of strength, standing in faith and love, particularly in times of darkness and suffering, as she did at the foot of the cross. Her maternity, her living faith in the fulfillment of the most profound mysteries of the Redemption, her contemplative silence, her humble, hidden, and constant activity in the simple life in Nazareth and in the early Church, are the basis of our nourishment and spiritual growth. Meditation on her mission and her virtues facilitates our personal encounter with Christ and our docility to the Spirit of God. (Constitutions of the Congregation)
Central to our lives is the Eucharist. Our daily celebration of the Holy Eucharist, the Lord’s sacrifice, allows us to be united with Jesus Christ in His suffering, death, and resurrection. Through intimate contact with the Lord in the Eucharist, our conscrated life reaches its climax and is renewed again and again. Mother Elisabetta tells us that, ” When a soul has worthly received the Sacrament of the Eucharist, it swims in love; it is humble, kind, mortified, charitable, and modest, in harmony with all; it is a soul capable of the greatest sacrifices. . . it is not the same as it was before.”
The spirituality of the Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows is characterized by the motto: “ardere et lucere”, meaning “to burn and to light.” We are called to burn in order to give light and warmth to our brothers and sisters.
“Contemplative life alone is not enough; active life alone is vain. Together, contemplation and action are perfect.” This is our life.
Blessed Elisabetta Renzi