Charism and Spirituality
What is Charism?
A charism is a gift of the Holy Spirit given in a particular way to an individual or to a group to build up the Kingdom of God for the good of the Church and the world. It is living the Gospel in an original way, according to the intuitions of our foundresses and co-founder, and of the history of our origins.
“As a Congregation we receive the gift to live together in the Spirit of Pentecost and to participate with others in His mission of love in the world.” Rule of Life article 4.
To this day our special charism as Daughters of the Holy Spirit within the Church remains as it always was:
To believe with a living faith in the presence and action of the Holy Spirit
To share in the Spirit’s mission
We live this charism as a threefold grace in which we all share. Led by the Spirit and depending totally on his gift:
We adore God, trinity of love, in spirit and in truth.
We live this adoration in the service of others, so that God’s love may be communicated among people and especially among the poor and “little ones” of this world.
We form communities of faith and love at the heart of the Church testifying humbly to the love of God given to people.
How do we as DHS live our charism today in the light of all the sisters, communities, ministries who have gone before us?
At the heart of our mission is the Gospel of Matthew 25 which is shown clearly both in the rule of Taden …to serve their sisters, the poor and the children and in article 1 of the present rule of life …to live together to serve the poor, the sick, the children.
What does Matthew 25 say to us? It gives us a reflection of the kind of community where Jesus sees himself to be recognized, the kind of community where Jesus finds himself at home. The presence of Jesus is hidden among the poor and the vulnerable: where their needs are recognized, Jesus is acknowledged.
What is Spirituality?
Spirituality is the tradition which we follow to incarnate the charism.
We, as Daughters of the Holy Spirit have an interconnectedness of several different rich traditions.
Through the Breton missions which contributed to the evangelization of Brittany in the 17th and 18th centuries; the missionaries were Jesuits, disciples of Father Lallemant, among whom Vincent Huby (1608-1693) and Julien Maunoir (1606-1682) as well as diocesan priests, in particular Jean Leuduger (1649-1722) are included. J. Leuduger had been a student of the Jesuit Fathers in Rennes. Not surprising therefore that the doctrine of Fr. Lallemant nourished the Breton Missions and had an important influence on Marie Balavenne (1666-1743) and our first Sisters. René Allenou de la Ville-Angevin (1686-1753), who gave the Sisters their first Rule, had also been a student of the Jesuits in Paris. The works of another disciple of Fr. Lallemant, Jean-Joseph Surin (1600-1665), were quite probably used in the formation of novices of the Daughters of the Holy Spirit in the 19th century.
The Ignatian influence was not the only one to influence our traditions. The mark of Ignatius may not be self-evident, but nonetheless, the spiritual attitudes found among the “mystical Jesuits” and those mentioned in our Spiritual Texts seem to spring from the same inspirations. We are also indebted to Francis de Sales for whatever we find in our own spirituality that speaks of fidelity in small things, humility and gentleness, docility to the Spirit. We owe a great deal to Vincent de Paul who opened up the possibility of religious life with external apostolates and without the restrictions of enclosure.