Posted on July 19th, 2017
Long term friend of the centre John-Francis tells us all about his new initiative Compassionate Hearts of Jesus and Mary (CHJM) to help members with that ‘continuous conversion of the heart that deepens our relationship with Christ.’
Many of us are aware of the presence of hate, fear, bigotry and anger in our society – and see a growing lack of compassion, not least for those who some perceive ‘don’t belong’. And we might even be aware of the way these feelings can begin to fill our own hearts. It’s not always a virtue that’s easy to express – or cultivate.
If you sense that we need to be more compassionate towards each other, and realise you need to develop a more compassionate heart then you might be interested in a new online, international, ecumenical Spiritual Association that, with Episcopal Approval and Support, has come into being. It’s called the Compassionate Hearts of Jesus and Mary (CHJM) and seeks to enable members (Companions) to express compassion by nurturing this virtue.
The Association also helps members with that ‘continuous conversion’ of the heart that deepens our relationship with Christ. To do this involves re-focusing the ‘heart’, the centre of our being and seat of our desires, to God. Some speak of this as the ‘conversion of the heart’; S. Benedict wrote of the need for conversatio morum, that conversion of life which involves the whole person. This movement begins as we allow ourselves to be held in the compassionate gaze of God and seek to return that gaze.
The Aim of the Association is to provide members, inspired by the Compassionate Hearts of Jesus and Mary, with means whereby they can practice inner conversion of the heart and its Purpose is to encourage and nurture compassion in the hearts and lives of Companions. Companions adopt a simple Rule. They seek to:
to spend time each day in the presence of Compassionate Heart of Jesus;
express compassion in a practical way;
make a compassion Examen (reflection) each day;
recognise the value of the Sacrament of Confession in seeking to fulfil the psalmist’s plea: ‘Make me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.’
If someone doesn’t feel they can take on this Rule but would like to be connected it’s possible to become an Associate. Associates accept the Aims and Purpose of the Association and promise to seek ways of fostering compassion in their hearts and living out of that charism. They will also receive Compassion Quarterly, the publication of the online Association.
It doesn’t cost anything to join (except to work on being a compassionate person!) and there aren’t any meetings to attend. You can find out more from the website: http://www.cchjm.org where there’s a simple form to complete if you wish to ask questions or join, together with prayers and reflections and articles about compassion that might be of interest. You can also follow us on Twitter: @cchjm123 or join our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/cchjm/?ref=bookmarks or Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1793475760975710/