Keeping Company is an online initiative on behalf of the Faithful Companions of Jesus (FCJ Sisters) in Australia. The story of our Society is a remarkable one – beginning in 1820 France with our founder, the Venerable Marie Madeleine d’Houët – wife, mother and religious sister. It is companionship that chiefly expresses something of the heart of our charism, so how do we go about sharing this?
The Australian Context
When it comes to vocation promotion and the sharing of our spirituality, the context in Australia is vastly different to that of our neighours in Asia. Our approach focusses on the formation and cultivation of one’s identity as understood through living spirituality. It is our belief that with a firm and solid grounding in who we are, and who we are before God, we will more fruitfully engage in mission. This works on the principle of inclusion and accessibility – in other words, regardless of position, profession or vocation, we are all invited to integrate our spiritual life of depth and reflection into our daily work and play. In this way, we live as ‘contemplatives-in-action.’
‘Contemplatives-in-action’ are those who carry out their lives from a place of depth and faith. Although the general concept of living mindfully and integrally is not exclusive to Christianity, the FCJs express this as followers of Christ, drawing as well, on the influences of Ignatian spirituality. It is not a spirituality that hides behind closed doors, but one that is expressed in all areas of life.
Go, set the world on fire and in flame. | St Ignatius of Loyola
As apostolic people, and gospel people, we are to be living witnesses to the good news we have received. It is about living the dream. It is in doing works that call you from the depths of your being. Given the multitude of talents, personality-types, socio-demographic and ethnic backgrounds, how are we to live with ourselves, as well as with each other?
Getting to know, and embracing one’s unique individuality is a starting point, but important is doing so in a space of truth, gentleness and acceptance – all of which can be found in a spiritual oasis such as prayer, meditation or contemplation.
That is why we seek to encourage spiritual awareness as well as share the resources we have to accompany those who yearn for that ‘something more’ in life.
You desire to live out God’s love.
You have gifts that are uniquely yours.
You have begun your journey and are searching…
We’ll walk with you.
Keeping Company is about aiding each one to grow into who God wants each of us to be. And true to our heritage as Faithful Companions of Jesus, our way of proceeding draws from the wisdom and praxis of Ignatian spirituality, founded on a deeply personal and real relationship with Jesus.