This international, ecumenical SPIRITUAL ASSOCIATION of COMPANIONS of the COMPASSIONATE HEARTS of JESUS and MARY (CCHJM) is an on-line Devotional Society, rooted in the Anglican tradition of Christianity open to all, lay or ordained.*
Companions recognise they often fail to live with compassion and the purpose of the Association is to enable them to nurture that virtue in their heart. This is done by observing a simple Rule of Life. It is possible to be connected to CCHJM without taking on the Rule by becoming an Associate. CCHJM also offers a wide variety of appropriate resources from a number of different Traditions.
Believing that God is Love, Companions and Associates see in the Heart of Jesus that Compassion which reveals the Divine nature. They also see compassion in the heart of Mary as they recall the prophecy of Simeon when she presented her Son in the Temple: “a sword will pierce you own heart also.” She who stood at the foot of the Cross reminds us that the way of Compassion will involve suffering.
COMPANIONS adopt a simple Rule of Life which includes spending time in silence before the Heart of Jesus, and reflecting on how they have lived out of His compassion. They also accept the value of the Sacrament of Confession in changing their hearts.
ASSOCIATES, accepting the Aims and Purpose of the Association, promise to seek ways of fostering compassion in their hearts and live out of that charism. They do not undertake to observe the Rule of the Association but they do receive Compassion Quarterly, the publication of the online Association.
COMPASSION has been defined as a feeling of pity, sympathy, and understanding for the suffering of others and a desire to help them. It is comprised of two Latin words: cum, meaning ‘with’ and passio, ‘suffer’ and lies at the heart of the Divine Nature (1) as realised by many of the world’s great religions. Yet it is an emotion that can be hard to express which is why all the great Faiths teach it as part of their practice.
It is the second of the great Virtues and in a world where hatred and resentment, hostility and fear of the other are ever present, one needing to be cultivated. In the Roman Catholic Church devotion to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary acts as a focus for Divine Compassion. In the Church of England this focus began to be realised in the 19th century with the emergence of the first Franciscan community, the Society of Divine Compassion (from which the Society of S. Francis emerged). More recently the Feast has been recognised in the Church of England and observed on the Friday after the first Sunday after Trinity Sunday. Today teachers of Mindfulness place a great emphasis on the importance of compassion. (2)
Ergo misericordes sicut et Pater vester misericors est
Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate
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(1) ‘Compassion, A Reflection on the Christian Life’. Ch.1:God with us. Henri Nouwen. 2008
(2) ‘At All Times and In All Places: Simon Jones. Canterbury Press. 2014
* cum episcopali approbatione