If you really want to become a Missionary of the Sacred Heart you should know from start that during your religious life you have to proclaim that God is Love (1Jn 4:18). At the beginning they will teach you that “as Missionaries of the Sacred Heart, we must be convinced of the necessity of a deep interior life that is open to the Holy Spirit, so that we may grow in faith and knowledge of the mystery revealed in the Heart of Christ. This will give us the strength to remain faithful to the mission and spirit of the Society.” (Const. 14). They will then ask you to live in our communities with “a spirit of family and of brotherhood, formed by kindness and understanding, by compassion and mutual forgiveness, by gentleness, humility and simplicity, by hospitality and a sense of humour.” (Const. 32). If you want to continue as a Missionary, you have to bring God to people, since God is the sole objective of everyone’s life. When you will be a Missionary you cannot moralise or simply state what is right or wrong. You have to help people to find God who is love in each and every experience.
When you will visit one of our communities for the first time, you will see that we do not use the bell to tell us what we have to do, but you have to remember your daily duties. The people you meet during the communal prayers in the chapel, or those you meet at table, immediately after will leave for their ministries. When you will finally decide to enter our Congregation, you will need to find your own way of praying and meditating. The fathers will help you to understand that prayer is not only a fundamental element of the spiritual life of a Christian, it is also the foundation and support of community and missionary life (cf. Const. 137). After a while, you will discover that prayer is not only when you have your hands clasped together, but whenever you are carrying out any daily duty: when you go to your ministry, when you write something on the social media or even when you rest.
After the vows, the superiors will tell you only that as Missionaries we are sent to the world to proclaim the Good News of God who is Father. They will not tell you what and how you will do it. Rather they will explain that in your ministry you have to use your own creativity with the all people you will meet, showing them with your smile that God is love. You will notice that some confreres do not use the habit or the clergyman. It will be you to decide whether they help you to proclaim that God is love to people. If you will recognise that the habit is of obstacle, you can do without.
The fathers will not teach you which means can be used to proclaim the Word of God. It will be yourself with your own creativity to understand which way is the best to reach the aim that the Lord has entrusted to you. If you want to commit your life to Jesus and be a Missionary of the Sacred Heart, our vocation guide will be happy to hear from you and help you in your discernment. If you have already chosen your path of life, perhaps you could suggest this article to someone who is searching…it may be a beautiful present!
Written by Br Piotr Złobinski MSC and translated by Br. Giacomo Gelardi MSC