Fr. Leo Dehon’s Spirituality and His Social Engagement

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SCJ challenges others to “pray with open eyes”

“Fr. Dehon’s spiritual basis is an experience of God’s love… a love that inevitably led him to social and political engagement,” said Fr. Stefan Tertünte, SCJ. Fr. Stefan was the opening speaker at the North American Conference of the Priests of the Sacred Heart in September, 2013.

Speaking of the founder, Fr. Leo John Dehon, Fr.Stefan noted a statement of his from 1910:

“I was led by Providence to walk down various pathways but two of them left a profound impression on me: Christian social action and the life of love, reparation and immolation to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.”

To continue to live the founder’s spirituality in their own lives Fr. Stefan encouraged SCJs to “pray with open eyes” as a way to move “towards the lived union of the spiritual and the social in the tradition of Dehon.”

He added that it is not just HOW SCJs pray that is important, but where they pray. “Pray in proximity to the people, to pray with open eyes you must be able to see something…

“Meditating on the Sacred Heart, the pierced side of the Lord, meditating on his love is quite different if you do it in the proximity of, or with people whose life is pierced, who struggle for hope and for daily bread.

“It’s not only important how we pray, but where we pray, where we live. For us — and for others.”