Daughters of Jerusalem

From the beginning, God the Father has given us, His daughters, utmost personal dignity by creating us in His own image and likeness, and, thus, enabling us to be in a unique relationship with Him. Through sin, however, we marred this dignity. The Father, instead of forsaking His fallen daughters, offered the supreme sacrifice to bring us back to Himself. In ineffable love, the Father sent His Son to die for His daughters to restore our dignity and allow us to reclaim our broken relationship with the Father.

This Father-daughter relationship is characterized by the daughter’s receptive response to the Father’s generous heart. The Father has created each of us to be His own, called each of us by name, and eagerly beckons each of us back when we fall. He delights in His daughters individually, as unique creations in His heavenly garden. Our role as daughters is to accept these remarkable self-donations of the Father and trust in His constant love; this is His desire for His daughters.

As daughters readily receiving God the Father’s esteem and devotion, we also respond to God the Son’s love for us. Our vocation as women is grounded in this love relationship with our God.

In light of the verse “I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine” (Song of Songs 6:3), it is necessary that we find our identity and dignity solely in Christ who continually pursues each of us as a lover. From this love relationship flows our unique vocation as women—that of motherhood. According to Pope John Paul II in his apostolic letter On the Vocation and Dignity of Women, the vocation of all women is spiritual motherhood. By this he means that since women have a unique capacity to love and give of themselves, they must make use of this capacity by loving and ministering to all the “Christs” in the world seen in the lives of the hurting. A life of loving sacrifice is the root of bearing and nurturing life; this is the essence of motherhood. If this vocation is to bloom fully, it must begin in spousal love. Accordingly, each woman must be the lover of Christ.

We look to the Biblical Daughters of Jerusalem as examples of a threefold mission in living out our womanly vocation: to search for our Lover, to embrace Him, and to intercede for others.

Like the Daughters of Jerusalem in the Old Testament who anticipate Christ the Messiah, we search for Christ our Lover. We especially imitate the Daughters of Jerusalem in Song of Songs who are constantly seeking their Beloved, by always looking to Christ for acceptance, guidance, and provision throughout our whole lives.

The Daughters of Jerusalem in the New Testament came in contact with Christ, were healed, and then were called to encounter Christ in suffering humanity where they could be instruments of healing. as Daughters of Jerusalem, we are daughters of Mother Church, and hence, in imitation of her, we must be “Church to the world.” On Calvary, Christ urged the Daughters of Jerusalem to weep for themselves and their children. As women embracing the vocation of motherhood, we strive to emanate Christ’s compassion and life-giving healing to others, especially hurting women who have forgotten the precious dignity Christ restored for them. Mary, Daughter of the New Testament, has the ideal relationship wi th Christ and is our prime model of motherly self-sacrifice.

We hope one day to be Daughters of the New Jerusalem—Heaven—where we will be intercessors for the faithful and the suffering still on earth. Acting on this hope, we strive for sainthood.

We, the Daughters of Jerusalem, aim for the New Jerusalem by keeping our eyes on Christ our Lover and relying on Him for strength as we try to live our vocation as mothers embracing the hurting “Christs” of the world. This general vocation of motherhood is manifested in each one’s particular state of life and realized concretely and specifically through our relationships: with God and our Lady; with our sisters and with the world.

In our relationship to the Father as His daughter and to Christ as His lover, God is manifest as our All in all, the singular focus of our lives, the foundation of our identity. He is our Wellspring of life, the Source that empowers us to be life-bearers. To sustain this vital connection, we will pray daily and strive faithfully to conform our wills to the Lord’s through our Lady’s hands.

We seek to bear life in our sisters by encouraging one another to a deeper relationship with the Trinity and His spouse the Church. As Christ serves the Church, we will serve each other. We will do this by self-sacrifice, keeping household commitments, and humbly holding each other accountable to live the Christian Way. In addition to praying daily for each other, a sister should also be open to praying with another in a special time of need. Grounded in our identity as daughters of the Father, we can rejoice in the uniqueness of each sister and refrain from comparing ourselves to others. Instead of engaging in slanderous talk, we will confront the sister with whom we have a grievance.

Finally, each of us will bring life to the world by embracing our unique vocations—marriage, consecrated life, or single life—always in the view of the general vocation of all women—motherhood. We will strive to be “Church to the world” in the realm God has designed for each of us, always drawing strength and renewed love from our relationship with Christ as our Lover.

We, the Daughters of Jerusalem, hold a devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe, the virgin of life; to St. Philomena, model of purity; and to St. Anne, model of motherhood.