To understand Pioneer spirituality we have to look at the full title of the association - The Pioneer Total Abstinence of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Fr Cullen dedicated the association to the Heart of Jesus.
The heart is the universal symbol of love, and the Heart of Jesus symbolised the total unconditional love of God for humanity. He showed us this unconditional love by His suffering and death on the cross. By dedicating the Pioneer Association to the Sacred Heart Fr Cullen believed that under the banner of the loving Heart of Christ the Association would succeed in its mission – to reduce the problems in society caused by excess consumption of alcohol.
The spirituality of the association is based on prayer, self denial and reparation.
Prayer for those who are suffering because of their own or others excess consumption of alcohol; and total abstinence as self denial and for the pain and damage done by excess use of alcohol.
In their devotion to the Sacred Heart Pioneers strive to love unconditionally as Jesus does, learn to accept whatever crosses come their way and reduce egotistical needs so that they can enter into closed communion with the Heart of Christ.
The Pioneer by abstaining from alcohol which like all of God’s gifts should not be abused is forgoing one of life’s pleasures and therefore dying to self for the greater good.