Saturday, May 31, 2014

May Devotions at Bethlehem Monastery

 During the month of May, we gather before our evening recreation period to offer, each in turn, a prayer to our Lady before one of her statues.  On the last day of this Marian month, the feast of the Visitation, I share with you one of our Sisters' prayers.  It is in the form of a poem, written by the Blessed Mother herself.

A Poem by Mary Mother of God

Carry on my wayward daughter, dove.
There is peace when you are done.
Lay your weary head to rest.
Though the dress upon my breast
Has long been soaked
With all your tears.
I never tire of your coming,
So carry on toward my Son,
O wayward daughter, dove.
And as you lie
With desperate cling unto my feet
I take your face
And look you squarely in the eye
To never leave my arms embrace,
O wayward daughter, dove.
One day you’ll no more cry.
So carry on with might and love.
I know well your abyss of pain and need.
I want it there so you will heed
And know
O ceaseless seeking one,
That there is not much
That can content you in this world
Except the Person of my shining Son.
O wayward daughter I do call and keep
You on that road to peace
Where death will see my Son out-shining.

Until then I carry you.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sister Mary Angelique's Holy Profession

Yesterday our Sister Mary Angelique pronounced her First Vows as a Poor Clare Nun.  Her large and beautiful family were able to attend the ceremony, along with many of our local friends. 

She now joins the ranks of the Professed Sisters, who through their consecration  have offered themselves with Christ to the Eternal Father on behalf of the whole Church. 

From this moment on, Sister Mary Angelique will share in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in a more profound way.  She lives now, no longer for herself but for Jesus who gave Himself for her.  She is dedicated to the praise of His glory!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Mary's Decorations

Mary has  big ideas for decorating the Novitiate Common Room for Sister Angelique's Profession tomorrow...

Here is the finished job!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Profession Preparations

Sister Mary Angelique

 “Alleluia!”  The Lord is King, our God, the Almighty!  Let us rejoice and be glad, and give him glory!  For this is the wedding day of the Lamb; his bride has prepared herself for the wedding…

The Word of God is always “living and active”, yet sometimes it is more obviously so!  The above quotation from the Book of Revelation just happened to be part of our midnight prayer of Matins last night.  Our novice, Sister Mary Angelique, begins her retreat today in preparation for Saturday, when she will make her First Profession of Vows as a Poor Clare Nun. 

The rest of us are preparing too. 
Professed Sister's Veil and Cord
At her Profession ceremony, which takes place after the homily at Holy Mass, Sister Angelique will be given the black veil of a professed Nun.  Until now, she has been wearing the white veil of a novice.  I can report that her veils (she gets three) are sewn, washed, ironed and ready to go!  She will also exchange her novice cord (Franciscans use a cord for a belt) for one that has four knots symbolizing her four Vows of Poverty, Chastity Obedience and Enclosure.  Actually, there is a fifth knot that is totally functional and not the least symbolic.  We call it the “button” and serves to hold the cord together around the waist.  Or, on second thought, perhaps it is most symbolic!  After all, it is love that “binds the rest together and makes them perfect”.

In addition to purely practical preparations like sewing, baking and decorating, we also prepare some entertainment for the great festive day.  So far, Sister Angelique’s novitiate companions have a dance and a pantomime ready.  Two of our musical postulants are here composing a song at the keyboard.  Hope it will be ready in time!  Just one short week to go!
Postulants Sarah and Phoenix 

Friday, May 2, 2014

Mary's Glad Tidings

Our Postulant Mary received the great glad tidings from Mother Abbess that she will be clothed in the Holy Habit of our Mother St. Clare on June 28th, Feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  We rejoice with her, even as we prepare for the First Profession of our Sister Mary Angelique to take place on the 24th of this month.  We are almost finished sewing her new black veils.  Soon we shall begin on Mary's new wardrobe!