Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Corpus Christi, Mary on Retreat

The Church should be a place where beauty is at home.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI

How lovely it is that we put forth all our energy to surround our most precious treasure, the Holy Eucharist, with every form of beauty.  The Sacred Host is pure white, set like the Pearl of Great Price that it is, into a housing of brilliant gold and glittering jewels.  Slender candles and graceful flowers surround the altar clothed with our best cloth, while music and incense sweeten the air.

This year, the feast of the Body and Blood of the Lord also fell on June 22nd, when Poor Clares commemorate the Eucharistic miracle that took place in the life of our Mother St. Clare.  The story is that when enemy soldiers were scaling the walls of her monastery, St. Clare brought the Blessed Sacrament to the open door, then prostrating herself before the Lord, she prayed to Him for the safety of her Sisters.  She heard a voice from the Sacred Host which said, “I will always take care of you”.  She also prayed for the city of Assisi which was being besieged, and Jesus assured her that it too would be spared.  Immediately, the soldiers took flight and left the Sisters and the city without doing any harm.  Because of this dramatic event in her life, St. Clare is often portrayed holding the monstrance.  This statue is in one of our first floor halls.  Since Postulant Mary has charge of cleaning this hall, she also honors our Mother St. Clare with flowers.

It was fitting that this auspicious day should be the first of Mary’s investiture retreat.  She is preparing now to take the next step on her vocation journey to be an intercessor and an adorer before the Eucharistic Lord as a Poor Clare Nun.

On Saturday, the feast of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Postulant Mary will wear her mother’s wedding dress to our morning Mass, then exchange it for the brown habit of our Order.  Visit us again next week to find out her new name!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

My Evangelist Dad

My Dad was my primary evangelist, for I took my first steps in my faith life with him.  I remember as a very little child sitting on his knee with a large picture book of Bible Stories.  Over half each page was picture while the text of the story occupied the rest of the space.  While I looked intently at the picture, Dad would read the story and then answer any questions I had.  He called me his question box since I always had many questions.  Over and over again I required him to read the picture book to me until one day he grew weary.  Handing the book to me, he told me to read it to him.  Although I had not yet attended any formal school, I took the book, and having memorized all the stories from constant repetition, I did recite all of them by heart, even turning the pages at the right time.  

I do not know what happened to that Bible picture book, but after Dad died, I inherited his Bible as well as a little crucifix he kept in his night stand.  One of my fondest memories is of a conversation I had with him when I was about 5 years old.  We were in the bedroom and he was getting dressed.  I asked him another question about God and he began to answer by speaking about Jesus.  I exclaimed, “No, not Jesus….God!”  Then he said, “But Jesus is God”!  I looked up at the crucifix on the wall hanging above his dresser and pondered the incredible truth:  Jesus is God”.

Here is a little poem that commemorates my evangelizing Dad:

Bible School

I sat upon my Daddy's knee
His arms held both the book and me.
His face unseen, his breath I heard
As he proclaimed the mighty word.

Now grown, I hold the Bible well
And read the word myself to tell,
Yet still in Father's sure embrace
I listen till I see His face.

From my Dad I imbibed a love for the Sacred Scriptures and for the Person of Jesus, the Word made Flesh.  By his own faithful Christian life marked by suffering and joy, he taught me to hope in the God who loves us to the end and calls us into His Trinitarian embrace.  Blessed Father's Day and Trinity Sunday to all!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sister Elise to Make Solemn Vows

The Holy Spirit appears on the wall of our Refectory with His Seven Fold Gifts!

Blessed Solemnity of Holy Pentecost!  Today we celebrate the birthday of the Church, when the Holy Spirit came down upon the community of the Apostles and disciples gathered around our Lady in prayer.  Each year we believe that this same Holy Spirit fills the hearts of believers in a renewed outpouring of Divine Love to enable us to fulfill our mission to bring Christ to the world.

Sister Elise on the day of her Sacred Promises
On the vigil of this great day the Holy Spirit overshadowed our community and manifested His will that our dear Sister Elise should make her Solemn Vows as a finally professed Poor Clare on July 29th, Feast of St. Martha.  If you have not already seen our videos of Sister Elise at her other stages of formation, here are the links:

Sr. Elise Investiture:

Sr. Elise Sacred Promises:

“Ordinary Time” which begins on Monday is going to be far from ordinary for us!  We are preparing now for Mary’s Investiture on June 28th, then July 29th we have Sister Elise’s Solemn Vows, and August 15th will see the entrance of our Aspirant Cecilia.  Another aspirant is also coming soon.  Will let you know when her date is finalized.  We go forward now, enriched by the graces of the Easter Season now past, and borne aloft on the wings of the Holy Spirit into the graced future ahead!