Sunday, November 28, 2010

O Come, Divine Messiah

Look upon us, Lord,
hear and enlighten us,
show us your very self.
restore yourself to us
that it may go well with us
whose life is so evil without you.
Take pity on our efforts
and our striving toward you,
for we have no strength apart from you.
Teach me to seek you,
and when I seek you show yourself to me,
for I cannot seek you unless you teach me,
nor can I find you unless you show yourself to me.
Let me seek you in desiring you
and desire you in seeking you,
find you in loving you
and love you in finding you.
(St. Anselm of Canterbury  d. 1109)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanks be to God

Even in our times of economic uncertainty, terrorist threats, man-made and natural disasters ...

Hope springs eternal!

 Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Christ the King

"Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." (Luke 23:42)
He didn't look very kingly, bloody, naked, reviled, stretched out upon the cross. Everyone was laughing at him:
"If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself....Aren't you the Messiah? Then save yourself and us."
The gospel reading for today, the last Sunday in Ordinary Time, the solemnity of Christ the King, is a stark reminder that God's ways are not our ways.  What kind of a king is this? Abandoned by his friends, mocked, beaten, and spat upon.  We have the advantage of 2000 years of Christianity behind us; we read this account in the Gospel according to Luke and know how it all turns out. We know that he will rise again, destroying death forever. We know
"There is nothing to fear. I am the First and the Last and the One who lives. One I was dead but now I live—forever and ever. I hold the keys of death and the nether world." (Revelation 1:17-18)
The thief in his death agony on the cross would not have known this, would not have seen anything to give him a clue that the man hanging next to him was in fact the Lord of the universe. And yet, his profession of faith is recorded for all posterity: "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
Let us pray for a small piece of that faith, faith that merited to hear:
"I assure you, this day you will be with me in paradise."

Friday, November 12, 2010


Friday is the day when the priest comes to hear our Confessions.  It is also the day when the convent floors get scrubbed. As our workman (who is not Catholic!) observed: Fridays are a day for clean souls and clean soles!

Has it been a while since you've been to the Sacrament of Confession?
Jesus' words to St. Faustina, the Apostle of Divine Mercy:
When you go to Confession, to this fountain of My mercy, the Blood and Water which came forth from My Heart always flow down upon your soul and ennoble it. Every time you go to Confession, immerse yourself entirely in My mercy, with great trust, so that I may pour the bounty of My grace upon your soul. When you approach the confessional, know this, that
I Myself am waiting for you.    I am only hidden by the priest, but I Myself act in your soul. Here the misery of the soul meets the God of mercy. Tell souls that from this fount of mercy souls draw graces solely with the vessel of trust. If their trust is great, there is no limit to my generosity. (Diary, 1602)

Tell souls where they are to look for solace; that is, in the Tribunal of Mercy. There the greatest miracles take place and are incessantly repeated. To avail oneself of this miracle, it is not necessary to go on a great pilgrimage or carry out some external ceremony; it suffices to come with faith to the feet of My representative and to reveal to him one's misery and the miracle of Divine Mercy will be fully demonstrated. Were a soul like a decaying corpse so that from a human standpoint, there would be no hope of restoration and everything would already be lost, it is not so with God. The miracle of Divine Mercy restores that soul in full. Oh, how miserable are those who do not take advantage of the miracle of God's mercy! (1448)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Tears Before God

I was praying in the chapel when it began: the sobs of someone in need, suffering and clinging to God. They pierce my heart and I know they pierce God's heart. Contemplatives hold the Church in their hearts; although we are cloistered we are more a part of the world than most. As I knelt before the Blessed Sacrament I felt myself thinking, "I know. I understand." I do not know why she was crying, her name, or even her face, but I do know what it is means to cry until I'm numb, to yell at God, "Why?" I love my life as a cloistered sister and have found joy and fulfillment in my vocation, but I also know suffering and because of that my compassion is great.  Because of this, I hold the world in my heart. Because Jesus knew suffering, he holds you in his heart.