Friday, December 24, 2010

Ero Cras

Looking backwards from December 23 to 17, we've prayed the
"O" Antiphons using seven different Biblical titles:
Rex Gentium
Clavis David
Radix Jesse
The first letter taken from each of these spells out "Ero Cras." Translation:
"I will be with you tomorrow."

Maranatha!  Amen!  Come, Lord Jesus! (Revelation 22:20)
Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

O Emmanuel

O Emmanuel, God-with-us, our king and Lawgiver, the Desire of all nations and their Savior: come and save us, O Lord our God! Amen.

Our countdown to Christmas is almost over. The last "O" Antiphon is also the most well-known. "Therefore the Lord himself will give you this sign: the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Emmanuel." (Isaiah 7:14) Yes indeed: God is truly with us, has walked among us, and remains with us until the end of time. What wondrous love! O come, O come Emmanuel!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

O Rex Gentium

O King of nations, and their Desired, the Cornerstone who make all one: come and save our race, whom you formed out of clay. Amen.

"I will make with them a covenant of peace; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them....My dwelling will be with them; I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Thus the nations shall know that it is I, the Lord, who make Israel holy." (Ezekiel 37:26-28) There are so many ways we try to fill the emptiness in our hearts. A new car, a better stereo system, a job promotion. Yet when we have everything we think we wanted, the hole, the yearning, is still there. God has made us for himself, and he alone can fill the bottomless longing in our soul. O come, desire of nations!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

O Oriens

O Dayspring, brightness of eternal Light and Sun of Justice: come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death. Amen.

"In times past, God spoke to our ancestors in partial and various ways through the prophets; in these last days he has spoken to us through a Son...who is the refulgence of his glory, the very imprint of his being." (Heb. 1:1-2) The prophets kept alive the hope of a people by delivering God's message to them. Their words, actions, and very lives were signs of God's continuing presence with his people, his promise of redemption. With the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, God no longer speaks to us in signs and types. This is the Word of God made flesh!  "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him." (Matt. 17:5) How many are actually ready to hear what God has to say? Come O Dayspring, Light of lights!

Monday, December 20, 2010

O Clavis David

O Key of David, and scepter of the House of Israel: you open and no one shuts; you shut and no one opens. Come and lead forth from his prison the captive sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death. Amen.

The key is a symbol of authority. People with authority are found in offices and palaces; they are great and they make their influence felt. Who would have thought to look for power and might in a stable? And yet this baby is the key for the salvation of the whole world. A locked door cannot be opened without a key; heaven's gates were closed until the promised Messiah would come and pay the price for our sins. Come, O Key of David!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

O Radix Jesse

O Root of Jesse, who stood as a sign for the people, before you kings shall remain silent, and to you the Gentiles shall make supplication: come to deliver us, and delay not. Amen.

"A shoot shall sprout from the stump of Jesse, and from his roots a bud shall blossom." (Isaiah 11:1)  God had made a solemn promise to David that his house and kingdom would stand firm forever (cf 2Sam. 7) but after Jerusalem was destroyed and its inhabitants deported to Babylon Israel was ruled foreign powers. What happened to God's promise?  According to the Gospel of Matthew, there was 14 generations from the Babylonian exile to the birth of Jesus. No longer sitting on an earthly throne, the blood of David still flowed in their veins.  "...of her was born Jesus who is called the Messiah," (Matt. 1:16) and of his kingdom there shall be no end.  God is at work even when we can't see and don't understand. Come, O Rod of Jesse!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

O Adonai

O Lord, leader of the house of Israel, you appeared to Moses in he flame of the burning bush and gave him the law on Sinai: come, and with an outstretched arm, redeem us. Amen.

The Lord, the great "I AM," who appeared to Moses in the burning bush, executed mighty judgments against the Egyptians at the time of the Exodus, and came down upon Mount Sinai in heavy smoke and flashes of fire, is the same Lord who comes now to a humble manger in Bethlehem.  The Israelites of old were struck dead if they so much as touched the base of the mountain of God, but here is God as a baby who needs his diaper changed!  This is love: God who bends down to us, remains with us in our need. Come, O come, thou Lord of Might!

Friday, December 17, 2010

O Sapientia

O Wisdom, you came forth from the mouth of the Most High, and reached from end to end, and disposed of all things sweetly and mightily: come and teach us the way of prudence. Amen.

From December 17 to 23, the Church observes the ancient custom of praying each day one of the seven "O" Antiphons, so called because each one addresses the God who comes in Christ with a different Biblical title, beginning with the invocation "O."  In Latin (which I will be using for the titles of these posts) the first letter of each title, read in reverse order, form the acrostic "Ero Cras" which translates "I will be with you tomorrow."
Today's title is "O Wisdom." Jesus Christ, "the power of God and the wisdom of God" (1 Cor. 1:24) comes to us as a tiny baby born in a stable.  What does that say about power and wisdom? God's ways are so different from our ways that it is easy to miss even his greatest gifts unless our hearts are attuned and ready.  Come, O Wisdom from on high!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Immaculate Conception

Inmaculada Concepcion (La Colosal)The day of Mary's conception —conceived without the stain of original sin— was probably a day like any other. Nothing extraordinary to  announce the fact that the long-awaited plan of salvation had begun, that God's greatest masterpiece of creation was being formed cell by cell in the womb of her mother.  No flashes of lightning, no brilliant stars or angel chorus announcing the arrival of this immaculate temple of the Trinity. The dawn of our salvation was here, and it was just a business-as-usual day. Yet in spite of what might have seemed ordinary, ho-hum, not worth noticing, God was at work. God is always at work. O pure Virgin, conceived without original sin, Mother of God, pray for us in our need.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Happy Birthday to Us!

Deo Gratias!  We are 114 years old!

The Sister Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration were founded on December 8, 1896 by St. Arnold Janssen.
In the service of evangelzation and of the sanctification of priests we are to lead a life of faith-inspired contemplation and grateful adoration, of steadfast prayer and selfless service. Before the Blessed Sacrament, the visible sign of the triune God's infinite love, we are to praise his goodness and mercy unceasingly and to invite all to join in our homage.
(From our Constitutions)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Advent Waiting

I wait for the Lord, my souls waits,
in his word I hope;
my souls waits for the Lord...(Psalm 130: 5-6)
In our culture of instant gratification, waiting is hard to do.  We're so used to instant results that we become impatient when the web site takes a few extra seconds to load or there is a line at the drive-thru.  Our society is constantly shouting, "Do! Do! Do! Produce! Produce! Produce! Results! Results! Results!" Waiting becomes a waste of time, a dry desert between where we are and where we want to be.
During these four weeks before Christmas, the Church invites us to take a different approach to waiting.  Waiting also crystallizes desire.  Is what I want worth waiting for?  How much does it mean to me?  Am I willing to put off superficial gratification, to take the time necessary to get to the real heart of things?
As we wait for Christmas, we join Mary as she waits for the Desire of the Nations, taking flesh in her womb, to make his longed-for appearance.  Only the coming of God can quench our deepest desires.  What are you waiting for?  Can your longings stand the test of time?

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.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Distractions, by Fr. Jack Farley, SVD

As soon as we begin making room for prayer, all sorts of things begin to crowd in: memories, emotions, plans for future projects. And if we do manage to start praying, it does not seem long before our attention wanes and the process begins all over again.
Sometimes my prayer is a time of great inner stillness, and my spirit is possessed by what feels like God's nearness.  That is good prayer. At other times I am tired and disgruntled; my efforts at prayer simply expose me to my own weakness, and I cry out to God from a very great distance. That is also good prayer.
Prayer may be rejoicing in the Spirit or writhing in anguish. It is good if it is real, and no good if it is delusion or play-acting.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

World Mission Sunday

excerpt from:
October 24, 2010
Building Ecclesial Communion
is the Key to Mission

The Father calls us to be sons and daughters loved in the beloved Son, and to recognize that we are all brothers and sisters in him who is the gift of salvation for humanity divided by discord and sin, and the revealer of the true face of God who "so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life" (Jn 3: 16).
"We wish to see Jesus" (Jn 12: 21), is the request in John's Gospel that some Greeks, who had arrived in Jerusalem for the paschal pilgrimage, address to the Apostle Philip. It also resonates in our hearts during this month of October which reminds us that the commitment to, and task of, Gospel proclamation is a duty of the whole Church, "by her very nature missionary", and invites us to become champions of the newness of life made up of authentic relationships in communities founded on the Gospel. In a multiethnic society that is experiencing increasingly disturbing forms of loneliness and indifference, Christians must learn to offer signs of hope and to become universal brethren, cultivating the great ideals that transform history and, without false illusions or useless fears, must strive to make the planet a home for all peoples.
Like the Greek pilgrims of two thousand years ago, the people of our time too, even perhaps unbeknown to them, ask believers not only to "speak" of Jesus, but to "make Jesus seen", to make the face of the Redeemer shine out in every corner of the earth before the generations of the new millennium and especially before the young people of every continent, the privileged ones to whom the Gospel proclamation is intended. They must perceive that Christians bring Christ's word because he is the truth, because they have found in him the meaning and the truth for their own lives.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

God's Timing

Imagine being a pregnant, unwed teen in a society that stones unwed mothers: that was Mary. Who would believe her if she said she was innocent? God's timing was miserable! Why couldn't he have waited until she was married? Why was he waiting so long to tell Joseph? If I were in her place, I would've said, "God, what are you doing?" As a matter of fact, I do say this sometimes when things happen in my life.  I wonder how Mary handled this. I doubt that she was in such ceaseless ecstasy that she didn't care. I don't know how she handled it but I do know that God took care of her and she trusted him. In the end—as we know 2000 years later—everything worked out perfectly. Such is God's timing.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Guardian Angels

The first prayer my mother taught me was the Guardian Angel Prayer:
Angel of God, my guardian dear,
to whom God's love commits me here.
Ever this day be at my side
to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.
When I was a child I used to look out my window at night and think I saw the tail of my guardian angel's robe. I reality what I saw was the light from the streetlamp falling between the shadows of my parents' cars, but this began a relationship with my guardian angel. Plus, my aunt told me to pray a Hail Mary before going to bed to ask Mary, Queen of the Angels, to tell me the name of my guardian angel. In college, none of my peers had ever thought of having a relationship with their guardian angel before and I thought I was alone in this until I discovered our Congregation. To our Founder, St. Arnold, angelic spirits were God's messengers, our teachers in the spiritual life, our protectors, and most of all they taught us how to worship and adore God. Thank you, Lord, for your angels!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Pray for the Church and her Mission!

Today is the feast day of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, the French Carmelite who died in 1897 at the age of 24.  Her "Little Way" is a spirituality that attracts many; doing small things with great love is a path to sanctity that we can all follow.  The reading for the Divine Office today is from her autobiography:

Then, nearly ecstatic with the supreme joy in my soul, I proclaimed: O Jesus, my love, at last I have found my calling: my call is love. Certainly I have found my proper place in the Church, and you gave me that very place, my God. In the heart of the Church, my mother, I will be love, and thus I will be all things, as my desire finds its direction.

This young woman, without ever leaving the walls of her cloister, became a Doctor of the Church and patroness of the missions.  Her love and zeal drove her to desire to be all things: she was not satisfied to be "just" a martyr or "just" an apostle or teacher.  St. Therese had the insight to understand that love covers everything:
I knew that one love drove the members of the Church to action, that if this love were ever extinguished, the apostles would have proclaimed the Gospel no longer, the martyrs would have shed their blood no more.
St. Therese is a model for us all.  By doing all tasks as an offering of love to God, she was able to cover the whole world with grace.  By washing the laundry, sweeping the halls, being faithful to even the smallest details, she became a missionary to the nations without traveling any distance.
As contemplative missionaries, we are also love in the heart of the Church. And as the Little Flower reminds us, love is everlasting.

Friday, September 24, 2010

For Everything There Is A Season

The first reading for Mass today is from Ecclesiastes 3:
There is an appointed time for everything
and a time for every affair under the heavens.
A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant...
This reading always reminds me of the '60s song by The Byrds and I end up with "turn, turn, turn, turn..." running through my head. Today, however, it stood out in a different way for me. 
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
And a time to tear down and a time to build.
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance...
I am going through a difficult time right now, and in the midst of pain it is hard to believe that things will ever be alright again. I received a gentle reminder that this too shall pass.  Time is a sacred gift from God, times of pain and times of joy. As Psalm 126 puts it, "Those who sow in tears will reap with joy." This is seed time, but the harvest time is sure to follow. We are an Easter people, and Alleluia! is our song.
God has made everything appropriate to its time and has put the timeless into their hearts, without men's ever discovering, from beginning to end, the work which God has done. (Ecclesiastes 3:1-11)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Prayer, by Fr. Jack Farley, SVD

The only way to pray is to pray; and the way to pray well is to pray much. If one has no time for this, then one must at least pray regularly. But the less one prays, the worse it goes. (Dom John Chapman)
 Prayer is prayer, no matter how limited in scope. It is a wedge that will, in time, open our heart wider to the divine reality. Its narrow edge allows it to penetrate more easily.
Because our behavior spills over to our attitude towards God, prayer is subjected to the ramifications of bad habits in our daily life. I am not suggesting that prayer will be impossible until all our current sins cease. On the contrary, prayer cohabits quite happily with sin. What prayer cannot abide, however, is failure to recognize sin. Efforts to rationalize our behavior effectively prevents prayer. Sin admitted and confessed renews our sense of dependence on God and fuels our prayer.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Our Sorrowful Mother

Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled,
She beheld her tender Child,
   All with bloody scourges rent.

For the sins of his own nation
Saw him hang in desolation
   Till his spirit forth he sent.

O sweet Mother! font of love,
Touch my spirit from above,
   Make my heart with yours accord.

Make me feel as you have felt;
Make my soul to glow and melt
   With the love of Christ my Lord.

Holy Mother, pierce me through,
In my heart each wound renew
  Of my Savior crucified.

Let me share with you his pain,
Who for all our sins was slain,
   Who for me in torments died.

(from the Stabat Mater)

There is no easy answer for the problem of suffering in the world, especially for the suffering of innocent children. Any attempt to explain it just falls flat and sounds hollow when you, or someone you love, is in the midst of pain.  Preachers of the popular "Prosperity Gospel" would like to do away with the mystery of the Cross altogether. Yet trying to remove pain from our lives doesn't  work either. Yesterday's feast, the Exultation of the Cross, and today's memorial, Our Lady of Sorrows, do add some depth to the mystery of suffering.
God Himself, living in perfect beatitude and incapable of suffering, freely chose to take on our human condition and became one of us.  In his great love for us, he embraced a life of suffering and pain, a death of agony on the cross, in order to set us free.
Our Blessed Mother at the foot of the cross watched her baby boy hanging there, struggling for each breath. She shared in his sufferings, and the sword that pierced the dead body of her Son also rent her soul in two.
Jesus and his sinless Mother experienced the depths of every pain imaginable. Suffering is still incomprehensible, but when we unite our pain to theirs in an offering to the Father, it becomes salvific. May we be united with Christ in his suffering and death and so come to share in his rising to new life.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Prayer Requests

Yesterday, Sept. 9, we received the 2000th prayer request from our web site.  Since our web site is not yet six months old, that averages to about a dozen prayer requests each day!  Some are filled with great joy, such as weddings, births, or successful resolutions to conflicts.  Others contain deep pain in the death of a loved one, battles with terminal illness, or families shattered by addiction or abuse.  Still others are simply prayer requests for events in every-day life, like safety during travel, searches for new jobs, and prayers for children, spouses, or parents.
As the Sisters kneel in adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, we pray for these and all the intentions entrusted to us.  We consider our whole lives, lived in fidelity to our vocation, to be an act of intercession for the needs of the world.  We are grateful to be a part of the lives of so many; all these people become a part of our extended family.  As we pray for the needs of all, our hearts expand to cover each member of the human race with a blessing.  God is so great to allow us to participate in his saving plan for all of humanity.
We would like to invite you to join us in this act of mercy; each time you pray, include an intention for the needs of others as known to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  When we join in prayer, bringing to God our own needs and the needs of family, friends, and complete strangers, we become part of a larger community and help to hasten the arrival of the Kingdom of God on Earth.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Pray for Vocations!

Spirit of Eternal Love, it is you who open the heart and mind to the divine call. Inspire those you are calling to the religious life and the priesthood to respond with open and generous hearts. May those you are calling to married life respond enthusiastically to the call to holiness and bear witness to the sacredness of family life. Renew the face of the earth, that a new abundance of holy vocations may show forth the fidelity of your love. Amen.

Saturday, August 7, 2010


More wisdom from our retreat with Br. Joel Giallanza, CSC:
 Closely related to the verb "adore" is the verb "revere."  The root of the verb revere, as a type of adoration, means "to perceive" and "to watch out for."

1. Adoration does have a dimension of awareness, of perceiving. For this type of prayer, we must be conscious of what we are doing, who God is, and who we are. Without that level of awareness, of perception, adoration becomes an empty exercise focused on something other than God.

2. Adoration also has a dimension of vigilance, of watching out for. This is a particularly rich meaning because it communicated a sense of anticipation and expectation. We adore God with a hope, trust, and confidence in God's word and promises to us. There is a limitlessness about this dimension of adoration. We anticipate and expect that God hears our prayer and will respond, but we do not know the precise timing of that response. So we watch with patience.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

We're back!

Thank you to everyone who prayed for us during our retreat.  United as one in the Body of Christ, our prayers for each other are powerful ways of supporting one another as we journey together through life.  Be assured that though we were on retreat, we didn't go "off duty" and continued to remember in prayer the needs of all.

Our retreat master, Br. Joel, lead us through our Constitutions (our rule of life) to explore the ways in which our very life is Eucharistic.  Yes, we do adore our Lord at specific times before the Blessed Sacrament, but we also must become a people who discover and adore the Lord throughout everyday life.  Adoration is about being in relationship with God, an intense way of being attentive to God's presence within and around us.

The opening article of our Constitutions reminds us to be "attentive" to the presence of the Trinity who dwells within us, to "penetrate more deeply" into the mystery of this relationship, to "live with fuller awareness" of what this means, and to "foster in others" the understanding of and love for this central mystery of our faith.

Those of you who are reading this are not Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters, but have you considered that the vocation of every Christian is intimate union with God?  You may not be called to spend your life in the cloister, but you are called into relationship— personal and intense— with the God who created you.  The purpose of adoration is to deepen our relationship with the Trinity.  Time spent with the Lord, whether in a chapel before the exposed Blessed Sacrament or simply in the silence and sanctuary of your own heart, causes that relationship to deepen and grow.  In this sense, adoration is more a life-long attitude and orientation than it is an activity.  It is a commitment that touches every aspect of our lives.

Monday, July 19, 2010


The Sisters will be on retreat from July 19-27.  Yes, even cloistered Sisters need a break from the usual routine and the opportunity to renew ourselves in the Holy Spirit.  As our Constitutions remind us, on account of our human weakness we are all in need of continual purification until we are conformed to Christ. Our annual retreat provides an opportunity for a more intense encounter with God.  At the end of the retreat, we will renew our dedication to Christ by renewing our religious vows during the Mass.
Our retreat master this year is Brother Joel Giallanza, CSC.  Br. Joel is from the diocese of Austin and a long-time friend of our community.  He is a deeply spiritual man and we are looking forward to the wisdom he will share with us.  Please pray for us as we "go and rest awhile" (cf. Mark 6:31) in the heart of God.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Poverty & Hope

I was pondering one day the difference between the Pharisees of Jesus' day and the afflicted people on whom Jesus worked miracles. Hope came to me. The Pharisees were happy as they were and didn't need a Savior. They wanted a political figure to bring back Israel's material and political greatness, another "golden age." But those who were sick had hope in Jesus, they needed and wanted a Savior. This is a kind of poverty, to know one's weaknesses and to hope, to believe that God will help them.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

When He saw the Crowds

Seeing the crowds, he went up on the mountain, and when he sat down his disciples came to him. (Matthew 5:1)

This verse is merely a transitional sentence used by Matthew to bring Jesus from healing the multitudes to the Sermon on the Mount. Yet as seemingly insignificant as it appears, it struck me one day as I was trying to picture the scene. "When he saw the crowds..." Jesus didn't just see the crowds with an absent-minded glace, it penetrated deeper. I think he saw their hunger and thirst for.... something.... they couldn't name it but they knew Jesus had it. Jesus knew what they were longing for: the truth. He longed to give them this Truth; his word. In short, he long to give them himself, the Truth, the Word. The sermon on the Mount isn't simply a teaching or a talk. It is Jesus giving himself, feeding the crowd by his word. This calls to mind the Mass. We aren't fed by the Eucharist alone but by the Word of God, by the Truth that the Church guards and teaches.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Cross...

From Fr. Walter Cizek, SJ (paraphrased):
 Religion, prayer, and love of God do not change reality but give it a new meaning.
St. Peter even tells us in his epistle that trials are to purify our faith (like gold tested in fire), "so that we may obtain faith's goal, our salvation." Fr. Cizek knew suffering during his 23 years in Russian prisons and labor camps during Stalin's rule. He says, "And the greatest gift God can give such a man (one who trusts in his own abilities) is to send him a trial he cannot bear with his own powers--and then sustain him with his grace so that he may endure to the end and be saved."  Jesus says to take up our cross and follow him; let us not be afraid.  As Edith Stein wrote,
"Take up your cross" is not a promise of trials, but a promise that Christ will carry it with us.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Ezekiel 37: 1-14

God shows the prophet Ezekiel a plain filled with dry bones and asks, "Son of Man, can these bones come to life?"
I respond, "No, impossible."
But Ezekiel says, "Lord God, you alone know that."
It is as though he is saying, "All things are possible for God." For behold, God tells Ezekiel, "Then you (my people) shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and have you rise from them."
What are those things in our lives and in the world about which we say, "It is impossible"? Are "our bones dried up, our hope lost"? Then ask for the spirit to give you life. May he renew us.
Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and enkindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created, and you shall renew the face of the earth.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sacred Heart of Jesus

Thus the entire Holy Trinity lives in the Heart of Jesus, the power of the everlasting Father, the beauty and wisdom of the Eternal Word, and the self-giving love and riches of the Holy Spirit. They live there in a human heart. (St. Arnold Janssen)

Our Founder had a special devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. He knew that the Divine Heart was the most worthy dwelling and most noble throne of the three divine persons. It is only when our hearts are like this Heart that they are capable of becoming a dwelling and throne of God. His prayer, "May the Heart of Jesus live in us," expresses one of St. Arnold's most precious thoughts for the practice of the spiritual life. The Heart of Jesus burns with glowing zeal for the honor of the Father and also for the salvation and sanctification of souls. We should allow the heart of Jesus to live in us: we should become more and more agile members of the Mystical Body of Christ so that Christ will live in us, direct us, and use us according to the wishes and intentions of his Heart. May we devote ourselves to the service of the holy triune God and burn wih zeal for God and souls!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Corpus Christi

An excerpt from the Corpus Christi homily of Pope Benedict XVI:
We return, in our meditation, to the Eucharist, which in a while will be the center of our liturgical assembly and of the subsequent solemn procession. In it Jesus anticipated his sacrifice, not a ritual sacrifice but a personal one. In the Last Supper he acted moved by that "Eternal Spirit" with which he will offer himself later on the Cross (cf. Hebrews 9:14). Giving thanks and with a blessing, Jesus transformed the bread and wine. It is divine love that transforms: the love with which Jesus accepts in advance to give himself completely for us. This love is none other than the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of the Father and of the Son, which consecrates the bread and wine and changes their substance into the Body and the Blood of the Lord, rendering present in the Sacrament the same sacrifice that is made later in a bloody manner on the cross.

We can conclude that Christ was a true and effective priest because he was full of the power of the Holy Spirit, he was the culmination of all the fullness of the love of God "on the night he was betrayed," precisely in the "hour of darkness" (cf. Luke 22:53). It is this divine power, the same that brought about the Incarnation of the Word, which transformed the extreme violence and the extreme injustice [of his death] into a supreme act of love and justice.

This is the work of the priesthood of Christ, which the Church has inherited and continues to perpetuate, in the twofold form of ordinary priesthood of the baptized and that of the ordained ministers, to transform the world with the love of God. All, priests and faithful, are nourished by the same Eucharist, all of us prostrate ourselves to adore it, because present in it is our Teacher and Lord, present is the real Body of Jesus, Victim and Priest, salvation of the world. Come, let us exult with hymns of joy. Come, let us adore! Amen.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Trinity Sunday

All three Persons have manifested their love for men in a completely unheard-of manner: the Eternal Son by becoming man himself, the Holy Spirit by coming down to dwell in the hearts of men, the heavenly Father by sending those Two so dear to his heart in order to reveal his love." (St. Arnold Janssen, SVD)
The spiritual heritage we received from our Founder, St. Arnold Janssen, is firmly anchored in the mystery of the Trinity. He saw the Word as coming from the Father, coming in the power of the Holy Spirit, to share the human condition. The Trinitarian starting point of his theology developed into the devotion to the triune God living in us through grace. Through sanctifying grace, the Blessed Trinity lives in us: the Lord God pitches his tent in the human soul.
The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is not only a mystery of immensity which transcends the grasp of the human mind. It is also a mystery of the highest love worthy of adoration. The members of the Trinity are not, so to speak, three kings on three thrones or a static unity, but a mutually related dynamic of love. It is the vocation of every Christian to enter into this dynamic of love. Divine Love must vibrate with every beat of our heart, and accompany all our desires and passions. May the Holy Triune God live inhearts of all and may he lead you more and more into the mystery of his divine love!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Pentecost Sunday

Rushing wind, tongue of fire, living water: the images of the Holy Spirit are so rich and varied. He embraces all of creation, but is most especially present in the rich indwelling in the heart of every baptized person. As Servants of the Holy Spirit, we thank and praise the Spirit for his gifts and graces. We pray that all who have been baptized will grow in the sevenfold gifts of the Spirit until the fruits flow out over all the earth. Come, Holy Spirit, renew the face of the earth!

Friday, May 21, 2010

I Vow to You, Holy Triune God

"Nothing is more practical than finding God,
that is, than falling in love in a quite absolute, final way.

What you are in love with,
what seizes your imagination,
will affect everything.

It will decide what will get you out of bed in the mornings,
what you will do with your evenings,
how you spend your weekends,
what you read, who you know,
what breaks your heart,
and what amazes you with joy and gratitude.

Fall in love, stay in love, and it will decide everything."

Our two Sisters in temporary vows renewed them yesterday...a commitment to follow their Spouse in "poverty, chastity, and obedience according to the Constitutions of the Sister-Servants of the Holy Spirit of Perpetual Adoration" for another year. These five years of temporary vows are a preparation for the final, irrevocable commitment that will take place with perpetual profession.
In our culture, which has a greater than 50% divorce rate, these two Sisters are quietly witnessing to the permanence and sacredness of a spousal bond. In our materialistic culture that judges a person's worth on what they are able to produce, our hidden life of constant prayer is a gentle reminder that seeking God is the "one thing necessary" and the "better part."
As our young Sisters renewed their vows, each Sister in the community re-lived in her own heart the vows she made any number of years ago, but we also renew daily that love which called us and keeps us faithful to Him.
Falling in love, staying in love, renewing that love: the grace of God who is faithful.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Mary is our model for motherhood, whether one is a single mother, married, or a religious. Mary was a single mother: pregnant before marriage and raising Jesus alone after the death of Joseph, her spouse. She was married and took care of Joseph too. (I'm sure she would get annoyed with Joseph!) She knew what it was like to be poor and to long to give her son the best. She knew the joys and sorrows of being a mother. She enjoyed his laughter, feeding him, "Mothering" him. She saw her Son ridiculed. She was hurt unintentionally by him as he grew older and more independent (Lk 2:48). She was a spiritual mother, especially after his death. She was the mother of the Apostles, the early Church, and the Church today.
Now a question...from whom did Mary learn all these things as her motherhood changed? Who else but from God. And if God taught Mary how to be a mother, how motherly must God be? Isaiah 66:13: As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you. Isaiah 49:15: Can a woman forget her sucking child?...I will not forget you.

Holy Mother Church

We refer to the Catholic Magisterium as Holy Mother Church. Like a mother, she wants our happiness, disciplines us, and is in sorrow over her children's trials and pains, wanting all her children to enjoy eternal bliss. Faithful to Christ her Spouse, she teaches us, admonishes us, and nurtures us: she is our Mother.
Let us pray for our Mother Church and for her priests, who by the Sacrament of Holy Orders have been conformed to Christ her Spouse. Let us pray they remain faithful to her, the Pope, and to us — the people of God whom they lead.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

His Gaze

I once heard the Holy Spirit described as "His Gaze." I think this fits well for when I am in adoration gazing on the Lord. Sometimes I feel as though he is giving me his life by gazing back at me.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Thoughts

Have you ever considered looking at Holy Week through the eyes of St. Peter? At the Easter Vigil this year I was struck by the Gospel reading from St. Luke: Peter was the only Apostle to run to the tomb after the women said that Jesus had risen. St. Luke says he left "amazed" and that he went home. Then after the two disciples return from Emmaus they are informed that Peter had seen the Lord. I pondered what that encounter must have been like for Peter. His repentant tears, his joy at seeing Jesus, his questioning amazement. And Jesus? His gift of peace and forgiveness. He had a reason for appearing to Peter alone—the Rock upon whom the Church is built. Now he in turn must strengthen the faith of the disciples.
Such is our Holy Father in this time of persecution. What some may say doesn't matter, his job is to strengthen our faith and he is doing so by his example.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

He is Risen!

Christ is risen from the dead!
Dying, he conquered death;
To the dead, he has given life.
(Byzantine Liturgy)

He is risen, risen indeed! By his death, Christ liberates us from sin; by his Resurrection he opens for us the way to new life. The empty tomb and the linen cloths lying there signify in themselves that by God's power, Christ's body had escaped the binds of death. And where Christ has gone, we one day will follow. If that's not good news, I don't know what is! "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?"

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord

O Mary! Today by your conception you have brought our Savior to the world. Today the Godhead has become one with our humanity in such a permanent bond that nothing can break it—not our ingratitude, not death itself. (St. Catherine of Siena)

Mary is the model for all of us on our journey of faith. She pondered God's word in her heart and contemplated his salvific deeds. By her faith-filled and uncompromising “Yes” she became the Mother of the Redeemer and gave life to the world. God is speaking to each one of us too; he is asking us to let go of all our fears and insecurities to follow him unreservedly. We all carry God's word in our hearts, but it requires our own “Yes” in order to bear fruit. Mary didn't have all the answers, but she placed her complete confidence in the Lord. Will you?
“The Almighty has done great things for me and holy his his name!”

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Welcome to our blog! If you haven't already, be sure to check out our brand-new web site also! This blog is our attempt to give you a peek inside the cloister in order to make our cloistered-contemplative lifestyle better known and understood. We are one of the three missionary Congregations founded by St. Arnold Janssen and the passion of our life is that the love of Christ be known to all nations!

Monday, March 15, 2010

St. Augustine

I came to you late, O Beauty so ancient and new; I came to love you late. You were within me and I was outside, where I rushed about wildly searching for you. You were with me but I was not with you. You called me, you shouted to me, you wrapped me in your splendor, you broke past my deafness. You bathed me in your light, you sent my blindness reeling. You gave out such a delightful fragrance, and it made me hunger and thirst; you touched me, and I burned to know your peace.