Last Sunday we celebrated the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord and the Purification of Mary - Jesus Who is the Light revealed to the nations, and Our Lady who is the pure reflection of this light. But now, as Septuagesima begins, we follow Christ, "the Light of men" into the darkness.
Septuagesima is now but nine days away, and so in the month of February, the Church turns our attention toward the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ - that we may begin to prepare our hearts for the holy season of Lent.
Any opportunity to be Mary's hands and heart in the world is an opportunity well spent! This weekend held multiple of these opportunities as the Sisters spread out across the west coast to live the Mystery of the Visitation and joyfully bring Our Lord to all. Here is a little recap of the weekend:
In the witness of every young, virgin martyr, the religious finds renewed inspiration in how to live her vocation: to love Jesus Christ with an undivided and pure heart, to see Him as the Spouse of her soul, and to give this gift of love completely until death. We see this very example in the life and death of St. Agnes, whose feast we celebrate today. May this young virgin martyr pray for us and help us to live out our spousal union to Jesus Christ, Who has betrothed each of us.
The city of Santa Rosa and the surrounding area is well known for its beautiful parks. There are about 70 parks within a short distance of the convent. When our Lord provides good weather, the sisters sometimes have a chance to stretch their legs and enjoy the marvelous work of the Creator.
"He whom the Virgin bore is acknowledged today by the whole world ... Today is the glorious Feast of His Manifestation." - Roman Breviary
The Twelve Days of Christmas comes to a close with one of the greatest feasts in the Church's liturgical year: Epiphany. On this feast, we celebrate God manifesting Himself, in the person of Jesus Christ, as a humble little child to the Gentiles.
"At that time, after eight days were accomplished,
that the child should be circumcised, his name was called JESUS,
which was called by the angel before he was conceived in the womb."
- Luke 2:21