Prayer of St. Therese to the Holy Face
"O Jesus, who, in Thy cruel Passion didst become the 'reproach of men and the Man of Sorrows,' I worship Thy divine Face. Once it shone with the beauty and sweetness of the Divinity; but now, for my sake, it is become as 'the face of a leper.' Yet, in that disfigured Countenance, I recognize Thy infinite love, and I am consumed with the desire of making Thee loved by all mankind. The tears that flowed so abundantly from Thy Eyes are to me as precious pearls that I delight to gather, that with their worth I may ransom the souls of poor sinners. O Jesus, whose Face is the sole beauty that ravishes my heart, I may not see here below the sweetness of Thy glance, nor feel the ineffable tenderness of Thy kiss, I bow to Thy Will—but I pray Thee to imprint in me Thy divine likeness, and I implore Thee so to inflame me with Thy love, that it may quickly consume me, and that I may soon reach the vision of Thy glorious Face in heaven. Amen.”
Let God arise and His enemies be scattered and let those who hate Him flee before His Holy Face!
Our appearance in public is an eschatological sign..., bringing with it... the obligation to preach the joy and peace of the Gospel, sometimes by word, sometimes in prayer, but always by example and the religious habit. ~ MSSR Constitutions
The witness of religious life, as an intimate living of the life of Christ, is a strong manifestation of the primacy of God and central place of love of God in human life. This witness is manifested first by who we are as consecrated persons, externally by what we wear and how we work, and finally by what we do - our public apostolates.
Our consecration covers the whole of our life - our affections, our possessions, our autonomy. Lived authentically, it mirrors the joy, hope, and love of Christ to the world. Based on a deep relationship with Jesus, the Sister willingly accepts a pattern of life largely laid down for her by the horarium. She wears a distinctive religious garb that makes her immediately identifiable as a representative of Christ and His Church. Her place of residence is chosen for her and is marked by its religious simplicity. Her travel and contact with friends and loved ones is regulated by the norms of the community. In order to more fully identify herself with her Spouse, she practices a certain restraint in forms of relaxation and entertainment, giving up good things for the One Thing Necessary.
As women consecrated to making God's love visible to the world, each Sister strives to cultivate a Mary-like manner. Our manner, the way in which we do what we do, is to be marked by graciousness, human warmth, and the joy of following Christ. These qualities of manner depend on each Sister's continual internal attention to Whom it is she is working for, not on what it is that she does. When He becomes recognizably present in each task she does, the Sister is impelled to offer Him Mary's own heart and dispositions along with her labor.
The Blessing of the Candles
Filled with holy joy. radiant with the mystic light, excited, like the venerable Simeon, by the impulse of the Holy Spirit - the Church goes forth to meet her Emmanuel. The Church wield imitate that wondrous Procession, which was formed in the Temple of Jerusalem the day of Mary's Purification. Let us listen to St. Bernard.
February: The Passion of Our Lord
Prayer of St. Andrew
O Good Cross, made beautiful by the body of the Lord, long have I desired thee, ardently have I loved thee, unceasingly have I sought thee, and now thou art ready for my eager soul. Receive me from among men and restore me to my Master, so that He, Who redeemed me through thee, shalt receive me through thee. Amen.
O Mary, Patroness of the Unborn, pray for us!
"Benedicamus Dominio, alleluia, alleluia!" With this last chant, the word alleluia ceases to pass our lips until Easter. We are now just nine weeks from the commemoration of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of our sweet Savior. The Church will soon be placing these mysteries before our eyes and it is time for us to turn our thoughts to the contemplation of our redemption, so we bid farewell to the alleluia as a word too highly expressive of joy and exultation to be with us during the somber days of Lent.
~ Dom Gueranger
"May the sweet Infant of Bethlehem ever be your happiness and your love, my very dear Mother. Oh I the loveliness of this Little Child! I imagine I see Solomon on his ivory throne, all beautifully gilded and carved, which, as the Scripture tells us, had no equal in all the kingdoms of the earth, neither was there any king that could be compared, for glory and magnificence, with the king that sat upon it. And yet, I would a hundred times rather see the dear Jesus in his Crib, than all the kings of the world on their thrones.
"The first and foremost duty of all religious is to be the contemplation
of divine things and assiduous union with God in prayer." ~ Canon 663
The Catechism tells us that prayer is "both a gift of grace and a determined response on our part" (2725). It is a battle against our fallen inclinations and the temptations of the devil, a battle to remain in the presence of God, Whose countenance is ever turned toward us. Prayer is an essential element of our life - the body does better without oxygen than the soul and apostolate of a consecrated person who goes without prayer. Our desire is to know Jesus Christ Crucified with the depth and intimacy of a spousal relationship, but this type of communion is not established overnight. Rather, it is the result of years of fidelity, fidelity to individual, communal, and liturgical prayer and to living the fruit of that prayer in our apostolate.
Liturgical prayer is at the heart of our life of consecration. We sanctify our day and join with the voice of the Church in praying together Lauds, Vespers, and Compline. These hours are an extension of the Eucharistic Sacrifice in which we are privileged to participate each day. Assisted by the example of our sisters and uniting with the heart of Mary, Mother of the Church, we offer our Divine Lord adoration, intercession, praise, and thanksgiving to intercede for the salvation of the whole world (cf. Canon 1173).
As a community steeped in the traditions of the Church, her sacred music is held especially dear by each of the Sisters. Our communal Office is lovingly chanted each day, and the sacred music of the Church is prayed at each liturgy celebrated in our Convent. Two of our Sisters were blessed to be able to attend Musica Sacra's Winter Sacred Music Workshop for Chant and Sacred Polyphony in New Orleans, LA this month.
In spite of the full conference schedule, the Sisters were able to re-connect with a dear community friend who is a Pastor of the Diocese. As the Sisters were walking one afternoon, a generous guide offered them a free bike tour, enabling them to see some unique parts of New Orleans and feel like real tourists.