"Totus tuus ego sum et omnia mea tua sunt..."
I am all thine, and all that I have is thine, O most loving Jesus,
through Thy Immaculate Mother and mine!
A few words of wisdom from our Spiritual Father:
"You must expect then to be shaped, cut and chiseled under the hammer of the Cross,
otherwise you would remain unpolished stone, of no value at all, to be disregarded and cast aside.
Do not cause the hammer to recoil when it strikes you. Yield to the chisel that is
carving you and the hand that is shaping you."
"I will arise and put on Christ Jesus Crucified, Whom my soul loves and in Whom my heart rejoices."
~ The first prayer a Marian Sister prays each day
Our holy habit is more than an article of clothing. When a new novice is clothed, Mother assists her to put on the habit, representing her putting on of Christ Jesus Crucified. This habit will be her constant companion throughout her religious life. It is her bridal gown and when she goes to meet her Spouse face-to-face, she will be buried in it. It allows each of Sister's "children" to recognize her as their spiritual mother - even if they have never seen her before or will not see her again in this life. It is the visible sign of her consecration that enables the stranger pumping gas to confide to Sister their terminal diagnosis and ask for prayers, knowing that Sister will carry them in her heart when she speaks to her Divine Spouse.
As Sister fastens the familiar pins each morning, she prays for her own sanctification and perseverance in grace. Her life of consecration is aimed at a more perfect living out of her baptismal promises, so she prays, "Cleanse me, O Lord, and purify my heart that being made white in the blood of the Lamb, I may have the fruition of everlasting joys." Her white habit reminds her throughout the day of her soul's baptismal innocence. The care she takes to keep her habit white reflects the care she has to avoid even the smallest of offenses against her Divine Bridegroom.
The blue scapular calls to mind her total consecration to Jesus through Mary. She slips on the medal of the Immaculate Conception that she wears around her neck as a reminder of this consecration, invoking Our Lady, "O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!" Mary is her model and her Mother, her help in every moment. It is from Mary that she has received her Spouse and through Mary that she will return to Him.
Her habit sets her apart, even from the family she loves with all her heart. She is set apart, not to be cut off from them, but so that she can serve and love them better. Her total gift of self to Christ enables her to love them more purely, not for what she receives from them, but for who they are as souls given by Christ to her care. She carries them, along with all her other spiritual children, before her Bridegroom each day, imploring for them His grace and protection, and asking for their eternal salvation.
"Why do you look so beautiful?" a little girl asked Sister. The little one wasn't taken by Sister's flawless external beauty (she doesn't "measure up" to society's elusive beauty standard). This child's innocence was captivated by Sister being a faithful reflection of her Spouse. 'Tis a beauty that can bear the heat of the day and the daily cross. The faithful company of these trials enhances her beauty because they increase in her the supernatural life of her Spouse. She prays daily, "O Lord, Who hast said 'My yoke is easy and My burden is light,' make me so able to bear it that I may obtain Thy favor."
As she slips on her shoes - plain, sturdy shoes that have seen many miles in the Lord's service, shoes that have hastened to the aid of a Sister in need, carried Sister in the service of her children, supported her during her hours of prayer, and been gratefully slipped off at the end of the day - the Sister prays, "O Lord, teach me to walk in Thy footprints and preserve me from stumbling; guide my steps in the way of salvation. May Thy holy angel direct and guard me. Not according to my own will, but purely in obedience, I will take every step." Kissing her simple ring as a renewal of her vows, Sister leaves her cell, her heart hastening to her Beloved waiting in the chapel, her will fixed on doing His will in each moment of the day.
"My heart is ready, O God, my heart is ready!
"I come to do Thy will, O Lord!"
"Mary, my Mother, keep me faithful unto death!"
As an emerging community, the Sisters are frequently given the opportunity to participate in "firsts" - the first clothing of novices and the first Mass in our new convent being just two of the more important of the "firsts". This Holy Thursday marked another "first" for our community: the first Procession of our Lord to the conventual Altar of Repose. We have never before had enough space to make a real Altar of Repose and so delighted in our ability to offer Him this small act of loving adoration.
The Appearance of Christ to Mary Magdalene By Alexander Ivanov
Mane nobiscum, Domine!
Stay with us, Lord! (cf. Lk 24:29)
With these words, the disciples on the road to Emmaus invited the mysterious Wayfarer to stay with them, as the sun was setting on that first day of the week when the incredible had occurred.
According to his promise, Christ had risen; but they did not yet know this. Nevertheless, the words spoken by the Wayfarer along the road made their hearts burn within them. So they said to him: "Stay with us".
Seated around the supper table, they recognized him in the "breaking of bread" - and suddenly he vanished. There remained in front of them the broken bread, There echoed in their hearts the gentle sound of his words.
Living Word of the Father, give hope and trust to all who are searching for the true meaning of their lives. Bread of eternal life, nourish those who hunger for truth, freedom, justice and peace.
Stay with us, Living Word of the Father,
and teach us words and deeds of peace: peace for our world consecrated by your blood and drenched in the blood of so many innocent victims: peace for the countries of the Middle East and Africa, where so much blood continues to be shed; peace for all of humanity, still threatened by fratricidal wars.
URBI ET ORBI MESSAGE OF SAINT POPE JOHN PAUL II
Easter Sunday, 27 March 2005
SAINT JOHN PAUL II, PRAY FOR US!
"I arose and am still with you..."
Benediction following the Easter Sunday Mass