On Thursday, July 30th, 2015, the Sisters will have the pleasure of attending a small portion of the Napa Institute, a conference of amazing Catholic speakers, great fellowship, interesting Catholic institutions and vendors, as well as beautifully celebrated Holy Masses. Among our agenda for this Napa Institute will be to hear a lecture by Scott Hahn and attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass celebrated by our own Bishop Robert Vasa. The Napa Institute has always proved to be a wonderful event.
Please pray for the spiritual success of the Napa Institute. All for the greater glory of God and the salvation of souls!
Today, some of our Sisters will be heading off on a little journey. As is the custom in our community, we prayed the Itinarium (also known as the Office of Travelers). It is a beautiful Office and once prayed, one certainly feels spiritually prepared for a journey! While it is a little too long have the full Office for the Itinarium in this post, here are a few excerpts:
The Office begins by our Superior intoning the opening antiphon:
Into the way of peace and prosperity direct In viam pacis et prosperitatis dirigat nos omnipotens us, O almighty and merciful God; and may the et misericors Dominus: et Angelus Raphael Angel Raphael accompany us in the way, and comitetur nobiscum in via, it cum pace, salute et may we return in peace, health and joy unto our gaudio revertamur ad propria.
Antiphon: Into the way...
After the Benedictus, we chanted the Kyrie Eleison and many beautiful versicles and responses such as:
V. May the God of our salvation give us a prosperous journey.
R. Show us Thy ways, O Lord.
V. O that our ways were directed.
R. To keep Thy just statutes.
V. The crooked ways shall be made straight.
R. And the rough ways made plain.
V. God shall give His Angels charge concerning Thee.
R. That they may keep thee in all thy ways.
After the versicles, there are four amazing prayers, such as:
Hearken, we beseech Thee, O Lord, to our supplications, and dispose the way of Thy salvation; that among all the mishaps of the journey and of this life, we may ever be defended by Thy help.
Finally, our Superior closes the Office by intoning:
Procedamus in pace. (Let us proceed in peace)
To which we responded:
In nomine Domini. (In the name of the Lord)
"All that the Son asks of the Father is granted Him. All that the Mother asks of the Son is in like manner granted to her. When we have handled something fragrant, our hands perfume whatever they touch: let our prayers pass through the hands of the Holy Virgin; she will perfume them."
Formal, communal prayer is an important part of the life of a Sister. It is also, to be honest, a real joy. In these times of praying the Divine Office, adoring Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, praying the Holy Rosary, and attending the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass together, we grow in love for Jesus and are prepared for the coming day. We are like Our Lady at the Annunciation - open to the workings of the Holy Spirit and inviting Jesus to come to us. We, with the Blessed Mother's help, can offer our own little fiat for that day. The times of personal prayer, especially visits to the Blessed Sacrament, help foster and deepen what was planted in times of communal prayer (and vice versa).
Our life is not just spent in the chapel, although we keep the chapel in our hearts in all we do. Like Our Lady in the Visitation, who after receiving the Word into her womb went out in charity to her cousin Elizabeth, we go out to our duties for the day. Whether it is out teaching in the schools or laboring in the cathedral sacristy or at home cooking, cleaning, and gardening, we strive to live the spirit of the Visitation. We come together several times in the day for prayer as well as meals and time for recreation. All of these activities, flowing from our times of communal and personal prayer, make our whole day a prayer.