This Advent has been a busy and fruitful season for Our Lady of Grace Sodality, an apostolate of the Community for young ladies who desire to deepen their spiritual lives through Marian consecration and service of the Church.
"Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer." Romans 12:12
The Sisters enjoying time with their small group at Ignite Your Torch
As summer draws to a close, all the Sisters embrace God's will in the form of new assignments - the Sister Teachers turn close attention to spiritual and academic preparations for the new souls in their charge this year, the Sister Catechists pray that this year's curriculum paired with their prayerful presence is God's instrument in building and maintaining the spiritual lives of the souls they will encounter, and the Novitiate prepares for changes of duties and new formation classes.
"To Thee be all glory and thanksgiving, Who fillest the earth with Thy manifold mercies."
"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).
"Consecration inevitably implies mission." ~ Essential Elements, 23
By her consecration by public vow, the Marian Sister is free to love Christ and to be totally His. He has chosen her, called her, and consecrated her to Himself, not for her sake alone, but for the sake of all His children. She is wholly dedicated to Him and therefore totally given to His mission of salvation.
The Marian Sister strives to fulfill this mission in a religious manner, imitating Mary's cordiality, graciousness, and joy. We pray that each Sister's profound union with God and sensitivity to the needs of her "children" enables her to communicate the Truth by expressions of Beauty and Goodness that all can understand.
O Mary, most pure and gracious, pray for us!