The psalms, according to Fr. Garrigou-LaGrange, are a school of contemplation, of self-oblation, and of holiness. These fruits grow and flourish when the psalmody prayed has both body - harmoniously arranged structure bringing the tranquility of order - and soul, the interior devotion rising toward God like a flame. The very parallelism of the psalms when chanted or prayed in the tradition of the Church, two or three phrases punctuated with a pause in the middle, gives a natural body to the prayer. This harmonious body is disrupted by undue haste, depriving the spirit its ability to rest in God. Our community takes great care to preserve this body in our prayer so that soul may flourish.
"The Liturgy of the Hours... was seen as a kind of necessary complement to the fullness of divine worship that is contained in the Eucharistic sacrifice, by means of which that worship might overflow to reach all the hours of daily life."
- Apostolic Constitution promulgating the Liturgy of the Hours
Each day, the community gathers to pray the Liturgy of the Hours, the prayer of the Church. In keeping with the Church's emphasis on Lauds and Vespers as the principle Hours and in accord with our manner of life as contemplative-active religious, we pray with loving care the Hours of Lauds, Vespers, and Compline.
As a community, we take Saint Joseph, Most Pure, Most Obedient, and Most Patient, the Protector of the Virgin, as our Model and Protector. To his intercession we entrust our temporal needs. To him we commend our vocations, both relying on his care for perseverance in our vocations and for his guidance of those who will join us. During his month, we turn to him in thanksgiving for all the graces he has obtained for us and beseech him to intercede for us in our need. It is our custom to pray to him each day as we begin our daily labors, using this prayer:
Let God arise and His enemies be scattered and let those who hate Him flee before His Holy Face!
February: The Passion of Our Lord
"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).
O Clavis David... O Key of David, come and lead us out of darkness!
Our good Bishop presided over Solemn Vespers at the Cathedral of St. Eugene on December 20, the fourth day of the O Antiphons in preparation for the Solemnity of the Nativity of the Lord. Our Chaplain, Father Keyes directed the Men's Scola in leading the congregation in chanting Vespers. The Liturgy of the Hours is the prayer of the Church, the very voice of the Bride speaking to the Bridegroom, and it was a honor to enter into this dialogue with such solemnity and beauty.
Bishop's Reflection on the O Antiphons
"And then we conclude, O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, O Emmanuel, Come! Come be God in our midst. And then, the day after, we rejoice in the completion, a response by God on high, sending Him Whom we have called upon to come for the previous seven days. When we do that in this more formal, liturgical rite, we lend dignity, we lend a seriousness to the completion of our Advent preparation, and we lend ourselves to kindling in our hearts this eagerness for a response to our prayer "O come! Come! Come to Thy people, O come, Lord, come Emmanual!"
Grant, we pray, almighty God, that your faithful, who rejoice under the patronage of the most holy Virgin Mary, may be freed from all evils on earth and merit the attainment of eternal joys in heaven...
December 9, 2017 marked a momentous day in the life of the Diocese of Santa Rosa. In honor of the centenary of the apparitions of Our Lady at Fatima and as a re-affirmation of the Marian dedication made in 1983, our good Bishop consecrated the Diocese of Santa Rosa to the Immaculate Heart of Mary during an hour of prayer at the Cathedral. The Sisters were privileged to attend and join in praying for our Lady's loving protection for our Diocese.
"My dear people...
Act of Consecration
O Mary, Virgin most powerful and Mother of Mercy, Queen of Heaven and Refuge of sinners: We representing your Catholic people of the Diocese of Santa Rosa, consecrate ourselves to your Immaculate Heart. We consecrate to you our very being and our whole life; all that we have, all that we love, all that we are. To thee do we give our homes, our families, our Diocese and our country. We desire that all that is in us and around us may belong to you and that we may share in the benefits of your motherly blessing. Holy Mary, bring help to the miserable, strength to those who mourn. Plead the cause of the clergy, intercede for devout women and men. May all who pay homage to your Holy Name experience your powerful help. We fly to your patronage, O Holy Mother of God; despise not our petitions in our necessities but deliver us always from all dangers, O glorious and Blessed Virgin Mary. Amen.