There are few things that bring more joy in Community life than sharing in each other's joy. On the feast of Mary, Help of Christians, we collectively entered into the joy of Sister Mary Catherine of Mary, Mother of the Church and Sister Mary Emmanuel of Mary, Cause of Our Joy as they made their first profession of vows.
Our Marian spirituality is expressed primarily in our living of our total consecration to Jesus through Mary, but our Constitutions exhorts also to express our filial devotion in special ways on her feasts. Throughout this month of Mary, the Sisters have taken turns crowning our Lady. In addition to expressing our individual and communal love of our Mother, something of each Sister's personality appears in the crown she makes!
This morning, the bright spring flowers and relics were absent from the altar, the white and gold of the Easter season were muted by the black vestments, and the hauntingly beautiful chants of the Requiem Mass filled the chapel as we united our hearts to the great prayer, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, offered for the repose of the soul of a dear friend.
Our life is centered on the adoration and worship of God through the sacred liturgy, but each month we are given the opportunity to focus personally and as a Community on some aspect in the Church's devotional life. The Sisters look forward with special joy to the month of May to honor our dear Mother Mary and to renew our resolve to acquire her virtues and sweet modesty.
Work was the daily expression of love in the life of the Family of Nazareth.
St. John Paul II, Guardian of the Redeemer
This past Thursday, we gathered with a full Cathedral of faithful to join our Bishop and priests for the annual Chrism Mass.
Our Lady standing under the Cross from the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows in September
Friday in Passiontide is dedicated to remembering the suffering endured by our Blessed Mother for our Redemption. Concerning her role in Redemption, Dom Gueranger writes,
Everything around us urges us to mourn. The images of the saints, the very crucifix on our altar, are veiled from our sight. The Church is oppressed with grief. During the first four weeks of Lent, she compassionated her Jesus fasting in the desert; His coming sufferings and crucifixion and death are what now fill her with anguish. We read in to-day’s Gospel, that the Jews threaten to stone the Son of God as a blasphemer: but His hour is not yet come. He is obliged to flee and hide Himself.
Evangelization with joy becomes beauty in the liturgy, as part of our daily concern to spread goodness. The Church evangelizes and is herself evangelized through the beauty of the liturgy, which is both a celebration of the task of evangelization and the source of her renewed self-giving. - Evangelii Gaudium, 24