"He whom the Virgin bore is acknowledged today by the whole world ... Today is the glorious Feast of His Manifestation." - Roman Breviary
The Twelve Days of Christmas comes to a close with one of the greatest feasts in the Church's liturgical year: Epiphany. On this feast, we celebrate God manifesting Himself, in the person of Jesus Christ, as a humble little child to the Gentiles.
We mentioned in a previous post the great aid spiritual reading is to the religious in her consecrated life. In thanksgiving for these treasures and in keeping with our charism of "magnifying Jesus Christ by communicating the Beauty, Goodness, and Truth," in the coming months, we wish to share with you the gold mines contained within the pages of our library books!
We can well understand the predilection of the Man-God for this soul, whose repentance from such a depth of misery manifested so fully, from the outset, the success of his mission, the defeat of Satan, and the triumph of Divine love. ... When the very Apostles, including John the beloved, were looking for honors and first places, she was the first to come to Jesus for himself alone, and not for his gifts.
A "flock" of Sisters out and about together inevitably results in stares, not-so-discrete-pictures, videos, and requests for prayers. Add to the group a priest in cassock and zucchetto, and the interest is magnified. Recently, a number of the Sisters went to visit our Chaplain's new assignment, the Newman Center at Sonoma State University. Occasions such as walking through a secular college campus in habit cause our own attention to this expression of our life of consecration to be heightened. It gives an opportunity to reflect more deeply on what the habit means and why we wear it.
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.