"Let us pray ... to Our Lord Jesus Christ for these His handmaids .... that He may grant them His Holy Spirit, Who will preserve them in holy resolution of religion, protect their hearts from the hindrances of the world and secular desires, so that, as they undergo an exterior transformation, they may be transformed likewise in spirit by the interior workings of the right hand of the Most High, and that just as they are delivered from all spiritual blindness, so may they be completely filled with the light of eternal grace."
Prayer Before the Investiture of Novices
The month of May is full of feasts and joyous occasions for both Holy Mother Church and for our Marian community, and this final day of the month is no exception. Today, during this particular liturgical year, falls the Feast of Pentecost, but as it is also May 31, the Church celebrates the Visitation (Ordinary Form Calendar) and the Coronation of Mary as Queen and Virgin (Extraordinary Form Calendar). What better day, then, to have the clothing ceremony of our Postulants as they are accepted into the novitiate as Novices of the Marian Sisters of Santa Rosa.
"God our Father gives us the grace to persevere in our resolutions.
Let us pray to Him for these handmaids of His
who are resolved to new their vows today in the presence of the Church."
- Blessing for Renewal of Vows
"Courage, dearest daughter. You are now laid in spirit on the Altar, there to be offered in sacrifice and slain; nay, more, to be consumed as a holocaust in the sight of the living God."
- St. Francis de Sales, Letter to a Novice on the Occasion of her Profession
"The first and foremost duty of all religious is to be the contemplation of divine things and assiduous union with God in prayer." - Code of Canon Law, 663
In the witness of every young, virgin martyr, the religious finds renewed inspiration in how to live her vocation: to love Jesus Christ with an undivided and pure heart, to see Him as the Spouse of her soul, and to give this gift of love completely until death. We see this very example in the life and death of St. Agnes, whose feast we celebrate today. May this young virgin martyr pray for us and help us to live out our spousal union to Jesus Christ, Who has betrothed each of us.
The city of Santa Rosa and the surrounding area is well known for its beautiful parks. There are about 70 parks within a short distance of the convent. When our Lord provides good weather, the sisters sometimes have a chance to stretch their legs and enjoy the marvelous work of the Creator.
Fall is well underway here in Santa Rosa and at Regina Pacis Convent as the golden leaves make quite a contrast with the scattered, blooming flowers. The season began with a postulant project: pumpkin carving - Catholic style. We may be a bit biased, but we think these were the finest carved pumpkins in town! (Who wouldn't want a monstrance with accentuating candelabra for table or fireplace decor?)
If friends are those with whom you spend many pleasant hours, books are some of a Sister’s closest friends - she certainly spends a great deal of time in their company!
"God forbid that I should glory, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom the world is crucified to me, and I to the world." - Galatians 6:14
These words of St. Paul are the words we heard in the Introit of the Mass on September 14 for the Exultation of the Holy Cross, and also today for the Commemoration of the Imprinting of the Holy Stigmata on the Body of St. Francis.
The saying, "When life hands you lemons, make lemonade!" is much more applicable in the convent than one might think.