Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter Eggs

We love birds! Since we have no pets to bother them, many birds have come to live in the forest around our Monastery. We really enjoy watching them and listening to their beautiful songs (except when they keep us up at night!). We put out bird seed and hummingbird nectar at the appropriate seasons. However, sometimes they can be a little troublesome...especially to our Sister Sacristan, who has been cultivating some flowers in pots for the Easter chapel decorations. Some birds think these flower pots would make fine places for a nest! So she has been carefully removing the nests (they didn't have eggs yet) as a gentle suggestion to the birds to build nests elsewhere. Some of the birds took her advice to heart! One day, when Sister went into the garage to get the watering can, she found a surprise...

Was it just a random collection of pine needles and branches? No, it was a nest!! 

And there are (as you see) several eggs in it! Our own monastic version of an egg hunt (only we didn't take anything but a picture!). 

We showed Sister several pictures of birds that frequent the Monastery...when she saw the House Wren, she exclaimed, "Yes, those are the birds!"  

We couldn't help but wonder at the ingenuity of the little birds...and their persistence. Isn't it true that sometimes we arrange our own little "nests" in what seems to be a perfect spot, only to have God come along and clear it out? Instead of sitting around bemoaning their lost nest, the birds simply went looking for another place to build. In the same way, perhaps we should listen to God when he encourages us to "build a nest" somewhere else. The most unexpected place may be the best location for new life! 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Raffle Drawing 2014

Easter Sunday was the day we held our raffle drawing! This year the weather was fine and so we all headed over to the laundry building to put all the tickets (literally thousands of them) in the big dryer so they would be really mixed up!

Sister set the dryer going...

Sr. Maria Guadalupe, our prioress, draws a ticket! Notice she's not looking--we try to play fair!

Sr. Mary Christine reading a name...

Sr. Mary Dominic identifies another lucky winner...

...as does Sr. Irma...

...and Sr. Mary Rose!

You might think Sr. Mary Thomas knows the person on the ticket she just drew, but actually she's just happy because it's Easter! 

All the sisters were pleased with the results of the raffle...the response, the winners (some well known to us, some we hope to know better in the future), the drawing, everything. Some of you who entered may be receiving a call soon! We are so grateful for all the love and support we have received from our raffle. May God bless you all abundantly and give you all the graces you need and desire! And of course we are grateful for everyone who supports our life in any way. May the blessing of the Risen Christ be upon you all! Alleluia!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Triduum Schedule 2014

Our schedule for weekday Masses will be the same as usual (7:20 AM) Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. There will be no morning Mass on Thursday--just the evening Mass. We will be in retreat Thursday-Saturday so we hope this will help anyone who is interested: 

Holy Thursday Mass: 7:15 PM 

Good Friday Liturgy: 3:00 PM

Holy Saturday, Easter Vigil: 9:00 PM

Easter Sunday Mass: 10:15 AM

If you're in the Lufkin area, we invite you to join us as we celebrate this sacred time of the year. If you're not, we hope you will attend services at a church in your area! 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Palm Sunday, 2014

Knowing that his hour had come, when he would make the solemn sacrifice of his life for us, Jesus asked for a donkey on which to ride into the city of Jerusalem. 

In ancient times donkeys were used in battle, but later, when the horse took over this function, the donkey was used only in peaceful pursuits; hence, the symbolism of a king mounted on a donkey as a prince of peace. The rich possessed herds of donkeys, but every Israelite farmer was presumed to have at least one (cf. Ex. 20:17). 

Many of the crowd that greeted Jesus had witnessed the miracle of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead after being in the tomb four days: "Only a man of God could do such a thing!" Songs of joy rang out as the people sang: "Hosanna to the son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"--the King of Israel, the Messiah King!

Recognizing Jesus as King means accepting him as the one sent from God who shows us the way; the one in whom we can trust and follow. It means accepting him day after day as a valid criterion for living life, the one to whom we could submit because his authority is one of truth. 

The procession of the palms is primarily an expression of joy. Today, as in the time of Jesus, it gives us an opportunity to acknowledge Jesus as our Lord and Messiah King and to say "Yes" to him who invites us to follow him. Let us ask for the grace to follow Jesus. It will mean taking up our cross each day and laying down our life for the glory of God and the good of our neighbor--that is, forgetting myself, that I might give of myself in love. I can do this because he has first loved me.