Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas at the Monastery

We had a beautiful and grace-filled Christmas--hope you did, too! We have many more pictures of our Christmas decorations on our website, which can be reached here. They are on our Photos page. 
We are praying for a blessed New Year 2011 for everyone!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

The angel said to them, "Be not afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For to you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests." 
(Luke 2:10-14)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

O Antiphons, Day 7: O Emmanuel

O Emmanuel, 
king and lawgiver,
desire of the nations, 
Savior of all people, 
come and set us free, O Lord our God.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

O Antiphons, Day 6: O Rex Gentium

O King of all the nations,
the only joy of every human heart; 
O Keystone of the mighty arch of man, 
come and save the creature you fashioned from the dust.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

O Antiphons, Day 5: O Oriens

O Radiant Dawn, 
splendor of eternal light, 
sun of justice:
come, shine on those who dwell in darkness
and the shadow of death.

Monday, December 20, 2010

O Antiphons, Day 4: O Clavis David

O Key of David, 
O royal Power of Israel controlling at your will the gate of heaven: 
come, break down the prison walls of death 
for those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death; 
and lead your captive people into freedom.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

O Antiphons, Day 3: O Radix Jesse

O Flower of Jesse's stem, 
you have been raised up as a sign for all peoples; 
kings stand silent in your presence;
the nations bow down in worship before you.
Come, let nothing keep you from coming to our aid.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Fourth Sunday of Advent

...Behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the Holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her..." When Joseph awoke, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him and took his wife into his home. 
(Matthew 1:20, 24)

St. Joseph was determined to divorce Mary quietly when he had the first of several dreams recorded in St. Matthew's Gospel. Like his Old Testament counterpart, Joseph is a dreamer! The main point is that Joseph took the dream seriously as a message from God. He changed his mind completely and accepted Mary (and her unborn Son) into his home and into his heart. Joseph is the first person to welcome Jesus and Mary into his life. May we all do the same this Christmas season and every day of our lives!

The Matachines Visit Our Monastery

Last night, we were treated to a delightful performance by the matachines from St. Patrick's Church here in Lufkin, TX. Only a video would really do them justice, but we did get a few pictures: 

Matachines are Mexican religious dancers who perform their lively steps in honor of God. They also have a deep devotion to a particular saint or to our Lady (especially our Lady of Guadalupe, as you can see here.) Their instruments and costumes are blessed by a priest.  Although they perform throughout the year, they are especially called upon during Advent, and no celebration of the feast of our Lady of Guadalupe is complete without the matachines! They dance to the accompaniment of the drum and maracas, as well as a percussion instrument shaped like a bow and arrow. As you can see in the pictures, they performed for us in our chapel, and it called to mind David dancing before the Lord! Thank you so much for enriching our Advent in this way!

O Antiphons, Day 2: O Adonai

O Sacred Lord of ancient Israel, 
who showed yourself to Moses in the burning bush,
who gave him the holy law on Sinai mountain: 
come, stretch out your mighty hand to set us free. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

O Antiphons, Day 1: O Sapientia

O Wisdom, 
O holy Word of God, 
you govern all creation with your strong yet tender care, 
Come and show your people the way to salvation. 

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Third Sunday of Advent

"The desert and the parched land will exult; the steppe will rejoice and bloom. They will bloom with abundant flowers, and rejoice with joyful song. The glory of Lebanon will be given to them, the splendor of Carmel and Sharon; they will see the glory of the Lord, the splendor of our God." 
(Isaiah 35:1-6a)

The Third Sunday of Advent is often called "Gaudete Sunday" because the first word of the entrance antiphon for this Mass is "Rejoice" ("Gaudete" in Latin). It would be the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe if it were not a Sunday in Advent, so there are multiple reasons for rejoicing today. It is also a day in which the Mass readings speak to us of patience. Isaiah's beautiful vision given above is a future event, not a commentary on the present time. The passage from the letter of James is even more specific, giving particular directions on how to wait in patience for the coming of the Lord.  Although we are halfway through Advent, it is hard to wait in patience for Christmas.  Still, we rejoice today, knowing that Jesus has come into our world as our Savior, knowing that He will come again in glory on the last day. Until that great day, we wait patiently!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception

Today is the feast of the Immaculate Conception of Mary--not the conception of Jesus, but of Mary herself, conceived just as we all are but without original sin.  
"The feast of our Lady's Immaculate Conception is the promise and the earnest of Christmas Day; our salvation is already in the bud. As the first green shoot heralds the approach of spring, in a world that is frost-bound and seems dead, so in a world of great sinfulness and of utter despair that spotless conception heralds the restoration of man's innocence. As the shoot gives unfailing promise of the flower which is to spring from it, the Immaculate Conception gives unfailing promise of the Virgin Birth." --Msgr. Ronald A. Knox

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Second Sunday of Advent

John the Baptist appeared, preaching in the desert of Judea and saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" (Matthew 3:1)

This second Sunday of Advent begins a focus on St. John the Baptist as the Forerunner. His purpose is to call people to repentance before the coming of Jesus Christ. That's his complete responsibility! Simply to point out the way to Christ and call people's attention to the fact that He is coming. It's the people's responsibility to hear his word and act on it, changing their lives for the better through repentance.  John is a great model of the humility we all need as we continue our journey through this Advent season. For--who knows?--God may be calling you to point the way of the Lord to someone, to many people, perhaps without even realizing it.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Christmas Letter Time!

It's time for our annual Christmas letter to go out! Our Christmas letter--like all our mailings--is still done "in house" (except for the printing). It is designed and then readied for mailing entirely by nuns. As usual, the entire community pitched in to get the work done quickly. Many hands DO make light work!

We tried a new method of sealing this year, using stickers instead of envelopes. 

Working hard...

...and enjoying each other's company!

If you are not currently receiving our mailings, including our newsletter, "Monastery Bells",  please consider doing so! It's free!  Just send us an email with your "snail mail" address, and we will put you on our list. Our next mailing will probably be in February!
(NOTE: we do not give out the names and addresses of people on our mailing list to anyone. This information is used only for mailing our newsletters.)