Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Sacred Heart of Jesus

In this year's Gospel for the Mass of the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, we hear Jesus telling his disciples (and all of us who listen to his words): "Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for your selves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light." (Matthew 11:28-30) The Lord's fundamental call to us is not to do anything difficult, but simply to be with him, to be in his presence and attentive to his will. "Come to me." What a joyful, grace-filled invitation from Jesus to live a life of love and union! He really wants you and me to be with him. Here is an explicit divine call to all humanity. His simple, three-word invitation is the answer to the deepest existential questions and longing of every human heart: to love and to be loved, to know and be known, by the only one who can completely fulfill this yearning. With St. Augustine we can acknowledge: "Lord, our hearts are restless until they rest in you."

Monday, June 27, 2011

Sr. Mary John's Feast Day

On June 25, we celebrated Sr. Mary John's feast day! We began the morning with the traditional feast day song (words written by one of our sisters and set to a familiar tune), and then exchanged the kiss of peace with Sister. 
Sr. Maria Guadalupe greets Sr. Mary John

Then it was time for games and snacks! We've been known to play more active games, like volleyball (indoor or outdoor) but with the extreme heat it seemed best to stick to simple table games.  They were a lot of fun!
Sr. Mary Regina and Sr. Mary Dominic working against the clock...

Sr. Bernadette Marie and Sr. Mary Giuse checking answers!

We enjoyed a delicious dinner in the community room and then had a free afternoon. In the evening, we resumed our celebration with a talent show centered on folk tales. There were Mexican, African and Vietnamese tales--celebrating our diverse community heritage--and other fun things. 

Sr. Mary Agnes started the evening off with a poem about the Word of God. 

Sr. Maria Cabrini entertained and educated us with some of Aesop's fables.

Sr. Mary Christine performed some magic for us!

We wish Sr. Mary John many more happy feast days, both as our Prioress and as our sister!  

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Corpus Christi

St. Thomas Aquinas once wrote on the occasion of Corpus Christi: "O precious and wonderful banquet, that brings us salvation and contains all sweetness! Could anything be of more intrinsic value? Under the old law it was the flesh of calves and goats that was offered, but here Christ himself, the true God, is set before us as our food. What could be more wonderful than this?...In the end no one can fully express the sweetness of this sacrament, in which spiritual delight is tasted at its very source, and in which we renew the memory of that surpassing love for us which Christ revealed in his passion." As cloistered Dominican nuns, we are privileged not only to receive Christ in his most holy Body and Blood every day at Mass, but we also are able to adore his Body every day in our chapel.

Our monstrance and tabernacle

If you are ever in the Lufkin area and want to come pay a visit to Our Lord truly present in the Blessed Sacrament, feel free to stop by our chapel! We have Eucharistic adoration every day from about 8:15 AM (or whenever Mass ends) to about 8 PM. Or, if you can't come to us, consider visiting Our Lord in a chapel near you! Many churches have adoration chapels, and all Catholic churches should have the Blessed Sacrament reserved in a tabernacle. Our Lord is waiting for you!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Blessed be God!

We received a much-needed rain, which put an end to the fire danger in our area (for now). Praise God! We are so thankful! The rain came close to the solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, which is kind of appropriate since in many countries this feast is celebrated by throwing water on people (to remind them of their baptism). 

You can check out our 2010 post on this great solemnity here

Meanwhile, this weekend we'll be celebrating Sr. Mary John's feast day. Her real feast day falls on December 27 (St. John the Evangelist) but that's right in the middle of Christmas celebrations so we generally pick another day to do it when she is prioress. So keep checking back (or consider following to make checking easier) because we hope to have pictures of this happy day sometime next week!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Where There's Smoke...

There is a fire burning out of control not far from Lufkin, basically in Trinity, Polk and Jasper counties. So far, it has not reached us--and we pray it will not--but some of our neighboring communities have had to evacuate.
The sun had a reddish aura because of all the smoke in the air.

What appear to be pine straw ashes were blown into our monastery from the fires!

It looked like black snow coming down. 

We pray for all people affected by the fires and extreme heat during this unusual season. 102 degree temperatures in Lufkin and it's not even summer yet! Please keep us in your prayers, too.

On a more cheerful note, we would like to announce that Sarah Murray (who visited our monastery back in April--see here) won the election and will represent our area on the Lufkin City Council! We are praying for you always, Sarah!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Trinity Sunday

The Trinity. One God, three divine Persons. It's easy to think of the Trinity as simply a New Testament idea, but it's possible to look through the Old Testament and find hidden glimpses of the Trinity as well--the example that immediately comes to mind is in the book of Genesis, where Abraham offered hospitality to three mysterious guests. This event was immortalized in Rublev's famous icon of the Trinity:
But there are other passages, as well. The Trinity has always existed, but had to be revealed gradually in order that people could learn to understand it. And even today we cannot truly comprehend this great mystery! We can only praise and adore the Trinity, and give thanks to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, for their provident care and guidance and love.

Special thanks to all our fathers on Father's Day--our natural fathers, spiritual fathers, all the men who have been like fathers to us, living and deceased--we're praying for you! 

Saturday, June 11, 2011


"When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance...." (Acts 2:1-4) 

Pentecost has become, for Christians, the day we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit and the beginning of the Church. The "tongues of fire" symbolize the action of the Holy Spirit, enlightening the minds of the disciples and helping them to understand what Jesus had taught them--and enabling them to go out and proclaim that teaching to the world. Dominicans even speak of a "Dominican Pentecost" (when St. Dominic sent his first followers out to begin their preaching mission throughout Europe).Today, the Holy Spirit is sending you on a mission as well! It may involve leaving what is familiar to go to the place God is leading you by the Spirit; it may involve staying in the same place but allowing the Spirit to transform your environment and your own point of view. As St. Paul tells us, "There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. To each is individual the manifestation of the Spirit is given for some benefit." (1 Cor. 12:4-7) Pray to the Holy Spirit and ask for the gifts He longs to give you--and thank Him for the gifts He has already bestowed. Then go out on mission and spread the Spirit to the world!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Calendar Fundraiser

You've seen the picture in the upper right hand corner of this blog. Maybe you've clicked on the link to see what it's all about. But maybe you're still wondering...

We've created a beautiful 2012 calendar as a fundraiser for our monastery! For a small donation ($7.00 per calendar, which includes shipping and handling) you can receive one of these calendars AND help support our monastery at the same time. This calendar features photographs from the monastery grounds taken by the sisters and captioned with suitable quotes from the Bible. It's a unique view "inside" the monastery cloister! It makes a great gift--for yourself or someone you love. Please go here to get more information.

Sr. Mary Margaret presents Fr. Dominic Izzo, O.P. with one of our calendars.Thanks for your support, Father!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Ascension of Our Lord

The first reading at Mass, from the Acts of the Apostles, seems particularly appropriate this year, when some awaited the end of the world on May 21 (now moved to October) and others worry that the end will come in 2012, according to the old Mayan calendar. Jesus makes it clear to us here: we don't know, and we won't know, until it actually happens. But the Ascension of Our Lord into heaven is something we can hold on to with hope. The "two men dressed in white garments" told the apostles that Jesus would return, and this promise is meant for us as well. Pope Benedict XVI tells us that it would be wrong to think that the Ascension means "the temporary absence of Christ from the world." Instead, he says, "we go to heaven to the extent that we go to Jesus Christ and enter into him." He has not left us orphans; he is present with us every moment. Alleluia!

One Year Anniversary!

"Dominican Life on Lotus Lane" has been on the web for one year today!

We thank God first and foremost for all the blessings we have received from Him over this past year, and we give special thanks to the many people who have helped us get started on this blog and continue with it--whether with technical expertise, creative advice, or encouragement! Thanks also to all of you who read this blog and especially to those who follow us! You're all in our daily prayers!

Since we started this blog on June 4, we find ourselves under the patronage of St. Peter of Verona, the first canonized Dominican martyr. He was raised a Cathar but converted to Catholicism, joined the Dominican Order, and worked hard to stamp out the Cathar heresy. He was martyred as a result.  
He's commonly depicted with the assassin's blade protruding from his head. As he lay dying, he wrote the word "Credo" in his own blood. He's a powerful intercessor for the Church in general and the Dominican Order in particular. Pray for us, St. Peter of Verona!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

May Crowning

We had our May crowning yesterday evening during our usual May procession and litany.

 The procession

Singing the Litany of Our Lady

Sr. Mary Giuse presents the crown to Sr. Bernadette Marie

The crowning of Our Lady 

We all renewed our consecration to Mary with a special prayer

Sr. Mary Lucy and Sr. Mary John serenaded Our Lady on their violins with a beautiful hymn.