Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Life with the Cloistered Domincan Nuns

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Time for Everything...

We've been doing some spring cleaning around the grounds recently...clearing out a lot of old stuff from our storage barns, re-potting plants and the like.  Like most nuns (and most people, too!) we tend to collect things we might need "someday" and at times we need to assess the situation, sort through the items, and give away or throw away what we don't really need while learning to appreciate the treasures we already have. It's an especially good practice for Lent, a time when we try to discern what needs to go and what can stay, both in our physical and in our spiritual lives!

This vase looks like a keeper!

Sr. Mary Gabriel and Sr. Mary Margaret work to save a fern

Trimming and adding dirt...

 Sr. Mary Thomas and Sr. Mary Jeremiah admire the newly cleaned barn!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Solemnity of the Annunciation, 2012

For this beautiful feast, we would like to share a meditation written by Sr. Mary Dominic and given at our Solemn Chapter on March 24!

When we think of the Annunciation, perhaps most of us call to mind the delicate brush of Blessed Fra Angelico, the artist. The Angel with colorful wings...and the innocent Mary--meekness filling her eyes and arms crossed in the form of humility. She questions the angel who appears to her in radiant light, "How can this be done since I have not known man?" She knows that the Lord is all-powerful, that he is sovereign over creation, she does not question in the spirit of doubt. The question comes instead from the fullness of her faith. She seeks to understand God's meaning, to know how this will be possible. Perhaps she thinks of St. Joseph and their betrothal. The angel responds to Mary's question; he tells her that the birth will come through the Holy Spirit. "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God." (Luke 1:35) But what does it mean to overshadow? It may remind us of the Holy Wind, the Ruah that swept over the face of the deep at the creation of the world. Or the breath that swept across the face of Adam: "The Lord God formed man out of the clay of the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and so man became a living being." (Genesis 2:7) St. Paul explicitly ascribes to the Spirit the power of resurrection (cf. Romans 8:11). And there is the story of the dry bones in Ezekiel's wasteland--also a prefigurement of the resurrection--written in spirals of dust and sand. (Ezekiel 37:3-5)

There are few words in the Scriptures regarding our Blessed Mother. She remains obscure and delicately veiled in the archives of her secret union with God. She all but disappears in the cast of characters that the New Testament brings forth. Yet that is the strength of the Blessed Mother. God finds her in her littleness, her smallness, in the pondering of her heart and in the quiet fervor of her love. Her power is made perfect in weakness.

 In considering the words of the Lord, did Mary perhaps look back on her people's history? Before her irrevocable "Yes", did she remember Esther standing before King Ahasuerus, providing the means to save her people from annihilation through the strength of her words--her "yes" in obedience to God's grace?

And so, she faith offering her life to God by the words, "Be it done unto me according to Thy will..." (Luke 1:38) Like her, we are asked to say the same. To give our consent to the will of God even though we may not know every ramification that is asked of us.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Laetare Sunday

This is Laetare Sunday, the 4th Sunday of Lent. We're halfway to Easter!

On this Sunday (and on Gaudete Sunday, the third Sunday of Advent) the priest has the option of wearing rose-colored vestments (as you see the Pope wearing below).

This Sunday is called "Laetare" from the incipit of the introit of the Mass: Laetare, Jerusalem (Rejoice, Jerusalem). 

Today in our chapel, we heard the readings for the Fourth Sunday of Lent, Year B, which include this beautiful passage from the Gospel of John: "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him." These are definitely words to make us rejoice today!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Lord remembers his covenant forever!

A weapon against the flood waters stored on high, lighting up the firmament by its brilliance, 
Behold the rainbow! Then bless its Maker, for majestic indeed is its splendor; 
It spans the heavens with its glory, this bow bent by the mighty hand of God.
Sirach 43:11-12

We had a tremendous amount of rain this weekend (thank you, God!) which helped our drought-stricken area, and on Sunday afternoon the sun began to come out. We went outside and there was this beautiful double rainbow in the sky over our monastery! It was like a gentle reminder from God that he is still taking care of us. Truly, "the favors of the Lord are not exhausted, his mercies are not spent. They are renewed each day, so great is his faithfulness." (Lamentations 3:22-23) May his name be praised forever!

Friday, March 2, 2012

From The Heart of Texas

Today we celebrate Texas Independence Day...well, we observe it, anyway, since this is a Friday in Lent!

February was quite a month for our community, and we are so grateful to everyone who wrote, commented, called, visited, and prayed for our departed sisters and for us and with us. We cherish the hope that one day we will all be reunited in Heaven, God willing.

Check out our other Texas posts:

Some Texas History from a Catholic Point of View

The Patron Saint of Texas