The Visitation: Supporting the vocations of one another

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Can you see the heart?

Can you see the heart?

Each one of us has a vocation, or calling,“to an intimate relationship of love” – Saint John Paul II

“At the root of every vocational journey there is the Emmanuel, the God-with-us. He shows us that we are not alone in fashioning our lives, because God walks with us in the midst of our ups-and-downs, and, if we want him to, he weaves with each of us a marvelous tale of love, unique and irreproducible, and at the same time, in harmony with all humanity and the entire cosmos.” – Saint John Paul II

Saint Francis de Sales advises us to “walk always near to God, for the gentleness of His shadow is more healthy than the brightness of the sun.”

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Prayer and Vocation Discernment

Discerning your vocation can be an intimidating task, but it should not be a frightening one – it should really be exciting, because to discern your vocation is the first small step in the great journey of uncovering the mystery of God’s will in your life. And it is a journey well worth the effort! As St. Augustine said, “to fall in love with God is the greatest

University of Maryland Students Visit our St. Jane de Chantal Gallery Community

University of Maryland Students Visit our St. Jane de Chantal Gallery Community

romance; to seek him the greatest adventure; to find him, the greatest human achievement.” The journey of discovering your call is not always easy, but it is always joyful, because to find and follow God’s call is nothing other than to learn the way God wants to love you. It is God’s desire to romance every human heart, and discerning your vocation is a matter of sifting out how He is asking you to let Him love you.
Before we can understand what God is asking of us, we must learn to speak His language, and that language is prayer. It is a part of every vocation to love God more every day,

Listening to His Voice

Listening to His Voice

regardless of whether or not you are called to religious life, so it is essential to develop an intimate relationship with the Lord in prayer. It is in the silence of prayer that God reveals His love for us, that He consoles us in our confusion, and that He shows us who we are in Him.
It is also here that the true desires of our hearts are revealed. A wonderful way to pray while discerning is to ask the Lord to make His desires your desires. Prayer keeps us focused on Christ, the one who calls, and this sacred time with Him disposes us to answer His call. This being said, it is clear that there can be no discernment of God’s call without a faithful life of prayer.
From a generous life of prayer ordinarily comes a desire to share the love of God received in prayer. Service is a normal part of any Christian life, so you should seek to find formal and informal ways to serve the people in your life. A life of prayer should never tend

Hannah and Elisa on a "Come and See Visit" from the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va.

Hannah and Elisa on a “Come and See Visit” from the College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, Va.

towards being self-focused or self-serving, but rather should always result in self-donation. Additionally, one of the best indications of growth in the spiritual life is the evidence of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Ask yourself, “Am I growing in patience, gentleness, self-control, peace? Am I joyful, loving, and forbearing with those whom I live with? Is my life characterized by goodness and faithfulness?” Such questioning is always challenging, but should be marked by a sense of the Lord’s presence and love.
A great help in the life of prayer and service is a spiritual director. Such a person can help to “read the signs” that God gives you in your life and to know how to respond fittingly. Also, as you grow in self-knowledge and awareness, you will probably realize that there are areas in your life in need of conversion or of healing. Take these promptings of the Holy Spirit and the advice of trusted priests or advisers seriously – we are only able to give ourselves freely to God and the world in any vocation if first we reach a certain level of wholeness. While it is part of the human condition always to be broken and needy, community life demands a healthy emotional and psychological makeup and resilience. It is crucial to take the time and energy necessary to seek out appropriate avenues for healing in order to be ready to give ourselves wholly to God.
Above all, discernment should not be fearful, anxious, or nerve-wrecking. God only desires to love you and to teach you how best to share in His life. Do not fear the Lord! He longs for your true happiness and has more in store for you than you could ever ask or imagine. If Christ is calling you to be His alone, to follow Him in poverty, chastity, and obedience, you will uncover in your heart a corresponding desire to be united with Him in the special bond of religious consecration. So cast out into the deep! You will find that what seems like a stormy sea is nothing but the abyss of God’s merciful love.

In prayer we speak to God heart to heart, and what passes between us can be shared with no one else.   St. Francis de Sales

GOD BE PRAISED !

 

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A Lenten Grace

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PRAYER, FASTING, WORKS OF LOVE

PRAYER, FASTING, WORKS OF LOVE

Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, falls on March 5 this year. Lived well, Lent can convert our hearts and transform our lives. We invite you to join us on a Salesian Lenten journey of conversion.

The whole point of this season of grace is to ready us for the miracle of Easter. Self-examination, repentance and reconciliation are rarely painless, but they are wholesome ways to measure our spiritual health. So as we start this year’s Lenten journey a few simple questions and answers might help us on our way:

Is forgiveness a two- way street?

Jesus forgave his murderers even as they mocked him while he hung on the Cross. What a beautiful gift to us was his free gift of forgiveness with no strings attached. We must pray for this same gift of unlimited forgiveness to those who might have hurt us.

JESUS, OUR SAVIOR AND REDEEMER

JESUS, OUR SAVIOR AND REDEEMER

Reconciliation is the work of God. Seeking reconciliation is our work. We need to do whatever we can to make peace with others, and then leave the rest in the hands of God.

Forgiveness is closely aligned with justice and is clearly an act of freedom. Perhaps its greatest gift is that it frees us from our wounded self – centeredness and also offers others opportunities for forgiveness.

God’s plan is that we achieve justice through the practice of mercy. Mercy changes both the giver and the receiver, it softens the hardened heart . That’s why Scripture so often likens mercy to water in a desert, it brings new life. It encourages conversion and love, which breed acts of justice, which build peace. Our Holy Father Pope Francis has chosen a spirit of mercy as the basic mark of his pontificate and his actions on behalf of others.

Isn’t Easter the season of new life? 

We owe ourselves exactly the same mercy we offer to others. Lent is the time when we learn the language of repentance and forgiveness by disciplining our mind, our spirit and

SPIRITUAL READING

SPIRITUAL READING

our appetites, so that nothing prevents us from hearing God’s voice and seeking him out. The joy in Lent comes from our Confidence in the resurrection of a Savior who will deliver us from sin and restore us to new life.

In the silence of our own hearts, we know we hunger for something greater than ourselves and our self-interests. We seek a tangible sense of God’s presence in our hearts. All things are made new in the victory of Jesus Christ – even sinners like you and me. The blood and water that flowed from the Heart of Jesus on the Cross washes away our sins. It purifies us so we may become vessels of God’s life-giving grace. The Resurrection fills our minds and hearts with God’s own life.

Lent, therefore, is an opportunity and a grace, not a burden. May we use the weeks of Lent this year to ready our hearts so we can receive Jesus Christ this Easter with incredible joy and carry this joy to others as we share the wonders of Jesus’ abiding love. A blessed and grace filled Lent to each of you !

“Plant in your heart Jesus Christ Crucified and all the crosses of this world will seem like roses to you. ”  St. Francis de Sales

GOD BE PRAISED !

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Feast of Saint Francis de Sales

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THE FOUNDING OF OUR ORDER IN 1610

THE FOUNDING OF OUR ORDER

Today all Visitation Sisters throughout the world unite in prayer, heart and spirit to celebrate the feast of our Holy Father, Saint Francis de Sales. Although Francis entered eternal life on December 28, 1622 while at our Monastery in Lyon, France, his feast day is celebrated on January 24, for on this day in 1623 his body was moved from Lyon to Annecy to be reunited with Saint Jane de Chantal with whom he founded our beloved Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary.

Francis de Sales is greatly admired as a spiritual guide, man of faith and wisdom, preacher of truth, and Doctor of the Church.  However, Francis is mostly loved and known as the “Gentle Saint”. In an Advent reflection, Bishop Robert Morneau, speaks of “God’s Smile” ………. “a smile is a type of incarnation wherein the affection and joy in our hearts take on visibility”.  He goes on to say that “Jesus is God’s smile, Jesus is the Word Made Flesh, giving visibility to the fullness of God’s truth and love”.

Can we not say of Francis de Sales, that he was the “smile of Jesus”, the “gentle saint” calling us to “Live Jesus” in the little virtues he so encouraged and lived himself?  The “gentle saint”, whose smile of Jesus came alive in his expressions of kindness, patience, understanding, joy, peace and love, is an inspiring example for each one of us. Francis knew how to touch the hearts of all who came to him for guidance or simply to listen to his words of love for God, overflowing into his love for others.

JOY AND WISDOM SMILE !

JOY AND WISDOM SMILE !

There are many things we can say about Francis de Sales , but, perhaps, on this day we can best reflect on how he loved life and all the gifts of God in nature and people. Francis possessed the gift of making people joyful and confident as he led them to God. In His writings he reflects on the lessons we can learn from creation and from each other in the ordinary living and encounters of each day. Wherever he went Francis, in his gentle manner, brought peace and unity into the hearts and lives of others.

Our charism , a truly invaluable gift offered to us by our Holy Founders, is “profound humility toward God and great gentleness toward our neighbor”. Today as we unite in prayer, thought and heart , let us “incarnate” our love and all the little virtues of our treasured spirituality with none other than a simple “ SMILE”!

A SMILING DAY FOR KERI !

A SMILING DAY FOR KERI !

Our Saint Jane de Chantal Gallery Community has a special reason to smile today !  Keri Cole has moved forward in another step in our discernment program. On this Feast of our Holy Father, Saint Francis de Sales, she has become a Pre–Postulant. This is another stage of preparation before she becomes a Postulant in July, after the official commissioning of our developing community at our Federation Assembly. Let us give praise and thanks to God for her witness, trust and openness to this loving call of God in her journey of life.

We do not very often come across opportunities for exercising strength, magnanimity, or magnificence; but gentleness, patience, kindness and humility are graces which ought to color everything we do.”  Saint Francis de Sales

GOD BE PRAISED !

 

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The Word Made Flesh

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Over the past weeks of Advent, our reflections have invited us to travel along the road with Mary, the Virgin Mother of the Word Made Flesh. In the prayer of Mary, the Magnificat, we are moved to imitate her joyful spirit in understanding that God has put each of us on this earth for a reason, through us we let God love the world in our daily choices and encounters. God is magnified in us as we join our hearts with Mary in passionate love and praise of the Word Made Flesh living in our hearts

Mary lived with her eyes fixed on Jesus. She treasured every moment, every word, “She kept all these things, pondering them in her heart.” In Mary God clothed himself in human flesh. As Carol Houselander writes, Mary gave herself over to God and God entered the world by a few words spoken to an angel,  “Be it done unto me according to your word.”

This is what it meant to Mary to give human nature to God,

He was invulnerable; He asked for a body to be wounded.

He was God; He asked her to make Him man.

He asked for hands and feet to be nailed.

He asked for flesh to be scourged.

He asked for blood to be shed.

He asked for a heart to be broken.

The stable at Bethlehem was the first Calvary.

The wooden manger was the first Cross.

The swaddling bands were the first burial bands.

The Passion had begun.

Christ was Man.

Carol Houselander    

Perhaps, these words of Carol Houselander remind us that the reality of Advent is experiencing our humanity in its fragility and total dependence on the God who became Man for us !

A Grace filled, Blessed, Joyful Christmas to each of you and a New Year that will move our heats to continuously cry out with Mary in faith, “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior” !

 GOD BE PRAISED !

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Feast of the Presentation of Our Lady

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Today, November 21, the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lady, we, the Sisters of the Visitation of Holy Mary throughout the world, renew our vows each year during the Holy Pope FrancisSacrifice of the Mass as an act of fidelity to our loving God and our witness in the Church. It is a special gift to us this year to unite with our dear Pope Francis and all contemplative communities throughout the world on this day of prayer for the “Contemplative Life in the Church”.

Over the past three days each of our monasteries in a particular way has been preparing for this day of our “Renewal of Vows”. Our Holy Mother, Saint Jane de Chantal called these days a “little retreat” of reflection, prayer and sharing on the meaning of our vows and on how we are living them in the ordinary events that unfold in our lives.

One of our Sisters here in our Monastery of Georgetown suggested that we think back to the day of our Solemn Profession. For some, it is a treasured memory of many years ago, for others it is more recent. Sister Mary Berchmans moved us into a quiet reflection on the “will that led us to this moment of total consecration, the action that filled our hearts with a longing for a close union with our loving God, and the light of grace that led our wills to make this total dedication of our lives to the love of God.” For each of us, she exclaimed, “it was an invitation to follow in the footsteps of Christ with His loving grace”.

As we renew our commitment to our vows today, we do so “according to the Constitutions of the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary”.  Religious Vows are lived out in the many religious communities throughout the world in the spirit of their unique charisms.

For the Sisters of the Visitation we have chosen to accept this invitation of Christ “in the spirit of gentleness and humility”. We have been called to “Live Jesus” in our vows and in the virtues of the Heart of Jesus.

Our Saint Jane de Chantal encouraged us to be “great-souled women who do everything for God”, embracing the very ordinary elements of our daily life with unwavering faith in God’s Divine Providence.

Our Vow of Poverty is a call to trust in divine grace by surrendering ourselves into the hands of our Heavenly Father and by living “the mystery of the poverty of Christ”. Our Vow of Chastity resides in the “inner chamber of our hearts” and calls us to focus our love and our longings to unite in a significant relationship with God “embraced in simplicity and joy” and overflowing into a “delicate attentiveness to others”.  Our Vow of Obedience, in the words of Our Holy Father, Saint Francis de Sales “conforms our heart with that of God” through a “careful, faithful, prompt, simple, honest and loving” response to the call of God in the ordinary events of each day and in the needs of others. It is the desire of our Founders that we “love obedience rather than fear disobedience”.

SISTER ANNE FRANCIS SIGNING OUR VOW BOOK

SISTER ANNE FRANCIS SIGNING OUR VOW BOOK

Each of our monasteries has a Vow Book in which we write and sign our vow formula on the day of our First Profession of Vows. This book is again signed each year,

SAINT ANNE AND MARY

SAINT ANNE AND MARY

on this Feast of Mary, after we join together in the renewing of our vows and consecrated life in the church.

We ask the loving support of your prayers as we continue to live our lives in this vowed commitment to Our Lord and to His Church. With your prayers, may the fruit of our vowed lives touch yours and give Glory to God!

 “The daughters of the Visitation are inwardly and outwardly so wholly consecrated to God that all their actions are so many outward and inward prayers; every hour and every moment is dedicated to God and a fruit of love”.  Saint Francis de Sales

 GOD BE PRAISED!

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November, a Time of Reflection

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As we move from one season to another nature calls us to find moments for quiet reflection – so great a need in our world today where there is so much “busyness”.

Reflection helps us to place things in perspective – to respond to God’s desire… . .

God desires that we live a good life of kindness and love to others – in fact,

THE GLORY OF GOD

THE GLORY OF GOD

that is why he made us. We can hear his call working in our conscience and answering his call will begin to satisfy our deepest needs.

Reflection helps us to put order in our life so we can find an enduring purpose that is not momentary but one that lasts our entire lifetime.

Reflection helps us to “stay in touch with God” so we strive to live his invitation to learn from him who is gentle and humble of heart. This will help us to live a life of goodness.

Imagine for a moment the awe-filled reflections that flood our minds and hearts when we encounter a sunset. Our hearts are filled with wonder at the immensity of God’s loving goodness.

In quiet reflection we can also find a vision for our lives that will enable us to be instruments of peaceful harmony in the events of each day as we strive to live fully in the present moment with all its challenges. The present moment offers us many opportunities to instill in our lives values of  patience, kindness and love.

REMEMBERING OUR LOVED ONES

REMEMBERING OUR LOVED ONES

During this month of November, we bring

A BLANKET OF BEAUTY

A BLANKET OF BEAUTY

before the Lord in prayer all our loved ones who have gone before us into the arms of God . As we soak in the beauty of the autumn leaves falling from the trees and blanketing the earth in color, we are reminded that death comes before the eternal Spring of Heaven. 

                                                                                                       We have no bond but the bond of love which is the bond of perfection.  St. Jane de Chantal

GOD BE PRAISED !

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Feast of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque

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RETURN LOVE FOR LOVE !

RETURN LOVE FOR LOVE !

Our little sister, Saint Margaret Mary, although not the first saint to have revelations from the Sacred Heart of Jesus, bore a message for a world that had grown lukewarm in their love for the God who created them. She is thought of as the “little secretary of the Lord” writing down His message and proclaiming it to the world. Saint Margaret Mary’s simplicity and humility went unnoticed until she fulfilled her purpose to make known the love of the Heart of God and to draw others “to return love for love”.

God never asks anything of us without giving us the grace to accomplish it. Sister Margaret Mary, of our Monastery of Paray – le – Monial, France, was chosen to reawaken the love of God in human hearts. Purification and sufferings prepared her for this mission to the world, along with an inner joy that overflowed from her surrender and union with the God of Love.

Reparation involves returning the love of God, spending oneself for the salvation of souls in prayer and sacrifice. It is a means to charity and to love. In the Passion of Christ we see God loving the human person, the saints in their sacrifices show the human person loving God. Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus unites these two which should be one. Religion and life are one. God is love. He willed to love us and to reveal to us His longing for our

SAINT MARGARET MARY, NOVICE MISTRESS

SAINT MARGARET MARY, NOVICE MISTRESS

returning His love in a union of personal intimacy with Him and with each other. The more we approach the holiness of God the more clearly we see ourselves in the light of God’s truth, as we grow in the awareness of our littleness and need for His grace.

Saint Francis de Sales wished us to go to God in the practice of the “little virtues” in the ordinary happenings of each day. Saint Margaret Mary is known to have walked another path to God, but, not without the little virtues of humility, kindness, gentleness and obedience to God’s Will. The desire of our holy founder was to give to God “daughters of prayer in the Church and “daughters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus”. On June 10, 1611 he wrote to our Holy Mother, Saint Jane de Chantal , expressing his belief that “our little congregation is the work of the Hearts of Jesus and Mary, by opening His Sacred Heart our dying Savior brought us to birth”.

EMBLEM OF THE ORDER OF THE VISITATION OF HOLY MARY

EMBLEM OF THE ORDER OF THE VISITATION OF HOLY MARY

Together our founders chose as our emblem “a single heart pierced by two arrows and set in a crown of thorns”. This heart formed the base of a cross inscribed with the sacred names of Jesus and Mary. About a half a century later, our Sister Margaret Mary gave meaning to the words and desire of our Holy Father, Saint Francis de Sales, from the revelations she experienced in union with the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

We unite with each of you in whatever path of life you are walking on this the Feast of our Saint Margaret Mary. We pray that your hearts will be filled with love, peace, joy and all the

SIMPLICITY

SIMPLICITY

“little virtues that grow like flowers at the foot of the cross”, so abundantly pouring out from the Heart of God.

“God wants you to advance in the ways of His pure love following the inspirations He gives you”.                   Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque 

GOD BE PRAISED !

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AUTUMN GIFTS

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One day while we were taking a walk, our eyes fell upon a beautiful Fall leaf, one of the first beginning to blanket our Monastery grounds. Sister Marie de Chantal gently picked up the leaf and said, “Sister Anne Francis, this leaf is so beautiful, I love Fall, it is my favorite season”. These words raised my thoughts and heart to God in prayerful reflection on this breathtaking time of year, as each of the seasons offer us insights and wisdom for the spiritual journey.

A PICTURE OF LOVELINESS

A PICTURE OF LOVELINESS

Autumn is a season of transition, reminding us that our lives are a constant movement of interior and exterior change. Autumn brings us to a deeper awareness that we live in a continual cycle of dying and rising, being open to the surprises of God throughout our lives! It reminds us that since God is far bigger than anything we can ever imagine, there will always be more dimensions of the Sacred to discover.

WONDER OF GOD'S CREATION

WONDER OF GOD’S CREATION

When the Autumn leaves change their colors, they are actually reverting to their original hue as chlorophyll is gradually blocked. As the trees begin to pull energy inward for the coming hibernation of winter, the chlorophyll in the leaves decreases and the vibrant shades we witness are their true colors. At the beginning of this season, we are invited through an awesome awareness of God’s beauty to look within and consider the habits, beliefs, and attitudes that we are being called to let go of in the coming days. The witness of energy of release during this season of Autumn, inspires us to surrender our masks and become more truly who God has created us to be.

The Autumn gifts reflect this balance between two energies: the invitation to relinquish and to harvest. Autumn is a season that invites us to consider what we are called to release and surrender — what no longer serves us or what gets in the way of being present to the call to holiness in each moment. Saint Francis de Sales believes that we are all called to holiness. Autumn invites each of us to gather in the harvest, to name and celebrate the fruit of the “seeds of dreams” we planted months ago. In holding these two in tension, we are reminded that in letting go, we also find abundance. The radiant amber light of late afternoon spilling through clouds illuminates Autumn branches strung with glittering jewel tones. Autumn calls us to cherish this beauty, but, also, to remember our fragility.

SIMPLICITY AND BEAUTY

SIMPLICITY AND BEAUTY

In many ways, Autumn is also a time of new beginnings. May this season offer you a new beginning of your own, listen for the invitation to open yourself to the surprises God holds waiting for you, or to release the mask that hinders you. Consider making time for your own contemplative walk and bring yourself fully present to each step and breath. Ask yourself, how do I want to walk in this world? Gather objects along the way — a brilliant leaf that tumbles in front of you, a stone that feels solid and cool, a broken branch laying on the ground as an offering. Bring them home and lay them in a sacred space, an honoring of the gifts of this season. Continue to listen for their call to you as this season of Autumn unfolds. Let them become a guide for the days ahead.

KERI, OUR FIRST ASPIRANT !

KERI, OUR FIRST ASPIRANT !

On October 1, the Feast of Saint Therese of Lisieux, during this beautiful season, we joyfully received Keri Cole into our Saint Jane de Chantal Gallery Community as our first Aspirant. We give thanks to the Lord Jesus for depositing His presence in her soul and life. We give thanks to our Blessed Mother for making a “secret visitation” to her heart and we ask our Holy Founders, Saint Francis de Sales and Saint Jane de Chantal, to unite us in a bond of love and to obtain for her blessings of joy, peace and fidelity in her vocation to the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary.

“God has imprinted on all created things His traces, trials, and footsteps.”  Saint Francis de Sales 

GOD BE PRAISED !

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Birthday of Mary, Mother of God and Our Mother

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Birthdays are special to all of us! We celebrate and remember those we love with joy as we express our gratitude for their gift of life and for our sharing in their lives!

Saint Francis de Sales had a tender love for Our Lady accompanied by a true, filial confidence in her. When he preached about her on her feastdays, it was always with fervor, care and joyfulness. He often called upon her loving maternity  “to put her hand into the precious side of her crucified Son and to take from His side His choicest graces, so she may give them to us abundantly”.

VISITATION OF MARY TO ELIZABETH

Today we joyfully celebrate the Birthday of Mary, for she is not only our Mother, but, also the patroness of Our Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary. As daughters of Our Lady we are called to imitate the charity and humility she shows us so clearly in the Gospel mystery of the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth. We do this in keeping our eyes and hearts open to the many opportunities that come our way in the small actions of each day ……. a word of encouragement, a few minutes of kindness in listening, a helping hand, a gesture of forgiveness, a hidden act that fosters the common good. All these little virtues, being invitations to gentleness of heart, poverty of spirit, and simplicity of life. While reflecting on the Birth of Mary, Psalm 139 came to mind :

For it was you who created my being;

knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I thank you,  for the wonder of my being;

BEAUTY OF CREATION

for the wonders of all your creation!

Already you knew my soul,

my body held no secret from you,

When I was being fashioned in secret,

and molded in the depths of the earth.

Your eyes saw all my actions,

they were all of them written in your book;

every one of my days was decreed

before one of them came into being.

To me, how mysterious your thoughts,

the sum of them not to be numbered !

if I count them, they are more than the sand;

to finish, I must be eternal like you !

A DOUBLE GIFT FROM GOD !

Each time I see a child the mystery of birth touches my heart and soul. The thought that God created our beings, knit us together in our mothers’ wombs, moves us to sing out in praise : “I thank you for the wonder of my being, for the wonders of all your creation” !

FATHER VINCENT AND A NEW BORN KITTEN !

Last week we had the graced privilege of making our annual retreat at the Holy Cross Abbey in Berryville, Virginia. One morning at Mass I was moved by the words of Saint Paul read by one of the Trappist Monks : “The Will of God is …. your holiness”. These words stayed with me all day. Both Saint Paul and Saint Francis de Sales tell us that we are all called to holiness in the various vocations that make up the Mystical Body of Christ. We in our vocations to the monastic life in the service of God and His Church are called to give a unique witness to holiness. Michael Casey, a Trappist Monk in Australia, in his book “The Road to Eternal Life” expresses it this way: “We are called to be witnesses to the reality of the spiritual world, this is our task! In God’s providence it may be that others will catch fire from our flame”.

Let us together praise and thank God for the gift of life and for all His creation, as today we celebrate the Birth of the Mother of God. Let our lives be “birthday candles” from which others will “catch fire from our flames”.

“Be meek, humble, charitable and kind and magnify the Lord with Mary during this life”. Saint Francis de Sales

God be Praised !

 

 

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