Sponsa Christi April 29th, 2010
Greetings on the Feast of Saint Catherine of Siena!
I have been thinking about you and thought you might like to see our last newsletter, although it is a bit “liturgically outdated”. Enjoy!
Do you live in the USA and wish you could receive our newsletter in your mailbox? If the answer is a resounding “yes” please leave your mailing address in the comment box below and I’ll make sure it is added to the newsletter database. And if the answer is “no”… We shall pray for you!
Jesus bless us all!
Sponsa Christi April 24th, 2010
Good Shepherd Sunday – what a marvelous name for the 4th Sunday of Easter! The Gospel reading on this Sunday is always taken from the Good Shepherd section of the Gospel according to Saint John chapter 10. This day, April 25, is also the 47th World Day of Prayer for Vocations.
The US Bishop’s Committee on Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations has chosen this day to launch their new website for vocations entitled “What Does God Want For Your Vocation?”. I hope you’ll check it out. It has good resources for discerning men and women, for teachers, parents, youth ministers and vocation directors, plus videos and other links. As a monastery actively promoting vocations to the priesthood and religious life we received a promotional poster to raise awareness of this new website. I hope to add a photo of that poster to this post this evening (God-willing and we don’t lose power due to the severe Kentucky thunderstorm we are having now!)
(Believe it or not, this is after one terrific thunderstorm!)
“Witness Awakens Vocations” is Pope Benedict’s meditation for this year’s message. I leave you with a few thoughts from this message.
Here I would like to recall the words of my venerable Predecessor John Paul II: “The very life of priests, their unconditional dedication to God’s flock, their witness of loving service to the Lord and to his Church – a witness marked by free acceptance of the Cross in the spirit of hope and Easter joy – their fraternal unity and zeal for the evangelization of the world are the first and most convincing factor in the growth of vocations” (Pastores Dabo Vobis, 41). It can be said that priestly vocations are born of contact with priests, as a sort of precious legacy handed down by word, example and a whole way of life.
The same can be said with regard to the consecrated life. The very life of men and women religious proclaims the love of Christ whenever they follow him in complete fidelity to the Gospel and joyfully make their own its criteria for judgement and conduct. They become “signs of contradiction” for the world, whose thinking is often inspired by materialism, self-centredness and individualism. By letting themselves be won over by God through self-renunciation, their fidelity and the power of their witness constantly awaken in the hearts of many young people the desire to follow Christ in their turn, in a way that is generous and complete. To imitate Christ, chaste, poor and obedient, and to identify with him: this is the ideal of the consecrated life, a witness to the absolute primacy of God in human life and history.
Sponsa Christi April 17th, 2010
“…HONKhonkHONKhonkHONKhonkHONKhonk!!!…” Rather than the Lord Jesus walking through the door and saying “Peace be with you.”, this was what Ane Kirstine heard on Easter Sunday night!
Although this “wild goose chase” took place a few weeks ago we thought it worth retelling here.
On Easter evening Ane Kirstine was walking around the lake at the end of the hour of prayer. The Canadian geese have a nest and she got too close. The last she looked they were on the other side of the lake but suddenly she heard a noise and turned around to see this gander, about five feet above the ground, torpedo flying at her. She had a book in her hand and warded him off somewhat, at least the beak, breast and feathers hit her. It knocked him down but undeterred he came back at her and knocked her down!
Christie was sitting up by the monastery and could not see but heard the commotion and Ane Kirstine yell, “Alright, I’m leaving!” Ane Kirstine meanwhile had dropped her book and it was between her and the goose who was still hissing. She considered leaving the book but it was a good one (a Gregorian missal!) so she braved another attack and retrieved her book and took off running, by now late for her kitchen duties. She had on her Easter best, a grass stained white shirt and muddy jumper. Thanks be to God she was not hurt though she relived it in her dreams that night. All the years we have been here she is the first one to actually be assaulted though they threaten plenty. You have to hand it to the geese for being fearless in protecting their young when you consider how many times bigger Ane Kirstine is than a goose.
Moral of the story: Do not approach a nest of Canadian geese even if they seem absent!
Sponsa Christi April 13th, 2010
We are still amazed at the front page coverage of Ane Kirstine’s vocation story in a secular newspaper! We wanted to give you a peek at it. On the left – color photo of Ane Kirstine standing at the foot of the cross – front page of the newspaper! On left – inside full-page story with 2 more photos. What a gift from the Lord. Lexington is a big college town – University of Kentucky – we pray that some young discerning women see the article and are inspired to discern Passionist life!
Our monastery cat Danny Boy wanted to get in the picture too
This past Sunday brought us the wonderful visit of two of our Sisters from our monastery of Passionist Nuns in Erlanger, Kentucky – Mother Margaret Mary, CP and Sr. Maria Grace, CP. Yes, Kentucky is blessed with not one but TWO monasteries of Passionist Nuns! Our Sisters in Erlanger may soon have a website to promote their community Passionist contemplative life; we’ll let you know when this is up and running. Please continue to pray for holy and healthy vocations to our communities here in the U. S. and throughout the world. God bless you!
Sponsa Christi April 10th, 2010
Happy and Blessed Easter! Our Holy Mother Church has been celebrating the Easter Octave of the Resurrection of Jesus as one single day and so we have been striving to do this as well here in the monastery. The Gospel acclamation each day has been, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad, Alleluia!” And so we too have been living this Easter joy after the past 40 days of Lent. I do believe my “fast” from blogging is over and I hope this is the first of many posts to come.
One very exciting gift we received on Easter Sunday is that an excellent article about our postulant Ane Kirstine made the front cover of the Lexington Herald-Leader! Believe me, you DON’T want to miss reading this article. There is also a photo slide-show plus the actual Q&A between Ane Kirstine and the reporter Amy Wilson. Congratulations to Amy Wilson who did a terrific job writing this article and special thanks to the editor Peter Baniak and photographer Charles Bertram.
St. Michael is one of the principal patrons of the Passionist Congregation. Here he defends our cloister.
Don’t forget Easter lasts 50 days! How is it that many people go through all of Lent and then only celebrate Easter for ONE day! Mind-boggling! Let us celebrate Easter by longing to be filled more and more with the Spirit of Jesus and the power of His resurrection. Each of you our readers have been and continue to be in our prayers. We count on yours!
The lovely lilacs are in bloom at the end of the retreat house.