There is an ancient proverb that goes something like this…’A child can ask questions that a wise man cannot answer’. How true it is that we, in all our worldly wisdom can be utterly stupefied by the brilliant simplicity of a young child. As you’ve probably seen on our website, we had our good friends, the Domincan Sisters of Mary visit for the Transitus of St Francis this past Oct 3rd. And one of the sisters had her third grade class submit some questions to us. I thought I would take this time to answer a couple of their questions, and some others that you have asked.
Dear Friends, Praised be Jesus Christ!
Long time no talk! Sr Mary Blogger is back in the saddle, although kudos go to Sr Blogger Marie for her excellent pinch-blogging! We are in the glorious month of October, and Fall is upon us.(Yes, we have Fall even in the desert!) With the temps an almost 40*cooler, we are all finding our selves coming out of our summer hibernation…thank you Jesus!
Great question, one that even big people wonder! In the Monastic life we follow a daily schedule called the HORORIUM, a fancy word for schedule. The wake-up bell rings at 5:30am, and we start our day in chapel at 6:10am, with communal prayers, the Angelus, the Fatima prayer of Reparation and a prayer to Our Guardian Angel. Next we pray the Divine Office, which is called the Prayer of the Church. Priests and religious are obligated to pray it, and it is recommended to the laity as well. It is a 4-volume set of books that goes through the whole liturgical year…Advent, Lent, Easter and Ordinary Time…it is composed of Psalms and readings from scripture and from the Fathers and Doctors of the Church. This prayer forms part of the Liturgical Prayer of the Church, and is closely united to the Holy Mass. As a religious, it is one of the highest honors to pray the Divine Office and unite my voice with that of the whole Church in praise to the Trinity. We have daily Mass at 7am, with rosary following after a brief 15 minute silent thanksgiving. After breakfast, we all go to our daily chores/work in the monastery. For some it is cooking, cleaning the church, greeting visitors, opening and answering mail. The rest of the day is centered around our communal prayer in chapel, and our own Adoration Hour which is assigned to us daily. So even if we are not in chapel, our hearts are directed to God in all that we do, whether we are eating, or playing sports during recreation time, or we have to do something we don’t feel like doing(like taking the garbage out, or changing the kitty litter)…we try to give Him thanks in all things. And so, I guess you can say we try to pray always.
~Is there a special catalog for sisters where you get you habits and veils?
I’m sure our Sister seamstress, Sr M St Paul would be happy if there was such a catalog. Instead she makes all our habits, head wear, and veils with the love of her heart and by her own hands. Each soul is precious and unrepeatable, and no sister comes in any one shape or size, so each habit and veil is custom made!
~Do you help people?
Our contemplative Eucharistic life is our ‘particular’ way of carrying out the Church’s vocation of praise, thanksgiving and love. In Eucharisitc Adoration, in praying for all those who ask for our prayers and for those who are in most need of prayer we find a most effective means of growing in holiness, and of contributing to the salvation of the world. Our vocation gives witness to the primacy of God, His nearness, and His Love. It reminds people that as great as this world is, this is not our lasting city. Our real home is in Heaven, where God will be all in all.
~Why do some sisters have St. in their name? (ie. Sr M St Paul)
In our monastery in Hanceville, we have a St John, St Clare, St Anne, and here in Arizona we have a St Paul. This is not a tradition to our order in particular, nor is it to show that one saint is more prominent than another, it is just the name chosen for them. It can be compared to the names that are given using the French (ie. Andre for Andrew) or Spanish(Juanita for John)spelling. It’s the Providence of Our Lord, and the choice of the Superior.
Well, we have a couple more questions, but they’ll have to wait. Please check out the Medival Dreams to Monastic Reality page, and click on Architectural Plans- Sr Fidelis just put up new renderings of the inside of the chapel.
As most of you all know October is the month of the Holy Rosary. Let us renew our devotion to Our Lady by praying the rosary with childlike simplicity, for peace in our world and for a renewed respect for human life from conception to natural death. Yesterday was Respect Life Sunday, and I happened to come across a beautiful quote about the sacredness and dignity of each human life, ‘When I approach a child, he inspires in me two sentiments; tenderness for what he is and respect for what he is to become.”
Every blessing to you! All my love and prayers-Sr Mary Blogger