Spring Joy in Lent

spring-joy-olamnuns-01Spring has sprung in the South!

The sisters in formation went out yesterday to enjoy the beautiful spring weather and take some photos while the trees are in bloom. The cherry blossom, tulip trees, and ornamental pear trees are at their peak of beauty!

Come now my love, my lovely one come. For behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.

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St. Joseph The Protector

st-joseph-protector-olamnunsHow does Joseph exercise his role as protector? Discreetly, humbly and silently, but with an unfailing presence and utter fidelity, even when he finds it hard to understand. From the time of his betrothal to Mary until the finding of the twelve-year-old Jesus in the Temple of Jerusalem, he is there at every moment with loving care. As the spouse of Mary, he is at her side in good times and bad, on the journey to Bethlehem for the census and in the anxious and joyful hours when she gave birth; amid the drama of the flight into Egypt and during the frantic search for their child in the Temple; and later in the day-to-day life of the home of Nazareth, in the workshop where he taught his trade to Jesus.

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Light or Darkness?

calling-evil-goodIn the first reading this week, those that were supposed to be children of the light, walked in the ways of darkness, choosing evil calling it good. In the darkness of their spiritual blindness they became an abomination to the Lord, but God' sent them messengers and they mocked them and rejected the teachings which were of God.

In our own day we repeat this process. God has sent us wonderful messengers such as Saint Pope John Paul II. Most of us have lived in the time period of Saint Padre Pio and Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta, but our world has chosen the darkness instead of the light.

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St. Catherine of Bologna: Poor Clare, Mystic, And Miracle Worker

Catherine-BolognaMarch 9th commemorates the feast day of Saint Catherine of Bologna (1413-1463), virgin of the Church, mystic, and patron saint of artists and those who are tempted. Saint Catherine was born in Bologna, and appointed as the maid of honor to the daughter of the Marquis of Ferrara, for whom her father served as an aide. Catherine moved into the palace, and became best friends with her mistress, Margaret. Upon the engagement of Margaret, who wished Catherine to remain with her, Catherine instead entered the religious life. At age 14, she joined the third order of the Franciscans, who lived a semi-monastic life.

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A Holy Princess: St. Agnes of Bohemia

249826-original1-yf521March 2nd is the anniversary of a saint who like our Mother Angelica, founded both Clarian and Franciscan monasteries, and an order of Franciscan brothers. Her name is St. Agnes of Bohemia, a contemporary of St. Francis and St. Clare, she established the first Poor Clares Monastery north of the Alps in 1234. Although she never met St. Clare face-to-face, their correspondence is a moving testament to the deep love of Christ that bound these two 'sisters' together in holy zeal to pursue a life of poverty, prayer, and service.  St. Agnes was canonized by Pope John Paul II 5 days before the fall of the Iron Curtain in Czecho-Slovakia. The newly liberated nation was honored to have her as patroness of Czecho-Slovakia.

 

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The Covenant

gods-covenantEvery normal young girl dreams of the day when a young man falls in love with her and places a ring on her finger as he asks her to marry him. Her eyes sparkle like the diamond on her ring as she shows it to all her friends. This is the sign of her lover's promise of a future marriage when they will both make a solemn promise before God to remain faithful to each other until death do they part. Every sacramental marriage witnessed by the Church is a solemn covenant.

In today's first reading God places His engagement ring, a rainbow, in the sky as a sign of a future final covenant with mankind. Jesus is the fulfillment of all God's previous covenants. He is God in the flesh and the bridegroom of His bride the Church, with whom He made an everlasting covenant at the last Supper. This covenant is renewed by God and His people at every Mass every time they receive Holy Communion. In today's Psalm Response, several times we will pray, 'Your ways, O Lord are love and truth to those who keep your covenant.'

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Finding Joy this Lent!

ash-wednesdayI know it's hard to believe, but Lent is here again! As we begin our Lenten Journey with Ash Wednesday, we remember that we are invited on a journey. We are reminded of times of giving up candy, television, deserts. We might remember cheating, failing, and then giving up all together, all in order to start again next Lent. But Lent doesn't have mean, nor should it mean, this simple giving up "just because" you have to. Our sacrifices made during Lent are meant to bring us towards joy; the "Joy" of freedom and renewal through the power of Christ's Resurrection and our Redemption. But in order to appreciate and enter deeply into the mystery and experience of Resurrection, we must first journey through the 40 days in the desert of Lent.

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The Gift of Tears

pray-gift-tears-pope-francis-olamnunsIn solidarity with Christ and those who suffer, "pray for the gift of tears", asks Pope Francis this Lent.

Dear brothers and sisters, the Lord never ceases to have mercy on us, and he desires once again to offer us his forgiveness — we all need it — by inviting us to return to him with a new heart, purified from evil, purified by tears, in order to share in his joy.

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Canticle to the Holy Face by St. Therese of Lisieux

 Holy-Face-of-Jesus-23Jesus! Thy dear and holy Face
Is the bright star that guides my way;
Thy gentle glance, so full of grace,
Is my true heaven on earth, today.
My love finds out the holy charm
Of Thy dear eyes with tear-drops wet;
Through mine own tears I smile at Thee,
And in Thy griefs my pains forget.

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Lent Is a Time of Spiritual Combat

ash-wednesday-mark-victory-over-death-olamnuns2"Lent is like a long 'retreat' during which we can turn back into ourselves and listen to the voice of God, in order to defeat the temptations of the Evil One. It is a period of spiritual 'combat' which we must experience alongside Jesus, not with pride and presumption, but using the arms of faith: prayer, listening to the word of God and penance. In this way we will be able to celebrate Easter in truth, ready to renew the promises of our Baptism."

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Join in the Joy

If you feel you may have a vocation to our life of adoration and contemplation in the rich Clarian tradition of humility and service then please contact our Vocation Directress.

Te Deum Laudamus!

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Our Lady of the Angels
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