This is by way of a personal ‘speculation’ for want of a better word.I think at times in a nun’s life, she not infrequently stops and ‘takes stock’ of what has led her to be where she is, and why she continues and perseveres in her calling – apart from the obvious answer,which is a ‘Who’ rather than a ‘why’ or a ‘what’ – because obviously Jesus is the answer!Where does the Gift have its roots?For many of us, the gift of our vocation is deeply rooted in our families, even though when it comes to the point, it is the family which is the most perplexed by our decision. They can be the most upset and feel more than anyone else, a sense of ‘loss’ at a daughter’s or sister’s or niece’s departure from them – almost as if she is abandoning them in choosing God before them.And yet, we find on entering, that when our hearts are moved to thank the Lord for what He has done in our lives; how He has been so lavish in His gift to us of His very self; and how we have felt the wonder that He could choose us for such a life of deep intimacy with Him, as this life is – that the first ‘thing’ we thank Him for is our family. That is where the journey began, and the further we walk along the road that will hopefully lead us to heaven, the more sure we are that it is our families which have shaped and moulded us and led us to be open to receive and to welcome the gift that this life is. They are the first people we pray for, when […]
The poster for our Vocation Discernment Weekend (10th-12th March) is finally available.
Please feel free to download and spread it around (pdf file available here).
We would also ask our readers to with us in praying this special prayer for Vocations between now and then.
Father, send your spirit to renew us (the Dominican Nuns) through your Word. Help us (them) to live our (their) calling fully, as we ask you to draw young women to our (their) community. With us (the Sisters), may they seek you, find joy in your truth and reflect the unity and love of your life to the world in need. Grateful for one another (the Sisters) and for our (their) calling, we ask you to hear our prayer. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Sometimes it is good to stand back and remember the high moments of a special occasion, say our Advent and Christmas Liturgies – but also to recall the homely and seemingly insignificant things that can speak so eloquently of the love God our Father, has for us, his children – He comes to us in so many ways to reveal the wonder of His Fatherhood, the wonder of Jesus’ life and death in order to save us sinners, the wonder of His creation,St. Francis is one of the saints who was very conscious of the beauty of Creation and we are told that it was he who created the first Christmas Crib.But Scripture too has much to tell us as have our poets. Joseph Mary Plunket’s poem comes to mind:“I see His Blood upon the Rose and in the stars the glory of His eyes, His body gleams amid eternal snows, His tears fall from the skies”And Isaiah speaks of the peace that will come to the animal world.“The wolf shall be the guest of the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid. The calf and the young lion shall browse together with a little child to lead them. Is.11.6.During Christmas week, our homely Lord revealed His wonderful love and care for me through Dobbie and Star who are two homeless cats that wandered into our garden several years ago and decided to make their home with us. Mother, and we think son, are not noted for their great affection for each other so the following episode was a surprise.A basket had been left outside a door in a sheltered spot and one frosty morning Star was found sleeping peacefully in it. […]
We wish all our readers a grace-filled and peaceful Christmas and we share with you a Christmas reflection:Christmas Eve Reflection during Vespers The theme of my reflection, on this Christmas Eve night, is ‘ Peace’. Conscious of the lack of peace in Syria, Iraq, Africa, the Holy Land and in various other countries of the world and bearing in mind especially the lack of inner peace in ourselves at times and so prevalent in people in general, I was led to ponder the title given to Jesus before his birth, that of Prince of Peace, in the book of the prophet Isaiah, which will be read tonight at Mass: For there is a child born for us, a son given to us and dominion is laid on his shoulders; and this is the name they give him: Wonder – Counsellor, Mighty –God, Eternal- Father, Prince-of –Peace. Wide is his dominion In a peace that has no end.( Is. 9 )We long so much for this peace that ‘has no end’. We long for it for ourselves, our families, our communities, our friends and for the world at large. We want Isaiah’s prophecy, which says; For all the footgear of battle, every cloak rolled in blood, is burnt, and consumed by fire- we want that to be realised now, without further delay. The Gospel tonight further reinforces this message of peace when it says: And suddenly with the angel there was a great throng of the heavenly host, praising God and singing: ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace to men who enjoy his favour’This theme of peace abounds everywhere in the Liturgy tonight and tomorrow. In the entrance antiphon, Jesus is personified […]
“O King,whom all the peoples desire,you are the cornerstone which makes all one.O come, and save manwhom you made from clay.”In today’s antiphon we address Christ as “King” the desire of “all the peoples.” Reflecting on this Antiphon, I wonder to what extent Christ is truly “king” in my life. Is he “the cornerstone” of all I do and say?Do my thoughts and decisions take account of his will for me at this moment, even if only by, as Frank Duff advises, glancing towards him and asking internally “what do you want me to do?” before making decisions.This kingship in an individual’s life is very important because we are all members of the mystical body of Christ. Just as the holiness of one member benefits other members and the whole Church (CCC 1474-5), so also Christ’s kingship in my life is of benefit to and helps the growth of his universal kinship for the salvation of all human beings.May God grant each of us the grace to welcome him this Christmas as “King” and “cornerstone” of our lives.
Today we unite with all our Dominican brothers and sisters throughout the world in giving thanks for the life and example of our holy father, Dominic and for all his followers over the past 800 years. On the 22nd December 1216 he obtained Papal approval for his vision of an Order of Preachers. May we his sons and daughters continue to bring the love, light, joy and hope of Christ to the people of our times.More information on Order of Preacher and 800th Jubilee can be found here
O Rising Sun, you are the splendour of Eternal Light and the Sun of Justice.O Come and enlighten those who sit in darkness; those who dwell in the shadow of death, Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus, come.As I read this very beautiful O Antiphon, a memory comes to mind of long summer evenings spent in the high field – the moinin ard as we called it – sitting under a haystack just watching the breathtaking sight of the sun going down beyond the woods and bog lands of our farm in the West.The silence was full, deep and quiet, except for the little birds on their way home to roost and the friendly crickets close by. But as the last lights faded what a mystery it was to my child’s mind! Where, oh where had the sun gone?!No grown up’s explanations prepared me for what was always a fresh experience of another rising sun as it streamed through the trees – right into my room the next morning. The chorus of birds as they flew again to the cornfields and the grass glittering with dew drops and diamonds to me. Even then this scene had power to thrill me with anticipation of something I knew not what! – was it a foretaste of another Rising Sun still unknown to me?What or who is this ‘Splendour of Eternal Light’ coming to enlighten those of us who sit in darkness – lost in our own little worlds? It is the Lord Himself, majestic and glorious “wrapped in light as in a robe.”Come then my Lord, my God, teach me where and how to find you – you who dwell in light inaccessible and I desire to come […]
O Key of David and sceptre of Israel, what you open no one else can close again, what you close no one can open, O come and lead the captive from prison; free those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death.This ‘O Antiphon’ that the Church sings this evening at the Magnificat, has its roots like all the other Antiphons in sacred scripture, in this case in Isaiah chapter 22 and in Luke chapter I.Our Lord is addressed as Key of David – Jesus is Son of David through his foster father, St Joseph, who was of the house of David. David was the most beloved and important King in Israel’s history – “a man after the Lord’s own heart” as it says in the Acts of the Apostles. So Jesus in his human ancestry is truly one of us as he is truly Son of God in his divine nature “conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary by the Holy spirit. (Mt Ch 1)A key is an indispensable instrument for opening and closing a door, so it is a very appropriate symbol with which to address our awaited Saviour. The Babe of Bethlehem, whom we await, did not die because he was born but He was born in order to die – the Crib and the Cross are closely associated. By His obedience in suffering His Passion, death and Resurrection, Jesus opened the gates of heaven for the whole human race which our first parents had closed by their disobedience. There is a lovely Icon called ‘the harrowing of hell’ where Jesus on Holy Saturday is seen in His descent into hell and taking both Adam and Eve by […]
Today, we pray the third of the seven ‘O Antiphons’ leading up to the celebration of the fathomless mystery of the birth of Jesus among us over 2000 years ago:O root of Jesse, set up a sign to the peoples, come to save us, and delay no more.On the first of these seven days, the Church placed on our lips, the plea ‘come and teach us the way of truth’ – on the second day we are called upon to plead ‘come and save us with your outstretched arm (a truly beautiful concept ), and now today, with still four more days to go before Christmas Eve, we are called to echo the longing of the peoples over the ages, who suffered such anguish in their waiting for the Messiah – yes, we are called to this insistent prayer – ‘come and save us and delay no more.This longing of the ages is expressed so well in one of the Advent hymns:‘Long the ages rolled and slowly to the coming of the Word. Fervent longings grew more fervent, undismayed by hopes deferred. Weaker spirits sighed and whispered, “Could the Lord of all forget?”While the prophets scanned the portents, And in patience said, “Not yet”.So how do we in this day and age, prepare for this great joy of Jesus birth among us which occurred over 2000 years ago?In answer to this question , I would like to share a few thoughts from an article by one of our English Dominicans written many years ago. He commences by quoting the Scripture text: “While all things were in quiet silence…thy almighty Word leapt down upon the earth”. Then he goes on to remind us “ In the stillness of the […]
O Adonai and leader of Israel, you appeared to Moses in a burning bush and you gave him the Law on Sinai, O come and save us with your mighty power.Our O Antiphon this evening invokes God as Adonai and Leader who appeared to Moses in the burning bush and gave him the Law on Sinai, as we read in the Book of Exodus. God, the Lord of creation, intervened in the life of his people at a time when they were sorely oppressed and forsaken in Egypt – when their situation seemed humanly hopeless and Moses himself was fleeing for his life from Pharoah, having killed an Egyptian and buried him in the sand.When we look around us today our situation is no different – we see people in their millions fleeing for their lives from war and violence; people enslaved in so many ways by the glamour of riches and addictions of every kind; the problem of human trafficking and pornography – just to name a few. There are so many people searching frantically for happiness which eludes them and lets them continually disappointed and depressed because they are searching in the wrong places. Sometimes, like the Israelites in Egypt, we can feel that God has abandoned us or we even question if He really exists. Yet it was He who took the initiative to reveal Himself to Moses as he went about his daily tasks of attending the flocks and told Moses that He, God, was well aware of the suffering of His people and that He intended to rescue them from their slavery and redeem them with ‘outstretched arm’– and He gave them the Law, not to enslave them again […]