Contemplation

Dare to Believe?

Inspiration …Next Sunday’s Gospel from Matthew speaks about ‘your virtue’ going ‘deeper than that of the Scribes and Pharisees.’  This is prompted a very interesting reflection just a while ago, as Sisters in our Community shared a little, the words of this Gospel with which they have been praying during this week.You will remember that in Luke’s Gospel, when the sisters Martha and Mary welcomed the Lord to their home, Mary sat at his feet and listened to Him (cf Lk 10:38-42).Well, the connection in my head and in my reflection was that Jesus is our virtue – God is our virtue.  We believe and we know that the source of all goodness is in God … in fact is God working in us, with our free desire to be and to do good.  We are not by any means puppets or marionettes!  But the thought that came to me was simply that Goodness, and consequently virtue and wisdom, along with all that we associate with God … is a Person: is personified in God Himself.How amazing!  Jesus, then, is telling us that He is our virtue and more .. He who is God wants us to possess this virtue – to possess Him.  Almost as though He would like to be a marionette for us, ‘our puppet.’  He wants to dwell very deeply within us, within YOU … you are as essential as that to Him.   Why?LOVE.  The love of the Lord is utterly mind-boggling, that He would make Himself small enough to fit inside us.  It is a very amazing gift to have been called like Mary, to sit at His feet and listen to Him.  And when we listen, sometimes what we hear […]

By |February 12th, 2014|Liturgy|0 Comments

Icon Writing

    Recently Mikai Cucu conducted a week long course on icon writing for our sisters who are interested in this special art. Six sisters in all participated – some who are already quite proficient in the art and others just beginners. All in all it was a wonderful week for all. One sister expressed her appreciation as an opportunity to “swim in deep waters.  We had a wonderful week, resting on Mount Tabor, contemplating the rising of the Light, emerging from the darkness (of our souls).  The experience was intense, wholesome – affecting our souls, our hearts, and our bodies – and most rewarding.  A special word of thanks to Mihai who gives himself totally to this ministry” Here we share with our readers some glimpses of the work – and all agreed that it was an intense week of work bearing much fruit in the beautiful icons shown in the picture above.                 

3rd Sunday of Lent – Year C

 “Strong is His love for us” – we could say that this phrase from the responsorial psalm sums up the message of today’s Mass readings.Our God is a ‘consuming fire’ who “forgives all our guilt” and “heals our ills” (Ps 102).  He is “compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy.”In the Gospel Jesus explains in the parable of the fig tree which did not bear fruit that he is always prepared to give us a second chance, to give us more time, in the hope that we will repent of our sins and failures.  “Give it (ie the fig tree) one more year and give me time to dig round it and manure it – it may bear fruit next year!” (Gospel – Lk 13:1-9).It is the same God who appeared to Moses while he went about his daily work of tending the flock and spoke to him from the burning bush.  Moses was standing on “holy ground” without knowing it!  God reveals His name as I AM.  When we live in the present we live in the PRESENCE of our God who knows all about the plight of His people and their desires for freedom.  As God sent Moses to the people of Israel to be His mouth-piece and His instrument in freeing them from their bondage, so today He needs each of us to tell others of the love, compassion and forgiveness of our God.  We need not be afraid to open to Him for He will surpass all our expectations and dreams with the abundance of His love – “Strong is His love for us!”“Only where God is seen does life truly begin.  Only when we […]

Sr Mary Cathy’s Profession – 2nd February

After a week of wind, rain and hail stones the sun shone brightly on Saturday morning  and continued to shine all day – symbol of the light and joy we celebrated on this feast of the Presentation of the Lord as Sr Mary Cathy made her Profession – an appropriate way to mark this day dedicated to Consecrated Life.Fr Gerard Dunne OP, vicar of the Master of the Order for our  monastery, presided and was joined by our brothers from the local community and several others including Fr Gregory Carroll, Provincial and Fr Eamonn McCarthy from Cloyne diocese – a friend of Sr Cathy.In addition to Sr M Cathy’s family we were very happy to welcome Sr Marie Redmond OP, novice mistress and her two novices, from the Cabra Congregation of Dominican Sisters and all our student brothers from St Saviour’s Priory, Dublin.  Fr John Harris preached the homily – which we hope to share with you later.  We were joined in the chapel by a large number of Lay Dominicans and local friends.The following photos will convey to you something of the joy which we all experienced.Sr Mary Cathy makes prostration and asks for God’s mercy and that of the communityThe prioress questions Sr Mary Cathy before making her profession Sr Mary Cathy makes her profession in the hands of the prioress as is customary in our Order:  I, Sr Mary Cathy Howard, make profession, and promise obedience to God and to Blessed Mary and to Blessed Dominic and to the Master of the Order of Friars Preachers, Bro Bruno Cadore, and to you Sister Mary Breda Carroll, Prioress of this Monastery of St Catherine of Siena, Drogheda and to your successors, according to the Rule of the Blessed Augustine and the Constitutions of the […]

Icons – A Path to Contemplation

Last week our monasterary hosted a one day gathering of monastic women. Some of our sisters presented reflections based on the theme “Icons – a Path to Contemplation”. Below is the text of one of the reflections. (The other three reflections have been posted on the reflections section of our website – Click here to view them)It is not by accident that we have chosen the Icon of the Transfiguration, written by Theophan the Greek, for our sharing at this gathering. All ancient tradition saw in the Prayer of Jesus on the mountain, depicted in this Icon, the blue print for contemplative life. In the exhortation Vita Consecrata, Pope John Paul II invites us, consecrated religious, to contemplate the transfigured face of Jesus.In The Eastern theological tradition, man is seen to be on a mystical journey that leads to “Theosis” or deification. Icons represent this union between God and man. The Icon is a manifestation of the presence of God. It draws and brings us into this Presence so that we can experience God in our soul. In this way we become a living icon of God.For Byzantine theology, the Transfiguration as a “Teofania”, theophany, is on the one hand, a key to the understanding of the Divinity of Christ, and on the other, it is a very concrete model for the spiritual transformation of man.The Transfiguration has taken a central place in the mystical theology of Byzantine’s monastic world. Whatever method of meditation the monks used, its purpose was always to lead to enlightenment, that is, prayerful immersion in the rays of Divine energy.An orthodox monk and iconographer, Grigorij Krug, says that“the disciples did not immediately witness the Transfiguration of Jesus, when they […]

By |September 11th, 2010|Dominican|0 Comments

Come Holy Spirit

The following is a reflection on today’s feast of Pentecost shared with our community by one of our sistersIn reflecting on the Readings for Pentecost Sunday I found myself praying the Alleluia Verse throughout the week: Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful; and kindle in them the fire of your love.In Mary’s life, in Dominic’s life, in Catherine’s life, in Mother Teresa of Calcutta’s life, in the life of the Apostles and in our lives it is love that counts – a love that the Holy Spirit sets alight in our hearts so that it becomes a fire. A recent book on Mother Teresa by Joseph Langford, is entitled Mother Teresa’s Secret Fire. Oh that we could all have such a fire of love within our hearts. To pray this prayer ‘Come Holy Spirit ….. is a prayer directed at everyone – it is outward looking to include every person on earth and is exclusive of no one. It is a beautiful prayer because one could not pray for anything greater for anyone.I have been re-reading the little booklet entitled The Contemplative Life by Fr. Anselm Moynihan OP. His words seemed to help me understand how the Holy Spirit could kindle in me and in all of us the fire of His love within the context of our contemplative life and of course always with the aid of Our Lady’s presence and prayer. Fr. Anselm says:‘Contemplation, is the great work, in fact, the only one, which is directly concerned with God Himself, and directly expresses our love for Him. The reasons for this are, firstly, that it is only by the spiritual operations of our mind and will, […]

They left everything and followed Him

Mass Readings for the 5th Sunday cycle C1st Reading – Isaias 6:1-82nd Reading – 1Cor 15:1-11Gospel – Luke 5:1-11The 1st reading and the Gospel present us with accounts of vocation stories – the call of Isaias in the Temple and the call of Peter and the first disciples by the sea shore. The Gospel tells us: “They left everything and followed Him”.On the feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple – 2nd of February – the day devoted to celebrating the vocation to consecrated life, Pope Benedict XVI gave a very beautiful homily which we have abridged slightly and share with our readers as a commentary on today’s readings: Consecrated Life “A School of Trust in the Mercy of God”Venerable John Paul II, beginning in 1997, wished that the whole Church should celebrate a special Day of Consecrated Life. In fact, the oblation of the Son of God — symbolized by his presentation in the Temple — is the model for every man and woman that consecrates all his or her life to the Lord. The purpose of this day is threefold: 1. to praise and thank the Lord for the gift of consecrated life; 2. to promote the knowledge and appreciation by all the People of God; 3. to invite all those who have fully dedicated their life to the cause of the Gospel to celebrate the marvels that the Lord has operated in them. If Christ was not truly God, and was not, at the same time, fully man, the foundation of Christian life as such would come to naught, and in an altogether particular way, the foundation of every Christian […]

ADVENT

Advent is one of the most beautiful seasons of the Church’s year. On this first Sunday of Advent we are united with the whole Church throughout the world in praying and longing for the coming of the Lord. We are familiar with the cry of the Prophet Isaias: O that you would tear the heavens open and come down – you are our Father – we the clay, you the potter; we are all the work of Your HandIndeed for over a week now we have seen the heavens open and torrents of rain descend on many parts of our country. Those of us who go to daily Mass have been listening to the readings describing the horrors of the end times. In addition we have been all shocked, saddened and bewildered by the revelations of scandals in our Irish Church. No doubt we carry all this pain, anxiety and bewilderment in our hearts as we begin this season of Advent – which is a season of Hope as the Entrance Antiphon of the Mass for the first Sunday expresses so beautifully:To you, my God, I lift my soul, I trust in you; let me never come to shame. Do not let my enemies laugh at me. No one who waits for you is ever put to shame.In the Gospel Jesus warns us about “signs in the sun and moon and stars…. nations in agony, bewildered…… men dying of fear….for the powers of heaven will be shaken” but He does not leave us without hope for He adds that it is then that the Son of Man will come. He advises us: “When these things […]

By |November 28th, 2009|Prayer|0 Comments