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Novena to St Catherine - Day One

Join us in our Novena to St Catherine of Siena as we prepare to celebrate her Feast Day on April 29.

"There is something wonderful about saints meeting saints. From time to time, these precious occurrences seem to capture the imagination until they grow into tremendous legends."

(Artwork: St. Catherine of Siena by Fr. Henry Flanagan, O.P., Monastery of St Catherine of Siena, Drogheda)

Hope to Die?

We all usually hope for good things - a fine day for the wedding, the birthday present we long for, the healing of a child who is ill, the passing of an exam. Daily we are hoping for good things, things that will bring us peace, make us happy and bring us fulfilment. But if our hope is for this world only we are doomed to be disappointed. Nothing that this world has to offer is ever going to fully satisfy us.

2nd Sunday of Lent

This painting is an attempt to portray the Transfigured Christ of Fra Angelico’s Transfiguration scene in which he portrays Jesus with Moses and Elijah and the apostles Peter, James and John.

Remembering the quote from the letter to the Hebrews: ‘Let us not lose sight of Jesus,’ I try to sit with this image and let it be ‘only Jesus’ that I see while I contemplate on the love that He is about to show me personally in His passion.

22nd December - O King

O King whom all the peoples desire,
You are the cornerstone which makes all one.
O come and save man
Whom You made from clay.

This antiphon draws our attention to the relationship between God and man.

We coming from clay and burned with God’s love, become living stones in the Mystical Body of Christ.

Mary’s own mystery is so much interwoven with that of her Son. At the Annunciation the angel came and said to her:

"Rejoice full of grace,the Lord is with you... You will conceive in your womb and bear a son,

20th December - O Clavis David

Tonight the O Antiphons continue in the theme of Our Lord’s Davidic Kingship. The “Key of David” reflects the kingly powers conferred on Jesus as successor to the throne of the David, as well as the fulfilment of God’s promise made to him in 2 Samuel 7 that he would rule over the House of Israel forever. These ‘kingly’ O Antiphons draw forth this aspect of the Lord’s character as Messiah and focus strongly on the nature of His Power.

19th December - O Radix Jesse

Tonight we sing to the Lord and address Him as the ‘Root of Jesse’ who stands as a signal for the nations, and the question could arise as to how a root can be said to stand so that it is visible to our sight. But Isaiah also prophesied, ‘a shoot shall spring from the stock of Jesse.’

Thus Christ is both root and fruit of Jesse. He is the One source and foundation of existence which is impregnable, indestructible, unchanging and therefore utterly dependable.

18th December - O Adonai

Oh Adonai and leader of Israel, you appeared to Moses in a burning bush, and gave him the law on Sinai.
Oh, come and save us with your mighty power.

Recently I saw two photographs that have stayed with me and have inspired me to write this refection. The first was taken seconds after a healthy baby girl was born. By the expression on her face, and her little arms and fingers outstretched, it looked like she was in awe and praise of God for this gift of life. The next photo was this same baby all wrapped up snug in her mother’s arms.

17th December - O Wisdom

This evening we begin the first of the ‘O’ Antiphons. These antiphons are a set of seven Magnificat antiphons used at Vespers during the last seven days of Advent in Western Christian traditions. They are also known as the Great Advent Antiphons or the Great ‘O’ Antiphons. The texts of these antiphons are believed to have originated in Italy in or before the sixth century.

Each antiphon is a title of Christ, one of his attributes mentioned in Isaiah 11:1-2. We sing these antiphons from December 17th to December 23rd. The first letter of the titles, from last to first, appear to form a Latin acrostic. “Ero cras,”

The Way of Beauty

Art and Prayer

We would like to share the images of a few new icons that some of our sisters have 'written' during an Icon Course with Mihai Cucu at the end of August (see below), and this reflection by Pope Benedict XVI on Art, Beauty and Prayer.

"A work of art is a product of the creative capacity of the human being who in questioning visible reality, seeks to discover its deep meaning and to communicate it through the language of forms, colour and sound. Art is able to manifest and make visible the human need to surpass the visible, it expresses the thirst and the quest for the infinite.
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