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Week 2 of Lent – Thoughts on Broken Lenten Resolutions

We are now in the middle of the second week of Lent and I’m sure some of us have already broken our Lenten Resolutions (repeatedly!!) and are feeling very discouraged about it all and tempted to just give up the attempt and pick something easier.

But maybe we should view these not as failures but as something that can be beneficial. It’s a bit like distractions during prayer. You might feel, ‘oh, I didn’t pray at all, I had so many distractions,’ but each time you realised that you had been distracted and turned back to God that was something good; that was prayer. It can be the same with our Lenten Resolutions.

A Reflection for the 1st Sunday of Lent

God made the sinless one into sin, our sin, my sin, that in him we might become the goodness of God. And yet since the beginning of creation we have been denying our sin, that sin for which He emptied himself of his divinity, became man and endured His passion and death. We have been covering our nakedness up, hiding our reality from God, from ourselves and from one another.

Becoming light for each other – a reflection on today’s Gospel

While praying my Lectio Divina for the 5th Sunday of Ordinary Time the words that struck me were ‘Your light will shine like the dawn and your wound quickly healed over’.

The word ‘Light’ is repeated in the first reading, the psalm and the Gospel. Elsewhere, in St John’s Gospel, Jesus tells us ‘I am the light of the world.’ Turning to us, his disciples, He reminds us in today’s Gospel we too are the ‘light of the world.’

The Feast of the Presentation of the Lord: “Consecrate them in the Truth” – a Reflection on our Vocation

Consecrate them in the truth

Your word is truth.

Throughout the centuries the Holy Spirit has raised up many different forms of consecrated life – which can be compared to a plant, with many branches, which sinks its roots into the Gospel and brings forth abundant fruit in every season of the Church’s life. (cf VC 5).

When reflecting on our vocation as Dominican nuns and how we try to live the motto of our Order: TRUTH, I began to understand our consecration as being set apart for Truth.

Thoughts on the Icon of the Holy Family

This icon, created by one of our sisters for St Peter's parish in Drogheda, is not a work of the imagination in which the artist tries to drag the onlooker inside an ideal family, but a theological teaching that exposes something of the Truth revealed in Jesus Christ. We do not enter into the icon, it is a sacred space delimitated by a red line all around it. It is the people, represented inside that space, that come to us. “The Kingdom of God is at hand!"

Video: O Antiphon for the 23rd of December

A short clip of our community singing the O Antiphon for the 23rd of December (the Dominican version).

O Immanuel ...

The time of waiting is coming to an end. Soon the mystery of the Incarnation will be re-enacted once more in our liturgical celebrations and especially in our hearts.

For the past few weeks the cry "Maranatha - Come Lord Jesus" has been our spoken and unspoken prayer. But there is another side to this longing desire.

Video: O Antiphon for the 22nd of December

A short clip of our community singing the O Antiphon for the 22nd of December (the Dominican version).

O King ...

Jesus is our King, our hearts are waiting for the joy and peace that he brings to each one of us so to pitch his royal tent within us. Are we ready to be part of the building of which Christ is the corner stone? Are we ready to be made one and alive, for Christ is the living stone on which we build our lives.

Video: O Antiphon for the 21st of December

A short clip of our community singing the O Antiphon for the 21st of December (the Dominican version).

O Rising Sun ...

In this "O" Antiphon the three metaphors- the rising Sun, splendour of the eternal light and sun of justice -- all symbolise Christ, the Son of God, the promised Messiah whose birth as our Saviour we will celebrate in four days time.

Jesus calls Himself the 'Light of the World' in St. John's Gospel( 9:5)

Video: O Antiphon for the 20th of December

A short clip of our community singing the O Antiphon for the 20th of December (the Dominican version).

O Key of David ...

In "The Prayer for the Church in Ireland" Pope Benedict opened with the words "God of our fathers, renew us in the faith which is our life and salvation". Our own St Catherine of Siena constantly prayed for and spoke of "the light of holy faith".

Video: O Antiphon for the 19th of December

A short clip of our community singing the O Antiphon for the 19th of December (the Dominican version).

Jesse was the father of King David from whose royal line the future Messiah would be born. When we read the genealogy of Jesus most of the characters mentioned were not very praise worthy according to human standards. Yet God's infinite, all powerful wisdom, compassion and merciful love were at work throughout salvation history not allowing human failure, sin, malice nor indifference to interfere or thwart His divine plan.

Video: O Antiphon for the 18th of December

A short clip of our community singing the O Antiphon for the 18th of December (the Dominican version).

O Lord ...

During this Advent Season, as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Christ, we are surely filled anew with wonder at the depths of love that led our heavenly father with those same outstretched arms to send his only begotten Son as our Redeemer -- that Son who some 30 years later, stretched out his arms on the Cross in an immense act of love and died for our salvation.

Video: O Antiphon for the 17th of December

A short clip of our community singing the O Antiphon for 17th of December (the Dominican version).

On the 16th of December we began our 9-day Novena for the great feast of Christmas, and for following seven days we accentuate that longing and find its expression most beautifully in the great Vesper antiphons for the Magnificat, called the "O" antiphons, because they all begin with 'O'. These antiphons will be used each evening before and after the Magnificat, and as the Gospel Acclamation at Mass, daily, for the 7 days before Christmas.

Monastery News: October

We started the month by hosting the AGM of the ‘Associated Monasteries of Ireland’ (representing those Orders that have only one monastery in Ireland, such as ourselves). The topic for this year’s meeting was ‘Interculturality in Monastic Communities’ by Sr Chinyeaka C. Ezeani MSHR. Her interesting and helpful presentation was much appreciated, given the growing diversity of our Communities.

My experience of praying the Rosary

Disposed from childhood to praying the Rosary, it has grown with me over the years or perhaps it would be more true to say I’ve grown with it. A prayer for all seasons of life, it has been my mainstay. I think of the structure of the rosary, the saying of the beads as a kind of enclosure, creating and protecting a sacred space, a shelter, within which Mary and I meet with Jesus on a daily basis and she shows unto me the blessed fruit of her womb, JESUS.

What the Rosary means to me

Pope St John Paul II called the rosary his favourite prayer. While the Mass is my favourite prayer, the rosary is not far behind in my preference. If for any reason on a rare occasion I fail to say the rosary, then I cannot sleep until I say it in full.

The rosary is mostly centred on Jesus and Mary so for that reason, it is very precious to me: Jesus who is Alpha and Omega, and Mary who is His Mother. In the company of these two very important people, I am always happy.

What does the Rosary mean to you? What makes you pray it?

Unlike most people of my generation, as a child the Rosary was still part of our family life. We knelt at our chairs in the kitchen each night and recited it together. By the early seventies, as we grew older, activities at night demanded our time and attention and the family Rosary gradually faded into oblivion. But the example of my parents and grandparents who always prayed the Rosary daily remained. My dad always had his beads in his pocket and prayed the rosary on the bus each morning as he travelled to work.

Video: Rosary for Vocations

On the First Friday of every month we have a special Holy Hour (7.30p.m. to 8.30p.m.) for Vocations to the Priesthood and Religious Life. This Hour includes the Rosary. Since October is the month of the Rosary we have decided to share the Reflections that accompanied the Rosary for this month’s Holy Hour.

Novena to St Dominic – Day 8

I would like to reflect a little on St Dominic’s single-mindedness in his pursuit of holiness and his mission of preaching.

As a young man Dominic studied the liberal arts at a thriving arts faculty in Palencia – no doubt, a brilliant future awaited him! However, Bl Jordan tells us, very graphically, that after a short while, Dominic “fled to the study of theology as if afraid to waste his limited time on less fruitful study.” We might ask ourselves if he had struggled with himself to give up the study of arts?

Novena to St. Dominic – Day 7

We continue our Novena in honour of St Dominic

Every saint resembles Christ in some way. This was particularly clear with Dominic who followed Jesus in everything – in his prayer, works and miracles.

Like his Master, Dominic used to spend the nights in prayer to God; he would fall asleep with his head on the altar step when he was too exhausted to continue. St Dominic spent his life preaching the Gospel and being constantly concerned for the salvation of the human race.

Novena to St Dominic – Day 6

As we continue our Novena to St Dominic, I would like to reflect on St. Dominic’s compassion for others. On his Feast Day, this Thursday, we will sing the Antiphon:

“Dominic had compassion on his neighbours and ardently desired their salvation.”

Dominic’s compassion was not passive, not accepting and encouraging the other in whatever it is they want to do, which seems to be the modern understanding of compassion. His compassion required that he act for the good of the other, even, or perhaps especially, when that meant telling them they were doing wrong.
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