Reflections (Other)

Go to content

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.

20th December - O Key of David

In this antiphon the coming Messiah is given the title of Key of David. A key is used to open and close, to lock and unlock. How are we to use this key? The answer is found in this morning’s Gospel of the Annunciation.
As I have been sitting with this Gospel what stands out for me are all the emotions: the joy, fear and uncertainty, but above all, the excitement of the Angel Gabriel.

18th December - O Adonai

In a few minutes we will sing the second great ‘O’ antiphon in Latin, just before the Magnificat. The translation in our breviaries reads:

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

17th December - O Wisdom

The first Advent ‘O Antiphon’, ‘O Wisdom’, is woven from the book of Wisdom of Sirach (24:3) and the book of Wisdom (8:1). The wisdom that has come from the mouth of the Most High is His Son, the eternal Word of God. As St. John of the Cross say, in this one Word that the Father spoke, there is hidden everything he had to say - all Divine Wisdom. According to it, he created the world, according to it, he rules it and saved it.

Reflection for the 1st Sunday of Advent

The Mass readings for this first Sunday of Advent provide us with a wake-up call: St Paul tells us “you must wake up now” and in the Gospel Jesus tells us to “stay awake!” while the Prophet Isaias invites us to “walk in the light of the Lord.” So as we begin a new Church year we are invited to come into the light – to remove the blinds from the windows of our hearts and to let the light shine in – remembering that the true Light is Jesus Himself. He is the True Light shining on us and who desires to penetrate and posses our inmost being.

Seeking the Face of the Lord

In our preparation for the Feast of our Father St. Dominic we had an 8-Day Retreat with Fr. Vivian Boland O.P. who awoke in us a thirst for the Face of the Lord. On the Feast of the Transfiguration (6th August) we finished our Retreat with the blessing of new icons that some of our sisters had 'written' during an Icon Course with Mihai Cucu at the end of July.

2nd Sunday of Lent - Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.

We often hear the phrase ‘the war is being fought on two fronts.’ This is as true for the war in the Ukraine as it is for any previous war. But there is also a deeper sense in which this war is being fought on two fronts. There is a battle going on between light and darkness, between good and evil, between grace and sin. It has never been put any better than it was by St. James over 2000 years ago. “Where do all these battles between your selves begin? Is it not in your own hearts? Is it not your passions that are at war in your members?

Feast of the Presentation - World Day of Consecrated Life

In 1997, St. John Paul II chose the 2nd February, feast of the Presentation of the Child Jeus in the Temple as the World Day of Consecrated Life. In this way, the Holy Father wanted to create an opportunity for the whole Church to reflect more deeply on the gift of consecrated life being consecrated to God.

Referring to the gospel of the Presentation in the Temple I would like to highlight the sacrifice of the two pigeons, which Mary and Joseph made in the Temple to God for their firstborn Son. This sacrifice is very significant because the second of these pigeons was offered as a burnt offering to the Lord

23rd December - O Immanuel

Immanuel, a name which means God is with us.
In Jesus we see our God made visible.

This is what Christ said on coming into the world. “You, who wanted no sacrifice or oblation, prepared a body for me. I am coming to do your will.” And this will was for us, you and me, to be made Holy by the offering of that body once and for all, for our salvation

21st December - O Rising Sun

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 shadows of death.

At this time of year, and today as the shortest day of the year, it is wonderful how the Church puts on our lips this antiphon where we call on the Light of Christ to come and enlighten our darkness. My prayer during this Advent season is asking for the grace to acknowledge the times when we prefer darkness before true light, as the intercessions for Week One of Advent put it.

20th December - O Key of David

The fourth of the Advent antiphons evokes the coming of Jesus with a title referring to the great King David and the prophecy of Isaiah, who wrote:
‘I will put the key of the house of David on his shoulder; when it opens, no one will close; when it closes, no one will open it‘ (Is.22, 22)

How to understand this prophecy?

19th December - O Root of Jesse

“O Root of Jesse
who stand for a sign for the people;
before whom kings are silent;
whom the nations bessech:
Come to deliver us, no longer delay.”

The image of Christ as the ‘Root of Jesse’ – a sign for the peoples; before whom kings fall silent and whom the peoples acclaim – evokes a variety of ideas and there is much that can be gleaned, so to speak, when this title is attributed to Him.

What does it mean for us to think of JESUS, to acknowledge Him, as the ‘root of Jesse’ and a ‘sign for the peoples’?

18th December - O Adonai

“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.”

In this antiphon we call on God by the name Adonai. The dictionary says that this word comes from the Cannanite and Hebrew word adon, which means - LORD. When God appeared to Moses, he called himself: I AM WHO I AM. (Ex 3:14). Out of reverence the Jews did not utter his name but substituted Adonai.

"A Spark" - A Reflection on the symbolism of candles

From my point of view, God is the light that illuminates the darkness, even if it does not dissolve it, and a spark of divine light is within each of us. (Pope Francis)

For me the candles are more than decoration, they are a reminder of the wonderful acts of God’s love, of His constant presence in our life.

During my work with candles I realise that a lighted candle accompanies a person throughout his life.

Seeking the Face of God in my Painting

Christ Jesus is the image of the unseen God’. (Col 1:) While reflecting on this line of Scripture I was inspired to write this short reflection on a painting on the Holy Face of Jesus which I have just completed.

This is not the first picture of the Holy Face which I have painted but always while painting I ask myself what did Jesus really look like when he walked on this earth? Our paintings, no matter how beautiful, can only be a pale reflection of the beauty of the God Man – the Eternal Son of the Father. Each painting looks different – I’m sure that it also contains some small reflection of each artist!
©2024 , Dominican Nuns Ireland. All rights reserved. (Created with Incomedia WebSite X5.)
Back to content