Prayer

Novena to St Dominic – Day 5: St Dominic and Body Language

My reflection is on the significance and importance of bodily posture in St Dominic’s prayer. As we know from the ‘Nine Ways of Prayer,’ St Dominic used his whole body when he prayed: bowing, prostration, reaching up to heaven.

It struck me as odd that in our time, when there is so great an awareness of the importance of body language in interpersonal communication and of how much of what is communicated is through bodily posture etc., that there should be such a widespread dismissal of any significance of our bodily posture when we pray. It is said that bodily posture doesn’t matter because God looks at the heart.

I think that this ignoring of bodily posture gives rise to a number of problems, largely because it fails to consider the impact that my body language has on my own perception of, and response to, the person that I am talking or listening to. To give an example, if at a lecture I am slouched and looking off out the window my body is telling my mind not to pay attention. If, on the other hand, I sit up straight, keep eye contact and watch expectantly, my body is telling my mind to pay attention.

Our bodily prayer postures act in a similar way: blessing ourselves as we enter a Church reminds us that we are entering a holy place and is also a sort of trigger (as is kneeling) that we are about to pray (like the way insomniacs are advised to develop a ‘pre-bed’ physical routine that will trigger the mind to prepare to sleep). Similarly, genuflecting before the tabernacle is the bodily expression that Jesus (God) is truly present here. Kneeling and prostration likewise […]

A Window into Our Life

Welcome to a new ‘feature’ on our web-site …

 

We shall call it a ‘Window into the Life of a Dominican Nun,’ in a rather loose way.

 

Through this ‘window,’ we hope to give you an idea of what the life of a contemplative nun of the Order of Preachers consists in; to offer some food for thought; maybe also help you to encounter God in a more personal way; and to help any young women who might be discerning a vocation, to understand better who we are and whether how we live, is how they also seek to live, for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.

 

The beginning of our Constitutions shows how we are so closely connected to our brothers and sisters in the Dominican Family:

“… the first reason for which we are gathered together in community

is to live in harmony, having one mind and heart in God.

This unity transcends the limits of the monastery and attains its fullness in

communion with the Order and with the whole Church of Christ.”

 

One mind and one heart in God.  It is a rare, rare gift, to live in a community where everyone is intent on loving the Lord with every fibre of their being, especially in a world in which He is for the most part ‘an inconvenience’ and unwelcome.  But here we are, with like-minded and like-hearted sisters, and we each share the same fundamental and consuming desire:

That the Lord may be loved; and that everyone on earth might come to know Him and the immensity of His love for them.

The great feast of Mary Mother of God -1st January 2018

The great feast of Mary Mother of God, the world day of peace, the first day of a New Year, New year resolutions, all these came together for me this morning when Father began his homily with this Scripture verse—Mary treasured all these things and pondered them in her heart.- I have no idea what he had to say after that. For these words reached me with great force and an immediate question. What things, events, situations, do I treasure and ponder in my heart and why do I do it. ? As I was quietly working in the kitchen I continued to reflect on this Word.  “Where your treasure is there also will your heart be.” What my heart has been most focused on during this past year will reveal to me what my treasure really is. What do my inner dialogues reveal? When I ponder the daily happenings in my life is it  to bring to bear the Word of God on these events, so that God’s  plan for my life may come to full fruition, as I gradually allow his light and truth to shine in my darkness.? Is my focus on listening to the voice of the Lord and as a result of that entering into His Peace. Do I treasure all the happenings of the day, both positive and negative because I know that each of them is a gift through which God is speaking to me if I have ears to hear? Do I believe that God is bringing about His plan both for my salvation and the salvation of the world as I willing assent and respond to His revelation to me moment by moment? I f […]

Praying for Vocations to Religious life

The following  homily of Pope Francis from the Vatican News website us very interesting regarding praying for vocations to religious life and priesthood – the Pope says that Jesus continues to call young people but unless we empty our hearts we cannot hear and respond to His call. In his homily on Monday morning, 3 March, Pope Francis reflected on the day’s Gospel from St. Mark (10:17-27), in which the evangelist recounts Jesus’ calling of the rich young man. “It is a story we have heard many times”, Pope Francis said. The man ran up to Jesus “and knelt before him”. And he does so “before a great crowd”, because “he greatly desired to hear Jesus’ words” and “something in his heart was prompting him”. Thus, “kneeling before him”, he asks him what he must do in order to inherit eternal life. “It was the Holy Spirit” who was moving the heart of this man, the Pope said. Indeed, he was “a good man, for he observed the commandments from his youth”. However, “for him, being good did not suffice: he wanted more! The Holy Spirit was urging him on”. “Jesus fixed his gaze upon him, happy to hear these things”, the Pope said. So much so that “the Gospel tells us that he loved him”. Therefore, “Jesus also sensed his enthusiasm. And this is what he proposed: sell what you have and come with me to preach the Gospel!”. However, the evangelist tells us that “at that saying his countenance fell, and he went away sorrowful”.This good man “had come with hope and with joy to see Jesus; he asked his question; he listened to Jesus’ words; and he made his decision: to go away”. Thus […]

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

The Rosary – our Dominican heritage

As October draws to a close it seems fitting to call to mind once again the powerful gift entrusted to us in the Holy Rosary, this extraordinary Gospel prayer in which is so beautifully intertwined our Contemplative gaze on God and our Apostolic outreach to the world and its needs.One of the most appealing aspects of the Rosary is its versatility. It is truly a prayer for all seasons of life, all stages of growth, all moods and humours.Through it we can be brought into wrapt attention, lost in God, as the rhythmic cadence of the repetitive Hail Mary stills our bodies, quietens our minds and brings us into the depths of our own being where God simply isand we are simply present with Him.There are other times when the mysteries themselves hold our attention, coming alive for us. These are times of great reflective fruitfulness when new insights into God and his ways light up our path and renew our enthusiasm for God and the things of God, making it possible for the Word to become flesh in us.Then there are the days when we feel lost and lonely, anguished and confused and the Rosary becomes our lifeline. We don’t know how to pray .We are too agitated and distressed to quieten down but by picking up the beads and just vocally repeating the prayers we are expressing with our bodies our desire to be one with Jesus in His Sufferings. At these times we are perhaps most truly Mary’s children, sick wounded hurting, fearful for ourselves or for others, but holding on to mammy’s hand and leaving it to her to explain to Jesus the Divine Physician  of our bodies minds and […]

By |November 1st, 2013|Prayer|0 Comments

In Praise of the Riches of Autumn

 The world is charged with the glory of God – so wrote the poet Gerard Manley Hopkins – glory to Him for all the beauty of creation.For simple things that we take so much for granted – water supply and food and air, for lions and tigers and grass-hoppers alike – spiders and peacocks and swallows “on the run”.For giving us food from the soil, brown bread from an ear of corn and wine from the vine to keep us cheerful.Now in these autumn days we thank you Father for the berries in black-berry bushes and fruits and hazel-nuts – for the beauty of autumn colours with their variety of hues of soft browns and golden yellow orange tints – bright reds to catch the little birds eye.  Praise to you too for those glorious sunrises and sunsets that artists and poets never tire of proclaiming by word or brush.The eye marvels at all the richness, our minds are stilled and amazed as after the summer heat falls the reviving dew.  Eccl.43“Harvester God, as the Autumn suns ripen the grain – Ripen our souls too.As the brown leaves fall and the sheaves of corn are stored away, help us to leave behind the cares of Summer and go forward with deepening compassion and trust” – Sr.Marie O.S.U.“The heavens and the earth are indeed telling of the glory of God, and all creation is singing for joy – -Come, come dance through the leaves that scatter our pathsand sing, sing to the glory of God”.“cf. Canticle of the Sun’’ Marty Haugen

By |October 2nd, 2013|Prayer|0 Comments
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    15th August 2013 – Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary – Consecration of Ireland to the Immcaculate Heart of Mary –

15th August 2013 – Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary – Consecration of Ireland to the Immcaculate Heart of Mary –

Today at Knock Shrine Cardinal Sean Brady together with co-adjutor Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop Charles Brown – the Papal Nuncio  and the Bishops of Ireland will consecrate Ireland to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.  We pray that this entrusting of our country to Mary our Mother will bear abundant fruit in holiness of life in our people.  At our Eucharist this morning we, in solidarity with the Bishops, prayed the act of consecration entrusting ourselves, our community, our Church and our country to Mary’s hands. Act of ConsecrationMost Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and Refuge of Sinners, we entrust and consecrate ourselves, our family, our home and our Dioceses to Jesus through your Immaculate Heart. As your children, we promise to follow your example in our lives by doing at all times the will of God. O Mary, Spouse of the Holy Spirit, we renew today the promises of our Baptism and Confirmation. Intercede for us with the Holy Spirit that we may be always faithful to your Divine Son, to his Mystical Body, the Catholic Church, and to the teachings of his Vicar on earth, our Holy Father the Pope. Immaculate Heart of Mary, our Queen and our Mother, we promise to uphold the sanctity of marriage and the welfare of the family. Watch over our minds and hearts and preserve our youth from dangers to the faith and the many temptations that threaten them in the world today. We ask you, Mary our Advocate,  to intercede with your divine Son. Obtain for our country the grace to uphold the uniqueness of every human life, […]

By |August 15th, 2013|Prayer|0 Comments

St Dominic’s Prayer for Others

A Reflection on St Dominic’s Prayer and concern for others. All of the accounts of St Dominic’s  life speak of his great passion for the salvation of others. A passion that found expression both in his preaching and in his prayers. This was something that impressed me when I was discerning my vocation – the energy and fervency of his prayer for the conversion of sinners. His frequent cry “what will become of sinners?”  This links into what I read in St Catherine of Siena’s “Dialogue”: when God the Father tells her that it is the love and desire with which she offers her prayers, penance and actions that is most important since only love is infinite. The main purpose of my life here is to offer worship to God and to pray for those who need our prayers. But looking at St Dominic’s life I see ever more clearly that my prayer must be passionate. To use a modern expresssion, I must be engaged by what I am praying for. I must know in my own heart the tragedy of those who turn from God and have that knowledge, that awareness, fuel my prayer. So that my prayer, like Dominic’s, will be earnest and fervent and will bear fruit for others.

Novena in preparation for the feast of St Dominic

 Today we being the novena in preparation for the feast of St Dominic – before Vespers each evening for the coming nine days we have a short reflection followed by the singing of the ‘O Spem’ – a prayer reminding St Dominic of his promise that he would be more helpful to his brothers and sisters after his death than when he was alive.  Readers of this blog might like to join us in praying to St Dominic during these days:O wonderful hope which you gave to those who wept for you at the hour of your death, that after your decease you would be helpful to your brethren.Fulfil Father what you have said and help us by your prayersYou shone on the bodies of the sick by so many miracles, bring us the help of Christ to heal our sick souls.Fulfil Father what you have said and  help us by  your prayers.