Within the ‘love command’ of God there is a ‘demand’…the demand is to ‘sell all’. This ‘demand’ to sell all is not easy…still ‘with God all things are possible’. It seems that ‘virtue’ is not enough, that is the virtuous living of the ten commandments. Why would God ask something extra, beyond keeping these commandments?
The Fall Newsletter recaps yet another summer of navigating the pandemic while maintaining our monastic life and ministry of prayer and hospitality. Even though our guest house has been closed, we were able to host several young women as interns. These women participated fully in our life of prayer and used the time wisely. They took the opportunity to look inward in order to discern their life's meaning and direction at a deeper level.
Also featured in the newsletter is an article about our community retreat with Fr. Simeon Leiva-Merikakis, ocso, a scholar and monk of Saint Joseph’s Abbey, Spencer, MA. As Sr. Gertrude writes, "The retreat, 'Encounter with the Risen Jesus,' gave us an in-depth and fascinating look into the post-Resurrection accounts found in the Gospel of St. Matthew."
The theme of ‘call’ is the focus of the readings for this Second Sunday in Ordinary Time. The ‘call’ of God: how do we ‘know’ God is calling us? What are the signs and movement of the heart that reveal this call? We have the story of young Samuel’s call by God. It seems God is calling simply through the name: ‘Samuel, Samuel, Samuel’ (1 Sam 3:4). To hear our name being called, out of the silent depths of the heart, is an awakening moment, a divine moment in time, an in-breaking of God, asking us to listen. Samuel is being educated in listening by Eli, the priest. The final time the Lord calls Samuel, he follows Eli’s advice and responds: ‘Speak Lord your servant is listening’ (1 Sam 3:9). Does not God call all the time? Are we not still learners in having ‘the ear of our heart’ educated, educated in this growing process of listening? Do we ever hear our name being called in the silence of prayer: ‘Kathy, Kathy’? Or, ‘Kathy, Kathy, where are you?’ Such ‘calls’ from God are always invitations…invitations to change an attitude, invitations to wake us up, invitations to love more, invitations to change a behavior or a murmuring heart, invitations to deepen our relationship with God.
We are pleased to announce that Sister Gertrude’s book, Cardinal Basil Hume: A Pilgrim’s Search for God (Gracewing, 2019) is now available in Dutch and French. The Dutch edition is under the title, Kardinaal Basil Hume: Een Pelgrim Die God Zoekt (halewijn/Adveniat, 2020); the French edition, Cardinal Basil Hume: Un pèlerin à la recherche de Dieu(Saint-Léger Éditions, 2019). The book is the fruit of Sister Gertrude’s doctoral studies at the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, also known as the Angelicum, where she earned a Doctorate in Sacred Theology in 2015.
Prayer for Discernment
LORD, help me:
TO boldly take charge of my life, aim for the most beautiful and profound things, and keep my heart pure.
TO respond to your call, with the aid of wise and generous guides, and realize a proper plan for my life to achieve true happiness.
TO dream great dreams and
always have a concern for the
good of others.
TO stand with you at the foot
of the cross and receive the gift
of your mother.
TO witness to your Resurrection and the hope
that it brings.
TO be aware that you are at
my side as I joyously proclaim
you as Lord. Amen.
— Pope Francis
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