Friday, November 29, 2013

ALL GOOD GIFTS


All Good Gifts around us
Are sent from Heaven above
Thank the Lord,
O Thank the Lord,
For all Your Love.


HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Monday, November 25, 2013

GOD'S MASTERPIECE - A WORK IN PROCESS

Though in the form of God, Jesus did not claim equality with God but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, human like one of us.

Flesh and blood, he humbled himself, obeying to the death, death on a cross. 
For this very reason God lifted him high and gave him the name above all names.
So at the name of Jesus every knee will bend in heaven, on earth, and in the world below, and every tongue exclaim to the glory of God the Father, “Jesus Christ is Lord.”   
Phil. 2:6-11



Follow the light.org  Jesus Reads Hearts
Yesterday we celebrated ‘Christ the King.’   The gospel was the story of the good thief; a snapshot of one of God’s masterpieces.    Jesus, God made man, is dying on the cross and he extends to the good thief love, mercy, Paradise.  Obviously, Jesus saw in the thief’s heart a masterpiece in the making: the good thief was a work in process even until his last breath. 
That is good news for us as we stumble and mumble our way through life.  We are a work in process on our way to being God’s masterpiece.   We do the best we can with all our gifts and gaffes, talents and tendencies. And then God puts on the finishing touches and we become a work of art. 
In less than a week from today, the liturgical year begins with the First Sunday of Advent:  a time of beautiful symbolism and readings as we light a candle and await the comings of our God.    Ironically, the gospel reading for the First Sunday of Advent is from Matthew and talks about staying awake so a thief may not break into your house. 

How would it be if we stayed awake so we could be ready for the Thief of Hearts, Jesus, when he breaks into our hearts!  Instead of stealing from us Jesus, the Thief of Hearts would bestow on us love, mercy.  And we would become God’s masterpiece – a shining example of God’s salvific love for all humankind! 

It could happen now; it could happen, like the good thief, on our last breath.  Whenever, or however, it happens, we can take comfort in the fact that we are a work in process; a work of art not to be hidden away but seen and experienced by all around us.   Even the masterpieces Celeste and Alphonsus, who seemed to have been blessed from an early age as manifesting the work of art that they were during their lifetime, were works in process.   As Redemptoristines, living in our own time and place, we are called to radiate the spirit of love and mercy by giving witness to the Risen Christ.  
Your Face
The finishing touch to Jesus life was his resurrection.   The finishing touch on the good thief’s life was encountering Jesus’ love and mercy, and entering Paradise.  What will our finishing touches be?   What will be our future?   God knows.  So, let us stay awake as we await the Thief of Hearts and see what finishing touches God has in store for us as a masterpiece in process on our way to Paradise.  

                                                                                                                   

Friday, October 25, 2013

INCARNATION TOGETHER

On the third day there was a marriage at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there.  Jesus and his disciples had likewise been invited to the celebration.  At a certain point the wine ran out, and Jesus’ mother told him, “They have no more wine.”

Jesus replied, “Woman, how does this concern of yours involve me?  My hour has not yet come.”

His mother instructed those waiting on table, “Do whatever he tells you.”

As prescribed for Jewish ceremonial washing, there were at hand six stone water jars, each one holding fifteen to twenty-five gallons.

Jesus ordered, “Fill those jars with water,” And they were filled to the brim.

“Now, draw some out and take it to the waiter in charge.”

The waiter in charge tasted the water made wine, without knowing where it came from; only the waiters knew, since they had drawn the water.     Then the waiter in charge called the groom over and remarked to him, “People usually serve the choice wine first; then when the guests have been drinking awhile, a lesser vintage.   What you have done is keep the choice wine until now!”

Thus did Jesus reveal his glory, and his disciples believed in him.          John 2:1-11

 

Today, we celebrate Jesus who became incarnate by uniting his divinity to our flesh.  The Intent of the Father says, “From all eternity, by virtue of a plan born of His mysterious and utterly gratuitous love for us, God wishes to call us to live in communion with Him, to give us His Spirit of love so that He might constantly live with us and in us...  called together to become the Body of Christ.” 

Tomorrow, Carmelite Sr. Mary Theresa celebrates her 50th anniversary of profession.  A couple of weeks ago Sr. Hildegard's son Matthew and Heidi we married.  Four months ago we came to share this Monastery of the Incarnation when we were at the point we feeling our ‘wine had run out.’ But we have been filled to the brim with new wine, new life as we have seen Jesus’ glory revealed in the warm welcome of our Carmelite sisters. 

In each case Jesus is revealed and the loving dynamic of the Incarnation is manifested:  Sr. Theresa vowed to live in communion with Him.  Matthew and Heidi silently exchanged rings when no words could express their mysterious and gratuitous love for each other.  And we are called to live in communion with Him and become the Body of Christ.  And now together with the Carmelites, the Incarnation is broadened through divine charity filling our beings with overflowing wine: grace.
 


Celeste spoke of the union of our souls with the Incarnate Jesus in Eucharistic fashion.  Once, she began speaking of bread then switched to wine in her metaphor.  It made me think of our two communities coming together.   I paraphrase, “From all the wheat grains, as it were, of faithful souls you knead together a single Bread baked by the fire of your divine charity into your Humanity. You make us the bread of God and we, through union of love, live the life of God.  In this instance, these souls are brought by the Lord into the cellar of this excellent wine of union and grace and, carried away by this most exhilarating drink, live in the strength of the love of the Holy Spirit, and so together we cry out, ‘Eat, drink and be inebriated:  be transformed into the living God.’”  Flor. 32, 76

Who knows what our future holds. 
We are called to…transformation in a more radical way in our life as Redemptoristines in order to become, both personally and as a community, a living Memorial of the Paschal Mystery of Christ the Redeemer.”  C&S 14  as we seek together the Father’s intent for the whole community.   C&S 65    

Mary, Jesus’ Mother and our Mother, was a wise woman attentive to the Spirit.  In the Cana story we heard how she nudged Jesus to transform his way of thinking and trusted something radical would happen when she told those waiting on table to “Do whatever he tells you.”   In the end the waiter remarked about the ‘choice wine.’  I wonder what ‘choice wine’ awaits us as we strive to remain open to the movements of the Spirit.   What glory will be revealed as we believe in him who “is the light of our faith, the strength of our charity and the source of our hope.”  And be “Like Mary… attentive to the action of the Spirit whose aim is to realize in us the very works of the Redeemer.”  C&S16

 

 

Monday, October 7, 2013

PUPPIES

Puppies                                                               Moira '13

"Yes, Lord, even the puppies eat the scraps that fall from their master's table."
Mt 15:27


  Keep up the faith!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

SEASONS


Seasons                                                         Moira '04
 
For everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: 
a time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck up
what is planted;

a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to embrace,
and a time refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose;
a time keep, and a time to throw away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew,
a time to keep silent,
and a time to speak;

a time to love, and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace….
              Whatever God does endures forever….stand in awe before God.    
                                                                                                                  
Ecclesiastes 3:1-9, 14

 
Autumn has begun, the time for change of seasons.  We stand in awe of Creator and creation as the tilt of the earth shifts the light of summer into the darkening days of winter; golden and scarlet leaves swirl down leaving bear branches; the crunch of leaves beneath our feet toll the death that brings new life.  

Death is essential to life though it is hard to appreciate while it is happening.  Jesus was born in time and showed us the Father’s love.    Christ’s passion and death was not the end but brought the world new life; and life everlasting.   At Mass we receive this new life daily when we evoke the Anamnesis: “Do this in memory of me” and actually enter into the paschal mystery. 

Jesus spoke to Ven. Maria Celeste’s community, and therefore to us, in regards to the holy sacrifice of the Mass, “With attention and profound reverence they receive the fullness of the heavenly treasures in their minds and let fall upon their hearts the abundance of my mercies, which fall like dew on the meadow.” Florilegium 133          To keep with the analogy of Fall, we could say this abundance of mercies fall like leaves on the meadow.  

God’s mercies are like the leaves that will soon fall to the ground that by their decay will nourish the soil to bring forth new life. 

We are going through many changes personally and as a community.  What looks like decay may be enriching the soil of our lives.   There has been a lot of letting go still going on even though we are settled in our new surroundings.    Changes in our ways of doing liturgy and developing new rituals; letting go of the Cape department and wondering about new feasible income work; sisters aging and their special needs.

Our sisters in Meadowview never dreamt they would be in assisted living.  The pillars of their lives: daily mass, communal prayer and community life have fallen away.  What remains of this letting go is complete trust in the Lord.    And from that springs peace and a kind of anamnesis, a living memory of being Jesus to the world as a Redemptoristine.


Jesus asked Celeste to, “Make your will the echo of mine: an echo of love.”  Florilegium 64     And that is what our sisters in Meadowview are echoing even though they are not physically with us; they are our Redemptoristine sisters living the charism as they are called to do in these changing times.

We are all called to, “Be faithful and live by the Divine Life while you are still wayfarers on earth.  Because by ceasing to be led by your own will in everything, and by following whatever I should arrange for you, you will enjoy an anticipated Paradise. For by accepting me and all that I ordain  you will be granted to see my well-ordered scheme of things even down to the changes in the seasons. You will not be disturbed by sufferings and crosses.  In being united by love to my Son you will enjoy a life of untroubled peace. Florilegium 68 …and all things will fall into place for you for the best purpose!” Florilegium 101   


The glorious autumn colors remind us there is a beauty hidden underneath the steady green of summer which is only revealed just before the leaves fall and die that new life will be created in the spring if we just be attentive, trusting and awe-filled to the abundant mercies that are falling upon us in this present season.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

TRIUMPH OF THE CROSS



Welcome to the Monastery of the Incarnation.   I think we can all agree it has been some year, so we are pleased to be able to gather here today for your renewal of commitment as Redemptoristine Associates.

I believe the Associate program began over 25 years ago with Sr. Mary Regina in the big parlor of the old monastery.  Through the years Sisters Paula, Lydia, Paz, Hilda and Mary have contributed to the sharing of our charism with the women who graced our doors as the program evolved.    Over the years, together we have shared prayer, insight, family concerns and wisdom in an atmosphere of trust and mutual support. 

The Associates wish to live fully the Gospel of Christ in every aspect of their lives.  Christ is the light of their faith, the strength of their charity, and the source of their hope.   The ideal is to make all Christ’s attitudes and choices truly their own.  The more they progress in this transformation of themselves in the Redeemer, the more they will be able to be a living witness, a living memory of the Paschal Mystery of Redemption which the Father has accomplished in God’s plan of Love for our sisters and brothers in the church and in the world. See Const. 1  

Today’s feast commemorates the Exaltation of the Cross.    For the purpose of my talk this morning, I will use the old name of this feast, the Triumph of the Cross.


We Redemptoristines celebrate this day particularly because on this day in 1755 our foundress, Ven. Maria Celeste’s soul, in St. Gerard’s words, “…winged its flight to heaven like a dove, to receive the reward she has merited through her great love for Jesus.” 

Celeste triumphed over all the crosses in her life and is now filled with heavenly joy and peace.    And we present day Redemptoristines feel we have some sense of triumph over the crosses of the last two and a half years.  How is that possible?   Listen to what Jesus once said to Celeste from the ‘Throne of the Cross,’  “…your humanity will be always on the cross and will always be in the joy and peace of My Divine Spirit.”  

It certainly was that way for us.   This year, our community experienced a heavy cross when we were given a deadline of when we had to be out of our temporary housing at Cabrini and the clock was rapidly ticking down to the final date and we had exhausted all avenues of search for a new monastery.  Then, out of the blue, a miracle happened.   The Carmelites invited us to share this beautiful, peaceful monastery with them.  It was a miracle, a solution, which benefits both our communities.  

Julian of Norwich, the 15th century mystic affirmed this in her writings.  She wrote that God manifests God’s self when we are at our lowest and all options are exhausted.  She remarked, “It has ever been so before the coming of miracles.”

It is like the AA saying you have to hit rock bottom before you realize your Higher Power is in control and you can’t do it by yourself.  Only when you turn it over a glorious new life begins.   We turned it over completely to God and a miracle happened.

Often, when weighed down by the various crosses in life we ask where God is in all this.   When we hit bottom and lift our eyes to THE CROSS we see our crosses are not the end but keys to new life here and the eternal life to come.  Through prayer and humble acceptance we turn those keys and find the grace, strength and courage to enter into the peace and joy of the Divine Spirit present in the here and now. 

When you think about it, the cross is an odd symbol: it depicts humiliation, pain, torture, death.  But we followers of Christ the Redeemer see in it through faith hope, mercy, strength, salvation, light, Love with a capital L; and in knowing that Love we experience peace and joy.  

St. Paul said, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”   Therefore, the cross should be our boast and glory.   I don’t know about you but, sometimes, I could do with a few less crosses.   Sadly, many  are of my own making.    I think St Alphonsus, who was known for his scrupulosity, would concur with St Philip Neri who said, “Generally, we are carpenters of our own crosses.”  What saved Alphonsus was that he was convinced and believed, despite his feeling of unworthiness, “that God so loved the world that he gave his only Son” and that Jesus died for love of him on the glorious cross. 

Crosses of our own making can be transformed into keys of salvation with redemptive value when we unite ourselves to the cross.   The Associates’ Constitutions affirms this where it says, “Love of the cross is essentially love and imitation of Jesus Christ.  Jesus has freed the world by embracing our painful death so as to transform it into His redemptive death…to the supreme glory of the resurrection.”  Const.  29 

The key to this celebration of this feast of the Triumph, or Exaltation of the Cross is recognizing the plentiful redemption of Christ in our lives and all the graces it acquires and invites us as Redemptoristines and Associates, to share that Love, with a capital L, with the entire world.


Plentiful Redemption             Moira'13
Recently, I have gotten into Zentangles: a meditative art form.   Very simple, easy to do, no real skill in drawing required.  All you need is a Sharpie, a small square of paper and an open mind.  Some call it doodling, some call it prayer.  What it is, it is very focusing and relaxing, contemplative.     On the cover of your mass booklet is an example. 

What you do is sit down and draw various patterns or repetitions with no forethought or goal of desired outcome.   It is only when it is finished and you sit with it for a while a message may be revealed.

After this one was complete I named it Plentiful Redemption.   You see, the cross isn’t hard and impenetrable but rather porous and giving.  Little tendrils tethered to the cross drift out with their own little crosses attached to the ends.  These are our connections with Christ, as in, “I am the Vine, you are the branches, those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.”  John 15:5 

Before I said the cross was giving; see the little circles all around, inside the cross and floating out of the cross?  These are the bubbles of grace, plentiful redemption, that surrounds us at every given moment of our lives.   All those tiny bubbles of grace adds a lightness to the crosses in our lives knowing we are Loved, redeemed, tethered to the one true cross of Christ. 

That is why we celebrate today: we glory in the cross of our Redeemer who Loves us beyond our imagining and we exult Christ for the plentiful redemption wrought by his passion on the cross and his glorious resurrection.   Loved and redeemed, filled with peace and joy, we triumph in the Holy Cross.

 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

NUGGETS


Jesus Christ showed Himself to Celeste surrounded by the light of glory,
accompanied by the seraphic St. Francis de Assisi
and Don Alfonso de Liguori.
Then the Lord said to her,
"This soul is chosen as the head of My Institute.
It is he who will be the first superior of the Congregation of men." 
Autobiography of Ven. M. Celeste Crostarosa

 

St. Alphonsus was a prolific writer.             Here are some nuggets mined for his feast day.

From starry skies descending,
       Thou comest, glorious King.”
 “Acquire the habit of speaking to God as if you were alone with Him, familiarly and with confidence and love, as to the dearest and most loving of friends.

          "I love Jesus Christ, and that is why I am on fire with the desire to give Him souls; first of all my own, and then an incalculable number of others."
           "If we would completely rejoice the heart of God, let us strive to make God's will alone our will.”
“God loves you.  Believe in God, return and God will bring to you the joy of everlasting life.”
 “Be full of courage, be joyful!  Become saints and love Jesus Christ very much for He gave His life and blood for each one of you.”
“It is part of the love of God’s plan for us to acquire and nurture all the virtues which make one perfect.”    
“We are made in God’s likeness, and endowed with memory, intellect and will…so that we in turn might love God out of gratitude for so many gifts."
“By giving us His Son, whom He did not spare, God bestowed on us at once every good: grace, love and heaven.” 
 “Immaculate and Most Holy Virgin, O most humble creature before God, you were chosen as His Mother therefore establishing you as Queen of heaven and of earth…She is a garden of delights, whose odors spread abroad and abound; that is, the gifts of graces. So that whatever good we have from God, we receive all by the intercession of Mary.”

Reflecting on the quotes, what has encouraged, consoled or challenged me?
What gifts am I grateful for?

 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

EVERYDAY GOD


Everyday God  by Bernadette Farrell

Earth’s creator,                       God of laughter…
    Everyday God                       God of sorrow…
Loving Maker                             Home and shelter…
      O Jesus,                                    Strong and patient…
You who shaped us
          O Spirit,                         Way of freedom…
Recreate us.                               Star of morning…
           Come be with us.              Timeless healer…
                                                        Flame eternal…

In your presence…
   We are gathered…                  Word of gladness…
       You have called us…               Word of mercy…
         To restore us…                        Word of friendship…
                                                            Word of challenge…

Life of all lives…
    Love of all loves…                 Gentle Father…
      Hope of all hopes…                 Faithful brother…
        Light of all lights…                  Tender sister…
                                                            Loving mother…

In our resting…
    In our rising…                        Our beginning…
       In our hoping…                       Our unfolding…
        In our waiting…                        Our enduring…
                                                              Journey’s ending…

In our dreaming…
    In our daring…                       Alleluia…
       In our searching…                 Now and always…
          In our sharing…                     Alleluia…
                                                            Through all ages…
 
 
Reading: I am making all things new.  I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away.  And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem come down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.  I heard a loud voice say, “See, the home of God is among you.  God will dwell with you and you will be God’s people.’  Then the one who was seated on the throne said, ‘The Spirit and the bride say “Come” And let everyone who hears say ‘Come.’  Let everyone who is thirsty come and I will give water as a gift from the spring of life.   The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all God’s people.  Amen.  Come Lord Jesus! Amen.     see-Rev.21-22

This marks our first month anniversary of sharing the monastery with the sisters of the Carmel of the Incarnation.  The first heaven, Esopus, has passed away, it is finished.   Here, in this monastery, is a new heaven, a new beginning for all of us.   But in reality, what is finished? what is beginning?  Our life goes on in a circular fashion in Kairos time. We tend to recognize the hand of God in the extraordinary times of our lives but God is truly an Everyday God present in the little everyday events of our life.  That is where abundant redemption is found and shared. 

Our contemplation sees into the heart of the everyday and sees the hand of God creating, supporting, forgiving, guiding, healing and loving us at every turn.   Jesus became incarnate to participate in our everyday lives so as to give us an example of how much God loves us and how we in turn should love one another.  It is in the everyday moments of our lives that we become the hand of God creating, supporting, guiding, forgiving, healing, loving.  It is all the little things we do that when put together expresses the wholeness of our life and we become the Incarnate Body of Christ in today’s world; a radiant witness to God’s love.   

Celeste speaks of this as union/participation.  As Jesus once said to Celeste, “You shall possess my joy by your participation in my love.”  This participation is accomplished when we follow the Wayfarer with open hearts; letting go of the familiar to experience this ‘new heaven’ before us.  So let us joyfully live in constant communion with each other and Christ who is the light of our faith, the strength of our charity and the source of our hope that we may follow with confidence as Viva Memorias of this new heaven and new earth.  

Friday, July 12, 2013

RAINBOW


The Story of the Rainbow   
A Native American Legend
 


Once upon a time, all the colors in the world started to quarrel; each claimed that she was the best, the most important, the most useful, the favorite.

Green said, ‘Clearly I am the most important.  I am the sign of life and hope.  I was chosen for grass and all the leaves on the trees – without me all the animals would die.  Look out over the countryside and you will see that I am the majority.’

Blue interrupted, ‘You only think about the earth, but consider the sky and the sea.  It is water that is the basis of all life and is drawn up by the clouds from the blue sea.  The sky gives space and peace and serenity.  Without my peace you would all be nothing but busybodies.’

Yellow chuckled, ‘You are all so serious.  I bring laughter, gaiety and warmth into the world.  The sun is yellow and all the stars that twinkle in the night sky are yellow.  Every time you look at a sunflower the whole world starts to smile.  Without me there would be no fun.

Orange started next to blow her own trumpet, ‘I am the color of health and strength. I may be scarce but I am precious for I serve the inner needs of human life.  I carry all the most important vitamins – my bounty is found in  carrots and pumpkins – but when I fill the sky at sunrise or sunset, my beauty is so striking that no one gives another thought to any of you.’

Red could stand it no longer and shouted, ‘I am the ruler of you all. I am the color of life’s blood. I am fire in the blood, brave am I; willing to fight for a cause.  Without me the earth would be empty as the moon.  I am the color of passion and of love; the red rose, poinsettia and poppy.’

Purple rose up to her full height and said with great pomp, ‘I am the color of royalty and power.  Queens, chiefs and bishops have always chosen me, for I am a sign of authority and wisdom.  People do not question me – they listen and obey.’

Indigo spoke much more quietly than all the other but just as determinedly, ‘Think of me.  I am the color of silence.  You hardly notice me, but without me you all become superficial.  I represent thought and reflection, twilight and deep waters.  You need me for balance and contrast, for prayer and inner peace.

The colors were fighting when all of a sudden a great light flashed across the sky and thunder rolled in the heavens and rain came down.  The colors all huddled in a circle and were afraid.  The Rain said, ‘Silly colors, why are you fighting?  You are all important. You are all beautiful. The world needs each and every one of you.  You are all equal in the sight of the Great Spirit!’  Then the Rain stopped and the Sun shone and all the colors joined hands and danced with joy!

 

The day we moved in to Carmel there was a rainbow.  We all oohed and    aahed at the sight. It was a sign of blessing; a promise fulfilled.  God had brought us together to share this glorious, peaceful bit of land to be witnesses of God’s infinite loving mercy.

Like the colors of the rainbow each contemplative community, each sister, shines with her own special ‘color’ that gifts the whole.  As we join hands and begin this dance may our swirl of color hope, peace, laughter, strength, love, wisdom, silence radiate redemptive joy giving witness to the Risen Christ to all the world. 

This is the call of us all: to be a rainbow in the sky.


Monday, June 10, 2013

CHRIST LEADS THE WAY

Do you remember the call?
The call bespeaks of action, of moving. That is what we do when Christ leads the way. Ironically, our life of prayer calls us to be a still point in a busy world.  We have been a contemplative presence in the Hudson Valley for over 55 years and will continue to be so even though we are moving.  Six of us will move to Beacon and share the Carmel of the Incarnation monastery.  The others are moving to Meadowview Assisted Living today. 
 
Do we remember the call?
Our Foundress Ven. Mother Maria Celeste Cristarosa was no stranger to hearing a call and following as Christ led the way.  In religious life, she first entered a Carmelite monastery, then a Visitation monastery in Scala.  It was there she heard the call to “transform her being into that of the Lord himself.”  She further heard the call that the whole community was to become a “Living Memory of Christ.”  Two years after the institution of the Order of the Most Holy Redeemer was established, Celeste was dismissed from the community and moved three more times before making a foundation in Foggia.
 
Remember your call?
Sr. Mary Anne heard the call at the St. Anne de Beaupre Shrine in Quebec when she heard of the French Redemptoristine Nuns praying on the hill.  WWII was over, so she left the tank factory to cross the border at Detroit to enter into the new foundation of English speaking Redemptoristine Nuns in Toronto.  Not many years later the monastery became too small and the growing community moved to Barrie, Ontario.  In 1957 Sr. Mary Anne and five other sisters came to New York to make a new foundation at the invitation of the Baltimore Province. 
 
Sr. Mary soon joined them.  She came up from Brooklyn from teaching with the Sisters of St. Joseph when she heard the call to a deeper life of prayer.  She was the first sister to enter when the sisters were still living temporarily just down the road in the historic Smith House in West Park while the big monastery was being built on the Redemptorist seminary property.
 
Sr. Lydia heard the same call to a life of prayer while working with the Redemptorists and left behind her family and friends in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico to enter the Redemptoristines in Esopus in the middle of winter. 
Many women heard the call to follow Christ’s lead and joined them.  Some stayed while others heard the call to another way of life.

After discerning the that big monastery was no longer conducive on many levels in supporting our contemplative call, the sisters moved into a new smaller monastery in 2001 also built on the grounds of Mount St Alphonsus.  Then, suddenly last year we found ourselves in West Park again living temporarily at Cabrini.   Our discernment has taken many twists and turns these past two and a half years until all our options were explored and we heard where the Lord was calling us.

We have been called to sacrifice and let go of all we hold dear.    Our three sisters: Mary Anne, Mary and Lydia are called to make the greater sacrifice in living in new surroundings.   Nevertheless, we follow as Christ leads the way and will continue to live as a contemplative presence throughout all the circles and cycles of life wherever we reside for the love of God and the love of community for all the people of God. Though separated by distance we remain united in mind and heart, spirit and charism.  The beauty of our life of prayer transcends space and time.  No matter in which place we find ourselves individually, we live like our Blessed Mother striving to live the love of Christ in constant communion with her Son who is the light of our faith, the strength of our charity and the source of our hope. 
 
In Meadowview the sisters will be among the welcoming ambience already created by the Lutherans, and the Dominicans and Franciscans.  Their gift will be that of the contemplative dimension which we are all called to experience at a deeper level as the circles and cycles of life roll on. 
 
Yes, we remember the call, the vision born of love, lived in fidelity, wisdom and hope and grown into fullness of life following as Christ leads the way in the Name of Love.
 
  

Saturday, May 25, 2013

ALL THAT IS HIDDEN


  Since you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on things that are on earth, for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.   Col 3:1-5


Our life is a paradox: we are called to be ‘visible witnesses,’ ‘living memories.’ We have lived in the Hudson Valley almost 56 years and people hardly knew we were here.  Yet, in these past two years we have been ‘visible’ in that just about everyone knew of our plight: our search for a new home.  And while often, we were like Martha, ‘busy with many things,’ our friends, associates, religious from other congregations and total strangers have been ‘living memories’ to us by the prayer, love and support they have given us.    And we are grateful for their witness.

When we felt we were not always visible witnesses, even with our continuance of our life of prayer, our Constitutions & Statutes reassures us when it states, “Although hidden in Christ and scarcely visible to the eyes of the world, our life of adoration, praise and intercession is of itself fully apostolic.    Radiating the spirit of love it contributes to the support of those who consecrate themselves to the work of evangelization. At the service of the missionary Church our life is an offering for the salvation of our sisters and brothers in Christ.”

Our life is a mystery: so many times in the last two years we tried to find a patch of ground to plant ourselves in but it wasn’t until we felt like we were dying when new ground was offered:  grounds that are an already well maintained garden, both in Carmel and Meadowview, with room for us to plant ourselves to bring forth a glory which is yet to be revealed. 

The last line of the hymn ‘All That is Hidden’ made me think of tomorrow’s feast of the Most Holy Trinity. It said, ‘I have planted your life deep within mine,’ which reminded me of something the Lord said to Celeste, ‘Become transformed into the Blessed Trinity where God unites you in a way that God’s own life is lived in you.’

This is our call to participate in the Incarnation.  Because the Word is planted deep in our hearts we can and do reveal God’s life, God’s loving plan of redemption.  And as time goes on we wonder what glory will be revealed to us and for us to proclaim. 


Saturday, May 18, 2013

INSPIRATION OF THE SPIRIT



Moira '13
On this feast of Pentecost may you be filled with all the Gifts of the Spirit!
 
Your Redemptoristine Sisters come to you this day with news.  A month ago, the Carmel of the Incarnation in Beacon, New York extended an invitation to us to share space in their monastery when they realized their building was being under-utilized. We all feel this was the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.   

The Redemptoristines and the Carmelites have been linked by prayer, friendship, and support for over 45 years as founding members of the Metropolitan Association of Contemplative Communities.  

Thank you for your prayers and support since we began our search for a new monastery.  We vetted over 100 convents and properties in an effort to find a place that would support our life of prayer and found nothing that would enable us to maintain our monastic lifestyle.  Therefore, we have decided to accept their generous offer that we may continue our Redemptoristine charism for the church and the world in a shared monastic setting. 

As nine members of the Redemptoristine community, we had made a commitment to one another that we would remain together as community but within the last year it has become evident that we could no longer support our sisters who require daily support for their special needs.  Thus, we made the difficult decision that three of our sisters, as much as we love and cherish them, must go into assisted living.  They will be moving to Meadowview for Assisted Living at Wartburg in Mount Vernon, New York, June 11, 2013.

We have had many discussions in the past few weeks with our Carmelite sisters and find we have much in common regarding our monastic contemplative lifestyle.  Did you know our foundress Ven. Maria Celeste Crostarosa began her religious life as a Carmelite?   We firmly believe that being mature religious firmly rooted in our unique charisms, our sharing of space within the Beacon monastery will be one of enrichment and support for both communities rather than diminishment of our particular gifts to the people of God.

And so, Carmel of the Incarnation will welcome six Redemptoristine followers of the Wayfarer into their monastery on June 25, 2013.   We are pleased that we have finally found a place to call home just forty minutes from where we now reside and are able to remain here in the Hudson Valley in a peaceful monastic setting in Beacon close to our friends, associates and doctors, and feel blessed to continue to be a visible witness and Viva Memoria of the Paschal Mystery of Redemption of the Father’s plan of love through Christ and in the Spirit by our Redemptoristine life of prayer.