Saturday, December 10, 2016


“Consecrated life is a gift to the Church, it is born of the Church, it grows in the Church, and it is entirely directed to the Church,” Pope Francis said October 28. 

"Bishops should be particularly attentive to communities of contemplative sisters. These are “torches to guide men and women along their journey through the dark night of time,” and “sentinels of the morning, heralding the dawn.”

The contemplative life is not a special kind of life, but should be the Christian life, nothing more and nothing less. It is life formed by the Father’s  revealing Word, who is Christ. This Word must be read and heard, meditated and prayed.

The contemplative tradition emphasizes that God is mindful of us and continues to show us our place in salvation history, which is nothing less than doing His will.  We learn to be attentive to the Father and His gift to us of His Son through the Virgin Mary. Mary’s song exemplifies the contemplative tradition because it celebrates the activity of God in human life. While she is initially troubled by God’s plan for her, she agrees to become the Mother of the Savior, thus carrying out  the Will of the Father, which will effect all of humankind. This Advent we celebrate that very reality in our own lives. 

Prayer of Evelyn Underhill (1875-1941), a widely acknowledged English scholar and mystic:

Lord! Going out from this silence, teach me to be more alert, humble, expectant, than I have been in the past: ever ready to encounter you in quiet, homely ways: in every appeal to my compassion, every act of unselfish love which shows up and humbles my imperfect love, may I recognize you: still walking through the world. Give me that grace of simplicity which alone can receive your mystery. Come and abide with me! Meet me, walk with me! Enlighten my mind! And then, Come in! Enter my humble life with its poverty and limitations as you entered the stable of Bethlehem, the workshop of Nazareth, the cottage of Emmaus. Bless and consecrate the material of that small and ordinary life. Amen.

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