Second Sunday of Advent

In today's First Reading from Isaiah we hear the exhortation:
"Go up on to a high mountain,
Zion, herald of glad tidings;
cry out at the top of your voice,
Jerusalem, herald of good news!
Fear not to cry out
and say to the cities of Judah:
Here is your God!
Here comes with power
the Lord GOD"

If asked what Christmas means to them, many people on the street would say things such as family, hot cocoa before a warm crackling fire, Christmas lights and carols. Although not universally celebrated, it isn't just Christians who celebrate Christmas anymore. Now instead of Merry Christmas it is Happy Holidays, instead of Secret Santa (St. Nicholas!) it is Secret Snowflakes, and while the holiday is so family centered the Holy Family is often forgotten. 

Christians have pushed back against this trend with "Keep Christ in Christmas" and cheerfully greeting others with "Merry Christmas!" but do those who need to even know what Christmas with Christ means? 

This exhortation from Isaiah is for us. We are the heralds of glad tidings, and this good news is not to be hidden away or pushed to the side but cried out at the top of your voice. Sharing the reason for our joy at Christmas can be daunting, but Scripture says fear not to cry out. Why? Because this is good news! Our God, the All Mighty, All Powerful has become the most helpless among us, a little baby. In Advent, we anticipate this great event. God is not only coming among us, He is becoming one of us! And He is coming to unite us to Himself by saving us from sin and separation from God. 

This is good news, so don't be afraid to share the true reason for your joy during this season. If someone were to ask you what Christmas means to you, what would you say?

Go, tell it on the mountain
Over the hills and everywhere
Go, tell it on the mountain
That Jesus to be born!




Many Hands Makes Light Work!

Evening recreation is a great time to put some extra pairs of hands to work during our busy seasons. At this particular recreation some sisters were creating boxes for one project while other sisters boxed up a large order for the Gift Shop.

Sunday Sharing

At recreation Sunday Evening, a time we call "Sunday Sharing," Sr. Mary Ana brought many of the gifts she received for her profession to show the community. One of the gifts we were all looking forward to seeing was the big afghan Sr. Chiara Marie crocheted and all of the novitiate (minus Sr. Mary Ana and plus a couple of aspirants) spent recreations feverishly sewing together in time for the big day. Made up of 400 pieces, that was a lot of sewing! Other gifts include a beautiful wax figurine of 3 Dominican nuns made by Sr. Maria Johanna, a Divine Mercy icon made by Sr. Marie, and a wooden bowl crafted by Sr. Mary Magdalene. 

"In This Sign" Available on Kindle!

Sr. Mary Martin's new fantasy novel, In This Sign, is now available on Kindle! You can purchase the Kindle version from Amazon HERE. It is FREE with KindleUnlimited, plus you have the option of "purchasing" the Kindle version for FREE if you have purchased the paperback on Amazon through their MatchBook program. The paperback is available on Amazon, as well as from us online and in our Monastery Gift Shop. The gift shop is open from 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM Monday-Saturday. However, sometimes the volunteer receptionist arrives late or has to leave early so it is wise to call first. 

All 11 year-old Patsy wants is to go home, but having been mysteriously transported to another world she discovers that she holds the key to their fight against the Dark Ones. To refuse her mission would be to send the Kingdom of Arendolin to its demise, but to accept it will require a bravery and trust beyond Patsy’s imagination. In an adventure of a lifetime, this little girl from Ohio learns that to combat the Dark Ones without she must conquer the darkness within.

First Sunday of Advent

Happy New Year! Today we begin a new liturgical year with the First Sunday of Advent.

In the Gospel from Saint Mark, Jesus warns us to ""Be watchful! Be alert! You do not know when the time will come....What I say to you, I say to all: 'Watch!'."

We are included in that "all." Today's liturgy reminds us that Advent is not only about getting ready for Christ's First Coming in Christmas, but also for His Second Coming. Sometimes we can get so caught up in preparing for Christmas: shopping for gifts, stringing lights, decorating the tree, and let's not forget baking Christmas cookies! But during this time of Advent the liturgy invites us to "watch," to focus on the most important preparations, the preparation of our hearts to receive Christ. 

Advent is a time to be still and dispose our hearts to receive the grace of Christ, that He may conform us to Himself. The work is His, but we must cooperate and allow Him to move in us.  Let's let this Advent truly be a time of preparation, of silent watching as we wait and open our hearts for the coming of our Lord and King.

People, look east. The time is near  Of the crowning of the year. Make your house fair as you are able, Trim the hearth and set the table.People, look east and sing today: Love, the guest, is on the way.

More Profession Photos

We promised more photos from Sr. Mary Ana's First Profession and here they are! Many thanks to Ted for letting us see/use his pictures. We'll hopefully have a Flickr album up soon with all of the pictures!