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Posts from the ‘Saints’ Category

Today is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary

In this image from the front of an altar in Toulouse, France, the artist has painted his idea of Our Lady giving the Rosary to Dominic

In this image from the front of an altar in Toulouse, France, the artist has painted his idea of Our Lady giving the rosary to Dominic

This is very special feast for Dominicans (laity, sisters, nuns, and friars) all over the world. There is a story (which although is probably not factual, must be true, as all wonderful stories are) that Mary gave the rosary to Dominic and asked him to teach it to others so that the whole world would eventually pray the rosary.

Today is the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis of Assisi is probably one of the best known and loved saints. He is the founder of the Franciscan Order; he and St. Dominic, who founded the Order of Preachers, were contemporaries. One of his sayings that is especially loved by Dominicans is:

Preach always, when necessary, use words.

How does this image preach to you?

How does this image preach to you?

She Announced the Good News

Sister Anna Louise

Today we celebrate the Feast of the Annunciation. Our Lenten reflection has been prepared by Sister Cathy Murray, OP., and she recalls the lovely presence and passing of Sister Anna Louise LaVoy, often remembered as Sister Ignatius (and lovingly as gracious Ignatius).

In the first reading today, we see that Ahaz responded to God’s great offer of giving any sign – NO MATTER HOW GREAT OR HOW MOMENTOUS – by spiritualizing his decision not to follow God’s advice. “Oh, I would never want to tempt God by asking for a sign.” God’s will for Ahaz was very clear, but the path of God’s will for Ahaz required great courage and great risk. God was asking him to neither surrender to Israel nor to align with the Assyrians for protection.

We contrast Ahaz with Mary, a young woman born in an obscure village. She experienced God’s intervention in her life through an encounter with an angel. There was no guile with Mary. She had the presence of mind in the midst of this divine experience to dialogue with the angel.

As I write this Lenten reflection, I am sitting alongside our sister Anna Louise as she is dying. Anna Louise is one who answered many annunciations in her life. She lived without guile and was genuine and wholehearted in her response to God. Anna Louise loved so many sisters in our congregation and so deeply. She saw and celebrated the good and the best in others. She delighted in God and the wonders of creation. She lived the presence of Christ within her and her Christ-bearing joy was contagious. At 93 years old, she faced many changes in religious life and church; yet she had the presence of mind and freedom with God to dialogue about those changes and trust where God was leading religious life and church. The Good News was announced to her and she lived it lovingly, beautifully and justly.

She announced the Good News, in her very being, that God is with us.

This reflection can also be found on the website of the Dominican Preachers for the Western Region.

Feast of Saint Lucy – Feast of Light

On this Feast of Saint Lucy (whose name means light), I share a poem by Thomas Merton.

Lucy, whose day is in our darkest season,
(Although your name is full of light,)
We walkers in the murk and rain of flesh and sense,
Lost in the midnight of our dead world’s solstice
Look for the fogs to open on your friendly star.

We have long since cut down the summer of history;
Our cheerful towns have all gone out like fireflies in October.
The fields are dry and the vine is bare:
How have our long days dwindled, now that the world is frozen!

Locked in the cold jails of our stubborn will,
Oh hear the shovels growling in the gravel.
This is the way they’ll make our beds for ever,
Ours, whose Decembers have put out the sun:
Doors of whos souls are shut against the summertime!

Martyr, whose short day sees our winter and our Calvary,
show us some light, show seem forsaken by the sky:
We have so dwelt in darkness that our eyes are screened and dim,
And all but blinded by the weakest ray.

Hallow the vespers and December of our life,
O martyred Lucy:
Console our solstice wit your friendly day.

-Thomas Merton, The Collected Poems

O Christ, Light in our darkness, light our way!

Mary – Model of Openness

This Della Robbia of the Virgin Mary adorns the exterior of St. Margaret Convent in San Rafael.

On today’s Feast of the Immaculate Conception, we celebrate Mary our Model of Openness to God

Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord.
May it be done to me according to your word.”
Then the angel departed from her.

– Luke 1:37-38