A Nun Blog - The Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration

A Nun Blog - The Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration "For God created man for incorruption, and made him in the Image of His own Eternity." Wisdom 2:23

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

88 Strong!

Eighty-eight years is a good long time! Today, April 20th, Mother Angelica reached this remarkable milestone. This afternoon, we gathered the stunningly beautiful flowers and brightly wrapped gifts that many of Mother’s friends sent her in celebration of this day. She was chipper and beamed brightly as her surprises were unwrapped. Mother smiled and nodded in appreciation when she was told of the many prayers that were offered for her in thanksgiving for her life! Thank you to all who keep Mother in your prayers! She is very grateful.

Providentially, Mother’s birthday falls this year right before Holy Thursday and the beginning of the Easter Triduum. Her long-suffering & patient endurance of a myriad of burdens has certainly allowed her an ever-greater glimpse into the depths of God’s love.

For much of this week, the antiphon that is chanted at midday prayer in the liturgy of the hours borrows from the Gospel of John: Jesus had always loved those who were his own, and now he would show them the depth of his love. The astounding reality of these sacred days is truly this – to be drawn into the unfathomable depths of Christ’s love – his love that lays down his life for us, his love that ‘bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things’ unto the end. When one receives Him at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper – at the very outset of His ‘hour’ – these words of Pope Benedict XVI have a profound resonance: The overcoming of guilt has a price: we must put our heart – or, better, our whole existence – on the line. And even this act is insufficient; it can become effective only through communion with the One who bore the burdens of us all. We too are called to communion and a sharing in this same life giving love of the Redeemer through the Cross - and all the forms that it takes in our lives.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Desert Whisperings

New arrivals to Alabama will often hear some enthusiastic well-seasoned resident share the unnerving fact that the state they now live in is home to a number of venomous snakes. Even more disconcerting than hearing this statement is the queasy feeling that begins to grow as one thinks: I wouldn’t know what to do if bit by a snake! - while wondering the distance to the nearest hospital. The passage from Exodus that chronicles the Israelites’ plight and rescue from seraph serpents in the desert displays a similar drama in its darkest form. Israel had begun to grumble, and with ‘their patience worn out by the journey’ (Num 21:4) they lost sight of God’s providence and unfailing faithfulness. The ‘serpent’s’ whisperings, manifested in their thoughts and complaints, suddenly were seen, as it were, in the flesh. God sent among them the visible consequence of their unbelief. The result was suffering from the serpent bite and the ultimate evil – death. While these most cunning of all the animals destroyed God’s chosen ones, the Lord himself intervened and saved those who succumbed to the father of lies. The problem with ‘the serpent’ of course began in the Garden. Eve, seduced by the tempter’s words, tasted his ‘poison’ – the poison of death as she took the fruit – her first act of mistrust and disobedience. In Lent we keenly feel the residue of this venom in our very selves. The poison of sin and selfishness has corroded our relationship with God and we often do not ‘do the good [we] want (Rom 7:19).’ And yet the remedy for our foolishness far exceeds the damage we have incurred. While we have often tasted the forbidden fruit, choosing to live for ourselves, - the Cross, the Tree of Life offers us salvation in the One lifted upon it. He draws us to taste this Fruit, which is Himself given up for us in the Eucharist. Here at the Tree of Life we find the Woman who will (and does!) with her Son, crush the serpent’s head. Let us stay with her as Holy Week approaches and as we take part in the great drama of our salvation.