Christ is Risen!

A blessed and joyful Easter to all!

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Tell Them

Breaking through the powers of darkness
bursting from the stifling tomb
he slipped into the graveyard garden
to smell the blossomed air.

Tell them, Mary, Jesus said,
that I have journeyed far
into the darkest deeps I’ve been
in nights without a star.

Tell them, Mary, Jesus said,
that fear will flee my light
that though the ground will tremble
and despair will stalk the earth
I hold them firmly by the hand
through terror to new birth.

Tell them, Mary, Jesus said,
the globe and all that’s made
is clasped to God’s great bosom
they must not be afraid
for though they fall and die, he said,
and the black earth wrap them tight
they will know the warmth
of God’s healing hands
in the early morning light.

Tell them, Mary, Jesus said,
smelling the blossomed air,
tell my people to rise with me
and heal the Earth’s despair.

                                                 Edwina Gately

Poem for Holy Saturday

Another poem by Edwina Gately:

The Creative Potential of

the Dead End

I have come up against

a wall-

a blank-

nowhere to go-

unsure, lost-

bewildered.

Creativity is released

in any death,

when we b elieve in life,

when we are people of hope.

For people of hope

there is never any real death

for death has been conquered by Christ

and life has been exchanged for it.

I have faced death often

in many different ways

and everything has seemed hopeless

life-less.

At the moment of death I am called

to a faith response

that defies reason.

If only we had even a scrap

of resurretion faith,

there would be an abundance

of life and hope.

We turn away too often

in despair

in hopelessness

in tiredness

in anger

in self-pity

in defeat.

We turn away from the Dead-End

the tomb,

because we are blind.

We fail to see the light

waiting to be called forth

in resurrection.

Jesus saw his dead-end coming.

Everything he worked and preached for

was crumbling around him.

The whole thing was in shambles;

his followers scared and confused,

but he never turned back,

even when he got to the dead-end

-he walked right into it in faith,

and he destroyed death

and dead-ends.

Poem for Good Friday

Last Wednesday, a friend gave us a small collection of poems by Edwina Gately. We offer the following as a Good Friday meditation:

Disciple of Jesus

Disciple of Jesus, weary and silent,

aware, in the darkness of challenges failed

and longings unfulfilled,

remembering the passion that sent you forth,

young and bright and fired with hope.

Disciple of Jesus, weary and silent,

world unchanged, its darkness still deep,

dreams dispelled and visions blurred.

How is it now with you?

Trailing behind me the sparkle and fire

of early passion,

bruised and tender from love’s long thrust.

Now is the finest, greatest moment

and now the ultimate death.

For I, Disciple of Jesus,

to stand before my God,

weary, silent, and all alone,

claiming only ‘I was there.’

Edwina Gately

Guest House Kitchen Renovation

We wish to express our immense gratitude to all who enabled us to renovate the monastery’s guest house kitchen. Gone are the old, rusty, second-hand metal cabinets, the worn-through enamel sink and the malfunctioning stove. The new installation includes a dishwasher, as well as a stove with a warming drawer, both of which will make it easier for us to serve groups, on “real” plates. We hope you’ll come visit us soon!
 Below are some “before”, “during” and “after” photos:

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Oblate Day

If you are already a Benedictine oblate, or if you would like to consider becoming an oblate of Transfiguration Monastery, please join us for an Oblate Day on Saturday, March 29. Sister Donald will give two talks on Benedictine spirituality and Sister Miriam will provide a delicious, home-cooked lunch. The schedule will be as follows:

10:00: coffee and snack

10:30: conference, followed by quiet time

12:00: midday prayer and lunch

1:30: conference, followed by quiet time and an opportunity to visit with the sisters

The Oblate Day officially ends at 2:30, but all are welcome to stay and join us for Vespers at 4:00 and the Vigil Mass of Sunday at 5:00. Six bedrooms are available for guests coming from a distance who wish to stay overnight.

Suggested donation: $20

For those not familiar with the term, “oblate” (from the Latin verb “to give” or “offer”) refers to lay persons or clergy who wish to live the Rule of St. Benedict in a way that can be adapted to their lives “in the world”, and who are affiliated with a specific Benedictine monastery, where they receive spiritual support.

Letter from a French friend to Pope Francis

A French friend of ours wrote to the Pope the other day, scanned the handwritten letter, and sent us a copy via email. The letter so impressed us that we asked her permission to translate and post it, which she granted. We’ve withheld her name and address to preserve confidentiality, but we’ve kept her sometimes eccentric use of punctuation and capital letters.

To: His Holiness Pope Francis

Convent of St. Martha

courtesy of the postman and the Blessed Virgin

ROME

Italy

 As the niece of a priest, I am very attached to the Church and to the Pope. I pray for you and your intentions every day, in giving thanks for your Election.

If I take the liberty of writing to you, it is to ask you to shed some “Light” on the delicate situation of my divorced and remarried friends, who are excluded from Communion and from the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Personally, I have been a widow since November 5, 1973, at which point I was expecting our third child. Thanks be to God, my children have now become beautiful adults, in good health. On a spiritual level, they are seeking, and my 4 year old grandson is not officially baptized, although his “Nana” did it discreetly the first time she visited him. She remembered her catechism, especially because she and her twin sister were not expected to live (together, they weighed a total of 7 lbs. at birth!!!!), and so were baptized immediately on January 12, 1948. We have just celebrated our 66 years of survival!!!

The doctor “didn’t want to take care of” my sister. She became a beautiful contemplative Benedictine nun and is very happy in her monastery. I am certain that baptism saved us, and that God “put her aside” on that day!

Let us return to the reason for my letter. Jesus said, “Come and eat, ALL of you.” He didn’t say: except for So-and -So!! If he were to come back, he would be very disappointed ; he would be angry at seeing his children deprived of the best, of what is Essential, while a criminal, after a good confession, can receive the Body of Christ. But it’s more complicated if the “crime” is to be divorced and remarried!!! In the Catholic Church, it is better to be a criminal than to be divorced. Jesus said, “What God has united, let not man put asunder”…….but HE HIMSELF separates them, by death…..!!

Every Christian can ask for a marriage annulment; crowned heads do it freely and obtain annulments quickly, as opposed to the humble!!… The Church goes so far as to push the divorced to suicide, to solitude, and it condemns those who remarry, most of whom were not responsible for the divorce, to this ENORMOUS injustice, this ENORMOUS suffering. Personally, I could have chosen to remarry, I could even do so now, but I refuse to do so. Nevertheless, Jesus said, “Love one another.”

You will tell me that the Church has evolved throughout the centuries: before, the divorced and those who had committed suicide were buried like dogs. Now the Church welcomes them and recognizes that sickness, depression, or a bad combination of medicines may have led them to such misfortune. But did the Church apologize to their families for the many years (of injustice)? Unfortunately NO! If I have not left the Church, it is because the Blessed Virgin is holding me by the hand. God has given me the grace to see this.

Why have certain people left to join the Protestants, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc.? One could ask why there aren’t more “clients” in your seminaries and your churches; the reasons lie not only on the side of the “faithful”.

With this letter I am not trying to settle a score with the Church, but rather to present a Mountain of unanswered questions on behalf of my divorced and remarried or unbelieving friends!…!

I hope that you will find time to answer me, in spite of your very busy schedule, and write me what you intend to do, in terms of actions, rather than good, anesthetizing words for all of your poor sinners!

I follow regularly KTO (a French Catholic television station), where I have the joy of being in communion with you in prayer and various services, and where you can reach out to those who are isolated, elderly or sick.

Thank you for all that you are doing. May God bless you and keep you. I assure you of my respect and my prayers.

Happy Birthday, Sister Jeanne-Marie!

Sister Jeanne-Marie turned 88 on Monday. We ordered a large marble cake from Wegman’s and drove to Scranton, where we joined her for a festive lunch at the Holy Family Residence, run by the Little Sisters of the poor. We are profoundly grateful to the Little Sisters. Thanks to their superb medical and spiritual care and support, our sister and the other residents are able to live out the final chapter of their earthly lives in peace, serenity, dignity and happiness, despite their infirmities.

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Happy New Year!

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For the past few years, the town of Windsor has sponsored a child-friendly, alcohol-free First Night celebration, during which one can migrate from church to church for various activities and food possibilities: for example, the Knights of Columbus served dinner at Our Lady of Lourdes, the Baptists had a petting zoo, and the Methodists had tables set up where people could make fancy hats. One of us, after representing the community at the ecumenical Blessing of the New Year service (also sponsored by the Methodists), encountered Father Time.

As Time marches on, we wish all of you, friends, benefactors and blog followers, a Blessed and Happy New Year 2014. 

A Blessed and Joyful Christmas to All!

May the Christ Child fill all of our hearts with peace and joy on this Holy Night and throughout the coming Year!

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Last Saturday, the Bishop of Syracuse came to bless the new library, with many of our friends in attendance, including those who had helped with the construction, wiring, book-moving, cataloging, solving computer problems, etc. The ceremony was short but meaningful, and was followed by convivial sharing of coffee and cookies. We had hoped to share a video of the occasion, but our computer skills aren’t quite up to such a feat. 

Blessings, glad tidings of comfort and joy, and all our best wishes!

 

 

Advent Day of Recollection

Just a reminder and an invitation to join us on Saturday, December 14, for a quiet day, during which we will remember that “Jesus is the reason for the season.”  Please let us know by Tuesday, December 10, if you plan to come, so we’ll know how much food to prepare.

The schedule will be as follows:

- 9:00: Mass

- coffee, muffins & fruit

- 10:00: talk by Sr. Donald: “Out of darkness into his marvellous light.”

 - Quiet time

 - 12:00 Noon Prayer

 - 12:15 Hearty, home-cooked lunch

 - Quiet time

- 1:45 talk by Sr. Donald: “Love, the guest, is on the way.”

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