Mother Abbess at Vichtorchiano
If you are wanting to hear more from me about my 3 months in Rome then why don’t you take a peek at our website: colwichabbey.org.uk on the what’s new page and read this year’s Colwich Chronicle and my write up ‘Journey to Rome’…..
Enjoy reading !
So here we are again, Its the 1st Sunday of Advent and allows us the time and space to prepare properly for Christmas!
The 4 candles on the Advent wreath represent the 4 weeks traditionally known for Advent although in time past there were 6 weeks in preparation for Christmas and the season was treated like Lent….40 days of fasting and penance……
Have a wonderfully Blessed Advent and I hope that you prepare well in order to receive the Christ child into your hearts with love, joy and peace at Christmas time!
A photo of some of us in Assisi just before we left on our way home! The women in the group – Benedictine & Cistercian !
We looked at a passage of scripture from St. John’s Gospel this afternoon….JN 1:35 cf……. Where Jesus calls his first disciples…
‘The next day as John stood there with two of his disciples , Jesus went past, and Joghn looked towards him and said, ‘Look there is the lamb of God.’ And the disciples heard what he said and followed Jesus. Jesus turned round saw them following and said, ‘What do you want?’ They answered, ‘ Rabbi – which means teacher, – ‘where do your live?’ He replied ‘Come & See,’ so they went and saw where he lived, and stayed with him that day. It was about the tenth hour.
So what did we get out of this passage in our discussions….?
How Jesus is daily inviting us to not only follow him but also to answer his daily invitation of ‘What do you want?’ So what is it we want from Jesus daily?
Come & see is Jesus’ reply to where do you live.
The end of the passage was found to be showing of the Glory of God.
Nathanael’s question of ‘How do you know me? shows that Jesus knew him before hand, he was also the first to acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God….
and many more thoughts came to light.
Perhaps also including the fact that this is Jesus’ first community being called followed by 3 yrs instruction, that there was 2 sets of brothers in that group representing a family idea within a community and lots more………
As I was wondering what to talk about for this year’s Come & See weekend I placed it into Our Lord’s hands, and what keeps popping into my mind has been Vocations and vocation discernment.
As we are all aware and know fully, the word vocation comes from the latin word vocare which means ‘to call’. This call is placed as a seed within our hearts and we sometimes need to follow this up which can be quite daunting and challenging especially these days. We live in a society where everything is disposable or if you’re not satisfied you go after something else. The only thing that can truly satisfy our lives is living to the fullest the will of God whatever that may turn out to be. A vocation is more often than not depicted as a vocation to the priesthood or religious life but that is no so, it could mean a person’s job, marital status – I think that sometimes we forget that married life and the single life are just as much a vocation as priesthood and religious life. For the Christian a vocation is not just something that God calls us to do, it is also the person God calls us to be. When Jesus called his first disciples by the lake of Galilee it wasn’t just so that they could help him in his work, it was so that their lives could be transformed through his friendship and love. We have been called to follow Christ, the Son of God who came to save us and to lead us back to heaven with him. He has sent his Holy Spirit so that we can share in his divine life even now, and express that life by trying to love him and to love our neighbour.
However, I am not going to go on and try and persuade you to follow the first two vocations, but I do want to try and say something to help you over this long weekend to think about a religious vocation whether it be here at Colwich as a contemplative Benedictine Nun or in some other community.
So where shall I start, it is here that each and everyone of us has a vocation and that is to the call of holiness, we might say that holiness is not something for us but how wrong we can be on this matter it has everything to do with us and it is not un-reachable. It is sought after in the day to day circumstances of our lives no matter what that may be, in our monastery that obviously is through our life of prayer both private and communal (that is with the recitation of the divine office). But it goes a lot deeper than that, it is also through our daily manual labour which St. Benedict asks us to do – as he quotes from scripture that ‘idleness is the enemy of the soul’. As Benedictines we don’t take the evangelical counsels as our vows, but take rather : STABILITY, CONVERSION OF LIFE, AND OBEDIENCE.
Discernment is very much a word which is used now with regards a vocation and it is one in which is described as ‘listening to God’, so it is kind of ironic really that you are here this weekend and the opening words of St. Benedict in his Rule at the prologue are: LISTEN MY CHILD TO THE WORDS OF YOUR FATHER.
We can usually say something like: ‘I think God is calling me to do ……..’, sometimes it does mean that God is speaking directly to us via someone else or through circumstances or perhaps through scripture or other reading, it may be clear and dramatic, but it may also not be so.
O COME BLESS THE LORD,
ALL YOU WHO SERVE THE LORD,
WHO STAND IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD,
IN THE COURTS OF THE HOUSE OF OUR GOD.
LIFT UP YOUR HANDS TO THE HOLY PLACE
AND BLESS THE LORD THROUGH THE NIGHT.
MAY THE LORD BLESS YOU FROM ZION,
HE WHO MADE BOTH HEAVEN AND EARTH.
Holy Thursday,celebrates deep signs of God’s Love.
In the washing of the feet and the giving of His body and His blood we find “signs of Jesus”service and love.
His invention is to allow him to serve us,and to receive His Body and Blood.
Maybe in our prayers today we can imagine Him washing our feet,allowing this intimacy as He touches us in service and care.
He wants to be close to us like this,He invites us to be open to Him in love as He is tous.
We could give thanks for the service of anyone who has brought us close to God,.Al.low your hearts be thankful to God and speak your feelings as one trusted friend to another.