Friday, April 29, 2011

A Woman
in the

Maria Celeste
1696 - 1755

The Triduum of Holy Week, the moving Liturgy of the Easter Vigil and our totally joyous celebration of the Resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ served to ground us in His life and in our commitment to live in union with Him as Redemptoristine Nuns. All was blessing standing out in bold relief from the background of our impending move and our search for a new home.

These last few months, amidst all else that has been happening here, another enterprise has served to ground me in our charism. On May 15th I will be flying to Dublin, Ireland to spend three weeks with our sisters in an historic Redemptoristine monastery. Check out their website at They have a webcam set up in their chapel so you can see them in action any time. Their blog is terrific too.

While there at the invitation of the Prioress, Sr. Gabreille Fox, OSsR, I will be offering some input to the newer sisters and others in the community. My topics will be the spirituality of our foundress, Ven. Maria Celeste Crostarosa, and the way in which her mystical inspiration received from Jesus is expressed in our current Constitution and Statutes. So for quite a while I have been engaging in a program of self-directed 'post-graduate studies' on the topics. What a grace it has been to be re-reading material last encountered in the novitiate or in on-going formation before solemn profession. Along the way much new material has also been studied. In the teaching process it is not merely the student who learns; the teacher is taught by her preparation.

Check out our website for information about our foundress, a great mystic of the 18th century. Also click on "Ven. Maria Celeste Crostarosa" or "Redemptoristine Charism" in the blog index appearing at the bottom of this page if you scroll down. You will be brought to other blog articles about her and about our spirituality.  Her mystical revelations consistently emphasized the life of faith, anchored in contemplation (the gaze fixed on Jesus) and charity in community. This is the constant predisposition of each Redemptoristine Nun in order that she might, by the power of the Holy Spirit, enter into a union of participation in the life of Jesus Christ such that her whole being will become a "living memory" of the Redeemer. A pretty lofty aspiration, isn't it? But in reading the considerable written record Celeste left behind, one is assured that the soul so disposed, so available, so surrendered and accepting becomes more an more permeable, so much more pliable for the process of conversion and subsequent transformation in Christ.

Do I sound fired up? I am. Praise the Lord! Alleluia!

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