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Thursday, 27 December 2012

He is watching...

Kim

Sr Catherine Wybourne, of Holy Trinity Monastery, Tweeted on her Twitter account @digitalnun a phrase that Saint Benedict shared with us, "mansuetudo timoris Dei", which is Latin for "everything is done in His sight" [here is the Tweet]. As we came to the end of the liturgical year, you may have noticed many of the readings focused on the end, the apocalyspe, the time when we are no longer human flesh on this earth. This message about God's grace brings us, as Christians, a great deal of hope that we will not perish into a cease of existence for our souls will live on, and after purification in purgatory, we will one day be with God in his paradise.

In Jeremiah, in the Bible, we read and hear this, "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you" (Jeremiah 1:5). This reminds us that we are all part of He who was, is now, and ever shall be our ever-living God, one in three persons. Nothing we think, say or do is ever unknown to Him, for He knew us even before we ever existed. He is our Creator, all knowing and all powerful and benign.

We also see in scripture that "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my Word will not pass away" (Gospels). This reminds us that He is watching and waiting, and He will come at a time that we least expect. There is never a time where anything slips by Him without Him taking full notice of it. Let that serve as a reminder to you all to always make you lift your heart up to Him in everything you do, for it was shared with me by the Mothers at Tyburn, that "the most important thing is to live in union with Jesus" and if we strive always to do this, while holding the many needs and intentions in our hearts, we can become like living holocausts ~ a living prayer for those needs we know and don't know. Just remember this, that "many who you do not know will benefit from your prayer".

I may add more to this at a later date, but that's it for now. Please feel free to add any comments.


Emily
"No created thing is hidden from him; everything is uncovered and stretched fully open to the eyes of the one to whom we must give account of ourselves." Hebrews 4:13
The omnipotence of God is something we can never truly comprehend, because we are in ourselves so limited. We are so limited in our sight; not just in what we can see with our eyes but the sight of knowledge. We are so limited in what we can see and know and understand. We cannot even truly know ourselves, He knows us far more intimately than do. We cannot understand being able to see beyond ourselves and beyond our limitations. Omnipotence goes far beyond our own capabilities as created beings. 
"And yet no one is forgotten in God's sight. Why, every hair in your head has been counted." Luke 12:6-7
God is the author of all creation. Everything is known to Him because everything was created by Him. There is not a hair on your head or a grain of sand in the sea that is unknown to Him. It is like looking at a painting, you only see the finished piece, the overall impression. But the artist sees every layer of paint, every brushstroke, every minor detail of their creation. And so it is with God's creation. Only He can see and know every detail of what He has created. 
"The Lord looks down from heaven, He sees the whole human race; from where He sits He watched all who live on the earth, He who moulds every heart and takes note of all men do." Psalm 33:13-15
We are so used to being able to hide things from people. We can keep parts of ourselves hidden and only reveal to others what we may choose too. We tell lies and keep secrets and put on masks. We can do this because others cannot see into our minds and our hearts just as we cannot see into theirs. We cannot know others beyond what they choose to reveal to us. But we cannot hide anything from God. He has moulded us and knows us better than we know ourselves. We are limited by our nature as fallen creatures. But God has no such limits. Although we can hide ourselves from our fellow man, we cannot hide anything from God. 

Update: Kim's Story

I haven't been at Mass all that much in the last couple of weeks (with the exception of Christmas when I had a couple  days off) due to changes to my work schedule because of the shortage of staff at work due to illness and other family related reasons. The thing is, the more I am away from Church, and the less I go to Mass, the more I want to be at Church and the more I want to go to Mass. I find that when I am in Church, and when I am at Mass, I am aware of God's presence to a fairly strong degree, yet when I am not there, and not in Mass, I am even more aware of God's presence in my life. I know it has been said that sometimes the more worldy it gets, the more one truly longs for the Lord, and in this window of opportunity, He comes to catch us when we most need Him, and therefore, we can be prone to a deeper awareness of His presence in such situations. Sometimes I really do wonder if there is something more to it though, like where the Lord really wants me.
I've been thinking and praying about a lot of things lately, and to be honest, I don't think I've ever experienced such a deepened desire in my heart to live in union with Jesus. I know that since I was fourteen, I would get "urges to pray" and very often I would find myself in a situation where I could do nothing more than lift my heart to the Lord and ask Him what He wants from me at that moment in time. I remember secretly praying the Rosary in the middle of a lesson once because I had finished my work early and really didn't want to do anymore at the time. Forgive me for being ungrateful for being in a good school at the time - I just didn't have the maturity to tell myself that extra work in other subjects other than those I really enjoyed and excelled in was worth it.
Last night I was awake several times. I had gone to bed at 8pm, but I woke up again at 10.15pm because I received a text message and one of my phones is a 24 hour contact number. I went back to sleep just before 11pm, only to find myself awake again at 3am in the morning. For some reason, I found myself praying for the souls of the faithful departed. I don't really know why - I was just moved by the Holy Spirit to do so. It was like I was praying for people and intentions I did not know of. I know that might sound strange, but that is how it seemed to me. I was then awake again just after 5.30am because I just knew I wanted to spend some time with the Lord before my housemates started waking up and playing music etc. I prayed for a while until about 6.30am, then woke up (for real) at 7.10am. So either I just have sleeping problems, or the Lord seems to want me awake and praying during the night every so often, but seeing as I have no trouble sleeping literally whenever I need to, and I can sleep right through the night with no problems - I never have jetlag while abroad either, I am tempted to believe the latter.
I cannot wait until I am able to receive the sacraments. It is only a few months away now and I will be able to fully participate in the Mass, receiving the Eucahrist and being able to go to the sacrament of reconciliation. I have waited so long for this, and although I do try to be patient, I am sometimes not. O Lord help me and prepare me as I progress along this journey. Praise be to God for helping me along the way up until now, and for the times to come that lie ahead. Amen and Amen.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas!

Christ is born! May Christ give you peace and joy as we celebrate this great feast of His nativity.

In Christ
Emily Ann

Monday, 24 December 2012

Christmastide

Blessings and Peace this Christmastide as our Lord comes as the Saviour of the World.

Prayers for all of you as always.

With all God's Love and Blessings,

Kim Lee
Foundress
The Vocation Operation

Saturday, 22 December 2012

After Mass conversations...

After Mass yesterday morning, I went back to the convent of the Sisters of St Joseph of Tarbes. I was talking with Sr. Diana about moving into a hosue with a fairly elderly woman who has a couple spare rooms upstairs. I went with Sr. Diana to go and see the room and the house. It is only three or four streets up the road from where I currently live and would mean I officially fall into the parish boundaries for the Church I go to at current. I think I will move in after the new year, once I have sorted out how I am going to move my things and get the deposit back from my current landlord.

Another thing that was interesting was this: my mother is coming with me to Midnight Mass at Church. She hasn't been to a midnight Mass with me since I was about 12 or 13, and that was in an Anglican Church. She would never dream of going into a Catholic Church - and certainly not for Mass! I told her I was singing in the choir there, and that it was a Catholic Church, so she said she wanted to take me. Please pray that the Holy Spirit may touch her heart! I'm so sick of getting an earful from her about my vocation to the Catholic Church. Please please pray that she might see that I am only being true to myself, and pray that she might slowly come round to the idea that this is who I am. Thank you, God Bless. Amen.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Saint's Corner: Dominic of Silos



Name: Dominic of Silos
Feast Day: 20 December
Country of Origin: Spain
History: Benedictine monk. He was exiled from his original community, where he had been novice master and prior, along with two other monks. They found refuge in a struggling community, where he became abbot and revived the monastery, which still exists today. He raised funds to ransom Christians who had been kidnapped by Moors. Blessed Joan of Aza prayed at the shrine of Saint Dominic of Silos to be able to conceive, and she named her son Saint Dominic of Guzman (founder of the Order of Preachers) in his honour.
Recommended:


Birth & Death: 1000 - 20 December 1073

Abbey of Santo Domingo de Silos
Saints.sqpn.com
Vida De Santo Domingo (Spanish)

Friday, 14 December 2012

Vocation Stories: Sister Emily of the Mother of God


J.M.+J.T.
“My child, do you see, there is only One; it is He, the Only Truth! Ah, He fascinates,
He sweeps you away; under His gaze the horizon becomes so beautiful, so vast,
so luminous… My dear one, do you want to turn with me towards this sublime Ideal?
It is no fiction but a reality.”
Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity

These words of the young Carmelite, Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity sum up what my journey to Carmel has been: a living encounter with Him who is The Only One.

The first time I ever thought of becoming a Sister was in the second grade while preparing for First Communion. We went on a day-retreat in the mountains and a Sister was in charge of all our activities. It was the first time I remember meeting a Sister and what struck me most was the sense of her being “set apart”. I had no idea what it meant to be a Religious, what their lives were like, the sacrifices that they made, but the short time we spent with her influenced me so deeply because her “set-apartness” for God was so real, so beautiful and so attractive.

I look back now and I see how God was planting seeds in my heart. The life of a Religious is a living sign of the encounter with “the Only One”, and in making this life seem so attractive to me, He was calling me to know Him for myself.

The memory of that first encounter with the Sister on retreat remained deeply in my heart. As life went on, the thought would come and go as many nice dreams often do. But the Lord intended that it be more than just a nice day dream! In His goodness, the Lord nurtured those seeds of longing for Him through the gift of my family.

I have grace-filled memories of hiking and camping, swimming down waterfalls, sleeping under the stars, rising at midnight to see Jupiter and Venus, learning to ski, and fish and climb big rocks. All of these experiences were so simple, yet, it is in the simple that God lets us see His face. It was through these experiences that my parents gave me the gift of encountering God and experiencing His goodness. They opened my heart to Him by teaching me how to wonder at creation: to feel small before the immensity of the ocean, to be lost in the thought of the endless universe and the awesome complexity of a little flower. On those long trips and hikes, we found hours of silence and learning to be in awe of the One from whose hands came all the beautiful things we saw.

The second thing I remember during those years of my life was the vivid experience of watching my mother battle cancer for seven years. There are few words to express such an experience, but in the midst of it all, God was making a space for Himself in my heart. When I was 11 years old and in the 6th grade, my mom died. Even though I could not see it at the time, in His providence, the Lord used this experience to direct my heart to “things above.” The suffering and doubts that every person encounters in their own unique life journey were means that our Lord used to reveal His Heart to me.

As I finished Middle School and got into High School, I searched and tried to make sense of my life, myself, the world. I was longing for something to fill my heart, and I was so unsatisfied with everything I turned to. As I went through High School that ‘haunting’ little thought of becoming a Sister kept coming to heart. Already there was a deep conviction that only by being His would I be truly happy. Nevertheless, I kept running from His nudging invitation and tried to make other things foremost in my mind.

The gift of music was invaluable to me. Thus, most of my time was spent in bands, orchestras, auditions, and hours of practice. Friends and parties filled whatever other time there was. Yet, even through music, Jesus was gently whispering to my heart. Soon the practices, concerts, and auditions meant very little to me according the successes of the world, but they became a means of allowing the deepest parts of my heart to speak to Him and to listen to Him reveal His goodness and beauty to me.

In my sophomore year of high school, He gently reached down and gave some concrete direction to all that He was doing in my life. I went on two retreats, which were truly life-changing experiences. Through these retreats, I encountered Christ in a totally new and completely PERSONAL way. I was “fascinated, swept away” and I made the resolution to attend daily Mass. This daily encounter with Christ sustained me and directed me on the path He was opening up before me, even though I did not always cooperate or understand.
The year following, (which happened to be the Jubilee Year 2000) a woman from my parish approached me and invited me to visit a convent of Sisters that she knew. Inside, my heart, still afraid of the weight of His love, said “LEAVE ME ALONE LORD!!!” but to her I said, “Sure, I’ll go if you want me to.” She arranged everything and one day I found myself driving in the front gates of the Motherhouse of the Carmelite Sisters of the Most Sacred Heart of Los Angeles. Even though I did not want to be there, to my surprise I felt a deep peace and was filled with the clear conviction, “This is where I am going to spend the rest of my life- this is home.” A few months later, I had the tremendous grace of receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation and then traveling to Rome for World Youth Day.

Surrounded by millions of young people alive with faith, and walking the streets that hundreds of Saints have walked and listening to the words of our Beloved Holy Father strengthened me. The night of our prayer vigil with John Paul II, I stood alone in the huge crowd of pilgrims, overwhelmed by the encounter with the living Church that I saw in their faces. As I waited there, praying, watching for the Holy Father to drive past us, Jesus gave me the grace of firmly knowing what He was asking of me, and the courage to not turn back. After returning home from Rome, I wrote to the Sisters and asked to visit again. Throughout my senior year, I visited almost every weekend, and grew more deeply in love with their life of prayer, simplicity, joy and unity. But more than that I grew more in love with HIM.

Three months after High School graduation I began year of candidacy with our Community and the following year I entered the Postulancy. Each day I am filled with a deeper sense of gratitude for the gift of belonging totally to Christ as a Carmelite Sister. Each day He continues to open up before me that horizon which is “so beautiful, so vast, so luminous”- that horizon which is Him alone.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Prayer - God of Light

Dearest Lord,
Heavenly Father,
God of light,
Let your love shine in my heart,
That it may be a burning flame in my soul,
Which longs more and more for you each day.
Help me to know what it is you are calling me to,
So that I might find myself doing your work each day on earth,
And in all I do, Lord, be with me, so I may share the light of your love with all your children
All the days of my life.
Amen.

I just wanted to share with all of you a prayer that I found myself praying as I was praying in the early morning in Church the other day. I was in just before 7am, and the Church was dark. The only light came from the candles in front of the altar. I was kneeling at one of the pews and I was silent, just listening to the Lord. It was only then I found myself saying these words silently in my heart. The brothers were praying silently on the right side to me, in the little adoration chapel bit. I like the atmosphere, the peace, the silence that allows us all to really listen and be undisturbed or disrupted by the matters of this world. Every time I go in that early (sometimes I am there at 6.30am), which is maybe 3-4 times a week, I find my desire in my heart for prolonged prayer grows deeper and stronger, and I sometimes wonder what the Lord wants me to do with such a desire. I once said to my parish priest, "Father, sometimes I don't know what to do" - he gave me one of the most surprised and funny looks I had ever seen in my life. He said to me, "What do you mean you don't know what to do? Pray!" - clearly seemed like a silly question to be asking when I suppose I did already know the answer - although you can forgive me for being 14 at the time!

Friday, 30 November 2012

Sharing God's eternal love...

My story is still on-going. I am only just beginning to discover some of the things that God wants me to do, and why He wants me to do them. Slowly, but surely, I am learning that He has a special plan for me, and that there was a reason for switching me into the new parish at the time He did. And now, recent events make it seem to make even more sense...

My friend from work said something to me the other day. She told me that she wanted to have her four year old daughter baptised. She is a lapsed Catholic, but wants her daughter to be brought up Catholic so that she might come to know about God and the Catholic Church, because that was how my friend was brought up - Catholic. My friend said she felt her daughter was at an age where she knows what is going on, and won't be completely unaware of the Catholic faith. At the moment, the girl does not know anything about the Church, but her mother wants her to give it a go and see how it goes. It does mean that my friend at work will start going back to Church regularly. She said that she didn't know how to go about it in the past, but since she happens to fall into the same parish as I am currently going to, and I am known for VERY openly discussing the faith, even at work, she felt able to ask me to help her. I have encouraged her to come to the Monday evening prayer group I like to go to at Church to see if she can catch Father afterwards and perhaps arrange a longer chat at another time, but at least then she would have met Father. Please do keep her in your prayer and her little daughter too. The Lord does really work in mysterious ways. I do hope all works out well. Just trust in the Lord, for you can do no better than live in absolute faith at all times.

With all God's Love and Blessings,
Kim xxxx

Tyburn Convent Monastic Afternoon THIS SUNDAY

Hi everyone,

Just to let you know, the Adorers of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of Montmatre, O.S.B. will be having another monastic afternoon THIS SUNDAY, as on EVERY FIRST SUNDAY OF EACH MONTH, starting from 2.00pm. This is a chance to talk to the nuns, go on a crypt tour, go to Vespers (evening prayer) with the nuns, and have a cup of tea to meet other people. The Chapel is open from 6.30am-8.30pm daily, should you wish to pray at the Convent at other times.

For more information, please either call Kim (do not leave messages on my voicemail because I will not get them. If you do not get through the first time, then please call me again later), or else contact Mother Prioress, Tyburn Convent, 8 Hyde Park Place, London, W2 2LJ, or call 020 7723 7262.

I hope to see you there.

God Bless,
Kim Lee :)

P.S. If you want to talk to me in person, and cannot find me when you are at the convent, just ask one of the Mothers - I can pretty much almost guarantee that they will either know who I am, or would have heard my name about a hundred times over! :)

Advent

http://onlineministries.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/Advent/index.html

This is a really good site for praying throughout the Advent season which starts tomorrow.

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Vocation Story: Sister Mary Catherine, Sisters of Our Lady Immaculate


I think I felt the call to Religious Life when I was about 16 or 17. I didn't even really know what Religious Life was but I felt God calling me to give myself totally to Him. I had a conversion back to the Catholic Faith when I was 19 after I had been involved in an evangelical church for about 2 years. I dove into my Faith and started to go to Mass and say the Rosary daily. The Lord blessed me with many strong Catholic friends that I met at retreats and conferences.


Now that I look back I can see that God was preparing me for Religious Life. 

By the time high school ended I still did not know what God wanted for my life. I had a spiritual director who was helping me to listen to what the Holy Spirit was saying to me and I was open to whatever God wanted of me, religious, married, or single life, but I think the idea of becoming a Religious was always in the back of my mind. So I began to look to find an order. My main fear was that I would not be able to find an order that was faithful to the Magisterium of the Church. I was very involved in the pro-life movement and it was at the March for Life in Ottawa in 2001 that I met the Sisters of Our Lady Immaculate. I said to myself, "Nuns at a pro-life march!?!" So I ran, yes ran, over to them and arranged to make contact to come visit them. Right away I fell in love with their brochure which said they were loyal to Peter's Successor. I went and visited them for a week and by the end I had decided to join! Two things that attracted me most were their love for the Blessed Sacrament and their love for Our Lady.

The hardest thing for me was leaving my family because I am very close to them. But I have come to realize that the separation has actually helped me to love them more and my desire to grow closer to Jesus has also grown.



My family was a little shocked at first but they love me very much and just want to see me happy. Most of my friends were very supportive and one even said, "Yah! I'm going to have a nun for a friend!" The people I went to high school with and some of my relatives had seen me heartily practicing my Faith for the past few years so they weren't too surprised, but I could still see they didn't fully understand. 


I love it here in Religious Life! And my advice to any person who thinks God might be calling them is to "come and see". You owe it to yourself and to God to check it out. God bless you and may Our Lady guide you!

Community Spotlight: Sisters of Our Lady Immaculate





Order: Sisters of Our Lady Immaculate
Gender: Female
Apostolate: Teaching of the faith and care for the elderly
Eligibility: Unknown
Formation: 3 month candidacy, 1 year postulancy, 2 year novitiate, 5 year temporary profession
Vows: Poverty, chastity and obedience
Practices: Daily Holy Hour, Marian devotion, chaplet of Divine Mercy, devotion to St. Joseph and St. Michael, the Angelus
History: Community History

Recommended:


Blog

Newsletters

Saturday, 24 November 2012

The Search goes on...

Yesterday, after my RCIA lesson, I spoke to one of the Brothers from the Community of John. One of the most interesting things he told me was that our Lady had consecrated herself to God as a virgin when she was in the Temple as a child. The thing is, having been in the line of descendants that could be used as an instrument to bear the Messiah, she had given up any chance of being the chosen one for that vocation. Yet, God still chose her. We can reflect on this and use it in our own lives today. Just as our Lady gave herself wholly to God and sacrificed her own will to follow the will of God (in the Annunciation, we see this as Mary says, "Let it be done unto me according to your will") we too, as Christians, can abandon the worldly, materialism and secularism and make the time and effort to become closer to God, so that we might listen to Him and let Him lead us closer to doing His will.

As you may have seen, Emily has posted that she believes that God is not calling her to the Religious life at this moment in time. What was really interesting about that and the revelation from the Brother at Church yesterday was that when I was younger, I had made a promise to God that I would never have any children of my own, so in other words, what I was really promising Him was that I would remain a virgin all my life because I am one of those people who does not believe in having premarital or extra-marital intercourse. The other interesting thing was that recently I have been praying a lot to God saying things like, "If you want me to do certain things, like do more regarding the Religious life, I cannot then do all the things I am doing now, and what will come of this blog, and the homeless people I look after, and the friends I have come to know and help?, Who will continue this work I have started and who will maintain it?", so when Emily posted what she did, it actually spoke to me and made me realise that I should trust the Lord more, because He has a plan and will sort it out.
I was previously asked by Brother whether I had a special devotion to a particular saint. I said not really at the time, but last night he asked me if I had a special devotion to our Lady, and now I think of it, I actually do, so I said to him that actually I do, and perhaps wasn't sure how to express it that last time we were talking of that. I also told him that my birthday was on the feast of the Immaculate Conception, and he said, "You do have divine providence looking upon you then" which was quite reassuring in a way. A nice reminder of how our Lord and our Lady are watching over us.

As we approach the end of the liturgical year, we are reminded in Mass by the numerous readings from the apocalypse that feature daily. For us, as Christians, we must think of the hope it brings that we will one day be what I like to call, "at one with God". We will finally come to take the next step in being in a perfect state of pure grace with God, as we start to be purified while in purgatory. At the same time, perhaps now, as we approach Advent, it might be a good time to reflect on our lives and how we can, with humility and faith, approach the season with a view to be more "Christ-like" - How can we live our lives in a more faithful way? Which leads me back to the begging question of vocation - What do I take as a sign, and what not? Am I interpreting things in a certain way because I have already made my mind up, or because those things are really leading me to where I think they are?

I spoke to Father and Brother yesterday and they said to me, "Kim, did you even leave the Church today?" I said back, "Yes, don't worry, I did actually go, and then I came back again this evening", Brother then said, "That's ok, we'll start worrying when the statues start moving and talking to you, and you'll be like, Brother, they've given me another sign!" I was like, "No, that's just not going to happen...*laughs*". The conversations I have with Brother are very interesting, and he had been teaching me a lot on the faith, which is lovely. My only challenge is trying to keep this a major secret, because should my family ever find out, they will go mental! Please keep my journey of faith in your prayer, as I will keep you all in prayer too. Many blessings be upon you, as the light of the Lord shines down on you this coming season of Advent, which will start next week.

God Bless you all,
With my fervent prayer for you and your vocations,
Kim Lee :)

Monday, 19 November 2012

Update: Emily's Story

This was originally posted on Emily Ann's Corner.

As my past posts may have indicated, I have struggled in my discernment recently. I have struggled to find any peace. I realised by personal desires were getting in the way of my discerning the will of God. So I offered all my desires to God, and over time have been able to realise that I do not believe that I have a vocation to the religious life.

I do not regret the path I have taken. I do not regret discerning the religious life. I do not regret my time at St. Cecilia’s. I truly believe that God called me to discern the religious life. But for now, I believe He is leading me in a different direction. I loved St. Cecilia’s and the thought of not going back was very painful at first but the Lord has given me peace. I think that peace is for me the truest sign that this is the will of God. Perhaps He will lead me back there in the future, at the moment I do not know.

As the subtitle of this blog says, I am trying to find my way. I don’t know where the road is leading at this point, but I trust that the Lord has something great in store for me. I want to thank all of you who have been so kind and supportive of me on this journey. I do plan to keep on blogging so this blog is not done with yet!

Addition for The Vocation Operation:

Although I have discerned that my vocation is not to the religious life, I have a great appreciation for the religious life and am still committed to the work I have begun in The Vocation Operation. I hope to use my experiences to continue to help others who feel called to the religious life. 

Friday, 16 November 2012

An interesting conversation...

This morning I had a rather interesting conversation with the parish priest. I had asked to see him about a few things, but then towards the end of the conversation, he asked me if I knew the brothers before I came to the parish. I had only ever heard of them maybe once or twice when people in my parish in Cambridge would talk about various people they knew. One of the families from Cambridge who I know from Church knew them due to their work with the national association of Catholic families. That is all I really knew about them - their name. I told this to the parish priest and he said I seemed to fit in very well in the parish and with the brothers. I think, and please correct me if I am mistaken, people seem to think I know the brothers well, which I can't really claim I do. I have only known them for the few weeks I have been in the parish. I also said to the parish priest that the Tyburn nuns and the Salesian sisters like to tease me and tell people who visit that the next time they come they will be asking for "Sister Kim" - and I said to him that I asked them not to say that just yet! I think I might have just "let the cat out of the bag" - I wasn't exactly trying to hint at any sign of me discerning the Religious life to anyone at Church really, but I've probably, by natural articulation, have done just that!

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Saints Corner: Saint M. Faustina Kowalska


Name: Maria Faustina of the Blessed Sacrament, born Helen Kowlska, commonly known as Saint Faustina
Birth & Death: 25 August 1905 - 5 October1938
Feast Day: October 5
Country of Origin: Poland
History: 
Born into a poor family, at 19 she felt God call her to the religious life. She travelled from her hometown to Warsaw, not knowing anyone there. A local priest arranged for her to stay with a local woman until she found a convent. She was rejected by several due to her poverty and lack of education. The Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy eventually accepted her on the condition that she could pay for her habit so she worked as a maid until she had enough money for her habit. She made her first vows in 1928 and made her final vows in 1933. She was a mystic and a visionary, and Jesus gave her the Divine Mercy devotion in her visions. Her diaries were originally suppressed before being approved in 1978.

Recommended
Saints.sqpn.com
Sister Faustina: God's Gift to Our Time
Saint Faustina, Apostle of Divine Mercy
Mary Faustina Kowalska
Saint M. Faustina Kowalska
The Divine Mercy
Chaplet of Divine Mercy
The Divine Mercy Devotion

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Tyburn Convent visit with a friend

I've just spent a day at Tyburn convent again, one of my monthly visits on the first Sunday of the month. I always try to be there then, but sometimes I am at the convent at other times. Sunday was the first time I brought a friend of mine along with me, a lady I know from Church. It was her first time in a Benedictine convent, and she told me she expected it to be dark and cold - quite the opposite! Tyburn Convent is very well lit and it is usually fairly warm, except sometimes the chapel may be a bit cold since it is quite a large, open space. We spoke with Mother Matthias as I always do, and she said that my "finding myself somewhat associated with and at times, outside Tyburn Convent" is not what I said was "random", but rather the Lord giving me a mission. What that mission is, I cannot say, because I do not know. I am still trying to discern exactly what the Lord wants from me. I cannot deny the frustration I experience when being behind the grills. That is one of the reasons I like to be on the balcony in the chapel, because I can see over the grills. It makes me feel like I'm actually sort of "inside" the convent, even if I'm not quite in the enclosure (yet!). My friend was asking about Mother Matthias' vocation story, which I will one day document and post on here, should I be given her permission to share her story with you all. I know a lot of the Tyburn Nuns personally, and so far, I know of two girls from two parishes I have been part of that have entered with them. They are a "traditional, faithful, and flourishing" congregation. Please pray for their house abroad where there was a fire recently, that the sisters may find the assistance they need to rebuild the part of the house that was burned down. Please also pray for their latest project of setting up a house in Nigeria. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Tyburn Convent Monastic Afternoon

Tyburn Convent will be having another Monastic Afternoon on the first Sunday of the month of November. It will start at 2.30pm and include a crypt tour, tea and vespers. You will also get a chance to talk to the sisters at Tyburn as well. For more information, please contact Kim (vocationoperation@live.co.uk)
or the Mothers at Tyburn (Tyburn Convent, 8 Hyde Park Place, London W2 2LJ) or you can call them (020 7723 7262)

God Bless

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Community Spotlight: Dominican Sisters, Stone




Order: Dominican
Gender: Women
Apostolate: University chaplaincies, parish missions, education, care for the elderly
Eligibility: Unknown
Formation: Formal application and interview, two year novitiate, three years temporary vows
Vows: Poverty, chastity and obedience
Practices: Rosary, Scripture reading
History: Founded in 1845 as the first non-enclosed Dominican community in Britain. Over the 19th century other congregations grew up around the country and in 1929 were amalgamated to form the present congregation.

Recommended:

Missions - includes links to some of their major apostolates

Update: Emily

For anyone who follows my personal blog, I have decided to move. The name is the same, I just have a new home. So if you would like to continue to read about my journey then click below to see my shiny new blog. All my old posts have been transferred across there so you can read those there too.

Monday, 22 October 2012

Saint's Corner: Kateri Tekakwitha



Name: Kateri Tekakwitha, also known as Catherina Tekakwitha
Birth & Death: 1656 - 17 April 1680
Feast Day: July 14
Country of Origin: USA
History: Kateri was the daughter of a Catholic Algonquin woman and a non-Christian Mohawk chief. She was orphaned in a smallpox outbreak, and was left with significant scars and impaired vision herself. She went on to live with an aunt and uncle, who tried to pressure her into marriage as a teenager but she refused. She converted after meeting Jesuit missionaries who came to her village and was baptised at age 20. After her conversion she was shunned and ridiculed by her family and the rest of her village. Her Jesuit teachers suggested to move to a Jesuit mission in Kahnawake, Canada, where many other native converts lived. In 1679 she took a vow of chastity.

Recommended:
Saints.sqpn.com

Catholic Encyclopaedia
Lily of the Mohawks
National Kateri Tekakwitha Shrine

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Updates

We have added two new pages to the blog, which we hope will be useful to you.

Spiritualities Information: This page gives links to resources about different orders and congregations and their spirituality and charism. We hope that this page will help those who are just starting discerning to find information and the various spiritualities, as well as help those who are already interested in a certain spirituality to find more resources. If you have any resources you feel we should add then comment and we will include them.

Glossary: This page does what it says on the tin, it gives a glossary of religious life terms. We know that for new discerners it can be very confusing to understand some of the terms used in discussing religious life so this page aims to help.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Rule of St. Albert (Carmelites)


[1] Albert, called by God’s favour to be Patriarch of the Church of Jerusalem, bids health in the Lord and the blessing of the Holy Spirit to his beloved sons in Christ, B. and the other hermits under obedience to him, who live near the spring on Mount Carmel.
[2] Many and varied are the ways in which our saintly forefathers laid down how everyone, whatever his station or the kind of religious observance he has chosen, should live a life in allegiance to Jesus Christ - how, pure in heart and stout in conscience, he must be unswerving in the service of the Master.
[3] It is to me, however, that you have come for a rule of life in keeping with your avowed purpose, a rule you may hold fast to henceforward; and therefore:
[4] The first thing I require is for you to have a Prior, one of yourselves, who is to be chosen for the office by common consent, or that of the greater and maturer part of you. Each of the others must promise him obedience - of which, once promised, he must try to make his deed the true reflection - and also chastity and the renunciation of ownership.
[5] If the Prior and the brothers see fit, you may have foundations in solitary places, or where you are given a site suitable and convenient for the observance proper to your Order.
[6] Next, each one of you is to have a separate cell, situated as the lie of the land you propose to occupy may dictate, and allotted by disposition of the Prior with the agreement of the other brothers, or the more mature among them.
[7] However, you are to eat whatever may have been given you in a common refectory, listening together meanwhile to a reading from Holy Scripture where that can be done without difficulty.
[8] None of the brothers is to occupy a cell other than that allotted to him, or to exchange cells with another, without leave of whoever is Prior at the time.
[9] The Prior’s cell should stand near the entrance to your property, so that he may be the first to meet those who approach, and whatever has to be done in consequence may all be carried out as he may decide and order.
[10] Each one of you is to stay in his own cell or nearby, pondering the Lord’s law day and night and keeping watch at his prayers unless attending to some other duty.
[11] Those who know how to say the canonical hours with those in orders should do so, in the way those holy forefathers of ours laid down, and according to the Church’s approved custom. Those who do not know the hours must say twenty-five ‘Our Fathers’ for the night office, except on Sundays and solemnities when that number is to be doubled so that the ‘Our Father’ is said fifty times; the same prayer must be said seven times in the morning in place of Lauds, and seven times too for each of the other hours, except for Vespers when it must be said fifteen times.
[12] None of the brothers must lay claim to anything as his own, but you are to possess everything in common; and each is to receive from the Prior - that is from the brother he appoints for the purpose - whatever befits his age and needs.
[13] You may have as many asses and mules as you need, however, and may keep a certain amount of livestock or poultry.
[14] An oratory should be built as conveniently as possible among the cells, where, if it can be done without difficulty, you are to gather each morning to hear Mass.
[15] On Sundays too, or other days if necessary, you should discuss matters of discipline and your spiritual welfare; and on this occasion the indiscretions and failings of the brothers, if any be found at fault, should be lovingly corrected.
[16] You are to fast every day, except Sundays, from the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross until Easter Day, unless bodily sickness or feebleness, or some other good reason, demand a dispensation from the fast; for necessity overrides every law.
[17] You are to abstain from meat, except as a remedy for sickness or feebleness. But as, when you are on a journey, you more often than not have to beg your way, outside your own houses you may eat foodstuffs that have been cooked with meat, so as to avoid giving trouble to your hosts. At sea, however, meat may be eaten.
[18] Since man’s life on earth is a time of trial, and all who would live devotedly in Christ must undergo persecution, and the devil your foe is on the prowl like a roaring lion looking for prey to devour, you must use every care to clothe yourselves in God’s armour so that you may be ready to withstand the enemy’s ambush.
[19] Your loins are to be girt with chastity, your breast fortified by holy meditations, for as Scripture has it, holy meditation will save you. Put on holiness as your breastplate, and it will enable you to love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and strength, and your neighbour as yourself. Faith must be your shield on all occasions, and with it you will be able to quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked one: there can be no pleasing God without faith; and the victory lies in this - your faith. On your head set the helmet of salvation, and so be sure of deliverance by our only Saviour, who sets his own free from their sins. The sword of the spirit, the word of God, must abound in your mouths and hearts. Let all you do have the Lord’s word for accompaniment.
[20] You must give yourselves to work of some kind, so that the devil may always find you busy; no idleness on your part must give him a chance to pierce the defences of your souls. In this respect you have both the teaching and the example of Saint Paul the Apostle, into whose mouth Christ put his own words. God made him preacher and teacher of faith and truth to the nations: with him as your teacher you cannot go astray. We lived among you, he said, labouring and weary, toiling night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you; not because we had no power to do otherwise but so as to give you, in your own selves, as an example you might imitate. For the charge we gave you when we were with you was this: that whoever is not willing to work should not be allowed to eat either. For we have heard that there are certain restless idlers among you. We charge people of this kind, and implore them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, that they earn their own bread by silent toil. This is the way of holiness and goodness: see that you follow it.
[21] The Apostle would have us keep silence, for in silence he tells us to work. As the Prophet also makes known to us: Silence is the way to foster holiness. Elsewhere he says: Your strength will lie in silence and hope. For this reason I lay down that you are to keep silence from after Compline until after Prime the next day. At other times, although you need not keep silence so strictly, be careful not to indulge in a great deal of talk, for as Scripture has it - and experience teaches us no less - Sin will not be wanting where there is much talk, and He who is careless in speech will come to harm; and elsewhere: The use of many words brings harm to the speaker’s soul. And our Lord says in the Gospel: Every rash word uttered will have to be accounted for on judgment day. Make a balance then, each of you, to weigh his words in; keep a tight rein on your mouths, lest you should stumble and fall in speech, and your fall be irreparable and prove mortal. Like the Prophet, watch your step lest your tongue give offence, and employ every care in keeping silent, which is the way to foster holiness.
[22] Your brother B., and whoever may succeed you as Prior, must always keep in mind and put into practice what our Lord said in the Gospel: Whoever has a mind to become a leader among you must make yourself servant to the rest, and whichever of you would be first must become your bondsman.
[23] You other brothers too, hold your Prior in humble reverence, your minds not on him but on Christ who has placed him over you, and who, to those who rule the Churches, addressed these words: Whoever pays you heed pays heed to me, and whoever treats you with dishonour dishonours me; if you remain so minded you will not be found guilty of contempt, but will merit life eternal as fit reward for your obedience.
[24] Here then are a few points I have written down to provide you with a standard of conduct to live up to; but our Lord, at his second coming, will reward anyone who does more than he is obliged to do. See that the bounds of common sense are not exceeded, however, for common sense is the guide of the virtues.

Vocation Stories: Sister Marie Andre, PCPA

Sister Marie Andre of Mary Mother of the Church, PCPA
Source

I had an inkling by the time I was seven that the Lord and I were going to be an item: thanks to my mom, His Mom was, from the first get-go, an important part of my life. Since Our Lady brings everyone to her Son, it was just a matter of time before Jesus and I came together. Things became more serious when I was eleven. That is when I turned to the other holy parent and started praying fervently and daily to St. Joseph. I knew what I wanted even back then: I specifically requested nothing less than to marry the ‘perfect man’…and have a large family to go along with him.

Once I got that established with St. Joseph, I became interested in what university I would attend, and what career path I would choose. For a while, I wanted to attend Notre Dame University or the Naval Academy at Annapolis. That quickly fell by the way side since my math skills were, what one politely would say, nil. I did know I wanted to do something in the service of my country. I finished my undergraduate studies and received a Master’s degree. I then took what I had been given, through God’s grace and my parents’ generosity, and applied to (what seemed was) every US federal government agency: FBI, CIA, DEA, Secret Service, and the US Air Force. I would fill out applications, take tests, do interviews, run obstacle courses.

Each time something strange would happen: my applications would get lost or I would fail the lie-detector test (after just having taken it a first time and passing with flying colors). This went on for five years. I was starting to get exasperated with the Lord. During that time, I used to run about 15 miles a week, and many of those miles were littered with tears and discouragement. And how was I supposed to marry the ‘perfect man’ if he never even showed his face to me?!!

But the Lord is in control and He knows how much we can take. Thankfully, He never allowed me to make any rash decisions during my period of waiting (although sometimes that does happen and the Lord can bring a greater good out of it). While I was waiting and wondering what He wanted me to do, He, of course, knew exactly what He was asking. All I had to do was listen and say yes. Yes to the ‘PERFECT MAN’ and to a wonderfully large family that would result from a loving union between bride and Heavenly Bridegroom.

Sometimes we learn the hard way that we do not always know what is best, but the Lord’s timing is always perfect, just like He is. When His call came, it struck me like a bolt out of the blue. I was 28 years old, and up to that point, had lived a full and happy life. By God’s grace I was able to say yes (of which I will always be particularly grateful). Yes to a fuller and happier life. The ‘Perfect Man’ of my girlhood dreams became an eternal reality. The large family I longed for is fulfilled in the unique and special calling of spiritual motherhood as a Poor Clare contemplative and cloistered nun. Is it possible to grow in joy and peace even amidst the trials and sufferings of this life? YES! In fact, I find that peace and joy only increase daily. What an awesome privilege to live in the Presence of the Blessed Sacrament and be able to live in constant anticipation of supreme union with Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world, forever. Nothing, absolutely nothing, compares with You, Lord.

The Rule of St. Benedict - Chapter 2

Chapter 2: What Kind of Person the Abbess Ought to Be

An Abbess who is worthy to be over a monastery should always remember what she is called, and live up to the name of Superior. For she is believed to hold the place of Christ in the monastery, being called by a name of His, which is taken from the words of the Apostle:
"You have received a Spirit of adoption ..., by virtue of which we cry, 'Abba -- Father'" (Rom. 8:15)! Therefore the Abbess ought not to teach or ordain or command anything which is against the Lord's precepts; on the contrary, her commands and her teaching should be a leaven of divine justice kneaded into the minds of her disciples.

Let the Abbess always bear in mind that at the dread Judgment of God there will be an examination of these two matters: her teaching and the obedience of her disciples. And let the Abbess be sure that any lack of profit the master of the house may find in the sheep will be laid to the blame of the shepherd. On the other hand, if the shepherd has bestowed all her pastoral diligence on a restless, unruly flock and tried every remedy for their unhealthy behavior, then she will be acquitted at the Lord's Judgment and may say to the Lord with the Prophet: "I have not concealed Your justice within my heart; Your truth and Your salvation I have declared" (Ps. 39[40]:11). "But they have despised and rejected me" (Is. 1:2; Ezech. 20:27). And then finally let death itself, irresistible, punish those disobedient sheep under her charge.


Caput 2: Qualis debeat esse abbas

Abbas qui præesse dignus est monasterio semper meminere debet quod dicitur et nomen maioris factis implere. Christi enim agere vices in monasterio creditur, quando ipsius vocatur pronomine, dicente apostolo: Accepistis spiritum adoptionis filiorum, in quo clamamus: Abba, Pater. Ideoque abbas nihil extra præceptum Domini quod sit debet aut docere aut constituere vel iubere, sed iussio eius vel doctrina fermentum divinæ iustitiæ in discipulorum mentibus conspargatur, memor semper abbas quia doctrinæ suæ vel discipulorum oboedientiæ, utrarumque rerum, in tremendo iudicio Dei facienda erit discussio. Sciatque abbas culpæ pastotis incumbere quidquid in ovibus paterfamilias utilitatis minus potuerit invenire. Tantumdem iterum erit ut, si inquieto vel inoboedienti gregi pastoris fuerit omnis diligentia adtributa et morbidis earum actibus universa fuerit cura exhibita, pastor eorum in iudicio Domini absolutus dicat cum Propheta Domino: Iustitiam tuam non abscondi in corde meo, veritatem tuam et salutare tuum dixi; ipsi autem contemnentes spreverunt me, et tunc demum inoboetientibus cursæ suæ ovibus poena sit eis prævalens ipsa mors. Ergo, cum aliquis suscipit nomen abbatis, duplici debet doctrina suis præesse discipulis, id est omnia bona et sancta factis amplius quam verbis ostendat, ut capacibus discipulis mandata Domini verbis proponere, duris corde vero et simplicioribus factis suis divina præcepta monstrare. Omnia vero quæ discipulis docuerit esse contraria, in suis factis indicet non agenda, ne aliis prædicans ipse reprobus inveniatur, ne quando illi dicat Deus precanti: quare tu enarras iustitias meas et adsumis testamentum meum per os tuum? tu vero odisti disciplinam et proiecisti sermones meos post te, et:qui in fratris tui oculo festucam videbas, in tuo trabem non vidisti.

Non ab eo persona in monasterio discernatur. Non unus plus ametur quam alius, nisi quem in bonis actibus aut oboedientia invenerit meliorem. Non convertenti ex servitio præponatur ingenuus, nisi alia rationabilis causa existat. Quod si ita, iustitia dictante, abbati visum fuerit, et de cuiuslibet ordine id faciet; sin alias, propria teneant loca, quia: Sive servus sive liber, omnes in Christo unum sumus et sub uno Domino æqualem servitutis militiam baiulamus, quia: Non est apud Deum personarum acceptio. Solummodo in hac parte apud ipsum discernimur, si meliores ab aliis in operibus bonis et humiles inveniamur. Ergo æqualis sit ab eo omnibus caritas, una præ beatur in omnibus secundum merita disciplina.
In doctrina sua namque abbas apostolicam debet illam semper formam servare in qua dicit: Argue, obsecra, increpa, id est, miscens temporibus tempora, terroribus blandimenta, dirum magistri, pium patris ostendat affectum, id est indisciplinatos et inquietos debet durius arguere, oboedientes autem et mites et patientes, ut in melius proficiant obsecrare, neglegentes et contemnentes ut increpat et corripiat admonemus. Neque dissimulet peccata delinquentiump; sed ut, mox ut coeperint oriri, radicitus ea ut prævalet amputet, memor periculi Heli sacerdotis de Silo. Et honestiores quidem atque intellegibiles animos prima vel secunda admonitione verbis corripiat, inprobos autem et duros ac superbos vel inoboedientes verberum vel corporis castigatio in ipso initio peccati coerceat, sciens scriptum: Stultus verbis non corrigitur, et iterum: Percute filium tuum virga et liberabis animam eius a morte.

Meminere debet semper abbas quod est, meminere quod dicitur, et scire quia cui plus committitur, plus ab eo exigitur. Sciatque quam difficilem et arduam rem suscipit, regere animas et multorum servire moribus, et alium quidem blandimentis, alium vero increpationibus, alium suasionibus; et secundum unuscuiusque qualitatem vel intellegentiam, ita se omnibus conformet et aptet ut non solum detrimenta gregis sibi commissi non patiatur, verum in augmentatione boni gregis gaudeat.
Ante omnia, ne dissimulans aut parvipendens salutem animarum sibi commissarum, ne plus gerat sollicitudinem de rebus transitoriis et terrenis atque caducis, sed semper cogitet quia animas suscepit regendas, de quibus et rationem redditurus est. Et ne causetur de minori forte substantia , meminerit scriptum: Primum quærite regnum Dei et iustitiam eius, et hæc omnia adicientur vobis, et iterum: Nihil deest timentibus eum. Sciatque quia qui suscipit animas regendas paret se ad rationem reddendam. Et quantum sub cura sua fratrum se habere scierit numerum, agnoscat pro certo quia in die iudicii ipsarum omnium animarum est redditurus Domino rationem, sine dubio addita et suæ animæ. Et ita, timens semper futuram discussionem pastoris de creditis ovibus, cum de aliis ratiociniis cavet, redditur de suis sollicitus, et cum de monitionibus suis emendationem aliis subministrat, ipse efficitur a vitiis emendatus.

Monday, 15 October 2012

Community Spotlight: Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará




Order: Servants of Our Lord and the Virgin of Matará
Gender: Female
Apostolate: Both active and contemplative branches. Active branch includes teaching, parish work and youth ministry
Eligibility: Ages 18-35
Formation: Information here.
Vows: Poverty, chastity, obedience and "Consecration to Mary in Maternal Slavery of Love".
Practices: Marian consecration, Eucharistic Adoration, Angelus, Holy Rosary
History: Founded in 1988 by Father Carlos Miguel Buela as the female branch of the Family of the Incarnate Word, also comprising the Institute of the Incarnate Word for men and a secular third order.

Recommended:
Cross of Matará
Our Lady of Luján
Founder

Saint's Corner: Teresa of Avila



Name: Teresa of Avila, also known as Teresa of Jesus
Birth & Death: 28 March 1515 - 4 October 1582
Feast Day: 15 October
Country of Origin: Spain
History: Her father was opposed to her desire for the religious life so Teresa ran away at 17 to enter a convent, after which her family relented and consented to her choice. In the cloister she became gravely ill and incompetent healthcare meant she never fully recovered from her infirmity. She became concerned by the laxity in following the life that she saw in her own community and others and resolved to found a reformed community with the monetary help of a wealthy friend. With the help of John of the Cross, reformed communities for men also began and the Discalced Carmelites were formed. She founded 16 convents during her life. In 1970 she was declared a Doctor of the Church.


Recommended:

Catholic Encyclopaedia

Saints.sqpn.com
Interior Castle
Letters
Way of Perfection

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Order, Order: Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary (IBVM)

Venerable Mary Ward, Foundress. Source

Founder: Mary Ward Date: 1609
Apostolate: Predominantly education
History: Also known as the Sisters of Loreto. Mary Ward was inspired by St. Ignatius of Loyola and his spiritual exercises. Her congregation was suppressed in 1630 for nine years, after which it revived and received papal approval for their rule in 1703 and received canonical recognition as a religious institute in 1877. 

Notable Saints:
Venerable Mary Ward

Recommended: Catholic Encyclopaedia

Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Monday, 8 October 2012

The Rule of St Benedict - Chapter 1

Chapter 1: On the Kinds of Monk
Source

It is well known that there are four kinds of monks. The first kind are the Cenobites: those who live in monasteries and serve under a rule and an Abbot. The second kind are the Anchorites or Hermits: those who, no longer in the first fervor of their reformation, but after long probation in a monastery, having learned by the help of many brethren how to fight against the devil, go out well armed from the ranks of the community to the solitary combat of the desert. They are able now, with no help save from God, to fight single-handed against the vices of the flesh and their own evil thoughts. The third kind of monks, a detestable kind, are the Sarabaites. These, not having been tested, as gold in the furnace (Wis. 3:6), by any rule or by the lessons of experience, are as soft as lead. In their works they still keep faith with the world, so that their tonsure marks them as liars before God. They live in twos or threes, or even singly, without a shepherd, in their own sheepfolds and not in the Lord's.
Their law is the desire for self-gratification: whatever enters their mind or appeals to them,
that they call holy; what they dislike, they regard as unlawful. The fourth kind of monks are those called Gyrovagues. These spend their whole lives tramping from province to province,
staying as guests in different monasteries for three or four days at a time. Always on the move, with no stability, they indulge their own wills and succumb to the allurements of gluttony, and are in every way worse than the Sarabaites. Of the miserable conduct of all such it is better to be silent than to speak. Passing these over, therefore, let us proceed, with God's help, to lay down a rule for the strongest kind of monks, the Cenobites.

Caput 1: De generibus monachorum

Monachorum quattuor esse genera, manifestum est. Primum coenobitarum, hoc est monasteriale, militans sub regula vel abbate. Deinde secundum genus est anachoritarum id est heremitarum, horum qui non conversationis fervore novicio, sed monasterii probatione diuturna, qui didicerunt contra diabulum multorum solacio iam docti pugnare, et bene extructi fraterna ex acie ad singularem pugnam heremi, securi iam sine consolatione alterius, sola manu vel brachio contra vitia carnis vel cogitationum, Deo auxiliante, pugnare sufficiunt. Tertium vero monachorum teterrimum genus est sarabaitarum, qui nulla regula adprobati, experienta magistra, sicut aurum fornacis, sed in plumbi natura molliti, adhuc operibus servantes sæculo fidem, mentiri Deo per tonsuram noscuntur. Qui bini aut terni aut certe singuli sine pastore, non dominicis sed suis inclusi ovilibus, pro lege eis est desideriorum voluptas, cum quidquid putaverint vel elegerint, hoc dicunt sanctum, et quod noluerint, hoc putant non licere. Quartum vero genus est monachorum quod nominatur girovagum, qui tota vita sua per diversas provincias ternis aut quaternis diebus per diversorum cellas hospitantur, semper vagi et numquam stabiles, et propriis voluntatibus et guilæ inlecebris servientes, et per omnia deteriores sarabaitis. De quorum omnium horum miserrima conversatione melius est silere quam loqui. His ergo omissis, ad coenobitarum fortissimum genus disponendum, adiuvante Domino, veniamus.

Ten Hours at Tyburn Convent, London

I spent pretty much the whole of yesterday at Tyburn Convent in London. I arrived around 7am, in time for the Office (Lauds), which would normally be followed by Mass. It was a bit different yesterday as the priest did not come until 2.30pm, so Mass was shifted to 2.30pm. After the morning paryer, I went to breakfast, and then spent time in the convent library, reading the catechism and from time to time, I would go to the tribune, above the chapel downstairs. I prefer being up the tribune from time to time as I can see over the grills, and also because I more or less had it all to myself yesterday. I met a lovely Filipino family from America who were visiting the Tyburn Nuns on their holiday. They were lovely and we were speaking a bit in Tagalog (the national language of the Philippines). It was nice that Mother Esther and Mother Macrina were there to join us in conversation from time to time throughout the morning. I later saw Mother Matthias, the assistant general, who passed on the message that Mother General has given me permission to post the vocation information on Tyburn Convent. I also spoke to her about various other things that will remain confidential. Lunch followed, and I had the opportunity to speak to one of the Oblates, Tom. He kept saying to Mother Macrina that I could be a potential novice in the future. I told him not to say that - I mean, hang on a minute, I'm not even Catholic yet! I think I'll take this one step at a time and complete my RCIA first before I start doing too much re the Religious Life! After Mass was the monastic afternoon (every first Sunday of the month from 2.30pm), but rather than following the others downstairs for the crypt tour etc, I just had a up of tea and then saw Mother Catherine - this is a rare opportunity since she is often moved around and I don't get much of a chance to see her. We talked for a while before going to the Office (Vespers) - Mother Catherine went back into the enclosure, and I was back upstairs in the Tribune. I had to go after the Office, so I bid my lovely spiritual Mothers a temporary goodbye until next month and prayed to God to always bless them before leaving to go home with a copy of their book on Mother Foundress, 'The Path of Mother Adele Garnier'.
Please watch this space for more updates re my visits to Tyburn. :)
Keeping you always in my prayer,
Kim Lee :)