Those who have found in Jesus the truth, joy and beauty which give meaning and direction to their lives will naturally desire to bring this grace to others. Undaunted by the presence of difficulties, or the enormity of the task at hand, they will trust in the mysterious presence of the Holy Spirit who is always at work in the hearts of individuals, in their traditions and cultures, mysteriously opening doors to Christ as "the way, and the truth and the life" (Jn 14: 6), and the fulfillment of every human aspiration.- Pope Benedict XVI
How can a cloistered nun open the doors to Christ? How can she bring Him to others? I spoke with a man this weekend who posed this very question. He asked, "What is your apostolate?" When I explained that we were contemplative nuns whose main work is perpetual adoration, he looked at me with much sincerity. Nearly inaudibly he said: "It takes a lot of faith to believe that your prayers bear fruit for the Kingdom - especially since you can't see the fruit." This man summed up the hidden life of a contemplative. It is a life of faith.
A cloistered nun opens the doors to Christ through her prayers and sacrifice - through the faithful living out of her humble and hidden life. She brings Him to others by bringing others to Him - through her work of intercession.
As the Sisters and I are entrusted with building a new Eucharistic Throne for our Bridegroom, we have before us a unique opportunity to open the doors for Christ, to bring Him to others. Our Lady of Solitude Chapel will sit there upon the desert sands, as if it were a ship sailing on the boundless ocean. Majestic. Awesome. A reminder that we are pilgrims, and that God is unchanging.
When the doors are opened, and the new Eucharistic Throne is unveiled, the Sisters and I will have the immense JOY of opening the doors to Christ for all those who visit. We have found Him in Whom our hearts find rest. Now we want to bring that grace to others.
Like Pope Benedict XVI said so beautifully in the quote above, we strive to remain undaunted by the presence of difficulties or the enormity of the task at hand. Continually we are faced with our weak humanity. Weak knees, weak stomachs, trembling hands, pounding heart...And yet, we keep pressing onwards. Why? Because He is worth it! Bringing others to Him is worth it! Bringing Him to others is worth it! In such matters there can never be any counting of the cost!
|Sr. Fidels' mom, Peg, with Sr. Augustine - standing in front of the newly erected reredos|
|Alexander, our amazingly talented wood carver, going over the plans|
|Alexander showing the cloister Mass choir grille to Jill and Sr. Esther Marie|
|Ta Da! The reredos with statues! WOW. More pics to come. Isn't it awesome?!?|