Wednesday, November 7, 2012

"Open to me, my sister, my beloved, my dove, my perfect one!"

Sr. Gabriella and the retreatants out for a walk on Sunday!
This verse from the Song of Songs (5:2) was the theme of our discernment retreat which took place this past weekend.  Six beautiful young women joined us for a weekend of prayer, talks, discussion and community time; four from Ohio and two from Colorado.

Mother Theodora spoke about monasticism and its development, the discernment process and the plans and dreams of our monastery, Sr. Gabriella shared her vocation story and Sr. Cecilia explained how the Song of Songs can help us to pray.  We gave each participant a copy of the book The Cantata of Love, a transforming commentary on the Song of Songs.  We also watched the film, Mysteries of the Jesus Prayer, which takes the viewer on a journey to many monasteries from Egypt to Russia to see how the monastics live and to hear their wisdom on prayer and surrender to God.  

Praying Matins on Sunday morning
Just as important as hearing about the monastic life is living it, to the small degree that a retreat allows.  The retreatants participated in our daily liturgical schedule of communal and private prayer and shared in community meals, work and recreation.  On Sunday evening we all participated in the Mystery of Holy Repentance (Confession), and sought to open our hearts to the One who knocks at the door.

Sr. Gabriella sharing her vocation story
We were uplifted and encouraged by the faith, openness and spiritual beauty of these young women, and look forward to the plans that the Bridegroom has in store for them!  Please keep these women, and all who are discerning, in your prayers.  Being open to such a radical call is extremely difficult in our society, but this openness is a witness profoundly needed.

To see additional photos: Facebook Album

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