Sunday, April 30, 2006

Fishers of Men

Fishers of Men

This video is totally amazing... well, all their videos are great, but I think this is a wonderful snapshot of the beauty of the priesthood... a reminder to all of us what an amazing vocation it is, and that we need to pray for our priests, and for generous vocations.

larger version of the video (go as big as you can... and turn the sound up!)

Other peoples CFR related blogs

I searched blogs for CFR (Franciscan Friars / Sisters of the Renewal) posts and came up with a few I like.

And hey. It saves me trying to explain my experiences of such a madly beautiful order :)

This one from "
The Cafeteria is Closed" (I like this blog anyway... but as he put the CFR in the "old school nuns" box, I like him even more...)

and then there's
this lovely story about Sr Catherine, who is totally beautiful and joyful, and it's lovely to learn a little more about her...

this is why I love the
Friars... although I can't see the Sisters shooting bits of fruit at each other!

I think that's all for now... just got back from a youth 2000 retreat (retreat!?) and so very tired... BUT praise God, tommorow is a bank holiday, so I can't go to an early mass... so no need to feel guilty about lying in until at least 7am... luxury in the world of student nursing :)

May God give you His peace!

Friday, April 28, 2006

being an infrequent blogger

Unfortunately, no matter how good my intentions were, I only started the blog because I was procrastinating, rather than writing my dissertation. Still, I have a few things I want to write about, so I'm going to put them here to remind me...

Cardinal Martini and condoms... grrrr.

Discernment :)

"Can I live" ...a great song about a woman who chooses not to abort her unborn child.

...I think that's it. I think I want mostly to talk about discernment, because I'm going to be a nun, and nothing is more exciting right now. Everything else I guess fits into that, because discerning God's place for me involves recognising which of my talents and interests God wants me to develop, and which He calls me to leave for my greatest love (Him!... obviously!)

the other thing I need to do is put a link up to canticle of Chiara, which is a lovely page about discernment, whose author was clearly inspired by the Holy Spirit to leave me a comment, which turned out to be more helpful than she probably imagined!

Anyway, yes! time to go to mass,

May God give you His peace!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Latin in the Office

From St Cecilias Website:

2. Why do you still have your liturgy in Latin?

We always have the Mass readings in English, and on Sundays and other days when there’s a large congregation we have the prayers in English too. In the Divine Office we have the Patristic readings in English. We made a deliberate choice to keep the rest in Latin for several reasons. First, the Gregorian Chant which we use for all our liturgy was composed for Latin texts. The melodies weren’t written first and then the words fitted to them; the melodies were made for the existing texts (almost all quotations from Scripture). We couldn’t use the same melodies for English words, and they’re so subtle and beautiful that to adapt them would be to spoil them. These chants evolved from the music of the synagogues which the first Christians adopted, and developed over more than a thousand years. There’s often a theology in the melody itself - for example, as it becomes more elaborate at the important words or phrases. Then, all the great monastic figures in the western Church wrote in Latin and it’s good to keep in touch with them. Often we’re singing chants which they would have known and prayed with just as we do. While Vatican II allowed the use of modern languages and modern music in the liturgy, it also insisted on the value of the Latin language and Gregorian Chant, and subsequent Popes have stressed that Benedictine monasteries have a particular duty and privilege to cherish and draw life from this wonderful spiritual heritage.

If girls don’t know Latin when they enter - and they usually don’t know any - they learn it in the novitiate. It is astonishing how quickly you pick it up with one-to-one teaching and singing it in the liturgy several times a day. The same is true of Gregorian Chant. Most of us are not “musical”, but our choir mistress says she has found that anyone can learn to sing the Chant. People nowadays often use discipline in posture and breathing as aids to prayer, or learn to discern the promptings of the Spirit through their memory or imagination or emotions. Learning Latin and music for the sake of praying through the Chant is just another discipline which centuries of experience have shown to be a way to deeper union with God.

"I think you owe it to God and to yourself..."

A Big Crisis... Email Correspondances:

From: Mhari
To: St Cecilias Abbey
Sent: Saturday, April 15, 2006 12:45 PM
Subject: discernment


I've never written an email to a convent before, most of the places I've visited have been less technologically advanced than you!

I heard about your community through a friend of mine, and came across your website when I was browsing. My name's Mhari, I'm a final year student nurse, I'm 24, and I've been discerning my vocation to religious life for just over 2 years. I've recently applied to join the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal (CFR), who are an "active" (I don't like that word, as it implies that you aren't... but you know what I mean!) order based in New York, this September, however, I've also recently begun to attend a more traditional church, a community of the Oratory of St Phillip Neri, and a brother in the community has been trying to talk me into entering an order that chants the office in Latin, and while the CFR's do pray 5 of the offices, they don't generally chant, and seldom pray in Latin... and I love it, and do think it's beautiful, but it seems a bit silly (to me) to consider (or otherwise) a community based solely on that. However I'm a little afraid that it's more important than I'm giving it credit for, and find it difficult to know if I'm just having last minute nerves, or if this is really a prompting from God.

I guess I'm mostly writing to ask for advice, rather than requesting to visit at this stage, over the past couple of years I've felt some kind of drawing to an enclosed order, and because I fell in love with Franciscan spirituality, I've visited a couple of communities of Poor Clares, but really didn't feel called there. I assumed that the reason God had given me this yearning was because the CFR are very based in prayer, which is the first thing in their lives, and their apostolic work comes second to that, however I do see the beauty and value in your way of life.

I'm not sure if this email will make much sense, I haven't spoken to my spiritual director about it as he's away for a month over Easter (he's the university chaplain, and is off giving retreats elsewhere), anyway, if nothing else, I would very much appreciate your prayers.

May God give you His peace!


And this morning, I got a response:

From: Sr Mary David
To: Mhari
Sent: Monday, April 7, 2006 16:45 PM
Subject: Abbey

Dear Mhari,

Surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia!

Thank you for your very good email, describing where you are in your discernment. It may be as you say, a momentary "blip", a case of last minute nerves; but it may be something else. I think you owe it to the Lord and to yourself to "test the spirits to see if they are of God." I realize you were not requesting a visit, but the best way for you to know whether you are truly called to an enclosed order is to "come and see." The fact that you still feel drawn to a cloistered community, even after visiting some Poor Clare communities, could mean that the Lord is gently trying to direct you elsewhere. It may be that what you have received from the Franciscans is meant to be a stepping stone to something else. This has been the experience of many I've known, whose desire to follow the Lord came in one way (through one of the newer movements) and their vocation in quite another. Where you have been, what you have received, and where you are now, are always part of a vocation, but they may not be the vocation, if you know what I mean. I hope this has helped. Be assured of my prayers for you, and do let me know if I can be of further help. And do give our love to Becky. I will be thanking her soon for the creme eggs she sent to the Community!

Wishing you every blessing and peace in the Risen Lord, Sr Mary David

PS I am sorry for not replying immediately, but with so much going on, on Saturday and Sunday, the emailing checking got neglected.


So there's my crisis for today... I replied to say that I'm going to talk with my Spiritual Director, and then email back. It's no big deal, I'll go visit, then I can enter the CFR this September without looking back... I hope...

I've succumbed to the craze

This is exciting, my first blog... and it's all because I'm trying not to write my dissertation, what a way to go down in history. When they're assessing my cause for cannonisation they'll come across this, with an odd photo of me squinting (in a most unchaste t-shirt... I think it's even possible to see my WAIST!) and clear evidence that I am not at all a saint, and cancel all attempts. Oh well, you win some, you lose some.

One last thing, an edit, I know some of my friends who have little else to do with their time (Adam Shaw!) google people's names... anyway, if they do so with my name at present they come up with some old comment I wrote about the fabulous JP2 and some reviews on amazon I think. plus loads about some green peace girle with an extra "I" (not an extra eye... I don't think so anyway) ... definately not me! Anyway, now they'll get my name, Mhari Dunlop. And it'll serve them right for googling such nonsense!