Saturday, October 25, 2014

An Irish Concert At The Monastery!

This week we had the joy of attending a 'concert' of Irish hymns and songs covering all the seasons in our lives: from All Saints, to All Souls, Advent, Christmas, Lent, St. Patrick's Day, Annunciation, Eastertide, Ascension and inspiring hymns on the journey of hope to Eternal Life...right here in the guest parlor of our monastery!

Thanks to our Novitiate Organ Teacher, Jill Mueller who graciously brought the rehearsal of the concert that will be given to the Nativity Parish Church on Sunday to us so that we wouldn't miss out on this beautiful performance of church songs of Ireland.

The two young talented artists were from Ireland: Alexander Harding Bradley and Luke Edward Harding Bradley.  Currently, they are both students at Nativity School across the street from the monastery.

Alexander is a 13-year-old boy soprano who was trained at Piccolo Lasso in Dublin, Ireland.  At 11 year-old, he was invited to join the world-famous Vienna Boys Choir, with which he traveled and sang as a soloist and choir member in concerts throughout Europe, Asia, North and South America, and Australia.  When we asked which country was his most memorable one, he mentioned Australia!

Luke Edward is a 12-year-old treble soloist, though his voice could go as high as his brother!  He was also trained at Piccolo Lasso where he became leader and head boy in 2012.  He has sung in concerts and Masses throughout Europe and has performed in several operas, in Sweden, at Westminster Cathedral in London and even for Pope Benedict XVI in Rome in 2012!

The concert will be presented at Nativity Church, on 210 Oak Grove Avenue in Menlo Park on Sunday October 26th from 2:00 P.M. to 3:30 P.M.  Admission is free, but if desired, contributions may be made to the Nativity Parish Church Music Fund.  It is worth your time and will be the most enriching event spiritually and culturally.

 Alexander and Luke Edward after the rehearsal with proud Uncle David, Mom Elenor, Jill the Pianist and Susann her helper

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Dominican Contemplative Nuns: Warrioresses of The Queen of the Rosary


"The Hail Mary is the powerful weapon which puts the devils to flight, which crushes the enemies of the people of God and stamps out all heresies. The Hail Mary fills the soul with every grace, it gives joy to the blessed, pleasure to Mary and glory to the most Holy Trinity." -St. Louis de Monfort

One of the most obvious sign of the Dominicans' love for Mary is the Rosary that we wear on our side.  Our devotion to Mary through the daily recitation the Hail Mary or the Angelic Salutation can be traced back to the beginning of our foundation when our Blessed Mother gave the Rosary to St. Dominic as a means of converting the Albigensians and sinners.  Following the footsteps of our Holy Founder, each morning when we put on the habit, we reverently kiss this holy weapon that was given to us by our Blessed Mother and beg her to help us in our mission.

At Corpus Christi Monastery, upon receiving the habit, the nuns are given a plain Cross without the Corpus on our Rosary to signify that we are on the Cross with Christ, sharing in his sufferings and those of our Blessed Mother, the Queen.  This is one of the sacrificial aspects of our Dominican Spirituality - that like our Holy Father Dominic, we would bear sinners, the down-trodden and afflicted in the compassion of our hearts and lives.

The following is a brief account which tells us the power of the Hail Mary:

One day when Saint Mechtilde was praying and trying to think of some way in which she could express her love of the Blessed Mother better than she had done before, she fell into ecstasy. Our Lady appeared to her with the Angelic Salutation in flaming letters of gold upon her bosom and said to the saint, “My daughter, I want you to know that no one can please me more than by saying the salutation, which the Most Adorable Trinity sent to me and by which He raised me to the dignity of Mother of God.

“By the word Ave (which is the name Eve, Eva) I learned that in His infinite power God had preserved me from all sin and its attendant misery that Eve had been subject to.

“The name Mary, which means ‘lady of light,’ shows that God has filled me with wisdom and light, like a shining star, to light up heaven and earth.

“The words full of grace remind me that the Holy Spirit has showered so many graces upon me that I am able to give these graces in abundance to those who ask for them through me as Mediatrix.

“When people say The Lord is with thee, they renew the indescribable joy that was mine when the Eternal Word became incarnate in my womb.

“When you say to me blessed art thou among women, I praise Almighty God’s divine mercy, which lifted me to this exalted plane of happiness.

“And at the words blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus, the whole of heaven rejoices with me to see my Son Jesus Christ adored and glorified for having saved mankind.”

(Adapted from Saint Louis de Montfort’s The Secret Of The Rosary, translated by Mary Barbour, O.P. 1954.)

Let us take great delight in giving glory and praise to God through our love and devotion to our Lady by reciting the Hail Mary throughout the day: for the salvation of the world, for the conversion of sinners, and for drawing forth God's blessings upon our loved ones, those we meet, those who suffer and those who are in greatest need of God's mercy.

Deo Gratias!

"All the Angelic Salutations that you have given me are blazoned on my cloak." (Then she held out a portion of her mantle.) "When this part of my cloak is full of Hail Marys I shall gather you up and take you into the Kingdom of my Beloved Son." - Our Lady to Saint Mechtilde.