Saturday, January 13, 2007

"...a quiet flame...

" a candle held in a woman's hand,
or set in a window at dusk.

"Does this small spark, this life of prayer
serve the Church and our world of the third Millennium?"

"Carmel is a silence
that is broken by a song.

"It is a desert
where the Spirit sows seeds of joy
that bloom
and come to fruitfulness
under the profound action
of God."

"Do I desire to belong to Christ alone and live my whole life
seeking intimacy with him?

"Do I want to be an instrument
of peace and healing
in our wounded world?

"Do I believe
that a life of prayer and holiness
by itself is a true apostolate?
That it can make a difference
in our world
of the Third Millennium?"

"To discern a vocation means to:

  • "Listen to your own heart.

  • "Listen to Christ speaking in the Gospels.

  • "Listen to the words of a priest, friend or counselor
    in whom you have placed your confidence.

  • "Pray without anxiety,
    peacefully and perseveringly.

  • "Wait for the Lord
    and trust him
    for he will not fail
    to make you know
    his will for you."

from the well-crafted
and stunningly beautiful Web site of
Carmel of Terre Haute

Happy Vocation Awareness Week!

Friday, January 12, 2007

"A monk's life becomes prayer"

"Sometimes it takes place
in community prayer with his brothers
in a liturgical setting.

"Other times, it takes place alone in his room,
perhaps during the long interval
following the community meditation.

"Still other times it takes shape in his work...

"Monastic life is no quick fix.
It is slower paced than outside the monastery,
and it aims toward a life long commitment....
If you feel an attraction to this kind of life..."

from the website of
St. Benedict's Monastery
Snowmass, Colorado

Happy Vocation Awareness Week!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Dedication to adoration

"Our life is one of total dedication to perpetual adoration of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Truly Present in the Most Blessed Sacrament, in a spirit of reparative thanksgiving.

"What is 'reparative thanksgiving'?

"Reparative thanksgiving can be defined as offering Our Lord our gratitude for His Love and Grace in place of those who never thank Him; it is to love Him for those who have no time for Him.

"We are a Cloistered Community of Contemplative Nuns, known as the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration.

"(We are) taking the treasures of spirituality and love that we have been given (at our founding monastery in Alabama), and, with His grace, begin planting it anew in the desert of Arizona."

"What are the requirements of entering the Poor Clare of Perpetual Adoration at Our Lady of Solitude? You must be a single woman between the ages of 21 and 35, aave a High School education, be a Catholic in good standing, (and) have good physical and psychological health."

"If you are discerning a vocation and are interested in learning more about our Community, please contact us at"

from the website of the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration
Our Lady of Solitude Monastery

Happy National Vocation Awareness Week!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

"This is our vocation...

" stand before the face of God."
St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

Heavenly Father,
you renew the Church
in every age by
raising up religious women
to bear witness to you.

Fill the hearts of young women
with a spirit of courage and love,
and enliven in them
an awareness of their vocation
that they may hear your call.

May those you have
chosen to serve you
provide by their way of life
a convincing sign
of your kingdom
for the Church
and the whole world.

"If you feel called to a life of prayer
within the context of an enclosed life

  • have good physical and mental health
  • have a spirit of generosity and love that will enable you to give yourself totally to God
  • are between the ages of 21 - 45,"

contact the Discalced Carmelite Nuns
Carmel of Saint Joseph

Piedmont, Oklahoma at:

Happy National Vocation Awareness Week!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

A life consecrated to prayer

"Unlike other Orders who have a specific active apostolate,
our apostolate is a life consecrated to prayer.

"This may seem foreign to a culture that is always on the go, a culture that has been formed in noise and activity. Because those in the world rarely take time to reflect upon the Lord in silence, it is hard for them to imagine a life of prayer....

"We try to listen to Him
and respond to Him in the depths of our soul.

"This requires an atmosphere of silence,
a silence both interior and exterior.

"Our entire life is not lived
in complete silence,
but it is lived
in an attentive
and loving
environment of silence.

"This oasis of silence is not emptiness,
but a fullness of God’s Presence.

"In this silence of the heart,
we are formed by God Himself,
and He teaches us the path of holiness and virtue,
how to become more like Him."

"Come and See...
January 26th-28th
For young women ages 17-24
We invite you to come for a visit
to see our Monastery
and discern your vocation.
If you are interested,
please call us at
or email us at

Holy Hour
talk with the nuns
and time for silent prayer"

from the website of
the Poor Clare Nuns of Perpetual Adoration
at Saint Joseph Adoration Monastery
Portsmouth, Ohio

Happy Vocation Awareness Week!

Monday, January 08, 2007

We seek God

Benediction on September 27, 2005 at St. Emma Monastery by Father Jonathan Wisnieski,Vocation Director of the Diocese of Greensburg using monstrance blessed by the great Pope John Paul II"Our Benedictine monastic vocation is centered in the monastery.

"We seek God
in prayer,
in work, and
in community.

"Daily Mass and The Liturgy of the Hours provides the framework around which our day evolves. This communal praise of God is our most important task. The Liturgy of the Hours (or Divine Office) is sung six times a day in English using simplified Gregorian chant melodies. Lectio divina (sacred reading), personal prayer and an atmosphere of silence are also essential elements of our life of prayer....

"Single women (ages of 18-40) speak with our Prioress, Mother Mary Anne, and then come to visit the community. These first visits provide a glimpse of what our life is like and offer both sides to get to know one another. At each stage of the process, both the community and the individual discern whether or not God is calling the woman to our monastic community."

from the website of
St. Emma Monastery,
Greensburg, Pennsylvania

Happy National Vocation Awareness Week!

(adapted from a post originally on A Penitent Blogger)

Sunday, January 07, 2007

For those who are very, very serious

about prayer
and about being alone with God
for the love of Christ and of the whole Church
there are few paths more magnificent
than that of the Carthusians:
monasteries of men and monasteries of women
tucked away in different corners of the world,
from France to Vermont,
from Brasil to Korea.

The Carthusians live lives of intense simplicity and even more intense prayer.

"Who is called to a life such as this? The vocation so centers in God and is directed by Him and for Him that the choice cannot possibly come from man. The hermit cannot progress along this often perplexing path unless God wishes it and calls the person to it, and gives him the graces for it....

"A candidate needs fairly good, though not exceptional, physical health to sustain the rigors of the vocation. In particular, given the more intense stresses of solitude, a candidate must be free of any serious emotional and psychological pathology; indeed even lesser degrees of trauma can prove an obstacle. The common practice is, therefore, to have candidates take psychological testing before admittance into the community.

"The Carthusian life requires significant human maturity and sound judgment. The Statutes allow no one under 20 to be admitted, and in fact, given the delayed maturity in the West today, a person does not enter before he is 23. Since adaptability to such a life becomes increasingly difficult after mid-life, the upper age limit is 45, though candidates over 40 are not often considered."A reposed, open and sociable character is very desirable. In addition, cloister candidates are asked to have some knowledge of Latin and a liberal arts background if at all possible, with at least two years of college. The brothers are encouraged to have a high school education or the equivalent.

"Once the applicant has contacted the community, the Charterhouse sends a questionnaire concerning personal information and references. If the Superiors discover there is sufficient possibility of a vocation, they invite him to make a retreat of at least a month’s duration (if possible) at the monastery. During his retreat, he is gradually introduced to the Carthusian life and encouraged to participate as fully as his capacity permits. If at its end, the applicant remains convinced of his calling and wishes to take the next step, and if the Superiors, with the assistance of the grace of God, validate his discernment, then together they decide when he should enter the novitiate. Once admitted, the candidate becomes an aspirant for a period of about six months.... During this period, it is discerned whether he should proceed to the state of novice where he becomes a member of the community.... He remains in this state for two years. If he remains firm in the conviction of his calling, the candidate may be allowed to take the vows of stability, obedience and conversion of life (in which are implicitly included chastity and poverty) for three years..... At the end of this first term, he renews his vows for two additional years. After this second term, he leaves the novitiate and the supervision of the Novice Master to live among the solemn professed and perpetual donates where he slowly forms himself to the maturity of a solitary.

If assurances appear that he is called to and capable of the Carthusian life, the monk makes his final and solemn profession."
(text from the Charterhouse of the Transifguration, Vermont USA)

Please see the Carthusians' excellent site for more information and for the locations of the Charterhouses throughout the world:

Happy National Vocation Awareness Week!

(adapted from a post on A Penitent Blogger)

Thursday, January 04, 2007


"I once read or heard that an interior life means but the continuation of our Savior's life in us; that the great object of all his mysteries is to merit for us the grace of his interior life and communicate it to us, it being the end of his mission to lead us into the sweet land of promise, a life of constant union with himself.

"And what was the first rule of our dear Savior's life? You know it was to do his Father's will.

"Well, then, the first end I propose in our daily work is to do the will of God; secondly, to do it in the manner he wills; and thirdly, to do it because it is his will.

"I know what his will is by those who direct me; whatever they bid me do, if it is ever so small in itself, is the will of God for me.

"Then, do it in the manner he wills it, not sewing an old thing as if it were new, or a new thing as if it were old; not fretting because the oven is too hot, or in a fuss because it is too cold. You understand - not flying and driving because you are hurried, not creeping like a snail because no one pushes you. Our dear Savior was never in extremes.

"The third object is to do his will because God wills it, that is, to be ready to quit at any moment and to do anything else to which you may be called....

"You think it very hard to lead a life of such restraint unless you keep your eye of faith always open.

"Perseverance is a great grace. To go on gaining and advancing every day, we must be resolute, and bear and suffer as our blessed forerunners did. Which of them gained heaven without a struggle?...

"What are our real trials? By what name shall we call them? One cuts herself out a cross of pride; another, one of causeless discontent; another, one of restless impatience or peevish fretfulness. But is the whole any better than children's play if looked at with the common eye of faith?

"Yet we know certainly that our God calls us to a holy life, that he gives every grace, every abundant grace; and though we are so weak of ourselves, this grace is able to carry us through every obstacle and difficulty....

"Be above the vain fears of nature and efforts of your enemy.

"You are children of eternity.

"Your immortal crown awaits you, and the best of Fathers waits there to reward your duty and love. You may indeed sow here in tears, but you may be sure there to reap in joy."

from a conference by St. Elizabeth Ann Seton