A Blessed Discernment weekend in Georgetown!

The Gallery Ministry of Georgetown Visitation Monastery held a discernment weekend from Thursday April 28- Sun May 1st.

Nine women participated and joined the community for these days in prayer, recreation, meals and spiritual classes.

Watch for announcements of the next series of discernment days!

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Chatting about: Introduction to Devout Life- on Death

Hi Maybe no one wants to tak about death

May 1 2016, 7:24 PM

VisitationSiste: But its part of this book! and life so to speak

May 1 2016, 7:25 PM

Lisa C: How was your trip to visit your Mother, I hope she is well

May 1 2016, 7:25 PM

Carol Ann: Hi Mother Susan! It is a tough topic…

May 1 2016, 7:25 PM

VisitationSiste: She is frail but ok. It was a peaceful trip

May 1 2016, 7:25 PM

Lisa C: Death is part of life, but for anyone alive all our experience of death is with someone else dying

May 1 2016, 7:26 PM

VisitationSiste: Hi Carol! yes it is- but I think of it every day- esp as so many people ask for prayers

7:26 PM

Lisa C: Same with docs

May 1 2016, 7:26 PM

Lisa C: also Army

7 PM

Carol Ann: Since we cannot really know for sure what happens until we ourselves experience it, it is easy to scare yourself with all sorts of imaginings

May 1 2016, 7:27 PM

VisitationSiste: When its a young person it is shocking and one realizes ones gift of life may be longer than theone we pray for

:28 PM

Lisa C: So many young people with suicides

May 1 2016, 7:28 PM

Lisa C: Oh, what did Sister say

May 1 2016, 7:28 PM

Lisa C: My Grandmother had one too

May 1 2016, 7:28 PM

VisitationSiste: She had a “vison” of being in the Chapel and heard not yet and woke up

3 9 PM

Lisa C: I did not think Nuns would be afraid of dying

May 1 2016, 7:29 PM

VisitationSiste: We think she had a seizure but nothing shows. She has oxygen now because of her wheezing

May 1 2016, 7:29 PM

VisitationSiste: We are human

May 1 2016, 7:30 PM

Carol Ann: A friend of mine had one during surgery and lived another 20nyears–the backbone of the family

May 1 2016, 7:30 PM

Lisa C: Yes, I know you are human just thought faith would be stronger

May 1 2016, 7:30 PM

VisitationSiste: Here is Judy’s words- she says hi: 1. I frequently think about death, not in a morbid sense, but in a reflective sense. I do not fear death. Death is a birth into a life prepared for us from the beginning of time by the Lord; it is an entry into the mansion prepared for us by the Heavenly Father. It is a “going home” and we will be welcomed home by our Treasured Lord and all the Heavenly Kingdom. What a joyous thing to consider! But we do not know the circumstances of our death-when, where or how it will

May 1 2016, 7:31 PM

Carol Ann: Strong faith helps with fear, but all humans feel fear

May 1 2016, 7:31 PM

VisitationSiste: how it will take place. It is the how part that causes me some anxiety. Will it be the result of a long and arduous illness with great pain and suffering? That causes me fear. Or will an accident take my life suddenly? I must certainly make every effort to keep my soul in order to be prepared for such a possibility. But death itself, I do not fear it. I look forward to it because I will then be face to face with the One Whom I love above all. I long to be with Him for all eternity.

May 1 2016, 7:31 PM

Lisa C: My Grandmother was dying of cancer and suffering a lot and a few days or maybe 2 weeks before she died she said she saw “everyone in white”. We said who and she said she saw everyone all her family that went before her.

16, 7:32 PM

Lisa C: Once when she was young maybe 10 she had pneumonia and she said she saw angels dancing around her bed

May 1 2016, 7:33 PM

Ruth (guest): Hello Lisa, Sister, and Carol

May 1 2016, 7:33 PM

Lisa C: Hi Ruth

May 1 2016, 7:33 PM

Carol Ann: Children often see what others can’t

May 1 2016, 7:33 PM

Lisa C: When she died in between my room and Margaret

May 1 2016, 7:33 PM

Ruth (guest): I see you’ve been here a while. I’m looking back first, and what’s been said so far.

PM

VisitationSiste: Amazing but real Lisa

May 1 2016, 7:35 PM

VisitationSiste: AFFECTIONS AND RESOLUTIONSMy Lord and my God, I place myself before You asking You and Your Holy Mother to accompany me at the hour of my death. I do not know the exact time of my passing. I will be happy to trade this world for that world which lies beyond death, the Kingdom where the You reside in all Your glory. I will surely take my friends and relations with me in my heart and plead for them before Your throne. I will strive to live according to Your will, indeed to live in perfect uniformity with Your

May 1 2016, 7:36 PM

VisitationSiste: Your will. I will examine myself carefully to be sure that You come first in all things, that You are above all else in my life. Be the source of my strength, the deepest desire of my soul, the goal of all of my prayers and works. I wait eagerly for Your coming for me. I will live this life for as long as You will and will then take leave of it as You wee fit. from Judy

, 7:36 PM

Carol Ann: What a beautiful prayer

May 1 2016, 7:36 PM

Lisa C: Once while she was very sick I said to her that she would see Jesus soon, and it seemed to scare her so I did not talk about it

May 1 2016, 7:36 PM

:39 PM

Lisa C: I think I am in denial about dying…just not thinking so much about it. If I do think about it I have confidence in Jesus to take care of me.

May 1 2016, 7:39 PM

VisitationSiste: I always depend on the Lord to save me- that’s how I think of death- as His saving me

May 1 2016, 7:39 PM

Amy Cochran: I’ve sat with a few dying people, and I always tell them they are going to be so happy.

May 1 2016, 7:39 PM

Ruth (guest): Yes, Sister, I’ve noticed that she does. She helps keep us on topic.

016, 7:40 PM

Lisa C: Yes, Mother, like He will be there so why should I worry 16, 7:40 PM

Lisa C: It is still abstract though 016, 7:40 PM

Lisa C: If I am faced with it I hope I feel the same 1 PM

Amy Cochran: I remember my friend, a dying priest whom I loved, was so full of faith, he told me, so matter of fact, that “the body wears out” and that was that……..such faith

May 1 2016, 7:41 PM

VisitationSiste: Its in the experiences as you mentioned Lisa that we can see and take courage from as well; Jesus and Mary are always with us

May 1 2016, 7:41 PM

Ruth (guest): I “should” have died so many times, that it almost seems like I’ve been practicing for the time it really happens!

May 1 2016, 7:41 PM

Lisa C: It is amazing to have so much of what St. T of L went through while she died…her Story of a Soul and her sisters writing about her last conversations

PM

Lisa C: If I seriously consider dying then everything other than prayer and helping others seems so frivolous. It is still hard to say I do not care about those things though

6 online

016, 7:44 PM

Amy Cochran: it’s the attachments to worldly things. I often think that if someone said right now, “Jesus is waiting for you now” would I run to Him, or would I say, Maybe tomorrow???? :44 PM

VisitationSiste: Good question Amy- I remember thinking something like that on retreat once

May 1 2016, 7:44 PM

Carol Ann: I have been saying St. Margaret Mary’s prayers for the souls in purgatory every day. That helps keep me mindful

May 1 2016, 7:44 PM

Ruth (guest): I only HOPE that I am. There are practical things to consider, too, like my will is so old that I’ve even lost track of the executor; it was written in Germany. I’d kinda like to “clean up” my messy home and other practical things, mostly to make it easier for those who survive me.

May 1 2016, 7:45 PM

VisitationSiste: We have to be ready tho we never know when Just last week we lost our 47 year old computer technician who came to our Monastery

May 1 2016, 7:45 PM

Amy Cochran: i know, everyone says how much we love Jesus, but are we ready to leave this life and run to Him?

Ruth

 

5 PM

Amy Cochran: i know, everyone says how much we love Jesus, but are we ready to leave this life and run to Him?

May 1 2016, 7:45 PM

Lisa C: It makes a difference once you have a child. You can be abstractly unafraid to die and go to Jesus, but once you have a child you think you need to stay back to care for them

May 1 2016, 7:46 PM

VisitationSiste: If we feel His love at that moment I don’t think we would resist

6, 7:46 PM

Lisa C: The world is so cruel at times that you want to protect people you love

May 1 2016, 7:46 PM

Carol Ann: He is irresistible

47 PM

Amy Cochran: i agree with you, Sister. When Jesus appears at the point of death, it’s going to be so wonderful, but it’s the time immediately prior to His arrival

May 1 2016, 7:47 PM

VisitationSiste: I think we would throw ourselves at Him but yes with children left behind- that mite be very different tho would not ALL be swept up in His Love?

PM

Ruth (guest): I am impressed with the faithfulness of St. Mother Theresa because for so long she did NOT feel anything about the importance of heaven, or the nearness of God, just a painful, longing for God. 8 PM

Carol Ann: That is when, I hear, we will be most strongly tempted to despair

May 1 2016, 7:48 PM

VisitationSiste: True- but did she not regain His Presence before she died?

9 PM

VisitationSiste: Perhaps Carol that is why we say prayers for the dyig? PM

Amy Cochran: the Divine Mercy chaplet is a good prayer at the point of death

May 1 2016, 7:50 PM

Lisa C: The presence of Jesus will provide peace beyond all understanding

May 1 2016, 7:50 PM

VisitationSiste: How can we prepare for death- I often think by praying for those who are in its throes

May 1 2016, 7:50 PM

Dawn L: I dont recall if St Mother Teresa did..or not

May 1 2016, 7:50 PM

Carol Ann: I think so. I always love to say the Divine Mercy for them, so Jesus will come and drive evil away

How can we prepare for death- I often think by praying for those who are in its throes

May 1 2016, 7:50 PM

Dawn L: I dont recall if St Mother Teresa did..or not

May 1 2016, 7:50 PM

Carol Ann: I think so. I always love to say the Divine Mercy for them, so Jesus will come and drive evil away

May 1 2016, 7:50 PM

VisitationSiste: My dad died as we were saying the Chaplet

May 1 2016, 7:50 PM

Lisa C: Preparation for death= living faithfully

May 1 2016, 7:51 PM

Carol Ann: My directors also encourage daily exam en

May 1 2016, 7:51 PM

VisitationSiste: Yes that is so- and when we fail- contrition 7:52 PM

VisitationSiste: We dont know who we help by our prayers and who will help us b theirs 3 PM

Lisa C: My rosaries are for people in purgatory among other things

May 1 2016, 7:53 PM

VisitationSiste: In the Monastery 21 Sisters have died since I entered but even tho they are not here I feel as if they are

3 PM

Lisa C: My rosaries are for people in purgatory among other things

May 1 2016, 7:53 PM

VisitationSiste: In the Monastery 21 Sisters have died since I entered but even tho they are not here I feel as if they are

May 1 2016, 7:53 PM

Ruth (guest): Opps, what I was writing disappeared and an ad for the chat system popped up in the place of this chat.

May 1 2016, 7:53 PM

Lisa C: Yes, Mother, they are there

May 1 2016, 7:53 PM

VisitationSiste: Wow

M

VisitationSiste: And sometimes they make themselves known- a card a Sister once gave , for ex’

May 1 2016, 7:54 PM

Carol Ann: Stories like that make me wonder just how separate heaven is from Earth

May 1 2016, 7:54 PM

Lisa C: The Communion of the Saints

May 1 2016, 7:55 PM

Amy Cochran: i don’t think we know exactly where heaven is. but now that they say that the universe is a hologram, heaven seems to make more sense to its location

May 1 2016, 7:55 PM

VisitationSiste: Explain more Amy please

May 1 2016, 7:55 PM

Lisa C: Hi Sister

7:56 PM

Mary Roberta Viano: Hello! I think the retreat went well. One retreatant is with us for the coming week.

May 1 2016, 7:56 PM

Amy Cochran: Scientists are saying that the universe is a hologram, kind of like the shiny image on a credit card. if you turn it one way you see the bird or whatever, the other slight turn and you see a shiny foil

May 1 2016, 7:56 PM

Lisa C: Sister how did you find 10 women under 40?

May 1 2016, 7:56 PM

Ruth (guest): I was saying, my Faith, it seems, is more like a clear CHOICE, a good HABIT of constantly raising my thoughts to God, of trying to be grateful and full of Praise, because HE is all worthy.

May 1 2016, 7:57 PM

Amy Cochran: we only see 5% of the known universe. the other 95% is a mystery of dark matter and dark energy

May 1 2016, 7:57 PM

Mary Roberta Viano: They weren’t all under 40, and they were 9, not 10…but still all gift!

:58 PM

Lisa C: If I knew there was not an age limit I would have come. The description said under 40. 7:58 PM

Mary Roberta Viano: There were at least two in their early 50s. 016, 7:58 PM

Carol Ann: I would have been happy to come too! :59 PM

Mary Roberta Viano: next time…supposedly this was just the first

May 1 2016, 7:59 PM

Dawn L: wonderful so many came!

May 1 2016, 7:59 PM

VisitationSiste: I am so happy it was successful!

May 1 2016, 7:59 PM

Amy Cochran: that would explain, let’s say, Christ’s ascension……..he did not go up to Pluto, for example, as there is the other 95% of the universe around us we can’t scientically put a hande on it

6, 7:59 PM

Lisa C: I do not think heaven is a place in the material universe in which we live

May 1 2016, 8:00 PM

Lisa C: It is spiritual and has souls, God, and angels in it

May 1 2016, 8:00 PM

Carol Ann: The dark matter then is like the veil some of the saints describe?

01 PM

Lisa C: Maybe at the end of the world heaven will be in the universe again when God makes everything new again in the new Jerusalem

May 1 2016, 8:01 PM

Mary Roberta Viano: I just finished watching the Narnian film, Prince Caspian, where the children bury themselves in Aslan’s fur, just like we will throw ourselves into Our Lord’s arms, I imagine.

May 1 2016, 8:01 PM

Ruth (guest): We pray, “I believe in the resurrection of the BODY and life everlasting” GThe resurrected body of Christ was different — passing through walls, appearing and disappearing, etc.

May 1 2016, 8:02 PM

Dawn L: is that a new film sister? sounds good

3 PM

Mary Roberta Viano: no, an old one, but since I recently read the book, and our school library had the film, I decided to watch it

May 1 2016, 8:03 PM

Carol Ann: There have been a couple versions made of that wonderful series

May 1 2016, 8:04 PM

Ruth (guest): Stacy Trasancos is a scientist and theologian and teacher of seminarians, as well as a mother. She has a blog which addresses some of the questions your raise, about matter, soul, etc.

May 1 2016, 8:05 PM

Mary Roberta Viano: I like what SFdS writes in one of his letters of spiritual direction: ” O, why is it that we ever place trust and confidence in the vanity of this passing life?”

PM

Mary Roberta Viano: He continues: “Our ambitions lie beyond the heart, and thither we must therefore cast our love.”

May 1 2016, 8:05 PM

Ruth (guest): Do we?

May 1 2016, 8:06 PM

Mary Roberta Viano: hopefully not, Ruth

May 1 2016, 8:07 PM

Ruth (guest): Yet it seems to me that psychologically it is easier to trust God for those who have had trusting relationships in this world.

May 1 2016, 8:07 PM

Mary Roberta Viano: In a sermon he writes: “That is what all the saints did; they prepared themselves by a good life to die well.”

May 1 2016, 8:07 PM

Carol Ann: Did Stacy write Strange Notions? I just Google her

8 PM

Ruth (guest): People or someone, a Mom for instance, who could be relied upon.

May 1 2016, 8:08 PM

Dawn L: In my Father’s house there are many mansions. If not, I would have told you: because I go to prepare a place for you. jn 14:2 DR

May 1 2016, 8:08 PM

Mary Roberta Viano: I’m sure you’re right, Ruth.

May 1 2016, 8:08 PM

Lisa C: Didn’t St.FdS say that our spiritual friendships in this life will continue in heaven?

May 1 2016, 8:08 PM

Amy Cochran: of course, there was st. dismas, who didn’t do a lot of preparing and Jesus let him enter heaven with Him

May 1 2016, 8:08 PM

Ruth (guest): Yes, Carol, and much, much more.

May 1 2016, 8:09 PM

Carol Ann: I did find her website then. Yay!

May 1 2016, 8:09 PM

Mary Roberta Viano: SFdS quotes St. Augustine: “Friendship which could end was never true.

:10 PM

Ruth (guest): Actually, she is editor of at least two others, as well. And does a lot on FB.

May 1 2016, 8:10 PM

Mary Roberta Viano: We just don’t know what “not ending” really means.

May 1 2016, 8:10 PM

Amy Cochran: thank you, sister, we were just discussing that last week in a class. how could lasting loving relationships end in death

May 1 2016, 8:11 PM

Carol Ann: I pray that relationships that are broken here will be restored in heaven. After all, we all follow Christ

May 1 2016, 8:11 PM

Lisa C: “friendships which were good in this life will continue eternally in the next” StFdS

May 1 2016, 8:11 PM

Amy Cochran: Jesus said that there will be no marriage in heaven, ie in the story of the woman with seven husbands?

May 1 2016, 8:12 PM

Ruth (guest): Emotionally, that is the most solid argument for a life beyond death. Love endures.

May 1 2016, 8:12 PM

Mary Roberta Viano: SFdS in a letter to a young priest writes: “The world passes away and the concupiscence thereof. Christ passes not away, nor does His love.”

May 1 2016, 8:13 PM

Dawn L: evidence I think which points to loving relationships continuing is the many times I witnessed one of a older couple dying, and within 2 or 3 weeks the other going. not illnes nessiarily

3 PM

Mary Roberta Viano: So we just need to cling to Our Lord in humility and trust – just like Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy clung to Aslan.

May 1 2016, 8:13 PM

VisitationSiste: I echo that Carol for the broken relationships that they will heal in Christ in heaven

PM

Mary Roberta Viano: That’s what happened to my paternal grandparents, Dawn.

May 1 2016, 8:14 PM

Lisa C: Saints can pray for us so people must stay in contact with us after they die

May 1 2016, 8:14 PM

Ruth (guest): Pleasant thought, Sister Susan.

May 1 2016, 8:14 PM

Dawn L: its a beautiful thing to see!

May 1 2016, 8:14 PM

Mary Roberta Viano: Yes, I’m firmly convinced it was my deceased husband’s intercession that brought me here to the monastery.

May 1 2016, 8:15 PM

Ruth (guest): Interesting, Sr. Mary Roberta.

May 1 2016, 8:15 PM

Carol Ann: Because the human faults and failings that separate us, Christ will heal and we won’t remember the separation

16 PM

Mary Roberta Viano: I’ve always thought that was the meaning of a “pure heart” – no focus on negative memories.

May 1 2016, 8:16 PM

Lisa C: Chapter XIX Introduction to the Devout Life…of true friendships

May 1 2016, 8:16 PM

Dawn L: there is so much hope in a mystery we do not fully comprehend

May 1 2016, 8:16 PM

Ruth (guest): I get uncomfortable with trying to “picture” heaven any more precisely than what we are told about in Sacred Scripture.

PM

Mary Roberta Viano: Right, Ruth. As SFdS wrote to SJdC after her husband’s sudden death: “Give yourself entirely to Him, and He will give Himself entirely to you.”

May 1 2016, 8:18 PM

VisitationSiste: There is the Beatific vision

:18 PM

Ruth (guest): Recently I came across an envelope of photographs. Everyone but one were deceased people I had grown close to.

May 1 2016, 8:19 PM

Ruth (guest): One or two I sort of “talk” with from time to time.

May 1 2016, 8:19 PM

Mary Roberta Viano: That’s what I like in my childhood, bedtime prayer: Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.”

May 1 2016, 8:19 PM

Mary Roberta Viano: It’s all in God’s hands…

May 1 2016, 8:20 PM

Amy Cochran: essentially, we are all pilgrims here, awaiting the return home. I guess we should try to model our lives with that thought.

May 1 2016, 8:20 PM

Dawn L: still a good prayer!

May 1 2016, 8:20 PM

Ruth (guest): That prayer sometimes scares children into thinking that they are likely to die in their sleep — keeps them from sleeping

PM

Mary Roberta Viano: Sleep, after all, is a kind of death.

May 1 2016, 8:21 PM

Ruth (guest): That’s to Sr. Mary Roberta

PM

Lisa C: God’s glory is all of reality

May 1 2016, 8:22 PM

Lisa C: Nothing else is real or will survive

May 1 2016, 8:22 PM

Carol Ann: Yes, we have been promised eternity,

May 1 2016, 8:23 PM

Ruth (guest): I’m glad you did Sr. Mary Roberta. SOME kids probably experience it differently.

May 1 2016, 8:23 PM

Lisa C: Only the part of God we participate in will be real

May 1 2016, 8:23 PM

Carol Ann: Do we choose joy or sorrow, life or death?

4 PM

Lisa C: Do we get to chose?

May 1 2016, 8:24 PM

Mary Roberta Viano: At the end of Compline every evening, we ask for a restful night and a peaceful death.

May 1 2016, 8:24 PM

Ruth (guest): “I set before you LIFE and Death, God says (OT) Choose, LIFE!

May 1 2016, 8:24 PM

Amy Cochran: i think we don’t choose life or death, but we somehow have to follow God’s will for us, and if we do, we have all the reason to be joyful, either with life or death

May 1 2016, 8:24 PM

Mary Roberta Viano: Yes, LIFE in HIM!

May 1 2016, 8:25 PM

Carol Ann: Yes, every one of us chooses by our actions and thoughts in this life

May 1 2016, 8:25 PM

Ruth (guest): I like that part of Compline, Sister, MR.

May 1 2016, 8:25 PM

Lisa C: Joy can come from sorrow suffered for God can come

, 8:25 PM

VisitationSiste: He came to give us Life

May 1 2016, 8:25 PM

Amy Cochran: joy is different than happy

May 1 2016, 8:25 PM

Carol Ann: Do we set aside our fear of a very real physical illness and contemplate Jesus in prayer or do we focus on the illness?

joy is different than happy

May 1 2016, 8:25 PM

Carol Ann: Do we set aside our fear of a very real physical illness and contemplate Jesus in prayer or do we focus on the illness?

May 1 2016, 8:26 PM

Ruth (guest): Amy, that’s scriptural. And God offered LIFE by offering the LAW. (Old Testament}

May 1 2016, 8:26 PM

Mary Roberta Viano: As our conclusion urges us: “Entreat Him anew to grant you a happy death by the Merits of His Dear Son’s Death.”

May 1 2016, 8:26 PM

VisitationSiste: I think the experience of the illness is more scary sometimes than the end result of the illness

16, 8:27 PM

VisitationSiste: But keep saying the Name of Jesus and Mary and peace fills one PM

Dawn L: many others have, but Mother Angelica wanted to prolong her life/suffering by any means in order to grow closer in union

, 8:28 PM

VisitationSiste: Ad as she had visions who knows what she experiences in her last illnesses

16, 8:28 PM

Carol Ann: She did?

May 1 2016, 8:28 PM

Mary Roberta Viano: In a conference SFdS says: “Let us then be most careful to keep our hearts submissive, profiting by our maladies, and rising up as soon as Our Lord has driven away the fever, and ministering to others.”

May 1 2016, 8:29 PM

Ruth (guest): I often think that the only reason God has allowed me to live this long is so that eventually. by His grace, I might “get it right.

May 1 2016, 8:29 PM

Ruth (guest): He’s very patient.

May 1 2016, 8:29 PM

VisitationSiste: Oh yes of St Michael the Archangel for one

May 1 2016, 8:29 PM

Mary Roberta Viano: “In doing this, we shall certainly show great virtue in having been rid of our illness, we devote our health for the service of Our Lord.”

29 PM

Mary Roberta Viano: so true, Ruth!

May 1 2016, 8:30 PM

VisitationSiste: https://churchpop.com/2016/03/27/the-little-known-mystical-visions-of-mother-angelica/

The Mystical Visions of Mother Angelica | ChurchPOP

May 1 2016, 8:30 PM

Mary Roberta Viano: After my husband’s death, my boss pointed out that Our Lord was ready to take him, but still had a LOT of work to do on me!

 

, 8:31 PM

Ruth (guest): LOL

May 1 2016, 8:31 PM

Dawn L: MA deeply spiritual, oh thank you Mother!I did not know about this

May 1 2016, 8:31 PM

Mary Roberta Viano: She was right!

May 1 2016, 8:31 PM

Ruth (guest): Same here.

31 PM

Mary Roberta Viano: and that’s what made MA seem so amazingly practical, I think

3 PM

Ruth (guest): Tell us again

May 1 2016, 8:33 PM

Ruth (guest): Sr. Roberta WHERE your monastery is.

May 1 2016, 8:34 PM

Dawn L: goodnight Sr Mary R, thank you for coming

May 1 2016, 8:34 PM

VisitationSiste: Georgetown DC I think Sister left now

May 1 2016, 8:34 PM

Lisa C: Ruth, in Georgetown

May 1 2016, 8:34 PM

VisitationSiste: Good night all and many blessings this first week of May our Mothers month

May 1 2016, 8:34 PM

Ruth (guest): Thanks, Lisa, I relized I was just a little too late with my question.

 

Treasures of the Treatise-Celebrating 400 Years- On the Blessed Virgin

Today, May 1st, the Month dedicated to our Blessed Mother Mary, begins.

Turning to St. Francis de Sales’ masterpiece, the Treatise on the Love of God, which celebrates its 400th anniversary of publication this year, we can reflect on his perspective on Mary, from Book III, Chapter 8

OF THE PROGRESS AND PERFECTION OF LOVE.

CHAPTER VIII.
OF THE INCOMPARABLE LOVE WHICH THE MOTHER of GOD, OUR BLESSED LADY, HAD.

But always and everywhere, when I make comparisons, I intend not to speak of the most holy virgin-mother, Our Blessed Lady. O my God no indeed! For she is the daughter of incomparable dilection, the one only dove, the all-perfect spouse. Of this heavenly Queen, from my heart I pronounce this thought, amorous but true, that at least towards the end of her mortal days, her charity surpassed that of the Seraphim, for many daughters have gathered together riches: thou hast surpassed them all. The Saints and Angels are but compared to stars, and the first of them to the fairest of the stars: but she is fair as the moon, as easy to be chosen and discerned from all the Saints as the sun from the stars. And going on further I think again that as the charity of this Mother of love excels in perfection that of all the Saints in heaven, so did she exercise it more perfectly, I say even in this mortal life. She never sinned venially, as the church considers; she had then no change nor delay in the way of love, but by a perpetual advancement ascended from love to love. She never felt any contradiction from the sensual appetite, and therefore her love, as a true Solomon, reigned peaceably in her soul and made all its acts at its pleasure. The virginity of her heart and body was more worthy and honorable than that of the Angels. So that her spirit, not divided or separated, as S. Paul says, was solicitous for the things that belong to the Lord how it might please God. And, in fine, maternal love, the most pressing, the most active and the most ardent of all, what must it not have worked in the heart of such a Mother and for the heart of such a Son?

Ah! do not say, I pray you, that this virgin was subject to sleep; no, say not this to me, Theotimus: for do you not see that her sleep is a sleep of love? So that even her spouse wishes that she should sleep as long as she pleases. Ah! take heed, I adjure you, says he, that you stir not up nor make the beloved to awake till she please.No, Theotimus, this heavenly Queen never slept but with love, since she never gave repose to her precious body, but to reinvigorate it, the better afterwards to serve her God, which is certainly a most excellent act of charity. For, as the great S. Augustine says, charity obliges us to love our bodies properly, insomuch as they are necessary to good works, as they make a part of our person, and as they shall be sharers in our eternal felicity. In good truth, a Christian is to love his body as a living image of Our Savior incarnate, as having issued from the same stock, and consequently belonging to him in parentage and consanguinity; especially after we have renewed the alliance, by the real reception of the divine body of Our Redeemer, in the most adorable sacrament of the Eucharist, and when by Baptism, Confirmation and other Sacraments we have dedicated and consecrated ourselves to the sovereign goodness.

But as to the Blessed Virgin,O God, with what devotion must she have loved her virginal body! Not only because it was a sweet, humble, pure body, obedient to divine love, and wholly embalmed with a thousand sweetnesses, but also because it was the living source of Our Savior’s, and belonged so strictly to him, by an incomparable appurtenance. For which cause when she placed her angelic body in the repose of sleep: Repose then now, would she say, O Tabernacle of Alliance, Ark of Sanctity, Throne of the Divinity, ease thyself a little of thy weariness, and repair thy forces, by this sweet tranquillity.

Besides, dear Theotimus, do you not know that bad dreams, voluntarily procured by the depraved thoughts of the day, are in some sort sins, inasmuch as they are consequences and execution of the malice preceding? Even so the dreams which proceed from the holy affections of our waking time, are reputed virtuous and holy. O God! Theotimus, what a consolation it is to hear S. Chrysostom recounting on a certain day to his people the vehemence of his love towards them. “The necessity of sleep,” said he, “pressing our eyelids, the tyranny of our love towards you excites the eyes of our mind: and many a time while I sleep methinks I speak unto you, for the soul is wont to see in a dream by imagination what she thinks in the daytime. Thus while we see you not with the eyes of the flesh, we see you with the eyes of charity.” O sweet Jesus! what dreams must thy most holy Mother have had when she slept, while her heart watched? Did she not dream that she had thee yet in her womb, or hanging at her sacred breasts and sweetly pressing those virginal lilies? Ah! what sweetness was in this soul. Perhaps she often dreamed that as Our Savior had formerly slept in her bosom, as a tender lambkin upon the soft flank of its mother, so she slept in his pierced side, as a white dove in the cave of an assured rock: so that her sleep was wholly like to an ecstasy as regards the spirit, though as regards the body it was a sweet and grateful unwearying and rest. But if ever she dreamed, as did the ancient Joseph, of her future greatness when in heaven she should be clothed with the sun, crowned with stars and having the moon under her feet,that is, wholly environed with her Son’s glory, crowned with that of the Saints, and having the universe under her or if ever, like Jacob, she saw the progress and fruit of the redemption made by her Son, for the love of the angels and of men;Theotimus, who could ever imagine the immensity of so great delights? O what conferences with her dear child! What delights on every side!

But mark, I pray you, that I neither say nor mean to say that this privileged soul of the Mother of God was deprived of the use of reason in her sleep. Many are of opinion that Solomon in that beautiful dream, though really a dream, in which he demanded and received the gift of his incomparable wisdom, had the true use of his free-will, on account of the judicious eloquence of the discourse he made, of his choice full of discretion, and of the most excellent prayer which he used, the whole without any mixture of inconsistency or distraction of mind. But how much more probability is there then that the mother of the true Solomon had the use of reason in her sleep, that is to say, as Solomon himself makes her say, that her heart watched while she slept? Surely it was a far greater marvel that S. John had the exercise of reason in his mother’s womb, and why then should we deny a less to her for whom, and to whom, God did more favors, than either he did or ever will do for all creatures besides?

To conclude, as the precious stone, asbestos, does by a peerless propriety preserve for ever the fire which it has conceived, so the Virgin Mother’s heart remained perpetually inflamed with the holy love which she received of her Son: yet with this difference, that the fire of the asbestos, as it cannot be extinguished, so it cannot be augmented, but the Virgin’s sacred flames, since they could neither perish, diminish nor remain in the same state, never ceased to take incredible increase, even as far as heaven the place of their origin: so true it is that this Mother is the Mother of fair love, that is, as the most amiable, so the most loving, and as the most loving, so the most beloved Mother of this only Son; who again is the most amiable, most loving, and most beloved Son of this only Mother.