St. Dominic’s Feast Day Newsletter 2017

Click image above to open St. Dominic’s Feastday Newsletter PDF.

Belated greetings and best wishes for the feast of our Holy Father Saint Dominic!

On August 8th, his feast day, we celebrated with a special Mass and festivities in the monastery.  We thank God for the grace of our Dominican vocation, and for the generosity and support of our many friends who have responded to our summer appeal.  May God bless and keep all of you through the intercession of our Lady and our Holy Father Saint Dominic!

With grateful prayers in Our Lady,

Mother Mary of the Precious Blood, O.P. and Sisters

Litany of St. Dominic

Today we begin our novena leading up to the feast of our Holy Father St. Dominic, celebrated on August 8th.  This year we are using a devotional Litany to St. Dominic, below.  We invite you to join your prayers to ours, for all Dominicans, and for Our Lord to raise up many men and women in the spirit of St. Dominic burning with zeal for the salvation of souls.

dominic-statue-profile

The Litany of St. Dominic

For private use only.

Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.

Holy Mary, Holy Mother of God and our Immaculate Mother, pray for us.
Holy Virgin of Virgins, etc.
Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary,
Our Glorious Father, Saint Dominic,
Follower of Jesus Christ,
Eminently endowed with the virtues of His Sacred Heart,
Adorer of the Blessed Sacrament,
Singularly devoted to our Blessed Lady,
Promulgator of the Holy Rosary,
Splendor of the Priesthood,
Founder of the Dominican Order,
Rose of patience and Ivory of Chastity,
Doctor of Truth,
Most ardent for the salvation of souls,
Most desirous of martyrdom,
Poor in the midst of riches,
Rule of abstinence,
Salt of the earth,
Shining in the choir of virgins,
Saint Dominic, most humble and obedient,
Saint Dominic, most chaste and charitable,
That at the hour of death we may be received into Heaven with you,

Be merciful unto us, O Lord, and graciously hear us.
From all sin and evil, Deliver us, O Lord.
From the snares of the devil, etc.
From eternal death,
By the merits of our Holy Father, Saint Dominic,
By his ardent love and zeal,
By his extraordinary labors and penances,
By his voluntary poverty and perfect obedience,
By his perpetual chastity and profound humility,
By his rare constancy and all his virtues,

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,
Have mercy on us.

V. Pray for us, O holy father, Saint Dominic,
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let Us Pray.

O Almighty God, we are oppressed by the weight of our sins; help us, that we may be delivered from them ,through the merits of Thy Holy Confessor, St. Dominic, our Father and Patron. Amen.

Seeking the Lord with St. Mary Magdalen

Happy feast of St. Mary Magdalen!

Known as the Apostle to the Apostles for her role in bearing the news of Jesus’ Resurrection, St. Mary Magdalen is a patroness of the Order of Preachers.  As we ponder her story today through the readings at Holy Mass and in the Divine Office, we see her also as a model for us Dominican Nuns in persevering in our vocation to “Seek God,” and for those young women who are seeking His will for their lives.

fra_angelico_magdalene_1

Upon my bed by night I sought him whom my soul loves;
I sought him, but found him not; I called him, but he gave no answer.

“I will rise now and go about the city, in the streets and in the squares;
I will seek him whom my soul loves.” I sought him, but found him not.

The watchmen found me, as they went about in the city.
“Have you seen him whom my soul loves?”
Scarcely had I passed them, when I found him whom my soul loves.
I held him, and would not let him go until I had brought him into my mother’s house,
and into the chamber of her that conceived me.

Song of Solomon 3:1-4 (First Option for the First Reading at Mass)

First St. Mary Magdalen sought the Lord.  In the Gospel reading, St. John says that she “came to the tomb early, while it was still dark.”  After running to inform the disciples, Mary follows them back to the tomb; but after they leave, she remains.  If she had sought, but not remained; or remained where she was without seeking, she could never have encountered the Lord, Who invites us to encounter Him through our very desires.

In the Second Lesson from the Office of Readings, Pope St. Gregory the Great ponders the Gospel passage (John 20:1-18):

We should reflect on Mary’s attitude and the great love she felt for Christ; for though the disciples had left the tomb, she remained. She was still seeking the one she had not found, and while she sought she wept; burning with the fire of love, she longed for him who she thought had been taken away. And so it happened that the woman who stayed behind to seek Christ was the only one to see him. For perseverance is essential to any good deed, as the voice of truth tells us: Whoever perseveres to the end will be saved.

Image of Fra Angelico's painting of Noli Me Tangere - detail of St. Mary Magdalen

At first she sought but did not find, but when she persevered it happened that she found what she was looking for. When our desires are not satisfied, they grow stronger, and becoming stronger they take hold of their object. Holy desires likewise grow with anticipation, and if they do not grow they are not really desires. Anyone who succeeds in attaining the truth has burned with such a great love. As David says: My soul has thirsted for the living God; when shall I come and appear before the face of God? And so also in the Song of Songs the Church says: I was wounded by love; and again: My soul is melted with love.

Woman, why are you weeping? Whom do you seek? She is asked why she is sorrowing so that her desire might be strengthened; for when she mentions whom she is seeking, her love is kindled all the more ardently.

fra_angelico_magdalene_3

Jesus says to her: Mary. Jesus is not recognized when he calls her “woman”; so he calls her by name, as though he were saying: Recognize me as I recognize you; for I do not know you as I know others; I know you as yourself. And so Mary, once addressed by name, recognizes who is speaking. She immediately calls him rabboni, that is to say, teacher, because the one whom she sought outwardly was the one who inwardly taught her to keep on searching.

Jesus calls each of us by name.

He calls each of us nuns to continue to seek Him in every aspect of our Dominican monastic vocation. There is a wonderful sentence in our Constitutions which begins by saying, “The nuns seek God . . . ” and continues by listing all areas of our monastic vocation: “. . . by observing the norms of the purely contemplative life, by maintaining their withdrawal from the world by enclosure and silence, by working diligently, studying the truth eagerly, searching the scriptures with ardent heart, praying intently, willingly practicing penance, pursuing communion through their manner of government, in purity of conscience and the joy of sisterly concord, ‘in freedom of spirit.”  We know He desires to fulfill all the desires of our heart: in the words of the Psalm, “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires”—Himself.

For those young women who are seeking God’s will and growing in their desire to live for Him, we encourage you to ask St. Mary Magdalen to pray for you today.  May she encourage you to persevere in seeking the Lord, and obtain for you that encounter with Jesus Who desires to be both your Teacher and your Beloved.

(Could you be called to seek Him in the contemplative life at the heart of the Holy Preaching of the Dominican Order?  Contact our Vocation Directress.)

It seems fitting to conclude with today’s Magnificat antiphon, chanted at Vespers, the text of which is a prayer to St. Mary Magdalen.

mary-magdalen-magnificat-dominican-chant

O lamp of the world, and bright-shining pearl,
who by announcing the Resurrection of Christ,
didst merit to become the Apostle of the Apostles!
Mary Magdalen, of thy kindness stand thou ever before God, Who chose thee,
to entreat Him for us.

Weekly Prayers to the Precious Blood for Priests

Painting of Jesus Crucified with saints catching the Precious Blood in chalices

Click to open a PDF of a double-sided pamphlet of the prayers below.

Weekly Prayers to the Precious Blood for Priests

Sunday

My beloved Jesus, by the Precious Blood which You shed on the day of the cir­cumcision, watch over the infancy and the early education of the children whom You have destined to minister at the altar, that they may be preserved spotless till consecrated to You by the Holy Unction.  Bless the families that honor Your Precious Blood, and spread this devotion, by choosing from among them a large number of vocations to the priesthood, and by maintaining their fervor till the close of their lives.

Our Lady of the Precious Blood, watch over the living chalices of the Blood of Jesus.  Amen.

Monday

Lord Jesus, by the Precious Blood which You shed in the Garden of Olives, take pity on all aspirants to the priesthood who, through the temptations of the evil one, or dread of the responsibilities of the sacred ministry, are in danger of losing their voca­tion.  Impart to these young men sufficient courage to make the sacrifices by which the Eucharistic Chalice must be purchased; and in return for their generosity, let them find strength and courage through the Blood Which in heaven shall be their eternal source of delight.

Our Lady of the Precious Blood, watch over the living chalices of the Blood of Jesus.  Amen.

Tuesday

Lord Jesus, by the Precious Blood shed in Your painful scourging, shield with Your own special protection, and that of Your Immaculate Mother, all ministers of the sanctuary, so that, belonging entirely to You, they may every day offer and receive Your Body and Blood and enable You to find in their hearts “a paradise of delight.”

Our Lady of the Precious Blood, watch over the living chalices of the Blood of Jesus.  Amen.

Wednesday

Lord Jesus Christ, by the Precious Blood which You shed in Your Crowning with Thorns, we beseech You to maintain our clergy in such filial submission to the Holy See and its representatives, as will for ever secure them the veneration, confidence, and docility of the faithful children of Holy Church.

Our Lady of the Precious Blood, watch over the living chalices of the Blood of Jesus.  Amen.

Thursday

Lord Jesus! by Your Precious Blood, shed on the way to Calvary, take pity on priests who are the victims of injustice, and who, like their Adorable Model, receive, in return for their devotedness, nothing but crosses, trials and persecutions.

Our Lady of the Precious Blood, watch over the living chalices of the Blood of Jesus.  Amen.

Friday

Lord Jesus, by the Blood of Your Cruci­fixion, inflame with ever-unceasing zeal the dispensers of Your Blood.  Grant that thirsting like You for souls they may con­tinue the work of Your Passion, increasing its efficacy by applying its merits.  Assist most of all the poor missionaries who, after watering with their sweat and tears the soil in which they have sown the divine seed, may still be called upon to dye with their blood the land upon which they planted the cross.

Our Lady of the Precious Blood, watch over the living chalices of the Blood of Jesus.  Amen.

Saturday

Lord Jesus, through the Blood and water shed by You after death, take special pity on those among Your ministers whom You will soon call by death.  If, through human frailty, they have become the debtors of Your justice, grant that, this very day, the infinitely Precious Blood may discharge their obligations.

Our Lady of the Precious Blood, watch over the living chalices of the Blood of Jesus.  Amen.

From Our Treasure “The Blood of Jesus” prayer book, published by the Sister Adorers of the Precious Blood, Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, 1969.

Sanctifying our Work – Fatima Centenary

The Fatima Centenary

This year, 2017, is the 100th anniversary of the apparitions of Our Lady to the three shepherd children at Fatima.  The 13th of each month from May to October, the actual anniversaries of the apparitions, are special days to honor Our Lady and obtain a plenary indulgence.

How are we observing this special year?  One thing we are doing is reading a book written by Sister Lucia, the one of the shepherd children who grew up and became a Carmelite nun.  She wrote “Calls” from the Message of Fatima to answer the many questions she was asked about the meaning of the apparitions.  Here we would like to share with you a passage from the Sixth Call, “The Call to Prayer,” because it shows so beautifully what our life is like in the monastery, while also being applicable to life in the world.

Holy Card from the Dominican Nuns in Fatima

Sanctifying our Work

Sister Lucia writes:

In carrying out our everyday tasks, we must endeavour to be aware of God’s presence: call to mind that God and our Angel Guardian are close to us, see what we are doing, and in what frame of mind we are doing it.  Hence, we must sanctify our work, our rest, our meals, our wholesome entertainments, as if they were an on-going prayer.  Knowing that God is present, it is enough to call Him to mind and from time to time say a few words to Him: whether of love — I love you, Lord! — or of thanksgiving — Thank you, Lord for all your benefits—, or of petition — Lord, help me to be faithful to You; forgive me my sins, my ingratitude, my coldness, my failure to understand, my backsliding — or of praise — I bless you , Lord, for your greatness, for your goodness, for your wisdom, for your power, for your mercy, for your justice, for your love.  This intimate and familiar converse with God transforms our work and our daily occupations into a true and abiding life of prayer, making us more pleasing to God and bringing down upon us extra special graces and blessings.  (“Calls” from the Message of Fatima, p. 95.)

This prayer of being mindful of God and speaking with Him while we work is an integral part of our life in the monastery.  We spend a good deal of time in formal prayer, either at Mass or singing the Psalms in the Divine Office or praying the Rosary or adoring Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, but we also spend a good deal of time going about our household tasks that keep the monastery running every day.  During this time, too, we are united to God.  Yet this form of prayer Sister Lucia describes is not for monks and nuns only, but for people in every walk of life as they go about the duties of their daily life at home, school, or work.

May this anniversary inspire us to give ourselves more completely to Jesus through Mary in the ordinary events of daily life, and offer God the sacrifice of our daily duty out of love for Him and in reparation for sin.