If he came in the night, then nighttime is blessed forever.
If it was at dawn that he made his way into our midst,
then dawn is eternally hallowed. When his mother
pressed him to her breast, every mother, every child,
was suffused with the light of grace, sweeter than morning,
and the cherishing strength of her husband was a sacrament
of love for all spouses, all times.  All that is made,
that is born, stirred at that coming of his and was changed,
lifted into the possibility of its original self.

Come to the manger and stay awhile in its silence,
and know why songs of angels haunt us in every moment of joy.
See that the humble regard of shepherds is the wondering prayer
of the universe, the awe of the soul of the world.  

web crib 

Greetings to all of you, dear friends, at this beautiful holiday season.

A few days ago we hosted a “Nun Run” here at the Monastery.  This is not a sponsored athletic event but an occasion for young women to visit and pray with the Sisters here at the Monastery.  Four religious communities collaborate to offer a rounded experience of different ways to commit one’s life to service among God’s people.  We are the third stop on this religious pilgrimage around the Twin Cities.  As we all know, in our time large numbers of young people are not entering religious life. However we do see great enthusiasm among God’s people in married and single life to commit time and treasure to prayer and to service of others.  Ours is a wonderful time!

 The twenty-first century has much in common with the thirteenth century and the beginning of the Franciscan “movement.”  We call it a movement because in the beginning many types of people from various strata of society were involved. It was a lay, not a monastic or clerical, movement. Ordinary people were drawing near to Christ as they heard and met him in the gospel readings at Mass, and saw the scriptures portrayed in sacred art and enacted on the street as “mystery plays.”  Francis and his brothers went around Assisi and the near-by towns preaching conversion and penance.  Conversion had the sense of turning one’s life around, and penance was “doing mercy.”  The Father of Mercies had sent His Son among us as Mercy Incarnate.  And the Spirit of Jesus was enacting mercy within and among God’s people.

 One of the first things that happened when people heard the Good News of salvation as preached by the early Franciscans was that they wanted to go on pilgrimage. They wanted to see and feel the holy places where Jesus was born, lived, died and rose from the dead. They wanted to get closer to Jesus by being in the same places made holy by God’s Son.  Palestine was very far from Umbria. It was a long and expensive journey that placed great hardships on the pilgrim’s family. Francis was a man possessed of great mercy for the people.  He and his brothers believed that the Spirit of Jesus was right there at home with them. So to celebrate the Nativity of the Lord they set up the Christmas scene at Greccio and invited the people to come and celebrate Midnight Mass in the woods.  Ever since the 13th century Christians have been placing Christmas cribs in churches and we know that all of heaven is with us there as we celebrate the Christmas Eucharist.  Come, let us worship.

 Your sisters of St. Clare websmchapel The Chapel is ready for Christman night Eucharist.


Choristers from St Odilia’s School get us in the spirit.


Comments are closed.