Very dear Friends of our community,
Each summer offers us the opportunity to visit and share with you recent events on the Claralaan. The theme presenting itself this year for our August newsletter was quite obvious: Heights. Terrestrial heights, spiritual heights and heavenly heights. We have them all.
Can you just imagine the shock of a certain sister, who, glancing out the window, discovered Mother Abbess on hands and knees crawling across the roof? "Oh, yes..." Mother explained later, "...thereís a leak in the ceiling, ...and I just thought Iíd better check for broken shingles...." It was clearly time to call in some professionals! And so it was that we spent the greater part of May with roofers overhead, replacing broken shingles, shoring up a collapsing chimney, scrubbing and waterproofing all the other chimneys (eight of them!), re-fastening the rope for the tower bell, --jerked off by an overly-enthusiastic young man during his brotherís wedding Mass. We only pray that the young couple will themselves go through the whole of their wedded life with such enthusiasm!
On June 26 our Zuster Maria Theresia of the Most Holy Trinity reached a spiritual height with the Profession of her first vows. Her own priest-brother, home on vacation from studies in Rome, was delegated by our bishop to officiate at the ceremony.
His homily was constructed around Zuster Theresiaís doctoral thesis. "A thesis on the Good Samaritan delivered... and two weeks later entrance into a strictly enclosed monastery. It is the paradox of the contemplative life, for the two,- Good Samaritan on the one hand and cloistered nun on the other,- appear to have nothing in common, whereas in fact, to live a Christian life, you must choose both. You could never be a true contemplative without at the same time gathering into your heart all the suffering and hardships of the world." And so it was that Zuster Theresia, at this high point in her surrender to the Lord, gathered to her heart all of your intentions and needs.
In the heavenly heights we encounter three saints. In the first place there was jubilant rejoicing with the beatification of Padre Pio. The world wondered at him because of the wounds of Christ that he bore; the Holy Father beatified him because of his Franciscan simplicity and obedience. The stigmata we will never bear, but the simplicity and obedience are within the range of each of us.
|Unfortunately, there was for us a poignant cloud over the day for we had to bid adieu to our beloved chaplain, Pater Severinus, o.f.m. cap. He had served as rector here for thirty years, the last five as our own faithful advisor and pater familias. Pater Provincial was main celebrant at the farewell Mass, during which we tried to show our gratitude for his generous year in and year out giving.The second saint is Cunegunda of Krakow, princess and Poor Clare (!) from the thirteenth century. During his recent pastoral visit to his native Poland, Pope John Paul canonized her outside her own cloister, and after the Mass he spent time visiting with the sisters of the community. Well, what do you think? They must surely have wondered if they werenít in heaven?||
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And, now we come to the third saint: Clare of Assisi, our Mother and Foundress. We prepare for her solemnity with our customary public novena, during which we remember you and all of your intentions, placing them before her statue in our chapel, asking her to obtain every spiritual blessing for you and your loved ones.
Dear Friends, we thank you for your support and your trust in our life of prayer and for your faithful generosity. You take such good care of us and our Lord shall reward you as only He can.
Gratefully,Your Poor Clare Sisters of Eindhoven