Sister Maria Christiana of Our Lady

First Profession, 23 November, 2008

On November 23 the Poor Clares of Eindhoven celebrated a great day of grace and joy as our Sister Maria Christiana made her profession of temporary vows. Clara, born in Seoul, Korea, was six years old when her parents brought their three children to a new home in the Netherlands. After her graduation from Emmauscollege, she went on to study the violin at the Rotterdam Conservatorium. Clara joined our monastic family in 2005 and after a year of postulancy received the habit of Saint Clare and her new name, Sister Maria Christiana of Our Lady. Christiana was St. Francis of Assisi's favored name for Saint Clare, in whom he saw the perfect reflection of the Christian woman, of Christ's mother. Now after two years as a white-veiled novice, our sister's one desire is to respond to God's invitation and embrace the Poor Christ through the sacred vows of poverty, chastity, obedience and enclosure.

"A Poor Clare does not vow to live in poverty or to observe poverty or to practise poverty, but to live 'without property'. She is a happy pilgrim moving thorugh the lanes of creation to the Shrine of the most holy Trinity."

Clara's first monastic Christmas was shared with her novitiate companions.!

"Today is the day before Christmas eve. Wreaths of redwood and fir form their own Advent O's against the doors. We leave the choir and pass under the life-sized image of our Lady of Guadalupe. The postulants lead the procession, heads demurely bent over their prayer books until the spray of snowballs at the chapter-room doors proves too much for them. The two black-veiled heads turn for a quick, delicious glance, and then jerk back to book and psalm. "All things are ready," we declared in the antiphon at Lauds this morning. Yet postulants, novices and nuns race about the monastery as though nothing at all were ready! "The Lord is already near...." I walk down the cloisters, and my heart moves to a single tune: Lord, it is good, so good to be here!

The first Christian generations experienced the liturgy as the unfailing spring of life in and with Christ. There they gave themselves to the Lord tangibly and were suffused with His love and grace. For them there could be no separation between liturgy and life, any more than there could be a division between Christ and His Church. Life for them was Christ and community, communion with the Church as she celebrated the Lord's mysteries.

Click here to listen to Zuster Angela and Postulant Clara.

The Day of Profession

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