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Seeking the Face of the Lord

In our preparation for the Feast of our Father St. Dominic we had an 8-Day Retreat with Fr. Vivian Boland O.P. who awoke in us a thirst for the Face of the Lord. On the Feast of the Transfiguration (6th August) we finished our Retreat with the blessing of new icons that some of our sisters had 'written' during an Icon Course with Mihai Cucu at the end of July.

2nd Sunday of Lent - Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.

We often hear the phrase ‘the war is being fought on two fronts.’ This is as true for the war in the Ukraine as it is for any previous war. But there is also a deeper sense in which this war is being fought on two fronts. There is a battle going on between light and darkness, between good and evil, between grace and sin. It has never been put any better than it was by St. James over 2000 years ago. “Where do all these battles between your selves begin? Is it not in your own hearts? Is it not your passions that are at war in your members?

Feast of the Presentation - World Day of Consecrated Life

In 1997, St. John Paul II chose the 2nd February, feast of the Presentation of the Child Jeus in the Temple as the World Day of Consecrated Life. In this way, the Holy Father wanted to create an opportunity for the whole Church to reflect more deeply on the gift of consecrated life being consecrated to God.

Referring to the gospel of the Presentation in the Temple I would like to highlight the sacrifice of the two pigeons, which Mary and Joseph made in the Temple to God for their firstborn Son. This sacrifice is very significant because the second of these pigeons was offered as a burnt offering to the Lord

23rd December - O Immanuel

Immanuel, a name which means God is with us.
In Jesus we see our God made visible.

This is what Christ said on coming into the world. “You, who wanted no sacrifice or oblation, prepared a body for me. I am coming to do your will.” And this will was for us, you and me, to be made Holy by the offering of that body once and for all, for our salvation

21st December - O Rising Sun

O Rising Sun. You are the splendour of Eternal Light and the Sun of Justice.
O come and enlighten those who sit in darkness, those who dwell in the shadows of death.

At this time of year, and today as the shortest day of the year, it is wonderful how the Church puts on our lips this antiphon where we call on the Light of Christ to come and enlighten our darkness. My prayer during this Advent season is asking for the grace to acknowledge the times when we prefer darkness before true light, as the intercessions for Week One of Advent put it.

20th December - O Key of David

The fourth of the Advent antiphons evokes the coming of Jesus with a title referring to the great King David and the prophecy of Isaiah, who wrote:
‘I will put the key of the house of David on his shoulder; when it opens, no one will close; when it closes, no one will open it‘ (Is.22, 22)

How to understand this prophecy?

19th December - O Root of Jesse

“O Root of Jesse
who stand for a sign for the people;
before whom kings are silent;
whom the nations bessech:
Come to deliver us, no longer delay.”

The image of Christ as the ‘Root of Jesse’ – a sign for the peoples; before whom kings fall silent and whom the peoples acclaim – evokes a variety of ideas and there is much that can be gleaned, so to speak, when this title is attributed to Him.

What does it mean for us to think of JESUS, to acknowledge Him, as the ‘root of Jesse’ and a ‘sign for the peoples’?

18th December - O Adonai

“O Adonai and leader of Israel,
you appeared to Moses in a burning bush
and you gave him the Law on Sinai.
O come and save us with your mighty power.”

In this antiphon we call on God by the name Adonai. The dictionary says that this word comes from the Cannanite and Hebrew word adon, which means - LORD. When God appeared to Moses, he called himself: I AM WHO I AM. (Ex 3:14). Out of reverence the Jews did not utter his name but substituted Adonai.

"A Spark" - A Reflection on the symbolism of candles

From my point of view, God is the light that illuminates the darkness, even if it does not dissolve it, and a spark of divine light is within each of us. (Pope Francis)

For me the candles are more than decoration, they are a reminder of the wonderful acts of God’s love, of His constant presence in our life.

During my work with candles I realise that a lighted candle accompanies a person throughout his life.

Seeking the Face of God in my Painting

Christ Jesus is the image of the unseen God’. (Col 1:) While reflecting on this line of Scripture I was inspired to write this short reflection on a painting on the Holy Face of Jesus which I have just completed.

This is not the first picture of the Holy Face which I have painted but always while painting I ask myself what did Jesus really look like when he walked on this earth? Our paintings, no matter how beautiful, can only be a pale reflection of the beauty of the God Man – the Eternal Son of the Father. Each painting looks different – I’m sure that it also contains some small reflection of each artist!

Our Lady of Knock

Wishing and Praying a blessed feast of
Our Lady of Knock
to all of you
– may she unceasingly draw all of us
ever more deeply into the heart
of her Son, our Eucharistic Lord.



The following is part of the homily given by Pope St John Paul II on his visit to Knock in 1979 – a prayer as relevant today as it was when he made it ... possibly even more so. Also our prayer for Ireland and for you today:

Feast of the Birth of St John the Baptist

St. Paul said, “Consider your own calling, brothers and sisters. Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. Rather, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong, and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something, so that no human being might boast before God.”

The Feast of the Immaculate Heart of May

Blessed is she who believed (Lk 1:45)

In the parable of the sower, Saint Luke has left us these words of the Lord about the "good soil": "These are the ones who when they hear the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patient endurance" (Lk 8:15). In the context of Luke’s Gospel, this mention of an honest and good heart which hears and keeps the word is an implicit portrayal of the faith of the Virgin Mary.

The Feast of the Body and Blood of Christ

Gathering today to celebrate the Liturgy and receive the Body and Blood of Christ will literally be for many a feast. After such a long period of forced fasting and deprivation, to receive the Food to sustain our life in Christ is akin to providing nourishment to famine victims.
I was privileged during the past two years to listen to many people who were grieving deeply and feeling bereft because they could not attend Holy Mass and receive the Eucharist.

Christmas Eve Reflection

Having focused on the observance of silence during Advent with Mary as our model and example, I would like to reflect a little further on Our Lady, the Mother of Jesus, our Saviour, who will be born tonight.

Our most recent Apostolic Constitution on Contemplative life by Pope Francis – Vultum Dei quaerere, ( Seeking the face of God) states that:

“Mary was able to receive the Word because she was a woman of silence – no barren or empty silence, but rather one rich and overflowing. The silence of the Virgin Mother was also full of love, for love always prepares us to welcome the Other and others."

O King - 'O Antiphon' for the 22nd of December

O King whom all the peoples desire,
you are the cornerstone which makes all one.

Our 'O' Antiphon tonight is about a King who became an infant - not an infant who became a King. Here we hear echoes already of the Beatitudes - Blessed are the poor in spirit. As usual Jesus turns things upside down. He exposes the stupidity of pride and proves the wisdom of humility.

He could have assumed our nature in adult form and proceeded swiftly to His task, but He chose not to.

O Rising Sun - 'O Antiphon' for the 21st of December

O Rising Sun
You are the Splendour of Eternal Light
and the Sun of Justice
come and enlighten those who sit in darkness and
in the shadow of death.

A few day ago one of our Sisters showed me a photo of some Canadian square with a Christmas tree. We were shocked by the thousand of electrical lamps in that square, shining all around. I ponder if people seeking for light, does this light help them to find a real happiness? Today there is less faith in the world but more people seeking to switch-on lights.

O Root of Jesse - 'O Antiphon' for the 19th of December

O Root of Jesse set up as a sign to the peoples, come to save us and delay no more.

Yes, today we call upon God to save us and delay no more, this theme is prominent in all the Liturgy of this season. People through the ages right up to the present day either explicitly or implicitly have called upon God to save them – but the marvellous truth is that our loving Father in heaven wants it infinitely more than we could ever conceive in our finite minds and hearts. So much does He thirst for all peoples to be with Him for all eternity that He sent His only begotten Son into the world to be our Saviour and Redeemer.

O Adonai - 'O Antiphon' for the 18th of December

Was is St Thomas Aquinas who observed that the Law and the commandments laid down for the people of Israel, and even the new law of the Gospel, would kill, if it had not been for the grace and the mercy of God, revealed in and by Jesus?

The Gospel passage we heard this morning at Mass, of Joseph’s intention to quietly divorce Mary so as not to draw down scandal – and even death – upon her, seems to make this observation a startlingly real fact – it seems to manifest the logical consequence of transgressing the law, or of rigidly observing it.

O Wisdom - 'O Antiphon' for the 17th of December

O Wisdom, you come forth from the mouth of the Most High. You fill the universe and hold all things together in a strong yet gentle manner. O come to teach us the way of truth.

The Genealogy of St Matthew’s Gospel, which we read this morning at Mass, always evokes St Paul’s exclamation in his letter to the Romans: “O the depths of the wisdom and knowledge of God. How unsearchable are his judgments, how inscrutable his ways! To Him be glory for ever, Amen.” (Rom 11:33). Which one of us would have chosen a harlot, a prostitute, a murderer and adulterer as fitting ancestors of the Eternal Son of God?

A Reflection for the 3rd Sunday of Advent

The third Sunday of Advent is traditionally known as Gaudate Sunday – Gaudate means Rejoice – taken from the entrance antiphon “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say rejoice. The Lord is near!”

One may ask if we can really rejoice this Advent/Christmas when our brothers and sisters all over the world are suffering so much as a result of the Pandemic which has left no one untouched. These words “rejoice in the Lord always” are taken from St Paul’s letter to the Philippines which he wrote while in prison.
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