Discernment of His Will

To the question, ‘In what things should we practice conformity to the will of God?’ there can be only one answer: ‘In everything.
— Fr Jean Baptiste Saint-Jure in Trustful Surrender to Divine Providence

Greetings to dearest Sisters in Christ in this sweetly lingering Easter season! - It is not easy to keep celebrating!  But let us try - that our wellsprings of joy may remind the world that we have plenty to shout about!  Alleluia!

When the phone rings before 7 am, like this morning, it is likely a bit of news that cannot wait or a plea for help.  This morning it carried both. I departed from the computer keys to listen, to pray. The call no sooner had ended, when in a great departure from the norm, another came in.  Really?  Really!  I surrendered once again to the task at hand.  ... And so the morning went... and into the afternoon... the unexpected reigned... 

Eventually settling into the chair in the den I mused that while the day was not going as planned, perhaps in a deeper sense it was going exactly as planned - by God. God had provided an object lesson for this month's Communiqué theme: discernment of His Will.  In the day-to-day moments sometimes His Will is not so clear cut.

The echo of Our Lady, "Do whatever He tells you," continues to reach and stir us.  We want to please God. With St Paul we ask, "Lord what wilt thou have me do?" (Acts 9:6)or with David remind our Lord, "I am thine; do with me according to your good pleasure(Ps 118:94).

Even our desire to seek His Will comes from Him. He beckons. In our response, the Lord meets us with a lavish of graces to learn and submit to His Will.  We have learned that just a toe in the water parts the sea (Joshua 3:13).  There is more: We not only gain the satisfaction of pleasing God in our compliance, but are sanctified in our conformity and our love is perfected, "The chief effect of love is to unite the hearts of those who love each other so that they have the same will" (St Jerome).  When we resist we go backwards, or at best end up in that proverbial somewhere else. 

How good to seek His Will - and what a joy to seek His Will as individuals - and together - in this Apostolate!  My prayers heartily join yours as you commit in this month of May to discern (see Guidelines) your continued commitment or departure from the weekly Holy Hours as part of a Seven Sisters Apostolate group. 

As soon as you have a clear sense (you need not wait until the end of the month), let the Anchoress of your group know the direction of your call for the coming year.  Ideally, before June commences, committed intercessors will be identified and able to seamlessly continue in prayerful support of the priest or bishop. 

WORTH NOTING: The Apostolate serves all priests/bishops, so be open to the call that might be to remain in the Apostolate, but perhaps serve in a different (or new!) group (ie Hospital Chaplain, retired priest/bishop, associate priest in a parish where pastor already has a group, priests serving in Seminaries, priests that are chaplains/professors in High schools/Universities, Canon lawyers, priests who serve the Chancery, priests in religious orders, etc).  Every priestly heart needs and deserves our prayers! Be assured, if you ask, you will know where/how you are called. And likewise, be assured, that God's graces are sufficient to the task!

Continue with holy fidelity and focus to your Seven Sister's commitments through May.  It may take extra planning and efforts in this month of 'so much'. Let us be sensitive in remembering that many of our parish priests and bishops are on 'double duty' in this merry, merry month as we celebrate so many events in our sacramental life and special Feast Days, as well.  Likewise, many priests will be learning of new assignments and needing our extra sacrifices and prayers as they anticipate transition.

This is a fitting segue to remind that your groups are designed to cover in prayer a priest in a particular position (ie pastor, rector, associate, etc) rather than a particular priest (with the exception of a retired priest who is no  longer receiving new assignments).  If the priest for whom you are praying is being reassigned, please continue prayers for him until he leaves and his replacement arrives.  Then seamlessly begin prayers for the incoming priest.  The outgoing priest will hopefully enter into an assignment that has an existing Seven Sisters group - or maybe you can encourage the genesis of one in his new environs!  

As a final word, may this heart of our sister in Christ, St Elizabeth Ann Seton be ours: "The first end I propose in our daily work is to do the will of God; secondly, to do it in the manner He wills it; and thirdly to do it because it is His will."

United in prayer and mission...

that our prayers may find the heart of every bishop and priest...

... eternal gratitude continues as you each remember to offer a wee Hail Mary for me every day....  Pray that I will not 'spoil the beautiful work that God has entrusted...'  (St Mother Teresa) 

... your kind emails and notes and generous support always arrive to my heart door at the right moment! Eternal gratitude is mine for YOU!  Be assured of my continued daily prayers for you at the altar.

Janette
+JMJ+

651-484-3404 (h)
651-283-0929 (c)
joy2day2u@aol.com

  By the Open Door  ~  Nicolai Astrup (Norway)

By the Open Door ~  Nicolai Astrup (Norway)

NOTE to ANCHORESSES: In the upcoming weeks, Seven Sister (and spreadsheet maestro), Marg, will be contacting the Anchoresses to confirm active groups and related information.  She will reach out to the Anchoresses and pass updates to Seven Sister, Rose, our WebMaster.  My heart is not big enough to express proper gratitude to these two generous souls!  May God richlyreward them - now and later!

SEVEN SISTERS - in and out and about:

HOLY HOUR for you: Sunday, May 6, 8-9 pm, I will be offering a Holy Hour for your discernment regarding your involvement with Seven Sisters.

SEVEN SISTERS BOOKLETS: Available as free download from Web site.  Hard copies are passed on for printing costs of $2 each. Order through Web or my email. We ship same day or next.

NOTE to Anchoresses: If you do not receive a Communiqué within the first 7 days of a new month, contact me directly or through the Web site email. In turn, when received, please pass the Communiqué within one week's time to your group members, if able - or have another in the group do this for you.

AHEAD on the calendar:

> Many are sharing heartening news of Seven Sisters groups gathering with the priest(s) for whom they pray.  A simple, intentional time of prayer (often Mass), honor, gratitude, testimonies and good food.  Now a cherished annual event for some!

> It is encouraged that group members meet together for a concerted offering of the commitment prayer (See Web and find both English and Spanish versions) near the Feast of the Sacred Heart (this year: June 8).  Some groups attend Mass together and offer the prayer following Mass. 

> Saturday, 2 June 2018 Magnificat (Pocahontas, IA) Janette 

> Saturday, 9 June 2018 Magnificat (Lincoln, NE) Janette

> EWTN - Fr Johnson and Janette.  18 June 2018 is the taping

> In the works for Fall: Day of Recollection (Lincoln & Grand Island diocese)

Save the Date:  5th Annual St Paul -Mpls Archdiocesan Time of Recollection: First Sat, 3 Nov 2018.  St Hubert, Chanhassen, MN. Archbishop Hebda will preside at Mass. Details to follow. As God's Will and Way would have it - this is also the feast day of St Hubert!  Grace upon grace!

The PRIEST is NOT His OWN (Fulton Sheen): Copies available: $15 each (this includes postage). Order through my email or Web site.  SUPERB to consider the role/dignity of the Priest! Recommended reading for each Anchoress.

REMEMBRANCE of those SEVEN SISTERS who have PASSED: We want to remember those Seven Sisters in name and in prayer, who have gone before us to their eternal rest. Visit the Web site. Click on ABOUT folder and scroll to bottom, choose: IN REMEMBRANCE.  Follow prompts... OR you may submit info via the Website email or to my email address. Please check site monthly for additions!

PRIEST who has PASSED to ETERNAL REST: If the priest for whom you pray has entered eternal life, the group may be led to continue to pray for a length of time for the soul of that priest. Perhaps a novena of Holy Hours or the offering of holy Mass(es) for the priest.  You will know.  One group in Minnesota offered Holy Hours for an entire year for their beloved priest.  What a witness of love!

SPANISH translation of Communique:  This is generously done every month by Zahyra B, Anchoress for a Seven Sisters group in Venezuela.  They are then posted (and archived) on the Website.  If it is easier to receive through an email account, please let me know. Zahyra recently translated the Commitment Prayer (on the Web).