Master, where do You have need of me?

Do not oppose head-on the thoughts that the Enemy sows in your mind. Instead, cut off all conversation with them by prayer to God.
— St Isaak of Syria
The soul that is united with God is feared by the Devil as if it were God Himself.
— St John of the Cross

Greetings to dearest Sisters in Christ as we resound with the Alleluias of Eastertide!  This year the entire month of May is within the happy influence of Eastertide, which St Athanasius rightly dubbed “the fifty-day Sunday.” Leave your umbrellas down and receive the full shower of graces!

 

We are still within hearing distance of that ever-beautiful opening Gospel (Luke 19) of Palm Sunday where the disciples are directed by Jesus to untether a colt and bring it to Him.  If asked why they were untying it, the simple and poignant answer: “The Master has need of it.”

 

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 group.  In a word you seek to be untethered so as to ask, “Master, where do You have need of me?”

 

When you have a clear sense as to your call for the coming year, inform your Anchoress. Kindly allow plenty of time if the Anchoress needs to secure a replacement for your day.  No matter when your group commenced, each June is the uniting, universal time to re-commit your prayer efforts within the Apostolate.  Re-commit together as a group using theCommitment Prayer composed by Apostolate Chaplain, Fr Joseph Johnson, as near as possible to the Feast of the Sacred Heart (this year: Friday, June 28). The prayer: on the Web site in both English and Spanish.

 

Like it or not, ready or not… discerning such a commitment is apt to stir additional annoying distractions, unanticipated interference, even bouts of robust spiritual warfare. As the Apostolate continues to grow, resistance from our adversary will likely do the same.  Several Seven Sister intercessors have noticed such things both preceding and within their weekly Holy Hours.  Enough occurrences have been mentioned that this Communique will address the reality.  The tried and true solution without a flinch:  prayer, and more of it!

 

Especially in this Easter season we are reminded to not lose heart, but rather remain mindful that to this end the Son of God appeared, that He might destroy the works of the devil (I Jn 3:8).  So too that the Lord is faithful, who will strengthen you and guard you from evil (II Thes 3:3) because, after all, you shall not fear… for it is the LORD your God who fights for you (Dt 3:22)… to give you the victory (Dt 20:3-4).  In our times of discernment and prayer offerings, Scripture emboldens us, helps us see clearly. It is laden with words that are living and active that find themselves not merely for our ears but as active guides to heart and mind.  Truth. Plan. Peace.

 

The saints are specialists of spiritual battles.  Their examples and insights serve to impute wisdom and strength in our own battles.  Our Lady is the quintessential model for she is the devil’s greatest and most hated enemy, and the Lord has given her crushing power against him.  St Bernard of Clairvaux firmly assures us: “If you follow her, you won’t go astray.  If you pray to her, you won’t despair.  If you think of her, you won’t be lost.  If you cling to her, you won’t fall.  If she protects you, you won’t fear.  If she’s your guide, you won’t grow weary.  If she’s favorable to you, you’ll reach your goal.”  St Bonaventure concurs: “Men do not fear a powerful, hostile army as much as the powers of hell fear the name and protection of Mary.”

 

The Church has preserved many beautiful prayers with special relevance to spiritual warfare: Sign of the Cross, Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be, St Michael prayer, Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus, Anima Christi.  “Even just one Ave Maria makes all hell tremble,” says our patron, St John Vianney. Simply repeating the name of Jesus, slowly invoking the Holy Family – Jesus, Mary, Joseph – or singing hymns brings peace and order to turbulent or confusing thoughts or situations.  “I don’t understand those fears that make us cry, “The Devil!  The Devil” when we can say, “God! God!” (St Teresa of Avila).  “Let the Enemy rage at the gate, let him knock, let him push, let him cry, let him howl, let him do worse; we know for certain that he cannot enter, save by the door of our consent” (St Francis de Sales).  Sacramentals assist: holy water, Crucifix, St Benedict medal (“devil-chasing medal”).

 

We are covered on all sides and inside too!  Let us go wisely forward in confidence in our discernment.  Step over any ‘barbed wire’ that may present itself to distract, and move ahead, trusting.  Be open to the call that might be to remain in the Apostolate, but also serve in an additional or different (or new!) group (i.e. Hospital Chaplain, retired priest/bishop, parochial vicar in parish where pastor already has a group, priests serving in Seminaries, Chaplains/professors in High schools/Universities, Canon lawyers, priests who serve in the Chancery, priests in religious orders, Military Chaplains, Exorcists). Every priest deserves our prayers!  Be assured, if you ask, you willknow where/how you are called.  And likewise, be assured, that God’s graces are sufficient for the task!

 

Let me encourage you to continue with holy fidelity and focus to your Seven Sister commitments through May.  It may take extra planning and efforts in this month of 'so much'. Let us be sensitive and remember 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.

 

Recommendation of an excellent, concise (4 X 7) resource regarding spiritual warfare packed with Scripture references, help from the Saints, prayers/devotions/hymns for battle: Manual for Spiritual Warfare, Paul Thigpen (Editor, TAN books).  Imprimatur. TAN books, 2014.

 

Our perseverance in prayer continues to reap benefit.  From one who lived this way, timeless words from St Padre Pio spur us on and invite us to do the same, “Never tire of praying.  It is what is essential.” Seven Sisters: Prayer. Never tire. Essential.

 

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....  that ‘one Ave Maria that makes hell tremble’ (St John Vianney). Pray that I will not 'spoil the beautiful work that God has entrusted...'  (St Teresa of Calcutta)

... your kind emails and notes and generous support always arrive to my heart door at the right moment! Your letters of testimony are so beautiful and edifying! Don't stop writing to me. Eternal gratitude is mine for YOU! Be assured of my continued daily prayers for you at the altar. 

 

Janette
+JMJ+ 
 joy2day2u@aol.com

The Virgin of the Apocalypse -  Miguel Cabrera

The Virgin of the Apocalypse - Miguel Cabrera

SEVEN SISTERS - in and out and about:

 Blessed to be a blessing:  Twin Cities Seven Sister, Nancy H, sensed a call to commemorate several 2019 milestones for local Archbsp B Hebda: 5/13/16: Archbishop of St Paul/Mpls (3 yrs); 07/01/89: ordination to priesthood (30 yrs); 09/03/59: 60th birthday. Nancy stitched a 14th c image of the Holy Face of Jesus using 55,000+ stitches! With each stitch she prayed, “Jesus, Mary, I love you; use him to save souls.”  The gift was presented to the Archbishop on St Joseph’s Feast Day (03/19/19) on behalf of the Seven Sisters Apostolate! It was quite a day of LOVE beyond all telling! Pics on Web will follow, including closeups of the wee stitches!  Nancy, thank you for your witness of generosity and love!

 HOLY HOUR offered for you:  Divine Mercy Sunday, 3-4 pm.  Holy Hour for all Seven Sisters – in gratitude and in anticipation of the discernment process in May.  I have never experienced such profound silence and love as in this Holy Hour for you!  Your full hearts filled mine!

 Heartfelt welcome:  New groups registered in April in these states to cover more priests in daily prayer: Arizona, California, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.   These 1o states in the USA do not YET have the joy and benefit of a Seven Sisters group: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Wyoming. My heart still hopes that we can offer the Sacred Heart of Jesus a gift in June:  1000 active groups!  The Feast of the Sacred Heart is June 28th this year.  Prayerfully consider how you can help! Total groups now:  nearing 900.

 SEVEN SISTERS BOOKLETS: Available as free download from Web site.  Hard copies passed on for printing cost of $2 each + P/H. Order thru Web email or email above, with amount desired/address

 SEVEN SISTERS Tri-fold BROCHURE:  So beautifully designed by a Seven Sister, Diane S, of Wichita, Kansas.  Effectively used in parish pamphlet stands (ask pastor’s approval prior), Adoration Chapels, Retreat Centers, Bags/Packets for Women’s Conferences/Retreats, Women’s clubs, Serra clubs.  Full color version and one with a color exterior and B/W interior (my personal favorite and a bit cheaper to print).  Available on Web as free download.  Recommend 80# silk for best printing results.  May also order through sending an email through the Web.  Indicate address/quantity.  25 for $10 + P/H.  May God bless Diane, for this labor of love and generous spirit to share it!

 NOTES to Anchoresses:   Some of you have a genuine gift to encourage participation of others in the Apostolate – do not squelch the zeal!  You may have heard that we encourage women to be an Anchoress for only one group. This way the joy of leadership is extended and it is a more manageable role for each Anchoress. The focus and energies remain in the best place: the prayer efforts!

ALSO:  While all Seven Sisters are happily remembered in daily prayer, the Apostolate only keeps record of the names and contact information of the Anchoresses. Each Anchoress is responsible to keep record of her group's members and assist in keeping them in the loop of communication. Team work at its best!  Please inform of all NEW groups/Anchoress/priest/other changes thru Web site.

 RECENT ... and AHEAD on the calendar:

Gratitude to Marge L and Carolyn L for hosting 6 April 2019 morning of reflection/informational at St Hedwig, NE Mpls, MN. Several Seven Sisters from neighboring parishes joined in, as well!

> Gratitude to Leslie S who extended an invitation to Janette to speak at the MOSAIC Luncheon (Iowa Catholic Radio) Des Moines, IA, on 11 April 2019. Fruit of new groups in the area already!

> Gratitude to New Ulm Diocesan Coordinator, Chris H, who hosted a Seven Sisters booth at the Diocesan CCW convention (St Anastasia, Hutchinson, MN) on 27 April 2019

> 04 May 2019: Magnificat Grapevine Chapter breakfast/testimony (Janette): Louisville, TX

> 10-11 May 2019: Retreat in Waverly, NE. Theme: In quietness and trust is your strength (Is 30:15)

> 1 June 2019 – First Annual Diocesan ½ Day of Reflection – St Joseph parish, Owatonna, MN (8 am Mass – 1 pm, incl lunch) Diocese of Winona-Rochester. All welcome – need not be Seven Sister. Theme: Vessel of generosity: the hand and heart of Mary are open to all.  Bishop Quinn, Fr Jim Starasinich, Janette to speak. Registration preferred for lunch count.  Free will offering. Check Apostolate Web site or parish Website for contact info.

> 1 June 2019 – Second Annual Diocesan (St Cloud) Seven Sisters Morning of Reflection/Renewal – St Mary’s Cathedral, St Cloud, MN (7:15 am Mass, light breakfast, Holy Hour, Talks, Commitment Prayer) Theme: In quietness and trust is your strength (Is 30:15). Free will offering.  Check Web site for contact

> 1-12 July 2019:  first-ever-one-of-a-kind Seven Sisters Pilgrimage to France.  (Quota reached)

> Plans for Kansas visit first week of August (details forthcoming).

> Plans for Georgia and North Dakota visits in the prayer stages.

 

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.  Several groups have/are offering Holy Hours for an entire year for their beloved deceased priest.  

 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. Expect 2-3 days for translation. Commitment Prayer/Booklet in Spanish (on the Web for free download).