We are in His Hand

Friday, May 01, 2020 02:05am

“It is too easy to forget that all we give is given to us to give.”

— Dorothy Day

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

— Isaiah 65:24

Greetings to dearest Sisters in Christ as we live the days of Eastertide.  While we may be living external social distancing, our internal distancing from the Lord remains fated to narrow and vanish!  Let us together acquiesce to that tender and immense love that is within us and round about us!  “O God, let me know you and love you so that I may find my joy in you, and if I cannot do so fully in this life, let me at least make some progress every day, until at last that knowledge, love and joy come to me in plentitude (St Anselm, in the Proslogion).

A radiant expression of that love and joy are your sacrifices of prayers each week for a priest or bishop.  An eternal offering, for love is never finished (Pope Benedict XVI). The Lord has prepared this work in advance for us to do (Isaiah 65:24).  Let us each seek to be as that little pencil in the Hand of God (St Teresa of Calcutta).  To who, what, where, when and how shall we go?  We are in His Hand. We trust. Dom Jean-Baptiste Chaurtard concurs in The Soul of the Apostolate: “Christ does all the work; we are only His instruments. … All that Jesus wants is our heart.”

As Seven Sisters we rest at the brink of two special months:  May, our month of discernment to remain or depart from the Apostolate weekly Holy Hour commitment; and June, our month of re-commitment to another year of prayer offerings.  Both are places of trust.

My prayers heartily join yours as you reserve this month of May to invite Jesus into the action of your discernment.  “Listen and attend to the ear of your heart” (St Benedict).  Prayer will make things clear.  With that clear sense as to your direction for the year ahead, inform your Anchoress. Kindly allow plenty of time if she needs to secure a replacement for your day – or rejoice with you in your plans of recommitment!

Be open to the call that might be to remain in the Apostolate, but also serve in an additional or different (or new!) group (e.g. Hospital Chaplain, retired priest/bishop, parochial vicar in parish where pastor already has a group, missionaries, priests serving in Seminaries, Chaplain or professors in High schools or 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 will know where/how you are called.  And likewise, be assured, that God’s graces are sufficient for the task!

No matter when a group commences, each June is the uniting, universal time to re-commit the prayer efforts within the Apostolate. This prayerful action renders an unseen but sure solidarity for the Apostolate.  Re-commit together as a group (maybe in person by June – or try Zoom), near in date to the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart (this year: Friday, June 19), using the Commitment Prayer (see Web site, in English/Spanish) composed by Apostolate Chaplain, Fr Joseph Johnson. Many groups use this opportunity to gather together for Mass and a meal following to share testimonies of the past year.  The invitation may most certainly include the priest/bishop.

Please continue with resolute fidelity and focus in your Seven Sister prayer commitments through May.  In these unique times the priests and bishops tread new waters of pastoral care and expression.  Our sacrifices and prayers will serve to strengthen and buoy them up.  Concurrently, many priests will be learning of new assignments and appreciating extra graces through our extra sacrifices and prayers as they anticipate transition.  “What great blessings God grants to a soul when He prepares it to love the practice of prayer” (St Teresa of Avila).

In this month of May, we will be fortifying our intercessory base.  Apostolate materials will be mailed to some 125+ Monasteries of cloistered nuns in the USA who will be invited to offer prayers with and prayers for us, specifically for “purity, presence and proliferation” of the Seven Sisters Apostolate “in and about their diocese and state – and the world.”  You may support this outreach venture through concerted prayers and/or financially to help cover materials and postage.

The Apostolate has received a marvelous gift from Dr Elizabeth Lev, art historian and prolific writer.  She has written an insightful essay for the Apostolate highlighting our patron, Madonna of the Grapes.  In it we learn a bit about the life and art style of Frenchman Pierre Mignard who painted Madonna of the Grapes, as well as astute insights into the composition and nuances of the elements of the painting itself.   The piece is on the Web site and also attached to this Communique.  What a timely gift in this month honoring Our Lady!  Most recently Dr Lev has authored How Catholic Art Saved the Faith, The Triumph of Beauty and Truth in the Counter-Reformation Art.  Highly recommended!

The winds of the Holy Spirit blow where they may, enlightening and enlivening where welcomed.  As Seven Sisters, how readily you have become humble instruments in the sure Hand of God.  Fr. Jean-Pierre de Caussade (Abandonment to Divine Providence) perhaps says it best: “We are in an age of faith, the Holy Spirit no longer writes gospels, except in our heart; saintly souls are the pages, suffering and action the ink.  The Holy Spirit is writing a living gospel with the pen of action, which we will only be able to read on the day of glory, when, fresh from the presses of life, it will be published.”

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….  “One Ave Maria 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 phone calls and generous support always arrive to my heart door at the right moment! Your financial sacrifices are for 100% furtherance of Apostolate.  THANK YOU!  The letters of testimony are so beautiful and edifying! What glory is given to God through your writing! Eternal gratitude is mine for YOU! Be assured of my continued daily prayers for you at the altar.



About the LOGO: Central in both the design and our mission is prayer before our Eucharistic Lord. The cruciform serves as both monstrance and as reminder that our prayers find merit through the sufferings and resurrection of our Lord. The hands all at once can represent a perfect trifecta: a Seven Sister intercessor offering prayer, a priest offering prayer/Mass, and the Lord Himself bringing our offerings heavenward. The seven stars (Pleiades) represent the Seven Sisters – their position on the bottom and almost transparent is the mark of humility, the wellspring of the Apostolate. The shades of blue: every shade that cloaks Mary – and us too! One-liner on bottom: Apostolate in a nutshell. It is striking in black and white too! All is fitting!