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Benedictine Sisters of St. Scholatica Monastery
Ministries of the Benedictine Sisters in Boerne

“All guests are to be welcomed as Christ, for he himself will say: I was a stranger and you welcomed me (Matt 25:35). Proper honor must be shown to all.” RB 53.1-2

Hospitality in the time of COVID-19

Benedictines hold as one of their most precious values Hospitality. It is with deep regret and a sense of sadness that we cannot welcome visitors during the pandemic. Our Monastery remains closed to the public.

Click Learn More to read about actions we are taking to protect against the infection and spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Ways to Journey with Us

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Well be counting down the days to the premier of the new video Benedictine Values, Modern Monasticism, which previews next Monday, at the start of Catholic Sisters Week!

We'll be counting down the days to the premier of the new video "Benedictine Values, Modern Monasticism", which previews next Monday, at the start of Catholic Sisters Week! ... See MoreSee Less

Catholic Sisters Week is just around the corner — March 8-14! We’re honored by what two of our staff have helped create - the first collaborative project the Benedictine Communicators Group! You can read about the video, which premiers next Monday, titled “Benedictine Values, Modern Monasticism”. ... See MoreSee Less

Wed love for you to support this benefit for the Sisters, happening this Friday! The deadline has been extended. Orders can be placed until 10pm Wednesday. Thank You!

We'd love for you to support this benefit for the Sisters, happening this Friday! The deadline has been extended. Orders can be placed until 10pm Wednesday. Thank You! ... See MoreSee Less

Reflections of the Lenten Gospels of March 2021
By Sister Bernadine Reyes, OSB

After reading and reflecting on the four Gospels of the month of March I could not help but remember a favorite hymn used in the Lenten season, “Jerusalem, My Destiny,” by Roy Cooney. I do not know the intent of the composer of this hymn so I’m taking the liberty of thinking that the first part of the refrain refers to Jesus. “I have fixed my eyes on your hills, Jerusalem, my destiny! Though I cannot see the end for me, I cannot turn away.” And the second part of the refrain seems to refer to us as Disciples. The words are, “We have set our hearts for the way; this journey is our destiny.  Let no-one walk alone.  The journey makes us one.” 

These Gospels illustrate the last part of Jesus’ journey which culminates in his Passion, Death and Resurrection. If we, as disciples, “set our hearts for the way,” as in the words of the hymn, then Jesus’ journey is our journey as well. But what does really mean? 

In the Gospel for the 3rd Sunday of Lent, John 2:13-25, Jesus attempts to cleanse the Temple with a zeal that consumes him. As the hymn says, he “could not turn away”. His vision of God’s reign was such that he had to speak up and confront when he saw the realities of his day. His actions brought reactions from the authorities. Danger loomed around the corner and we get a glimpse of his troubled heart in this gospel in these verses. “Jesus would not trust himself to them (his followers) because he knew them all…. He was well aware of what was in their hearts.”  
 
In the Gospel for the 4th Sunday of Lent, John 2:13-25, we read eloquent verses about God’s love for the world and out of this love God’s only Son is sent not to condemn but to save and to bring light into the world.  Vs. 21 “But the one who acts in truth comes into the light...”.  My prayer is that you and I can discern when the truth we hold onto so dearly, moves us into this “light” and when it move us into darkness.  In today’s world of multi, multi, multimedia, it can be tricky to discern what “truth” is.  A discerning question for us all during this Lent is, “does our truth lead us to light or to darkness?”

In the Gospel for the 5th Sunday of Lent, John 12:20-33, I hear impending danger. “The hour has come.”; “if the grain of wheat dies, it produces much fruit”; “the one who loves their life, loses it”; “save me from this hour”; and “once I am lifted up from this earth.” Why is it that there is an impending danger? Why is it that in these Lenten readings, Jesus’ heart is troubled?  After all, he was a good person, an itinerant preacher, a healer, one who welcomed everyone - the lepers, the tax collectors, the sinners and many more. He was only doing what the “One who sent him” sent him to do. The hymn tells us “I cannot turn away.” He literally could not, not do what he was sent to do. It was through his very Being and through his actions that “light came into the world”. The authorities of the time were leery of this “light” and preferred “darkness.” It seems to me that Jesus had to know what happened to those who went against the establishment and so he sensed the impending danger to his life. He experienced fear, but his call was stronger, and he kept on his journey.

In the Gospel for the Palm Sunday, Mark 14:1 to 15:47, we read the details of Passion and Crucifixion of this man of God who had deep convictions and integrity. He was sent to bring about the reign of God among us, to show us the way, the journey. April will bring about Holy Week and the Glorious Resurrection. But, for the purposes of this reflection, we are still steeped in the Gospels of March. It remains for us to ask ourselves, what have I learned from the life of Jesus?  How have I integrated into my lifestyle and way of being, the messages buried in the stories of Jesus’ actions? How do I love my neighbor, and does his or her color define my response to them?   

The Journey to Jerusalem is our journey too, and as the refrain from the hymn says, “Let no-one walk alone. The journey makes us one.” I am so grateful to those I’ve met along the way, for the communities of Believers who gather and journey together, striving to integrate the message of Jesus’ life.

Reflections of the Lenten Gospels of March 2021
By Sister Bernadine Reyes, OSB

After reading and reflecting on the four Gospels of the month of March I could not help but remember a favorite hymn used in the Lenten season, “Jerusalem, My Destiny,” by Roy Cooney. I do not know the intent of the composer of this hymn so I’m taking the liberty of thinking that the first part of the refrain refers to Jesus. “I have fixed my eyes on your hills, Jerusalem, my destiny! Though I cannot see the end for me, I cannot turn away.” And the second part of the refrain seems to refer to us as Disciples. The words are, “We have set our hearts for the way; this journey is our destiny. Let no-one walk alone. The journey makes us one.”

These Gospels illustrate the last part of Jesus’ journey which culminates in his Passion, Death and Resurrection. If we, as disciples, “set our hearts for the way,” as in the words of the hymn, then Jesus’ journey is our journey as well. But what does really mean?

In the Gospel for the 3rd Sunday of Lent, John 2:13-25, Jesus attempts to cleanse the Temple with a zeal that consumes him. As the hymn says, he “could not turn away”. His vision of God’s reign was such that he had to speak up and confront when he saw the realities of his day. His actions brought reactions from the authorities. Danger loomed around the corner and we get a glimpse of his troubled heart in this gospel in these verses. “Jesus would not trust himself to them (his followers) because he knew them all…. He was well aware of what was in their hearts.”

In the Gospel for the 4th Sunday of Lent, John 2:13-25, we read eloquent verses about God’s love for the world and out of this love God’s only Son is sent not to condemn but to save and to bring light into the world. Vs. 21 “But the one who acts in truth comes into the light...”. My prayer is that you and I can discern when the truth we hold onto so dearly, moves us into this “light” and when it move us into darkness. In today’s world of multi, multi, multimedia, it can be tricky to discern what “truth” is. A discerning question for us all during this Lent is, “does our truth lead us to light or to darkness?”

In the Gospel for the 5th Sunday of Lent, John 12:20-33, I hear impending danger. “The hour has come.”; “if the grain of wheat dies, it produces much fruit”; “the one who loves their life, loses it”; “save me from this hour”; and “once I am lifted up from this earth.” Why is it that there is an impending danger? Why is it that in these Lenten readings, Jesus’ heart is troubled? After all, he was a good person, an itinerant preacher, a healer, one who welcomed everyone - the lepers, the tax collectors, the sinners and many more. He was only doing what the “One who sent him” sent him to do. The hymn tells us “I cannot turn away.” He literally could not, not do what he was sent to do. It was through his very Being and through his actions that “light came into the world”. The authorities of the time were leery of this “light” and preferred “darkness.” It seems to me that Jesus had to know what happened to those who went against the establishment and so he sensed the impending danger to his life. He experienced fear, but his call was stronger, and he kept on his journey.

In the Gospel for the Palm Sunday, Mark 14:1 to 15:47, we read the details of Passion and Crucifixion of this man of God who had deep convictions and integrity. He was sent to bring about the reign of God among us, to show us the way, the journey. April will bring about Holy Week and the Glorious Resurrection. But, for the purposes of this reflection, we are still steeped in the Gospels of March. It remains for us to ask ourselves, what have I learned from the life of Jesus? How have I integrated into my lifestyle and way of being, the messages buried in the stories of Jesus’ actions? How do I love my neighbor, and does his or her color define my response to them?

The Journey to Jerusalem is our journey too, and as the refrain from the hymn says, “Let no-one walk alone. The journey makes us one.” I am so grateful to those I’ve met along the way, for the communities of Believers who gather and journey together, striving to integrate the message of Jesus’ life.
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Dear Friends - Please get your tickets today (orders must be placed by tomorrow morning) or click the link to make a donation to this benefit for the Sisters. We are truly so grateful to St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus, and the Catholic Daughters of the Americas!

DRIVE THRU ONLY at St. Peters 
MEATLESS SPAGHETTI DINNER
Hosted by the Knights of Columbus
with the help of the CDA
Benefitting the Benedictine Sisters of Boerne

Friday, March 5, 2021—4:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Suggested plate donation—$10/plate
ORDERS MUST BE PLACED BY MORNING OF MARCH 2, 2021

We are limited to 230 orders, so dont miss out—PLACE YOUR ORDER TODAY!

CLICK the link TO ORDER ONLINE or to make a donation to the Benedictine Sisters
https://kofcboerne.com

Dear Friends - Please get your tickets today (orders must be placed by tomorrow morning) or click the link to make a donation to this benefit for the Sisters. We are truly so grateful to St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus, and the Catholic Daughters of the Americas!

DRIVE THRU ONLY at St. Peter's
MEATLESS SPAGHETTI DINNER
Hosted by the Knights of Columbus
with the help of the CDA
Benefitting the Benedictine Sisters of Boerne

Friday, March 5, 2021—4:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Suggested plate donation—$10/plate
ORDERS MUST BE PLACED BY MORNING OF MARCH 2, 2021

We are limited to 230 orders, so don't miss out—PLACE YOUR ORDER TODAY!

CLICK the link TO ORDER ONLINE or to make a donation to the Benedictine Sisters
kofcboerne.com
... See MoreSee Less

A Reflection by Sister Frances Briseño, OSB
Prioress

Second Sunday of Lent
Mark 9:2-10

In her book, Lent in Plain Sight, Jill Duffield states,“God works through the ordinary. Ordinary people, everyday objects, things we bump up against moment by moment. From burning bushes to talking donkeys to a booming voice from heaven, God goes to great lengths to communicate with people, sending Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, to unmistakably tell human beings about salvation, grace, and reconciliation. People of faith report epiphanies, revelations of God’s word to them, sometimes by way of miraculous interventions or otherwise inexplicable happenings, but often and also through the mundane made holy due to timing and perception”.  

As I was reading this Sunday gospel, two images came to mind. One was of me standing on a mountain ready to ski down. The other was verses 7 to 8 of the Prologue of the Rule of Benedict.

I love mountains. When asked where I would choose to encounter God, I always say on a mountain. I have been fortunate in my life to have friends invite me to go skiing with them. Most of my skiing friends advanced their skills each time they went skiing. I, however, never really did advance because my focus was not on skiing but on being on the mountain. I remember one day when all my friends had skied past me down the mountain and I was left at the top of the mountain by myself. It was a cold cloudy wintery day and I could barely see anything in front of me. I was standing there in the stillness of the moment thinking about this magnificent creation of God when all of a sudden the sun began to shine and I was able to overlook the vastness of the valley below. Fresh snow began to fall. That moment was an exhilarating holy moment, it was an awe-inspiring moment that took my breath away. The brilliance of the sun mixed with the fresh snow falling and the beautiful scenery transported me from ordinary space to Gods sacred dwelling. Tears began to well up inside me. My heart was full! As I describe it now, I can feel that moment in my heart.

The disciples’ experience was very much the same. They said “yes” to their friend’s invitation to go for a walk that day. I can imagine them sitting on top of the mountain conversing with Jesus about their journey up the mountain when suddenly, heaven and earth seemed to merge. A brilliant light shines forth, figures appear within the dazzling light, the light disappears, and a cloud engulfs them and while their trying to get their footing, a voice speaks directly to them and then all goes quiet!

What happened to those disciples that day? What exactly did they experience? They were terrified at one point the reading says. They were transported from the ordinary to the extraordinary. What was welling up inside of them that day?  We know they were perplexed because when they were coming down the mountain Jesus asked them not to tell anyone what happened until the Son of man rises from the dead. They were questioning what rising from the dead meant. Im sure they were questioning everything about that day. How did this moment change them? Of what were they informed?

As we move through Lent, Jesus invites us to go on a similar walk with him. How will this time reveal God’s presence? How will we be informed? How will this liminal time draw us closer to God’s Word and the revelation hidden there for us? 

In the Prologue 7-8 of the Rule of Benedict, he instructs his monks. “Let us arise, then, at last, for the Scripture stirs us up, saying, “Now is the hour for us to rise from sleep.” Let us open our eyes to the deifying light, let us hear with attentive ears the warning which the divine voice cries daily to us, “Today if you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” And again, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” And what does He say? “Come, My children, listen to Me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Run while you have the light of life, lest the darkness of death overtake you.”

Benedict instructs his monks to stay awake always to the workings of God in their lives lest we miss those extraordinary holy moments with which God graces us. Let us all awake during this Lenten season and experience God’s presence anew.

A Reflection by Sister Frances Briseño, OSB
Prioress

Second Sunday of Lent
Mark 9:2-10

In her book, Lent in Plain Sight, Jill Duffield states,“God works through the ordinary. Ordinary people, everyday objects, things we bump up against moment by moment. From burning bushes to talking donkeys to a booming voice from heaven, God goes to great lengths to communicate with people, sending Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, to unmistakably tell human beings about salvation, grace, and reconciliation. People of faith report epiphanies, revelations of God’s word to them, sometimes by way of miraculous interventions or otherwise inexplicable happenings, but often and also through the mundane made holy due to timing and perception”.

As I was reading this Sunday gospel, two images came to mind. One was of me standing on a mountain ready to ski down. The other was verses 7 to 8 of the Prologue of the Rule of Benedict.

I love mountains. When asked where I would choose to encounter God, I always say on a mountain. I have been fortunate in my life to have friends invite me to go skiing with them. Most of my skiing friends advanced their skills each time they went skiing. I, however, never really did advance because my focus was not on skiing but on being on the mountain. I remember one day when all my friends had skied past me down the mountain and I was left at the top of the mountain by myself. It was a cold cloudy wintery day and I could barely see anything in front of me. I was standing there in the stillness of the moment thinking about this magnificent creation of God when all of a sudden the sun began to shine and I was able to overlook the vastness of the valley below. Fresh snow began to fall. That moment was an exhilarating holy moment, it was an awe-inspiring moment that took my breath away. The brilliance of the sun mixed with the fresh snow falling and the beautiful scenery transported me from ordinary space to God's sacred dwelling. Tears began to well up inside me. My heart was full! As I describe it now, I can feel that moment in my heart.

The disciples’ experience was very much the same. They said “yes” to their friend’s invitation to go for a walk that day. I can imagine them sitting on top of the mountain conversing with Jesus about their journey up the mountain when suddenly, heaven and earth seemed to merge. A brilliant light shines forth, figures appear within the dazzling light, the light disappears, and a cloud engulfs them and while their trying to get their footing, a voice speaks directly to them and then all goes quiet!

What happened to those disciples that day? What exactly did they experience? They were terrified at one point the reading says. They were transported from the ordinary to the extraordinary. What was welling up inside of them that day? We know they were perplexed because when they were coming down the mountain Jesus asked them not to tell anyone what happened until the Son of man rises from the dead. They were questioning what rising from the dead meant. I'm sure they were questioning everything about that day. How did this moment change them? Of what were they informed?

As we move through Lent, Jesus invites us to go on a similar walk with him. How will this time reveal God’s presence? How will we be informed? How will this liminal time draw us closer to God’s Word and the revelation hidden there for us?

In the Prologue 7-8 of the Rule of Benedict, he instructs his monks. “Let us arise, then, at last, for the Scripture stirs us up, saying, “Now is the hour for us to rise from sleep.” Let us open our eyes to the deifying light, let us hear with attentive ears the warning which the divine voice cries daily to us, “Today if you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.” And again, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” And what does He say? “Come, My children, listen to Me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Run while you have the light of life, lest the darkness of death overtake you.”

Benedict instructs his monks to stay awake always to the workings of God in their lives lest we miss those extraordinary holy moments with which God graces us. Let us all awake during this Lenten season and experience God’s presence anew.
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Ann Marie Christine Melanie Peterson Marisa Aleman Landin Mari Guillen

A Reflection by Sister Frances Briseño, OSB
Prioress

First Sunday of Lent
Mark 1:12-15

All of us are aware that when 40 is referenced in Scripture, the reader is to interpret that not literally, but symbolically, meaning a great amount of time. So, Jesus is driven into the desert by the Spirit for a long period of time. Jesus spent time in the desert struggling with temptations, the elements of nature, struggling with wild beasts, struggling with hunger. It was the human Jesus that found himself alone in the desert.

Jesus was also graced while in this seclusion. And the angels ministered to him. He was able to ingest the power of the Spirit working in him. His vulnerability in the desert moved him to a radical dependence on God and from that holy space Jesus gained insight, wisdom, perspective. He comes out of this holy experience with the awareness that God is moving through him and proclaims Gods Word!

I couldnt help but compare the experience of this past year to this reading. Like Jesus, we were driven into seclusion, into the desert, and the wild beast we encountered was Covid. We also encountered our shared amount of temptations!  How have we spent our time in the desert? How have we faced our temptations?

Like Jesus, we have been graced by the wisdom that has been gifted to us by the Spirit while in this liminal space. Jesus came out of the wilderness and reveals Gods Word. What wisdom have we gained? How has God informed us during this time? How has this time changed me?

A Reflection by Sister Frances Briseño, OSB
Prioress

First Sunday of Lent
Mark 1:12-15

All of us are aware that when 40 is referenced in Scripture, the reader is to interpret that not literally, but symbolically, meaning a great amount of time. So, Jesus is driven into the desert by the Spirit for a long period of time. Jesus spent time in the desert struggling with temptations, the elements of nature, struggling with wild beasts, struggling with hunger. It was the human Jesus that found himself alone in the desert.

Jesus was also graced while in this seclusion. "And the angels ministered to him". He was able to ingest the power of the Spirit working in him. His vulnerability in the desert moved him to a radical dependence on God and from that holy space Jesus gained insight, wisdom, perspective. He comes out of this holy experience with the awareness that God is moving through him and proclaims God's Word!

I couldn't help but compare the experience of this past year to this reading. Like Jesus, we were driven into seclusion, into the desert, and the wild beast we encountered was Covid. We also encountered our shared amount of temptations! How have we spent our time in the desert? How have we faced our temptations?

Like Jesus, we have been graced by the wisdom that has been gifted to us by the Spirit while in this liminal space. Jesus came out of the wilderness and reveals God's Word. What wisdom have we gained? How has God informed us during this time? How has this time changed me?
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The Sisters are thankful to have received their second vaccines.

The Sisters are thankful to have received their second vaccines. ... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

We are so happy for you Sisters! Sending love your way 💝

Wonderful!!!

Were grateful to be celebrating the Feast Day of St. Scholastica today!

We're grateful to be celebrating the Feast Day of St. Scholastica today! ... See MoreSee Less

We have received our first COVID-19 vaccinations and we are so grateful! ... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

Yay!!!!

Congratulations!! Love it

Happy New Year from the Benedictine Sisters!

Happy New Year from the Benedictine Sisters! ... See MoreSee Less

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New year

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU AND GOD BLESS, MARY AND RICHARD...

Happy blessed new year to you!

Christmas Blessings from the Benedictine Sisters!

Christmas Blessings from the Benedictine Sisters! ... See MoreSee Less

Comment on Facebook

Merry Christmas 🎅

Merry Christmas Sisters!

Christmas blessings to all of you

Merry Christmas!! 🎄🎁

Merry Christmas to my sisters in Christ. ❤️

Merry Christmas🎄

Merry Christmas!!

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The Sisters Attic is open today for your last minute shopping! And well be closed tomorrow through Christmas and the New Year. Well re-open January 5th, 2021. God Bless You!

The Sisters' Attic is open today for your last minute shopping! And we'll be closed tomorrow through Christmas and the New Year. We'll re-open January 5th, 2021. God Bless You! ... See MoreSee Less

Christmas Message
2020

The Benedictine Sisters want to wish all our family, friends, benefactors, and Oblates a blessed and joyous Christmas and a happy and hopeful New Year.

As we celebrate Christmas this year, we find ourselves in a very different space. 2020 has been a hard year for most of us. Many hearts are not feeling the spirit of joy as Christmas approaches. Many of us have lost loved ones this year. Sadness, grief, frustration, are but a few of the emotions that weigh us down.

This year God invites us to remember that we are all brothers and sisters who inhabit this earth. God invites us to reach out beyond ourselves and make choices that will be for the good of all. God asks us to turn from selfishness to compassion and reach out with an abundant love and care for all God’s creation. This year we need to decide whether we will see our family or stay home for the greater good of our brothers and sisters throughout our world. Some of us might consider gathering in small groups.  Some of us will celebrate alone. Some of us might not celebrate at all because of the death of a loved one or because we are a front-line worker or because we have COVID-19. We might not gather to celebrate because we have lost our job.  

Although we enter this holiday with a mix of emotions, we must not forget the enormity of this feast. God breaking into our world; the Incarnation. The power of love wrapped in swaddling clothes! God with us! God becomes fully immersed with us and with our messiness. Hope and love are birthed! 

Although our journey toward Christmas has been difficult, hope and love have carried us to this moment. God has walked every step of 2020 with us. We have experienced the darkness, but are we also aware of the light. There here have been many blessings in 2020 – God’s hope on display. God with us. Think of the number of people who have gone out of their way to help those in most need during this pandemic especially, but not limited to our front-line workers. Think of the creative energy that has been on display with artists, young people, old people, all people finding ways to connect.

Think of the many virtual platforms created to lift spirits. Think of the millions of dollars raised to help feed our brothers and sisters. Although, the food lines have been imaginable, so have the number of volunteers helping to feed the hungry! We rejoice these days and we are so grateful for the creative and professional minds that came together throughout our world, worked with enormous energy and purpose to deliver vaccines that will inoculate millions. Our “best selves” showed up in 2020, and radiated God’s love to those that suffer. We have brought hope where none was before. God with us every step of the way. We have been the bearers of glad tidings for others. “We are God’s companions in healing the world, one act at a time.”(Bruce Epperly)  May we bring the healing touch of God to those that hurt and may we help to transform the woundedness of 2020 into windows of grace for 2021.

Our prayer for you is that as you light candles during this season and illumine your home with Christmas lights you may remember the light of Christ is always with us. May you feel the spark of divinity that shines brightly and resides within you.   

We light the candle of joy.
A candle to celebrate light in darkness,
Love that overcomes fear,
Joy that heals sorrow,
Faith that outlasts the machinations of 
Power brokers and despots,
Hope that awakens us to new possibilities.
We light a candle of joy
For this present moment
When God is with us
And we share the light of God’s love
Here and everywhere.
We light it with Mary and Elizabeth, 
And Joseph, Jesus, and John the Baptist, 
And light-bearers in all times and places,
As we open to God’s love being born in us.
   Bruce Epperly

Christmas Message
2020

The Benedictine Sisters want to wish all our family, friends, benefactors, and Oblates a blessed and joyous Christmas and a happy and hopeful New Year.

As we celebrate Christmas this year, we find ourselves in a very different space. 2020 has been a hard year for most of us. Many hearts are not feeling the spirit of joy as Christmas approaches. Many of us have lost loved ones this year. Sadness, grief, frustration, are but a few of the emotions that weigh us down.

This year God invites us to remember that we are all brothers and sisters who inhabit this earth. God invites us to reach out beyond ourselves and make choices that will be for the good of all. God asks us to turn from selfishness to compassion and reach out with an abundant love and care for all God’s creation. This year we need to decide whether we will see our family or stay home for the greater good of our brothers and sisters throughout our world. Some of us might consider gathering in small groups. Some of us will celebrate alone. Some of us might not celebrate at all because of the death of a loved one or because we are a front-line worker or because we have COVID-19. We might not gather to celebrate because we have lost our job.

Although we enter this holiday with a mix of emotions, we must not forget the enormity of this feast. God breaking into our world; the Incarnation. The power of love wrapped in swaddling clothes! God with us! God becomes fully immersed with us and with our messiness. Hope and love are birthed!

Although our journey toward Christmas has been difficult, hope and love have carried us to this moment. God has walked every step of 2020 with us. We have experienced the darkness, but are we also aware of the light. There here have been many blessings in 2020 – God’s hope on display. God with us. Think of the number of people who have gone out of their way to help those in most need during this pandemic especially, but not limited to our front-line workers. Think of the creative energy that has been on display with artists, young people, old people, all people finding ways to connect.

Think of the many virtual platforms created to lift spirits. Think of the millions of dollars raised to help feed our brothers and sisters. Although, the food lines have been imaginable, so have the number of volunteers helping to feed the hungry! We rejoice these days and we are so grateful for the creative and professional minds that came together throughout our world, worked with enormous energy and purpose to deliver vaccines that will inoculate millions. Our “best selves” showed up in 2020, and radiated God’s love to those that suffer. We have brought hope where none was before. God with us every step of the way. We have been the bearers of glad tidings for others. “We are God’s companions in healing the world, one act at a time.”(Bruce Epperly) May we bring the healing touch of God to those that hurt and may we help to transform the woundedness of 2020 into windows of grace for 2021.

Our prayer for you is that as you light candles during this season and illumine your home with Christmas lights you may remember the light of Christ is always with us. May you feel the spark of divinity that shines brightly and resides within you.

We light the candle of joy.
A candle to celebrate light in darkness,
Love that overcomes fear,
Joy that heals sorrow,
Faith that outlasts the machinations of
Power brokers and despots,
Hope that awakens us to new possibilities.
We light a candle of joy
For this present moment
When God is with us
And we share the light of God’s love
Here and everywhere.
We light it with Mary and Elizabeth,
And Joseph, Jesus, and John the Baptist,
And light-bearers in all times and places,
As we open to God’s love being born in us.
Bruce Epperly
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Merry Christmas and Peace!

Merry Christ too all our Sisters .From Gil & Ruby Romo and family.

Fourth Sunday of Advent
A Reflection by Sister Frances Briseño, OSB
Prioress

Our spiritual wombs full, our hearts expanding with love as we birth something new!

Samuel 7:1,8b-12,14a,16 – Romans 16:25-27 – Luke 1:26-38

In the Gospel this Sunday, we see the radical transformation which occurred that gives us our Christmas hope! Alyce McKenzie sums it up like this, “In only three short verses, from peasant girl to prophet, from Mary to mother of God, from to denial to discipleship. In a very real way, this is the appropriate transition from Advent to Christmas. Mary’s story moves us all from who we think we are to what God has called us to be, from observant believer to confessing apostle. Moreover, remarkably, impossibly, Mary’s story demands that we acknowledge the very transformation of God. It is no small journey to go from our comfortable perceptions of God to God in the manger, vulnerable, helpless, dependent. Yet, this is the promise of Christmas”.

“I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Luke is the only evangelist who allows us a peek into Mary’s young life. As we read this part of scripture, we can only imagine the struggle of mind, soul, and body that changed her and transformed her into a radical disciple. Saying yes to discipleship is not an easy task. It is usually accompanied by moments of hardship, some rejection, risk, misunderstanding, judgement, and a variety of other unflattering or hurtful things from those whose eyesight is limited. I have no doubt Mary experienced many of those moments.  We see her ‘yes’ expanding and her discipleship strengthening throughout Jesus’ life.   Her ‘yes’ opens us to the impossible becoming possible.  

I have always wondered how much time passed between the visit from the angel and Mary’s ‘yes’. In scripture we hear that Mary pondered many things in her heart. I would think that this invitation to plunge into the mystery that is God and co-create with God would take some heavy duty pondering and discerning. I’m not sure any of us could make such a commitment within a ten-minute time frame. We hear the angel tell her not to be afraid which means that she was afraid. What do we do when we are afraid that a decision we have to make might not be the best thing for us? Most of us would have some measure of resistance. So did Mary. “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” The angel tries to calm her and tells her not to worry because God is in charge and will overshadow her and protect her. The next part of the story seems to move rapidly, but Mary must have needed more convincing because the next line is the angel telling her about Elizabeth, her cousin and the impossible made possible by God. Luke did not include the whole long process of pondering or resistance because in the end Mary said ‘yes’. “I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word”. Mary becomes very real for me when I think of her taking time to consider the invitation. She becomes even more real when she makes her journey to visit Elizabeth and see for herself if what the angel said was true. After her ‘yes’, she still needed assurance and sought out Elizabeth! 

There are many times in my life where I have said ‘yes’ to God. I have uttered in my soul, “let it be done to me according to God’s will.” But I must admit that there have been times when it took quite a while to get to my ‘yes’. And even after saying ‘yes’, there are still moments of doubt or anxiety. I think all of us can relate to that. We have a God, however, who waits for us.  We have a God who smiles at our ‘yes’ but gives us the space we need to arrive at it.  

Mary’s ‘yes’ changed her whole life. She birthed Jesus into the world and with that birth came salvation for the world. To what did God invite me this Advent? What will I birth into the world this Christmas? Will my ‘yes’ change me? Will I be transformed?  

May I birth the impossible possibility of God and may it surprise me, change me, and transform me!

Fourth Sunday of Advent
A Reflection by Sister Frances Briseño, OSB
Prioress

Our spiritual wombs full, our hearts expanding with love as we birth something new!

Samuel 7:1,8b-12,14a,16 – Romans 16:25-27 – Luke 1:26-38

In the Gospel this Sunday, we see the radical transformation which occurred that gives us our Christmas hope! Alyce McKenzie sums it up like this, “In only three short verses, from peasant girl to prophet, from Mary to mother of God, from to denial to discipleship. In a very real way, this is the appropriate transition from Advent to Christmas. Mary’s story moves us all from who we think we are to what God has called us to be, from observant believer to confessing apostle. Moreover, remarkably, impossibly, Mary’s story demands that we acknowledge the very transformation of God. It is no small journey to go from our comfortable perceptions of God to God in the manger, vulnerable, helpless, dependent. Yet, this is the promise of Christmas”.

“I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” Luke is the only evangelist who allows us a peek into Mary’s young life. As we read this part of scripture, we can only imagine the struggle of mind, soul, and body that changed her and transformed her into a radical disciple. Saying yes to discipleship is not an easy task. It is usually accompanied by moments of hardship, some rejection, risk, misunderstanding, judgement, and a variety of other unflattering or hurtful things from those whose eyesight is limited. I have no doubt Mary experienced many of those moments. We see her ‘yes’ expanding and her discipleship strengthening throughout Jesus’ life. Her ‘yes’ opens us to the impossible becoming possible.

I have always wondered how much time passed between the visit from the angel and Mary’s ‘yes’. In scripture we hear that Mary pondered many things in her heart. I would think that this invitation to plunge into the mystery that is God and co-create with God would take some heavy duty pondering and discerning. I’m not sure any of us could make such a commitment within a ten-minute time frame. We hear the angel tell her not to be afraid which means that she was afraid. What do we do when we are afraid that a decision we have to make might not be the best thing for us? Most of us would have some measure of resistance. So did Mary. “How can this be, since I have no relations with a man?” The angel tries to calm her and tells her not to worry because God is in charge and will overshadow her and protect her. The next part of the story seems to move rapidly, but Mary must have needed more convincing because the next line is the angel telling her about Elizabeth, her cousin and the impossible made possible by God. Luke did not include the whole long process of pondering or resistance because in the end Mary said ‘yes’. “I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word”. Mary becomes very real for me when I think of her taking time to consider the invitation. She becomes even more real when she makes her journey to visit Elizabeth and see for herself if what the angel said was true. After her ‘yes’, she still needed assurance and sought out Elizabeth!

There are many times in my life where I have said ‘yes’ to God. I have uttered in my soul, “let it be done to me according to God’s will.” But I must admit that there have been times when it took quite a while to get to my ‘yes’. And even after saying ‘yes’, there are still moments of doubt or anxiety. I think all of us can relate to that. We have a God, however, who waits for us. We have a God who smiles at our ‘yes’ but gives us the space we need to arrive at it.

Mary’s ‘yes’ changed her whole life. She birthed Jesus into the world and with that birth came salvation for the world. To what did God invite me this Advent? What will I birth into the world this Christmas? Will my ‘yes’ change me? Will I be transformed?

May I birth the impossible possibility of God and may it surprise me, change me, and transform me!
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