“Be ready, dressed for service, and
keep your lamps lit” (Saint
by a Cloistered
Poor Clare Colettine Nun
are those servants if he finds them awake
when he comes at midnight or daybreak”
is a Poor Clare tradition, and in keeping with the spirit and exhortations
of the Holy Gospel, that a Poor Clare sister retires to bed at night
fully attired. The Sister wears her habit, Rosary, cord, and a night
veil, so she is ready and prepared should her Lord and Master call
at any hour.
At the sound of the Matins bell, she arises and makes haste to the
choir, there to sing her Lord’s praises.
The opening call of the hour of Matins being, “Light your lamps
for the Bridegroom is here, go out to meet Christ the Lord, Lord
open my lips and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.”
None of us knows the hour at which the Lord will call. Our hearts
should always be prepared, by striving to live in His grace and
Illness, suffering, diminishment, can touch us at the most unexpected
hour ... in an instant all things change, or else vanish! Every
person who has ever lived ... and died ... had planned for “tomorrow”,
virtually certain that, unlike the many thousands in the graveyards
they pass, it would come. As you read this and scoff, the last visitor,
too, had come and gone.
are filled with tomorrows that never came.
Realizing this, we come to see that most things in our lives are
terribly ephemeral, even foolishly superfluous. We “prepare” for
everything except the inevitable
In a dream of endless day, we never bother to light our lamps for
the impending night, and because we are unprepared we are terrified
when it comes upon us.
It need not
be so. When you are uncertain of which guest will greet you at the
door, at least light a lamp that you may recognize who comes.
Poor Clare Sister in Christ
for the Boston Catholic Journal
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Totally Faithful to the Sacred
Deposit of Faith entrusted to the Holy See in
opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti
verbum Meum, nec non negasti Nomen Meum”
know your works ... that you have but little power,
and yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My
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