(Dublin, Ireland) The autumn of life gives rise to the contemplation of the mystery of the cycle from life to death. As the trees change color, displaying marvelous shades of yellow, red, and orange leaves, which gradually fall away, we admire their gracious letting go and the beauty of the trees in their stark vulnerability. So too does the soul of each Redemptoristine Nun prepare with joy for the final coming of Christ and his promised unending life.
As a young woman, she will have left the prospects of career, family, and accomplishments but also a world of noise and confusion. She will have felt the need for silence to hear the Father’s voice, whispering words of peace but also showing her gently where she needs to go, what she needs to do, and how she needs to change. This will benefit her but will also make her a channel of mercy for others.
As a Redemptoristine nun, she will connect our world to heaven, through hours of prayer, work, and silence. Her life will be one of simplicity and order, of meditation and creativity. Yet, there will be wonderful humanity and kindness that filters from the monastery through prayer and unfailing devotion to life.
In Lectio Divina, the discipline of reading the scriptures in order to listen to the Word of God with the ear of the heart she becomes transformed into his viva memoria (living memory) of Christ (Blessed Maria Celeste Crostarosa). She waits for his coming and ponders on the promise of God to be with us.
Joy is the hallmark of the Redemptoristine charism and springs from the certainty that God is close. He is within, in times of joy and sadness, in times of sickness and in health, and this joy endures, even in difficulties, in disappointments, in suffering itself.
An unfailing rhythm of liturgical prayer punctuates the day giving structure to her day. Her spirituality and mystical insights are deeply rooted in and shaped by scripture. Through the daily Eucharist, she is strengthened in communion with Christ in her monastic community.
She will never possess anything for herself and will see the natural resources of the monastery as gifts from God to be received with thankfulness and returned at the end of her life, hopefully, viable for future generations.
‘Plants of the earth, O bless the Lord, Fountains, and springs, O bless the Lord, Every bird in the sky, O bless the Lord, To him be the highest glory and praise forever.
(Canticle of Daniel 3:57-88).
Her work carried out each day of each year of her life bears an ethos that is ascetical, earning of the living of the community, living a moderate, balanced way of life and sharing with those in need. All of her activity is embraced from a spiritual perspective, motivated by Christ’s attitudes, values, and example. Being responsible and generous grounds her in the humility of heart and with deep patience. Her service gives concrete expression to her gratitude and praise of God.
Finally, the winter darkness deepens and the cycle of life is ending, her work is done and the Sister hastens to Christ the Light which dispels all darkness.
May the Lord support us all the day long,
Till the shades lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed,
and the fever of life is over, and our work is done.
John Henry Newman
To learn more about the Redemptoristines, do visit: https://rednuns.com/