Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas at Bristow...

Midnight Mass...

...our subprioress reads the Christmas Proclamation by candlelight.

Our monastic schola is enhanced by the voices of children who bring their finest gift to the newborn king.

The altar is lovingly dressed for the feast.

When dawn comes we gather for the Christmas Day Eucharist. Msgr. Chester Michael was the presider for both Christmas liturgies. We have been blessed by the simplicity and power of his preaching.


Every gift, every instrument was used to proclaim the glad tidings.

Our Vigil began at 11:30 PM Christmas Eve. We invited our guests in for Sister Pat's AMAZING Christmas breads. By 2:30 most of us when asleep. Christmas comes early for us (about four hours later.) By 2:oo PM Christmas dinner is cleaned up and we all take a much-needed nap!
I am traveling now. Our Mary Clark will enter on February 8th. I have gone home with her to meet her family. More on the Midwest trek after the New Year. I'll be back on-line January 2nd. Enjoy the 12 days of Christmas. Hold fast to the peace and joy He brings. He is born again in those who love Him.
Blessings and love to you all...
- Sister Vicki

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Already...but not yet.

It was the day before
the night before Christmas,
and all through GOD's house...

...there were sisters on ladders, and on top of the house.

The wreaths were all hung with the greatest of care,
and lights strung abundantly, their glory to share.

When what to my
wandering eyes should appear,
but a Monastery Coordinator on our roof without fear!

The tree was adorned by Sister Henry Marie,
the lower half left to our Sister M.P.

Tonight we will bless,
it's branches and bows.
We'll open our presents
as the fake fire glows.
We'll dress for the Babe
who is coming this night.
We'll light all the candles
and wait for His light.
We'll take up the the flute and together we'll sing
of God's most gracious gift - the small King of kings.
To those dear to this household - our oblates and friends -
may this night bring you peace and a joy without end.

Blessings and love to you all...
- Sister Vicki

Sunday, December 21, 2008

The Weekend that Wasn't...

Sometimes, GOD just has another plan. We were scheduled to welcome four wonderful women for a vocation retreat this weekend. All four, one by one, expressed regrets for a variety of good reasons I was coming up the driveway of the monastery Friday morning when I received word that the one remaining guest was held captive by bad weather four hours southwest of Bristow. “OK, Lord,” I said. “This just wasn’t meant to be.

I trust we will see all four of these lovely women down the road. Certainly, their presence among us would have been gift. But, there are always blessings – even in plans gone south. I found myself with a free Saturday. Me. Home at the monastery with no program to run or task to accomplish. What in the world would I do? Well…for starters, my Christmas cards will actually go out before the Nativity. Yup. Can’t believe it, myself. I have spent the last twenty-four hours simply being here with my sisters. I have lingered at table and in Chapel. I have slept long and deep. I have reclaimed my winter clothing from the bowels of the house and rejoiced at the prospect of soft, comfy warmth. I have enjoyed Saturday breakfast with the sisters who eat late (after Morning Prayer) – which can go on for an entire hour if the coffee is fresh and the conversation unrelenting. In short GOD’s plan has turned out rather nicely. Do you think the good Lord goes to such great lengths to slow me down? I think not. But, I know that when my plan gets the boot, GOD has a blessing in mind. So, to all the dear ones we missed this weekend, not to worry. Your Vocation Director has been gifted with rest and the comfort of just being in the place that always returns me to my best self. See you soon, we hope.
Blessings and love to you all…
- Sister Vicki