Saturday, December 24, 2011

T-minus 8 hours!

We celebrate Midnight Mass - at midnight. Fewer and fewer parishes do. I love it. I love the absolute darkness, the stars shining bright and the beautiful candles that line the driveway! We are nearly ready. We've been decorating, cleaning and polishing for three days. If it weren't for some very good friends, we'd be lost. The scrambling is all part of the excitement that's building in our house. The change from purple and pink to greens, red ribbons and a host of angels takes energy and imagination. Praise God, we've got a lot of both! At 5:00 PM we will pray EPI of the Nativity, then bless our tree and exchange gifts. [Each sister has one present under the tree!] Then, as darkness falls, we prepare our hearts for the midnight liturgy. Know that all of our friends, oblates and benefactors will be remembered this night and throughout the Christmas season.

Blessings and love to you all...

- Sister Vicki

Thursday, December 22, 2011


I love the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. I saw it this past November in its entirety for the first time in over 10 years. [I am usually in the monastery kitchen assisting with the meal preparations.] I was struck by several things: ten years in a monastery changes one’s ability to identify cartoon floats; the performers still lip-sync but better than they used to; the appearance of Santa at the end of the parade still signals the beginning of wish lists, letters to the North Pole and VERY good behavior! Yet, as all the color and sound took center stage on 33rd Street, my eyes were drawn to a single word ablaze on Mr. Macy’s building: believe. A little research soon yielded a deeper story. Macy’s “Believe” Campaign raises funds for the Make-A-Wish Foundation – the non-profit that makes dreams come true for seriously ill children. How beautiful! While "corporate America" is under fire for selfishness and greed, it is a sign of a hope that does not disappoint. Truly, to whom much has been given, much will be expected. When companies use their resources to lighten the burden of suffering in our world, they must be praised.

Today is December 22nd. The "O Antiphons" - the liturgical countdown from the 17th to the Eve - are nearly finished. We are just three days from the Feast of the Nativity. It is a feast of faith that the promise fulfilled two thousand years ago in Bethlehem, is a sign of hope yet unfulfilled. Christ is coming. He is coming back for all of us and he will take us into the heart of God. As we wrap pretty packages and feel our hearts expand through these holy days, may we all believe.

…that something new will be born in us this Christmas
…that even death cannot take spouses, friends, dear children from our hearts
…that this feast is a promise of a greater gift – a moment beyond understanding, but accessible now in faith

…that the Word still becomes flesh in us
...that the love we feel at Christmas is but a fraction of the love that awaits us

Blessings and love to you and a Merry Christmas!
- Sister Vicki