Keeping watch…

     We had a beautiful Thanksgiving Day of praying, feasting, sharing and hiking. It also was a day to say goodbye…to meat! Until the Nativity of the Lord.

    First Vespers of the First Sunday of Advent brought us our lovely tradition of a candlelight procession into the darkened chapel to the hymn of “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” culminating in the blessing of the Advent wreathe. We chanted the antiphon “Marana tha! Come O Christ the Lord!” in between the prayers of blessing prayed by Mother Catherine Marie.

    Yesterday we had a spiritually refreshing Lectio Divina afternoon led by our faithful Msgr. Powers. This year he has been leading us through a reflection on Vita Consecrata. As he spoke to us of paragraph #36 “Fidelity to our Charism” he mentioned the need for detachment saying that “stuff (meaning our attachments) have peanut butter on them. They stick to us”.  This got some chuckles as we are seeing a lot of peanut butter these days.

     May each one of you have a very holy Advent…a time of joyful self-denial in order to make space for the Lord, a time of “keeping watch”, a time to love the Lord and long for His coming.  I leave you with Msgr.’s closing prayer after we spent time pondering/discussing Jeremiah 29: 11, 13 during the 2nd half of our Lectio Divina session.

Plans for Advent


Loving Spirit of God,
You say to me
You know the plans for me
during this Advent.
plans for my welfare,
not for woe…
plans for a future full of hope.


I come, Most Holy Spirit,
wanting to know these plans,
wanting to enter into them
and desiring to respond to them


I come,
ready to accept your will,
ready to listen to your word and obey.
I come,
ready to do your will in this Advent.


Loving Holy Spirit,
You say your plan for me this Advent
is to seek for You,
to search for You
and to search with my whole heart…
to seek until I find,
find the Incarnate Word of God.


Loving God,
it is not so much that God is Hidden,
rather it is that You are coming,
You are a God
coming out of mystery of the Trinity
into my life, into my nature,
coming into my world


Your plan for me in this Advent
is to seek, to search,
to search until I find.


Gracious Loving Spirit,
take me to the Sacred Scriptures
and hold me there till I find You.


Take me to the Blessed Sacrament
and keep me there
till I find You in the Eucharist.


Take me into silence
and keep me there
till I find You
in the interior of my heart.


Your plan for me
is that You let me find You,
the loving God…


Loving God,
give the grace to search
till I kneel at Bethlehem
and adore.




Msgr. Bernard Powers


5 thoughts on “Keeping watch…

  1. Hey Sister(s)!

    BEAUTIFUL Advent prayer!! I love it…it very simply and completely summarizes the beauty of Advent and and the desire from the depths of our hearts to embrace the coming of the Lord. May you have a beautiful and blessed Advent!!


  2. I am thankful for all of your prayers that you passionists offer for my family. I enjoy visiting your blog, and hope that you had a good time hiking. My mom and I like the thing about the peanut butter because it is true. Thank you for putting my email on your website. I mean the one with my questions. I like learning about things like this.

    Love, Teresa
    age 10

    P.S My birthday was in Nov.

    Dear Teresa – a Happy Belated Birthday!
    Keep close to Jesus and Mary during this Holy Season,
    Sponsa Christi

  3. And now a follow-up from mom. Teresa really does enjoy coming here from time to time. Every now and then, when I am working online, she comes to me and says, “Are you looking at the Passionists???” If I am NOT looking at the Passionists blog or the main website, then I have to take a break and visit for her. She is very intrigued by your life. My other daughter Bethany is wowed by the “pink nuns” of Missouri but I think that’s mostly because pink is her favorite color. haha They still don’t know what “charism” is.

    Teresa is interested in the Passionists because she is interested in what Jesus did for us and because the whole message of the Cross is the message of hope and comfort and closeness to God. She loves her mommy and she sees her mommy in pain, but she knows that God has not abandoned us. He is closer to us than ever. What bliss for a mother to know her child knows this. All of this melds together. Teresa may never be a Passionist or even a nun at all. Sometimes I wonder if she is interested because she doesn’t like the idea of enduring labor and delivery! Children think on such simple terms. Our most recent discussion was on how we must often be fed “milk, not solid food”. (Now we can add, “stay away from the peanut butter!”) Please pray for me that I might feed my kids the right amounts! I am thankful for this resource and thankful that my kids also go to a school where a nun is the principal, so they see lots of options out there. God bless you for this work. It helps.

    God bless you Lisa! and may the Passion of Christ strengthen you.
    Sponas Christi

  4. That was a beautiful poem! Wishing you a blessed Advent and
    Christmas, Sisters.

    In Christ’s love,



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