Adoration in Thanksgiving

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I looked only for an eternal heart that I could always find in life, in death, and Our Lord alone is this Eternal Heart.   -Mother Marie Ste Claire Bouillevaux

France has long been called “The Eldest Daughter of the Church” because she was the first nation founded by barbarians to accept Christianity after the Roman Empire fell. We know there were Christians in France centuries before Clovis, King of the Franks, was baptized on Christmas day in 496, but his acceptance of Catholicism would shape the history of Europe from then on, leading eventually to Charlemagne, and the Holy Roman Empire.  Most of the other Germanic tribes at the time had been infected by the rampant Arian heresy, so we can thank God (and his wife St. Clotilde) for Clovis’ acceptance of Catholicism, for the history of Christendom might have looked very different had he also embraced heresy.

Despite the demonic horrors of the Masonic French Revolution, which would sweep France some 1,300 years after Clovis’ baptism, spilling the blood of so many Catholics, the Church in France has been a fruitful branch, bearing the beautiful and fragrant flowers of so many saints and religious orders.  The roots of our own religious order, the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration, trace back to Paris, where we were founded in 1854 by Mother Marie de Ste. Claire Bouillevaux and Fr. Bonaventure Heurlat, a Capuchin priest.

Screen Shot 2017-12-08 at 3.08.38 PMJoséphine Bouillevaux, who was, providentially, born on the Feast of Corpus Christi in Maizières-lès-Brienne, was raised in a devout family, devoted to the Holy Eucharist.  The parish Curé, Fr. Jean-Baptiste Heurlat, who had founded a school in Maizieres, also felt called to begin an order of nuns who would be attached to his parish.  Knowing that Joséphine, a teacher at the school, desired to lead a contemplative life, he began to form her and the other teachers in the religious life, helping them to live according to a common rule.

Joséphine had been inspired by the Gospel account of the ten lepers in Luke.  After healing ten men afflicted with leprosy, only one of them returned to thank Our Lord.  Her heart was pierced by this ingratitude, and the words of Jesus, “Were not ten made clean?  Where are the other nine?,” lead her to say, “Is it not right then that His Eucharistic love should be glorified by unremitting thanksgiving?”.  This guiding principle would later be evidenced in the motto of our order: Deo Gratias Per Jesum In Sanctissimo Sacramento!  Thanks be to God through Jesus in the Most Blessed Sacrament!

Screen Shot 2017-12-08 at 3.08.47 PMFollowing the call to ever greater perfection, Fr. Jean-Baptiste entered the Capuchins, taking the name Bonaventure.  Before his entrance, he told the Father General of his desire to found a religious community of nuns, and was given the support of his future superior in achieving this goal.  He was invested in the Capuchin habit in 1851, and one year later received the vows of Joséphine Bouillevaux as a Third Order Franciscan, giving her the name Sister Marie de Sainte Claire.

On December 8, 1854, the day of the Proclamation of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception, Sister Marie de Sainte Claire placed her spiritual projects, desires, hopes and fears under the patronage of the Blessed Virgin Mary. She also confided to Mary all her daughters present and future by an act of consecration; this marked the official beginning of our Order. One week later, on December 15, octave of the Immaculate Conception, Father Bonaventure invested the first four postulants in the Franciscan habit. Mother Marie de Sainte Claire, as Foundress and, at age 34, the oldest in the house, was named Superior.   (source)

Troyes Monastery PCPATwo years later the newborn order was transferred to the city of Troyes (providentially, this city was the birthplace of Pope Urban IV, who had established the feast of Corpus Christi as an official feast day of the Church in the 13th century).  That same year, 1856, permission was granted for perpetual exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, which the order has continued ever since.  In 1899, having received official approbation as a religious order from Pope Leo XIII, the community was established as a Congregation of Pontifical Right, with the privilege of solemn vows.

From France, this Franciscan vine spread throughout the world, and today we have monasteries in Poland, Austria, Germany, the US, India, Bangladesh and Kazakhstan.  The love of Jesus in the Eucharist is a fragrant flower which spreads its sweet scent across the world.  We pray that our life of adoration in a spirit of reparative thanksgiving continues to bring grace to the world and all who live in it, whom we lift up to God in prayer each day.

On this Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception we gratefully recall that the Most Pure Screen Shot 2017-12-08 at 3.16.18 PMVirgin is not only our Mother, but also our model, protectress and guide.  Each sister of our order receives a new name at her investiture in the habit, and this always include some form of Mary.  As the adorer and contemplative par excellence, we turn to her in everything, and she teaches us to remain faithful and close to Jesus in all things.  We are privileged to begin here on earth, what we will spend eternity doing in heaven: adoring and contemplating God.  In our tabernacle, He is hidden, but in eternity we shall finally see him Face to face.

Adoremus in Aeternum, Sanctissium Sacramentum.

 

Let us adore unto eternity the most Holy Sacrament!

The world asleep

The Mosul imagery is so arresting. It’s reminiscent of what we saw in Europe in the build-up to the Second World War or the ethnic cleansing witnessed during the Balkans in the early 1990s, where there is an attempt to systematically wipe out an entire civilisation and culture. It’s as if the world is asleep and doesn’t care. I’m surprised there hasn’t been condemnation and calls for solidarity.  

Francis Campbell, former British Ambassador to the Holy See

We’d like to open this post by saying you’ve probably been saturated with news about the  persecuted Christians in Iraq, but the fact is western media has remained quiet about the Continue reading

Vote. Pray. Trust.

We took advantage of early voting last week.  On Friday we each cast our vote for life and liberty.  Here we are leaving the polling place.

During our travels to and from Reno we had the opportunity to talk to many people from different walks of life, not all Catholic, who all said they have deep sense of peace about the elections and a strong hope.  We came home from that trip very encouraged.  God is in control.  No matter what happens, we must keep that foremost in our minds and hearts.  As one friend of ours often says, God is very good at turning straw into gold.

Today we are manning (nunning?) adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament at Our Lady of the Atonement.  We have cast our votes, now the most important thing that we can do is pray.  And having the Blessed Sacrament exposed in a public chapel, rather than our home chapel, was very important to us, and to Fr. Phillips as well, so that others could have an opportunity to make a visit to Our Lord.

Wherever you are today, even if you can only spare five minutes, try to make a visit to Our Lord and ask Him to pour out His grace and mercy on our nation.  Adoration may not be available where you live, but Jesus is just as glad to see you, whether He is hidden in the tabernacle or exposed in the monstrance for adoration.

May God bless America!

Fun Friday

Each day we have the blessing of seeing the students who attend the Atonement Academy.  Today, we had the added blessing of being able to meet with some of them when we visited with Mrs. Fitzgerald’s 7th grade religion class.  We were a bit nervous, since this is not something we often do, but this energetic group of girls quickly put us at ease with their warm welcome and their eagerness to hear about Jesus.  We talked about our life as Eucharistic Adorers, scripture, and prayer.  The girls had so many great questions that we ran out of time before we could answer all of them.  We were especially inspired by their devotion to the Blessed Sacrament – which probably has something to do with the beautiful school Mass they attend each day.  The sacraments are so powerful – how beautiful to see them at work in the lives of these young ladies.

 

 

Hello from San Antonio!

Welcome to Quidnunc, our adventure in blogging!  We are thrilled to have this opportunity to connect with so many of you.

This endeavor is a fruit of our consecrated life, and we hope it will bear fruit for you, too.  By opening a window onto our life of prayer and adoration, we want to share with you not just our thoughts, but more importantly those things closest to our hearts:  Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, the beauty of the Catholic Faith, the wisdom of her teachings, and the joy we have found in living a life devoted to Christ.

We hope to become one of your “blog stops” and welcome your comments, questions, and thoughts.

God bless!