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This Week's Priests

This week we are continuing our prayer for all priests in Military Service. Due to the sensitive nature of their vocation we can not list their names; but honor their service to our men and women in uniform. lPease join us! Learn more about our priest chalkboard here: https://nunsforpriests.org/our-priest-chalkboard/ #priestchalkboard ...

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Meus maxime mortificatsio est vita communis. In English, “My greatest mortification is community life.” Saint John Berchmans

While that can be true, so can a surprising contrast, “Community life is my greatest joy.”
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Our Priest ChalkboardLearn more

This week we are continuing our prayer for all priests in Military Service. Due to the sensitive nature of their vocation we can not list their names; but honor their service to our men and women in uniform. lPease join us! Learn more about our priest chalkboard here: https://nunsforpriests.org/our-priest-chalkboard/ #priestchalkboard ...

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Meus maxime mortificatsio est vita communis. In English, “My greatest mortification is community life.” Saint John Berchmans

While that can be true, so can a surprising contrast, “Community life is my greatest joy.”
...

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This week we’ll be praying in a special way for the priests of the @phoenixdiocese . Each week we will pray for 6 specific priests until we have prayed for all of the priests in the diocese. Please join us! @BishopOlmsted
@bishopnevares
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ANOTHER HELPER TO SANCTIFY THE WORLD OF SOCIAL MEDIA

On Saturday October 10th the Italian teen Carlo Acutis will be beatified. Since one of his great apostolates, even as a pre-teen, was using the internet to evangelize and catechize the Church’s teachings on the Eucharist, he will be a wonderful patron for social media. His tomb depicts many scenes from his amazing, but short, life including his use of computers, the internet, and social media. In one small panel on his tomb you can even find small icons representing the most common social media platforms.

This tiny detail in the tomb of a holy youth now being held up to the world as an example of sanctity assures us that the seeming acceptance of the lack of civility in many online interactions does not have to be. It should hit us right between the eyes that Blessed Carlo maintained charity and enthusiasm as a teenager in the modern world. That is as wonderful as it is hopeful. May we all follow his lead. Because it was his wish to lead souls to Heaven.

Quotes of Blessed Carlo Acutis:
“To always be close to Jesus, that’s my life plan. I’m happy to die because I’ve lived my life without wasting even a minute of it doing things that wouldn’t have pleased God.”

“The Infinite is our homeland. We have always been expected in Heaven.” #sisterreginacomicstrip
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This week we are praying in a special way for the priests of the Diocese of Beaumont. Each week we will pray for 6 specific priests until we have prayed for all of the priests in the diocese. Please join us!

Learn more about our priest chalkboard here: https://nunsforpriests.org/our-priest-chalkboard/

#priestchalkboard
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In The Full Habit and Scapular

The transition to monastic life isn't accomplished in one day or even one year. The Church in her wisdom demands no less than nine years of formation for a cloistered nun. The more today's secular culture is at variance with the religious life, the steeper the learning curve, not just spiritually but physically as well. Different schedules, food, prayers, study, recreation, even clothing must be adapted to. As a candidate progresses along her formation journey, her garb will not only have some symbolic meaning in the consecrated life but also change incrementally to permit physical adjustment. Our cartoon this week draws from the experiences of many a new novice learning to pray, work, and play with a full length scapular.

The garment serves as a symbol of consecrated religious being yoked to Christ. That's another way of saying it can represent the Cross willingly carried on the shoulders of the nun. It can also serve as the source of a few holy laughs as it inadvertently finds itself in use as a dish towel, tripping device, floor mat, car door flag (as it dangles out the closed door in traffic) until one learns the attention to detail it requires in being aware of the scapular's location relative to the body. "Did I just shut the window on my scapular front?" "Am I sitting on my scapular back?" "Where is my scapular hanging this moment?" As a sister learns this practical sensitivity, she can perhaps more easily ask very often, "Where is the Cross Jesus is asking me to carry for his priests right now? What work am I doing yoked to Christ this instant?"

Who knew a few square feet of fabric could bring one closer to Christ?

#SisterReginaComicStrip
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Our Comic Strip

Meus maxime mortificatsio est vita communis. In English, “My greatest mortification is community life.” Saint John Berchmans

While that can be true, so can a surprising contrast, “Community life is my greatest joy.”
...

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ANOTHER HELPER TO SANCTIFY THE WORLD OF SOCIAL MEDIA

On Saturday October 10th the Italian teen Carlo Acutis will be beatified. Since one of his great apostolates, even as a pre-teen, was using the internet to evangelize and catechize the Church’s teachings on the Eucharist, he will be a wonderful patron for social media. His tomb depicts many scenes from his amazing, but short, life including his use of computers, the internet, and social media. In one small panel on his tomb you can even find small icons representing the most common social media platforms.

This tiny detail in the tomb of a holy youth now being held up to the world as an example of sanctity assures us that the seeming acceptance of the lack of civility in many online interactions does not have to be. It should hit us right between the eyes that Blessed Carlo maintained charity and enthusiasm as a teenager in the modern world. That is as wonderful as it is hopeful. May we all follow his lead. Because it was his wish to lead souls to Heaven.

Quotes of Blessed Carlo Acutis:
“To always be close to Jesus, that’s my life plan. I’m happy to die because I’ve lived my life without wasting even a minute of it doing things that wouldn’t have pleased God.”

“The Infinite is our homeland. We have always been expected in Heaven.” #sisterreginacomicstrip
...

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In The Full Habit and Scapular

The transition to monastic life isn't accomplished in one day or even one year. The Church in her wisdom demands no less than nine years of formation for a cloistered nun. The more today's secular culture is at variance with the religious life, the steeper the learning curve, not just spiritually but physically as well. Different schedules, food, prayers, study, recreation, even clothing must be adapted to. As a candidate progresses along her formation journey, her garb will not only have some symbolic meaning in the consecrated life but also change incrementally to permit physical adjustment. Our cartoon this week draws from the experiences of many a new novice learning to pray, work, and play with a full length scapular.

The garment serves as a symbol of consecrated religious being yoked to Christ. That's another way of saying it can represent the Cross willingly carried on the shoulders of the nun. It can also serve as the source of a few holy laughs as it inadvertently finds itself in use as a dish towel, tripping device, floor mat, car door flag (as it dangles out the closed door in traffic) until one learns the attention to detail it requires in being aware of the scapular's location relative to the body. "Did I just shut the window on my scapular front?" "Am I sitting on my scapular back?" "Where is my scapular hanging this moment?" As a sister learns this practical sensitivity, she can perhaps more easily ask very often, "Where is the Cross Jesus is asking me to carry for his priests right now? What work am I doing yoked to Christ this instant?"

Who knew a few square feet of fabric could bring one closer to Christ?

#SisterReginaComicStrip
...

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All God’s Creatures Got a Place In The Choir

Do you remember singing, “All God’s Creatures Got A Place In The Choir?” Yes, everything and every little thing was indeed made by God for a purpose even when we can’t know precisely why that is. In Heaven, adoring God in the Beatific vision, it’s unlikely that we will feel the need to ask, “Lord, why did you create the lady bugs that bite and stink and aren’t so lady like?” But we can practice now being grateful for them. After all, they do eat aphids and are fairly cute.

Being grateful even for things we can’t understand, or even like, is wonderful preparation. Preparation for what? Growing in holiness. Joyful gratitude is the hallmark of the Saints. So next time you want to complain about those little bugs, thank God for them instead.

#SisterReginaComicStrip
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OK...we all know what is happening this week and we are all praying about it. Of course, we mean All Souls Day! Our nation undeniably needs unity and healing but without prayer and sacrifice, elections alone will not solve the deeper problems in our society. So let us entrust all our elected leaders to the intercession of the Saints and the Holy Souls as Saint Paul advises us. While it is easy to point far up the ladder to blame whoever is at the top, it is easy to forget that true conversion starts with the self. And harder still to do it. We need to be faithful Catholics. That will enable us to flourish as good citizens as well. PRAY AND SACRIFICE for them, whether or not you agree with them. Their salvation, and yours, may very well depend on it.

#sisterreginacomicstrip
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Clothed in Holiness and Ringing Out Joy

Cf Psalm 132 “Your priests shall be clothed with holiness: your faithful shall ring out their joy.”

In the breviary the psalms are presented so as to promote antiphonal chant by two choirs. On the breviary page a psalm may look different from what one will find in a Bible. The layout of the sentences, the grammar, and punctuation are adapted to suit the singing in choir.

It is also useful to note the colon in the verse cited above. Priests clothed with holiness. Faithful ringing out their joy. As presented on the breviary page, these are not separate sentences. They are related concepts. Got holy priests? Then we will be joyful. Likewise, got a joyful, faithful flock? Then we will raise up holy priests…and joyful ones at that!

We remain tremendously blessed to witness priests joyful and holy in their priesthood such that we can dare a cartoon on a liturgical slip that brought lighthearted smiles some years back. Priests carry heavy burdens and unique crosses and it is our vocation to pray and sacrifice for their sanctification. At times, in the unexpected moments of humor, God may be letting us know, “This one is clothed with holiness, ring out your joy!

#SisterReginaComicStrip
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Make a plan and God laughs, right? There is a converse rule of thumb too. Make a plan that is NOT God's and be miserable. Despite appearances to the contrary among the elite, celebrities, and the lives of the rich and famous, have you ever personally met someone who got "everything they ever wanted" apart from God to be truly joyful, content, peaceful and satisfied?

What a blessing it is that WITH JESUS we already have everything we can want or need - even amid the trials, difficulties, persecutions, poverty etc., that may never have been part of "our" plans! God's plans for us are always the best.
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Ever feel like prayer 'didn't work'?

It's difficult to describe prayer. Imagine the near impossibility of conveying in mere human language what transpires between God and a soul. The cartoon may help disabuse some folks of the notion that nuns have prayer come easy to them or that prayer is only for priests and nuns and not everyone else.

The truth is that not only are all called to an intimate prayer life with the Almighty, but also that achieving this union with the Trinity really isn't an 'achievement' at all. It's a gift. We don't do it. We can't schedule it. We are expected to do our part to cooperate with the grace that God gives in growing in holiness, but it is never solely our doing.

Prayer is communication with God but often we need to remind ourselves that listening to him in silence is far more important than whatever we tell him.

#SisterReginaComicStrip
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GAMES CHILDREN PLAY

Some may remember playing Mass as children and felt the first vocational stirrings quite young. Such games could point to a future priest or religious or simply implant a respect for those called to that life.

Handmaids of the Precious Blood are called to a particular way of life as nuns giving our lives to Christ for the sake of his priests. We pray and sacrifice for the entire world but have a charism focusing on the sanctification of priests. Each of these men stand in the person of Christ and are ‘alter Christus’ - other Christs. God wants the cooperation of priests in the work of redemption and that is best achieved when they are holy priests.

Saint John Paul II often reminded us that without the Eucharist there is no Church, without our priests there is no Eucharist.

What’s at stake if a priest has no one to pray and sacrifice for him? If we lose the priest. We lose Jesus. And the Church. And that’s not “child’s play”.

#SisterReginaComicStrip
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O Lord, can I go back to bed? Monastics follow a set schedule of prayer, work, and rest. But it isn’t always an even balance. Sometimes we get tired and behind in sleep, not surprisingly, with a life that deliberately includes regular nocturnal adoration. While the heart may soar before the Blessed Sacrament the body may understandably sag for want of slumber. In such cases, it can be forgiven that one may wish the day to move a little faster (towards Sacred Silence and bedtime, that is) and perhaps subliminally open the prayer book not to Morning Offering that starts the day but the Prayer for Daily Neglects that ends it. Even nuns can have wishful thinking….and coffee. https://nunsforpriests.org #sisterreginacomicstrip ...

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A PRIEST FOREVER

This week we simply want to share our prayers of gratitude to God for the ordination to the priesthood of Father Matthew Donahue for the Diocese of Knoxville! Without priests, we can’t have the Eucharist so we are indebted to each and every priest. May our Lord raise up many more shepherds for his flock.
Deo Gratias!

#SisterReginaComicStrip
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The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe is often shortened to Christ the King. One lesson of this great Feast is that all authority, civil or otherwise, on earth is derived from God.

When Adam and Eve fell, it was in part because they wanted some of God's authority for themselves, "you will be like God". That certainly made a mess of things, didn't it? If instead we act opposite of this tendency to usurp by willingly welcoming God's kingship over us completely, as this Solemnity reminds us to do, rightful order returns to our lives and with it, peace. Real peace.

Start small. Start with the individual self. We can look around and find ourselves disappointed with leaders across the spectrum in our world and it's not surprising. But we can never be disappointed in our King. He has already died and risen for us and achieved absolute victory. That gives us freedom to be his entirely. And that is glorious.

Hail, Christ my King! #sisterreginacomicstrip
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Eucharistic Revival
The USCCB is organizing a multiyear effort to revive the experience of the Eucharist in the life of the Catholic Church in America. Note the word "experience". It's crucial. While there must necessarily be a complete re-education on the Source and Summit of our Faith, knowing about the Eucharist won't be enough. Lived CONTACT with the Real Presence will cement the facts that we learn with our brains into fully formed Faith and formed consciences in the soul.

Arguments and wasteful fights about who deserves to receive Communion ought to fall by the wayside as each Catholic, in experiencing Christ truly present Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, recognizes that none of us are worthy. But his Mercy allows us to repent, amend our ways, and reverently approach to receive the Gift that is never to be viewed as a "right". If anything, a successful revival will deeply inculcate in disciples that it is God's rights that matter most. Can anyone claim we haven't been trampling on those rights?

We must experience the Eucharist. Take a page out of Blessed Charles de Foucauld's prayer book. Oh, how his life changed when he entered a Church long after losing his childhood faith and prayed, "Dear God, if you exist make me know you!" God answered in spades! We go, kneel, look, expose our souls to Our Lord exposed in the monstrance and pray, "Dear Jesus, if you are truly present here, make me know you!" We expect nothing but allow him to flood our entire being with his loving gaze. And we keep doing this regularly. Calloused knees can be good for the soul. Time 'wasted' with Jesus bears only good fruit EVERYWHERE else as it gently draws us closer to him in all the other Sacraments, especially Confession.

This revival is not about numbers, Church attendance, or tithing. It is about relearning the truth of Jesus' Real Presence and our response in all aspects of our lives.

#SisterReginaComicStrip
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Advent has begun. No weekly cartoons until after the Christmas Octave. Instead we’ll share weekly photos.

This week we share an anticipatory snapshot, a close up of the Infant King in the manger. It is now time to prepare our hearts for his arrival. It is our turn to wait and hope expectantly with joy. Spend Advent looking for him. Never forget, he has always been looking for us. #sisterreginacomicstrip
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#SisterReginaComicStrip ...

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Corpus Christi: If it’s really the Body of Christ, then how should we feel about it?

Catholics have much to be proud of in our Faith. While we can list many facets of the Church worthy of inspiration and emulation, be it in Church history or the lives of the Saints, the item that could arguably take first place calling for our pride in it, is the one that actually challenges our humility the most. And it’s not an ‘it’ or a ‘one’ or an ‘item’ at all. It’s Someone. It’s Jesus.

We’re speaking of the Source and Summit of our Faith: the Blessed Sacrament. The Eucharist: the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. This is a reality we must celebrate with our whole being involving all our senses because, in the Incarnation, Jesus Christ came fully in the flesh, with the same senses we have, and he desired to remain with his Church for all time…physically. To give us the gift of the Eucharist, he gave us the Priesthood to make him truly and really present to us.

This should be mind blowing, jaw dropping, awe-inspiring…but so very few even care to appreciate what it means to have the Eucharist. Let alone the opportunity to receive Our Lord. Think of the humility of God! He abases himself to become the food of his proud, little children in order to demonstrate his yearning to be one with us.

If man invented a god, that god would demand humans be brought up to his own level of perfection by human sacrifice before they could communicate. But God, who created man, condescends to lower himself down to our fallen level through his sacrifice just for the chance we might acknowledge him to be who he claims to be. Our God and our All!

This Corpus Christi make it a point to thank God for coming to us so meekly yet so mightily. We will never be worthy of his sacrifice but he still desires to share his life with us. It’s easier than we think. As one of our dear Chaplains used to pray, “Dear Lord, give me real eyes that I may realize where the Real lies.” Acknowledge we are not God, acknowledge that God is God and he has a right to our repentance conversion contrition reparation and adoration.

#SisterReginaComicStrip
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t’s not rare that some may think the cloistered life is boring and monotonous, or very easy since, "All you do is pray. Not work." But both of these ideas are monastic myths. We do both: ora et labora [pray and work]. And, in truth, all of it is prayer and only possible by prayer.

The Prayer: Seven times a day we pray the Divine Office [the Liturgy of the Hours]. We are blessed to have Benediction and Mass, individual holy hours of Eucharistic adoration, spiritual reading, lectio divina, study, and nocturnal hours of Eucharistic adoration. And that's not also counting the conferences, chapters, and ongoing formation. Depending on a day's schedule the sum total of actual time this can sanctify is between six and seven hours a day or more. It is after and around all these foundational elements of prayer (without which our existence is impossible) that we tuck in the work, sometimes in fits and starts.

The Work: This can range from chores like laundry, ironing, cooking, cleaning, sacristy, gardening, maintenance, repairs, to the entire host of office tasks falling into administration, website work, apostolic venues, vocations, prayer requests, correspondence, medical, bookkeeping, fundraising and the other sundry tasks that must be done to keep a monastery up and running.

The Great Adventure: As many of us came to the monastic life from a culture of "get things done!", the adventure has been to transition from a day of 'to-do' lists to days of constant contact with Our Lord in prayer, whether it be in Chapel or at work. It’s a challenge to let the work not drive the day, but rather to allow the prayer to drive the work. When we find God present with his ample grace to get needful tasks accomplished with peace and prayer, we discover we are right in the middle of God's Great Adventure: living together in his Presence, close to his heart in everything we do.
#sisterreginacomicstrip
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Asking nuns when they retire or get to go on vacation is like asking a mother when she stops being a mom. As we are, in a very real sense, spiritual mothers, especially of priests, it is true that we don't take vacations or retire. While that may sound onerous and tiring to some, it is not when examined from the perspective of generosity. Think of it this way: it means that there always will be days full of gifts and graces to offer back to our Savior, to console his Sacred Heart, each moment of our lives, however full and busy they may be. This is just like the moms who never stop giving of themselves all their lives.

And whenever we do feel a little tired, we can look at the tabernacle or the crucifix and remember how much Jesus gave us. He gave us himself. With him, we can continue serving until he chooses to call us home. #sisterreginacomicstrip
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his November, the month our nation should remember veterans especially, we pray particularly for the priest chaplains of what is sometimes called the largest diocese in the world: The Archdiocese for the Military Services, USA. Though this Archdiocese has no fixed property per se, its jurisdiction spans the globe. It serves not only active duty troops in all branches of the military but also reservists, guard troops, the Veterans Administration, the Civil Air Patrol, and anywhere U.S. government personnel are in need of Catholic chaplains. It is estimated that about 1.8 million souls fall under the care of these priests. We thank the many generous bishops who release some of their priests to follow this unique and demanding call, even if only on a temporary basis.

Owing to their mission in the military, we won't be displaying individual names. If we did, at about a dozen a week, it would still take nearly a year to share their names. Instead, we invite you to please pray for each and every one of them, their safety, their spiritual strength and for all the troops they literally bring Christ to. Ask Our Lord to inspire many young men, as well as already ordained priests, to answer the call to serve as military chaplains. Though the life is challenging and difficult, it is also rewarding and the need is very great. God bless and protect all our military priest chaplains!

#sisterreginacomicstrip
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Secular Halloween has its own light-hearted penance when we are mistaken as having great costumes. We focus instead on the deeper reality of the Solemnity of All Saints and thank God for the many souls who have gone before us and show how to live the universal call to holiness.

In addition to our gratitude for the Saints we must include a hearty cry of thanksgiving for the many extremely generous benefactors who responded to our double shout outs recently. Like the Solemnity of All Saints, we are humbly reminded that there are indeed many saintly souls living in the world right now and that is a very beautiful truth. Thank you and God reward you!
#https://nunsforpriests.org/
#sisterreginacomicstrip
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