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Newsletter: Advent and Christmas 2016

Come, thou long expected Jesus, born to set thy people free; from our fears and sins release us, let us find our rest in thee.

Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth thou art; dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver, born a child and yet a King, born to reign in us forever, now thy gracious kingdom bring.

By thine own eternal spirit rule in all our hearts alone; by thine all sufficient merit, raise us to thy glorious throne.

ONE VERY HOLY DAY, about 2,000 years ago, an Infant was brought to the Temple in Jerusalem. He was held in the arms of His Mother, Mary (her Jewish name was Miriam), who, together with her husband, Joseph (Yosef), had come, according to the Law of Moses, to offer Him to God. In the Temple that day was a righteous, devout Jew named Simeon. It had been revealed to Simeon by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah, the very consolation–the hope–of Israel. Seeing Mary and Joseph with the Child–the very One for whom Simeon waited–Simeon took the Infant in his arms and praised God in these immortal words recorded for all time in the Gospel of St. Luke (2:29-32):

Now dismiss Thy servant, O Lord, in peace, according to Thy word: For mine own eyes have seen Thy salvation, Which Thou hast prepared in the sight of all the peoples, A light to reveal Thee to the nations and the glory of Thy people Israel.

Simeon’s prayer has been recited and sung through the ages by millions of the faithful together with religious, priests, bishops and popes. It has become the night prayer of the Church known as the Canticle of Simeon or by its Latin title, Nunc Dimittus, taken from the rst two words, “Now dismiss…”

The holy Infant brought to the Temple in Jerusalem that day was, and is, GOD.

I will never forget a shopping trip to a supermarket in New York just a few weeks after I came to believe…

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Newsletter: Easter to Pentecost 2016

Two Angels and Two Women who Changed the Course of History

Image used with permission of the Artist, Sister Grace, of Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey. To purchase a print: go to www.monasterycandy.com, under "Religious Goods" and then "Prints" Community: www.mississippiabbey.org

Image used with permission of the Artist, Sister Grace, of Our Lady of the Mississippi Abbey. To purchase a print: go to www.monasterycandy.com, under “Religious Goods” and then “Prints” Community: www.mississippiabbey.org.

“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Thy faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)

The Fallen Angel and the First Woman

“Now the serpent was more subtle than any other wild creature that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman,
‘Did God say, “You shall not eat of any tree of the garden”?’

And the woman said to the serpent
‘We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden; but God said, “You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.”‘

But the serpent said to the woman,
‘You will not die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’

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Newsletter: Christmas & New Years

HolyFamily-CatholicCoFor unto us a Child is born . . .

. . . to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, upon the throne of David, and over his kingdom, to establish it, and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and for evermore.

The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this. (Isaiah 9:6-8)

Beloved,

How late this newsletter is coming to you this Christmas!

Alas, to much of the world, Christmas is now long over. The thrill of the season, the anticipation of uniting with friends and family, of gift giving, of home-cooked Christmas traditions, decorations, music – the bells, lights and glee of the season – is, for many, a season past. I remember as a young Jewish woman in New York being enthralled by the beauty of the season, the Salvation Army bells, the hot pretzel and chestnut stands, the lights, the glimmer, the sense that there was purpose on earth for mankind. Certainly it wasn’t my holiday, but something was in the air, something magical it seemed, something that contained an answer to the misery and the mystery of life.

But what was it? How could the human heart ever be filled with what was simply passing on earth?

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Newsletter: Summer 2015

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Prayer of Jesus of Nazareth:

“O Father, here I am…I come to do Thy will.”

Oh that every breathing soul would echo our Lord’s words. Oh that His will would be our food!

I am writing to you, dear Family, after so so long (the first since our Christmas newsletter!), and on the heels of the Supreme Court’s ruling on so-called “same-sex marriage.” I highlight “so-called” because that is what it is – simply “called” marriage. But, we know, in fact, that there can be no marriage between two parties of the same sex.

What a tragic day for the (again “so-called”) United States of America – which are hardly “united” in this imposed, Godless, evil decision to turn our nation yet further from God and put countless souls on the road to perdition. The Apostle Paul’s words in his letter to the Romans might have been written today:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel: it is the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, “He who through faith is righteous shall live.

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature, namely, His eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse; for although they knew God they did not honor Him as God or give thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man or birds or animals or reptiles…

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Newsletter: Christmas 2014

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A letter from Mother Miriam…

Dear Beloved Family,

A most blessed and holy Advent and Christmas to you all! Finally and most happily, I have taken the opportunity of this Christmas newsletter to display my most beloved image of the Lamb of God – the two Lambs – on the cover. The picture took my breath away when it was first given to me by a dear friend some years ago. I later learned that it is an inset from a larger painting, Lorenzo Lotto’s ‘Adoration of the Shepherds’, believed to have been painted around 1530. It is a portrait of the Son of God who came to take away the sins of the world – not only by taking upon Himself our nature and flesh, but by becoming the Lamb – the Lamb of lambs. He, the very Son of God, who knew no sin, became a sin offering for us, offering to God what no Old Testament four-legged creature could – the only acceptable sacrifice for sin, that we might be reconciled to God.

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Newsletter: Paschaltide 2014

Greetings from Mother Miriam from France!

lamb
Beloved Family,

Christ is risen, risen, risen, risen. He is risen indeed!

I know that you know and believe that! And I know and believe it. But I don’t know that I will ever get over it. How can the finite (and sinful) mind of mere creatures conceive of a God who would become one of us – knowing that, in becoming vulnerable to our depravity, we would nail Him to the Cross?

But He rose, He rose, He rose – from the dead to give us life. He knew the Father would raise Him from the dead – He came to die (as we wrote over and again in our Christmas newsletter). Yet that “plan from all eternity” did not lessen His sacrifice for us, nor the unfathomable truth that “For our sake (God) made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

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Newsletter: Christmas 2013

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Beloved Family,

Salutations de France! (Greetings from France!) We send our boundless joy, our hope for all that lies ahead in the One who works all things together for good, and our ceaseless prayers for you this Blessed Advent and Christmas.

Indeed we miss you all! Yet our Blessed Lord has confirmed over and over again His generous and perfect will in bringing us to this most excellent community of Benedictine Sisters in Angers, France. I am more confirmed in my heart than ever before that our coming under the guidance and example of the Servantes des Pauvres (Servants of the Poor) this year will give us the formation in religious life necessary for the building of our new foundation, and in a way that will bring honor to the One to Whom all honor is due. From time to time, we are able to connect to the internet and to see what is taking place in the United States. Our beloved country appears to be taking a most grievous path, and with increasing speed, toward the destruction of the family, the country, and even our very faith.

What to do? How do we remain faithful in the midst of such evil and even apostasy? And how can we make a difference?

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Newsletter: Fall 2013

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Beloved Family,

Look what our Blessed Lord has done – He has given our new community the inestimable gift of being formed by a wonderful Benedictine community in France, the Servantes des Pauvres (Servants of the Poor) who have graciously invited us for a year of formation.

But Mother Miriam, what about all you have planned to do in Tulsa – helping families, teaching the faith, reaching out through the streets?

I know, dear Zelda. We wish indeed to do all that, to help families to know, love and live the faith at home, to help parents to impart our very identity and vocation as Catholics to their children, and to reach out to every soul. And our blessed Savior is leading us to do just that, even more wonderfully than we had imagined, through the building of a solid and deep foundation.

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Newsletter: Pentecost 2013

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Dear Mother Miriam, I know that Pentecost celebrates the birth of the Church, but I was taught also that the Church was born from the pierced side of Christ on Calvary. Can it be both?

Perhaps in a sense, dear Zelda. Just as with human birth, life begins at the moment of conception in the mother’s womb. Yet the fullness of its manifestation, so to speak, takes place nine months later at the birth of that child from its mother’s womb.

In his encyclical, Mystici Corporis Christi (the Mystical Body of Christ), Pope Pius XII, quoting Leo XIII, writes: “The Church which, already conceived, came forth from the side of the second Adam in His sleep on the Cross, first showed Herself before the eyes of men on the great day of Pentecost.”

Saint John Chrysostom, in his teaching on the power of Christ’s blood, writes: There flowed from His side water and blood…symboliz(ing) baptism and the Holy Eucharist. From these two sacraments the Church is born: from baptism, the cleansing water that gives rebirth and renewal through the Holy Spirit, and from the Holy Eucharist. ( Liturgy of the Hours, Vol. II, p. 474)

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Newsletter: Christmas 2012

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Beloved Family,

How wonderful it is to be able to send you this Advent-Christmas newsletter after so many months and so very many happy developments here in Tulsa at the new Priory of Our Lady of Guadalupe! And what blessed joy it is to share with you the glories of this most miraculous season and the never-ending wonder of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob who entered time and history – and became Man.

Oh, if only the whole world knew. If only they knew the Heaven that has been given to us on earth. In looking for a cover for this newsletter, I came across the one before you in my new home Cathedral – Holy Family Cathedral – in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The image in stained glass is, of course, The Nativity. But it is so much more. Here is a brief description sent to me by Mike Malcom at the Cathedral:

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Newsletter: Easter 2012

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No… could it be true? The Tomb is empty? He’s not there? What happened?! What does she mean, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb.”?

Wait! …didn’t He say something about rising on the third day? But it’s impossible, isn’t it? How could He be alive? They crucified Him. And they buried Him – we know that. Oh our hearts… John, wait up!

They both ran, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first; and stooping to look in, he saw the linen cloths lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb; he saw the linen cloths lying and the napkin which had been on his head, not lying with the linen cloths but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not know the scripture, that He must rise from the dead (John 20:4-9).

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Newsletter: Christmas 2011

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Dear Mishpoca (the Yiddish way to say family),

What do you think? It took us 11 months – between last Christmas (when we left St. Louis) and last month when we at last were able to mail our first newsletter from Tulsa and with its thrilling contents of the ceremony of the “Rite of Clothing of the Holy Habit” with Bishop Edward Slattery and Father Mark Daniel Kirby. We are still basking in the beauty and happiness of that glorious day.

Now, only one month later, you are receiving our second newsletter of 2011. How could I let pass this most glorious season of the year without thanking you with all my heart for your share in this most thrilling venture for our King and His Kingdom? Oh the ceaseless wonder of the coming of the long-expected Messiah – of He who is eternal yet entered time; He who is Spirit, yet became Man; He who is the Creator of all that is, who created the Woman from whom He would take flesh and blood, in the fullness of time, and in fulfillment of all that the prophets spoke – for us, for us, for us – that we may live with Him forever.

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Newsletter: Fall 2011

MotherMiriamVows

THE RITE OF CLOTHING IN THE HOLY HABIT, AND THE PROFESSION OF TRIENNIAL VOWS OF MOTHER MIRIAM OF THE LAMB OF GOD
* * *
ACCORDING TO THE RULE OF OUR HOLY FATHER SAINT BENEDICT,
AND THE USE OF THE
DAUGHTERS OF MARY, MOTHER OF ISRAEL’S HOPE
* * *
In the Presence of the Most Reverend Edward James Slattery, Bishop of Tulsa
In the Oratory of the Monastery of Our Lady of the Cenacle
* * *
Thursday, September 8th, A.D. 2011
The Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

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Newsletter: Advent/Christmas 2010

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And the Lord said to Abram:
‘Go forth out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and out of thy father’s house, and come into the land which I shall show thee. And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and magnify thy name, and thou shalt be blessed. I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee . . . and IN THEE shall all the kindred of the earth be blessed.’ (Genesis 12:1-3)

The seed of Abram did not begin with Abram…. That seed had its beginning in the Garden some 2,000 years prior when, in consequence of Adam and Eve’s disobedience, God promised to send a redeemer, a deliverer, one who would come from the union of Adam and Eve to reverse the curse that separated them, and all of mankind to follow, from God and from blissful union with Him with whom they walked and talked in the Garden of Eden. And God said to the serpent in the Garden: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed….

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Newsletter: Summer 2010

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En Route from Tyringham!

Beloved Friends,

It is, as I write, just ten days prior to my departure from this most blessed Novitiate year with the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary. The pictures to the left from their website are a glimpse of the beauty of this holy place tucked into the Berkshires.

Although by the time you receive this newsletter the Feasts of the Visitation (May 31), Corpus Christi (June 6), and the Sacred Heart (June 11) will have passed, I did not want to miss pointing out the glorious connection between the three which struck me so wonderfully as I shared in their celebration with the Sisters in Tyringham.

What a glorious twosome…

  • the Feast of Corpus Christi and…
  • the Visitation of Mary to Elizabeth!

Who knew? ☺

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Newsletter: Easter 2010

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Beloved of God,

I am writing to you (yet) from the Visitation Monastery in Tyringham, Massachusetts, as I near the end of what has been a very wonderful novitiate year. The Sisters of the Visitation of Holy Mary have begun, together with over 150 Visitation Monastery’s throughout the world, the celebration of the 4th Centenary of their founding by St. Francis de Sales and St. Jane de Chantal in Annecy, France, on June 6, 1610. I am very much looking forward to sharing in the celebration of their historic anniversary and most especially to the Holy Mass that will be celebrated by Bishop Timothy McDonnell, here at the monastery in Tyringham, this June 6, 2010!

The Catholic Observer, the newspaper of the Springfield, Massachusetts diocese, in honor of the Order’s 400th anniversary, published a beautiful insert, a copy of which is enclosed for you. You can see that I had the enormous gift of being with the Sisters on their trip to Annecy last July, and join them daily here in their beautiful chapel (last white veil on the right ☺) for the Liturgy of the Hours, Holy Mass, Holy Hours and other prayer times. I could fill half a book with the story of how I came to spend this year with this particular Order, but, for now, just a couple of happy recollections.

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Advent/Christmas 2009

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O Little Town of Bethlehem…

But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose origin is from of old, from ancient days. (Micah 5:2)

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him.”
When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ (Messiah) was to be born.

They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it is written by the prophet: ‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will govern my people Israel.’

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Summer 2009

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Beloved Family and Friends,

How happy I am at last to be sending you this first newsletter–this first communication of any kind since moving to Saint Louis last summer! How I have longed to write to each of you individually. Alas, what did our Lord have in mind in giving us only 24 hours in a day? Oy!

Let me begin to catch you up on the development and events of our new community by way of an article published in the Winter-Spring 2008 issue of The Hebrew Catholic: The Making of a Jewish Nun!

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