Newsletter #15 - Lenten Message
A Letter From Mother Mary Bethany
Dear friends of MARY,
Greetings to you from your Sisters in Georgetown! It seems impossible that Lent is upon us. Didn't we "just" finish Christmas? How the Lord must laugh, for He has "no time" to worry about at all!
Saint Therese's natural sister Celine entered the monastery of Lisieux after her. Celine wrote a book called My sister Saint Therese and in it, she has this to say about Therese's devotion to the Holy Face of Jesus: "It was from the contemplation of the agonizing Face of Jesus that Therese drew strength for all those courageous acts of exalted virtue which characterized her life: ...she learned to exercise herself in humility and detachment from creatures, in love of suffering and in generous self-sacrifice" (Chapter 4, pg. 111). If this devotion was so inspiring and useful for Therese, how can we not be inspired ourselves to learn to grow in love of God as she did? May the Holy Face of Jesus be your guide and friend throughout this Lenten season, and bring you peacefully to the empty tomb of Easter!
We are grateful to God for your love and support, which we reciprocate back to you most willingly. Thank you for everything you do in God's service. We do not forget you.
With our prayers,
Mother Mary Bethany & Sisters
Dear Friends of the Carmelites,
During the holy season of Lent, we all like to pick up a devotion or two that will aide us in our quest for a deeper experience of Christ, or a richer prayer life. I’m sure you already have a few resolutions in place, but let me re-introduce you to the Holy Face Devotion. There is no better time to pray the Holy Face Devotion than during the season of Lent.
A little Carmelite nun by the name of Sr. Mary of St. Peter, who was living in a convent in Tours, France, in 1843, began receiving visits from Our Lord. He revealed many things to her, but especially inspired her to pray a certain prayer for the protection of our world from evil. The little prayer goes like this:
Let God arise, and let His enemies be scattered:
and let all that hate Him flee from before His Face.
I like to say, “His Holy Face,” but adding the word Holy is just my personal preference.
You can read lots more about this devotion, about Sr. Marie of Saint Peter, and about the apparitions of Jesus. It is all on the web if you only “Google” it. You can also find very reliable information about the Holy Face Devotion on our Sisters’ website, www.carmelitemonastery.org, or on www.carmeliteauxiliary.org. We make a Holy Face Kit. There is also a very effective organization, based partly in Texas and also in Champlain, NY, called the Association of the Holy Face.
Why pray this devotion in Lent? The five “decades” (there are only 6 beads per set) asks you to focus on one of Jesus’ five senses during his Passion. For example, on the first decade you meditate on His sense of sight: what was Jesus seeing as He went through His Passion? Then what was He hearing? Smelling? Tasting? Feeling?
And what can we learn from meditating and praying through Jesus’ five senses? We can learn to be humble in His presence; to commiserate better with people who are suffering; to work harder to end suffering in our world and bring peace to our communities. The world needs our prayers today more than ever! This little devotion is a powerful way to receive help from God and to render help to those who need it. Here is what just one of our Auxiliary members has said regarding her experience since she began to pray this Devotion:
“I began wearing the Holy Face medal in November, and since then have received many tremendous blessings from God. A powerful sacramental and devotion; one that ALL Catholics should practice daily.”
And Elise is not the only one who has shared this testimony with me. I have heard from many people of the blessings they have experienced while praying this devotion. You can order a Holy Face Devotional kit from the Auxiliary by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your request will go to Barbara, who will contact you.
We accept donations (suggested $5.00) to help pay for the cost of making the rosaries and printing the materials (we include a “How to Pray the Devotion pamphlet, a story of Sr. Marie of St. Peter’s experiences, a Holy Card, and an informative brochure along with the rosary.)
Finally, I ask you to please remember the holy sisters in their monastery in Georgetown. They are always praying for you and for our world. They pray for all the prayer requests we get on our Auxiliary website too.
Do you sew? We are about to make our next quilt! We would like you to join us up at the monastery for a day of quilt-making! We bring our sewing machines and scissors; we have a yummy soup lunch; we have a lot of fun making the quilt that we raffle off to raise money for the Sisters. Please join us!
Date: March 10, 2018 at the St. John Villa at the Monastery
Time: 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
RSVP to our email to let us know you are coming.