Monastic Fast and Renewal of Vows

On September 14th, the Feast of the Exultation of the Cross, we join all other Carmelites and some other monastic orders in the traditional Fast Season, which lasts until Easter. It is a special time of renewal and re-focusing in our spiritual life and in our observance of the Rule and Constitutions. As for actual fasting a light supper called collation is taken for the evening meal. This usually consists of smaller-than-normal portions of soup and protein, fruit or salad.

On the Feast of the Holy Cross, starting early in the morning at Lauds (Morning Prayer) we begin with exposition of the Blessed Sacrament. Here we pray in union with Jesus Christ Crucified and Triumphant to His Father on behalf of the whole Church and world.  The prioress gives a short reflection/exhortation to the nuns regarding the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.  Then each of the sisters renews her vows into her hands, as the representative of Christ to us.

Sr. Maria Cruz our prioress has allowed us to share the beautiful reflection she gave us.  What a privilege it is to be one of the Good Shepherd’s lambs whose “job” it is to listen for His gentle Voice.

Featured image, top: Basilica of the Sacred Heart (Notre Dame, Indiana) – interior, The Lady Chapel, mural, The Exaltation of the Holy Cross by Luigi Gregori, detail of the Holy Cross
Crucifix image: photo of the crucifix in the sanctuary of our
monastery chapel


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