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Articles in this newsletter:
“The Bride of Christ, of course!”
Vocational Question:
  How to Keep Your Heart Open to
  God’s grace

Convent Trivia
Our Apostolate of Prayer
Send intentions for Sisters’ Novenas
Calendar
Photo Slide Show (separate web page)

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Spring 2011

Dear Friends,

Praised be Jesus and Mary! Paradoxically it seems that despite our lengthy season after Epiphany, Lent has arrived quickly again!  Maybe it is because these past months have been overflowing with activities and graces.  In the following pages we share some of the highlights and blessings.  But first, we turn our thoughts to a continued reflection on the words of the Anima Mariae...

Lips of Mary, speak for me!

As we pray this invocation to our Blessed Lady, first of all, we can see her pleading before her Divine Son as our Advocate and Mediatrix, like Esther prostrate before the king, beseeching mercy for her countrymen. If Mary will speak for us before the throne of her Son, how can He refuse to hear our supplications? Surely she will obtain for us pardon for our sins, all the graces we ask, and much more besides.

Anima Mariae
Soul of Mary, sanctify me.
Heart of Mary, inflame me.
Hands of Mary, support me.
Feet of Mary, direct me.
Immaculate eyes of Mary,
look upon me.
Lips of Mary, speak for me.
Sorrows of Mary, strengthen me.
O Mary, hear me.
In the wound of the Heart of Jesus, hide me.
Let me never be separated from thee.
From my enemy defend me.
At the hour of my death call me,
And bid me to come to thine Immaculate Heart;
That thus I may come to the Heart of Jesus,
And there with the saints praise thee
For all eternity. Amen.

—The Reign of Jesus through Mary    
Gabriel Denis, SMM    

  

We can also consider this prayer in the light of our Total Consecration to Mary. Our Heavenly Mother gives herself to us, her children and slaves. She fosters in our hearts the sentiments that burned in hers, and places on our lips her very own words which expressed so simply and beautifully the gift of herself to God. This is especially appropriate as we anticipate the feast of the Annunciation which is but a few weeks off. What heights of sanctity we can reach if we try to live the awesome words, “Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to Thy Word.” As Mary’s lips spoke these powerful words God became Incarnate in her. If we repeat her words, we will be united with Him as well.

Sorrows of Mary, strengthen me!

Valiant Woman, standing by the Cross of your Son, share with us your strength of soul. Teach us to accept bravely all the sufferings God may send us.

When Mary offered herself to be God’s handmaid, she surrendered herself to suffer all that He might ask of her. She was to be our Co-Redemptrix, to join with Jesus in offering Himself for our sins. Nothing will please Jesus more during this Lenten season than to see us consoling his sweet sorrowful Mother for the pains she suffered on our behalf. In the words of the Lenten hymn, may she “touch our hearts with that sweet sorrow,” and draw us to our Suffering Jesus!

“The Bride of Christ, of course!”

A Sister was standing on the sidewalk with one of her students when a car drove by. As it passed, she caught a glimpse of a small boy waving enthusiastically from the back seat. “Look, Sister, Bobby’s waving at me!” said the young girl at her side. “Hmmm...I wonder,” thought Sister. Later that day she saw the boy and asked him, “Bobby, who were you waving at this morning?” “Sister, I was waving at the Bride of Christ, of course!”

Sister smiled; she had been right. Bobby’s parents had worked hard to instill reverence for consecrated souls in their children, and the fruit of their efforts shone forth in the simple words of this little child.

Vocational Questions

 
A Sister prays at the shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes erected in the convent chapel for her feast

Our Apostolate of Prayer

Are you worried about a loved one? Is there a problem that is weighing heavily upon your heart? Send in your intentions, and the Sisters will commend them in their prayers and Masses, especially during our upcoming Novenas:

Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin
   (March 25)
Queenship of the Blessed Virgin
   (May 31)

Dear Sister,

I am a sophomore in high school and am starting to wonder whether or not I have a religious vocation. I have to admit that I’m a bit scared. How can I keep my heart open so that I do what God wants me to do? Is vocation something you just know in your heart when the time comes, so that nothing else matters? Or is there something I should be doing on my part so that I will do the right thing when the time comes? —Julie

Dear Julie,

Your question about the need for keeping your heart open to God’s will is quite insightful; it is so important to peace and happiness in life, regardless of one’s vocation. It means, first of all, really trying every single day to love God with all your heart and mind and soul and strength — after all, aren’t we all, without exception, commanded to do this?

There are many things you can do to help preserve your desire to seek God’s will — joining the Sodality, for example. Not only does it require a commitment to basic spiritual obligations, but it also provides instruction in the Faith, devotion to Our Lady, and the spiritual life, as well as social and apostolic activities. If Sodality is not an option, involve yourself in parish organizations and activities, whether it be choir, teaching catechism, joining work parties, or simply offering your assistance to the pastor or the Sisters.

Apostolic and parish activities are important because they help keep spiritual values before your eyes so that you are less likely to swept along by the spirit of the world. They also help keep you from being self-centered in your approach to life and from basing your behavior on peer pressure. In other words, they help you mature emotionally as you face increasing independence and new aspects of social life.

All of these things are important, of course, because a solid spiritual foundation is necessary for peace and happiness whether one becomes a religious Sister or a devoted wife and mother. A religious vocation is not simply a spontaneous “knowing,” but a willingness to give oneself wholeheartedly to God along with the characteristics necessary to live convent life (good health, emotional stability, average intelligence, freedom from the obligation to care for one’s parents or family, and at least an average piety). And certainly there is more chance of that willingness being there if one has been in the habit of putting God and others first through one’s childhood and earlier teenage years.

In the Hearts of Jesus and Mary,
Sister Mary

Convent Trivia

Did you know that every month the Sisters spend a day in retreat in order to prepare for death? We never know when God might call us to Himself, and a Bride of Christ must make sure that her wedding garment is spotless for her Divine Spouse. On this day each Sister prays and reflects upon the obligations of the religious life and how she can grow in her love for Our Lord.

Calendar

March 4
9
11-13
19
25
  Sr. Maria Kazimiera’s feastday
Ash Wednesday
Mother Mary Dominica’s feastday
Vocations Weekend
Sr. Mary Josephine’s feastday
Annunciation BVM
April 6
24
28
  Sr. Mary Julianna’s feastday
Easter Sunday
Feast of St. Louis Marie de Montfort, Spiritual Father of the Congregation of Mary Immaculate Queen (CMRI);
Sr. Louise Marie’s feastday
May 12
14
20
25
30
31
  Sr. Mary Imelda’s feastday
Sr. Mary Gemma’s feastday
Sr. Bernardine Marie’s feastday
Sr. Madeleine Marie’s feastday
Sr. Marie Janae’s feastday
Feast of Mary Immaculate Queen, the Patroness of CMRI
Sr. Maria Regina’s feastday
June 13
15
27
29
30
  Sr. Mary Antoinette’s feastday
Sr. Alice Marie’s feastday
Feast of Our Mother of Perpetual Help: Sisters’ Vows and Silver Jubilee Ceremonies
Sr. Mary Petra’s feastday
Sr. Mary Paula’s feastday

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Anima Mariae is the free quarterly newsletter of the CMRI Sisters.
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8502 N. St. Michael’s Rd.
Spokane, WA 99217
Phone: (509) 467-0986 ext. 123
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