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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Deus Meus et Omnia

As I mentioned in previous post, I got the opportunity to roadtrip out to BCC today to visit the Poor Clares. I'm so glad I did. Here's a little background:

The Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration of Our Lady of Solitude in Black Canyon City, Arizona is located about 40 miles north of Phoenix. In the beginning of May 2005, the little Community of five Sisters traveled on a "cross-country" adventure which led them to their new home on a mountain-top in the heart of the Arizonan desert. The Founding Monastery (Our Lady of the Angels Monastery in Alabama) is overflowing with vocations. They were literally bursting at the seams with over 40 Sisters. And so, following the lead of Divine Providence and at the kind invitation of the Bishop of Phoenix, Most Reverend Thomas J. Olmsted, they have been blessed with the awesome opportunity to establish a Throne for Our Eucharistic King in the West.

The desert nuns are a Cloistered Community of Contemplative Nuns, known as the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration. Eucharistic Adoration is their apostolate, for as their Foundress, Mother Marie of St. Claire, once said: "We are adorers of the Most Blessed Sacrament and the purpose of our adoration is thanksgiving." Essentially, we begin to do on earth what every blessed soul will do for all eternity: praise, adore, and offer thanksgiving to our God.

Here's a snapshot of a visit from a crack journalist:
The monastery is located about 17 miles north of the 17 freeway/Carefree Hwy intersection. Exited on Black Canyon/Rock Springs Exit.
Rolled past St. Joseph's Road.
Thought to myself: "hmmm, should have turned there with a name like that"
Got lost briefly
Turned back to St. Joseph's road. I am a genius.
Found my way up the hill to the chapel. It's familiar now.
Road is very skinny. Makes your butt pucker a little. (blessed by a father with many colloquialisms)
Parked behind priest. Am in the right place.
Letters above door to chapel read Deus Meus et Omnia. I google them later to learn they mean the Franciscan motto: "My God and My All"
I pull on door. Tis locked.
I reflect on Mt 7:7 ask-seek-knock. And I knock.
door opens--I am an uber genius.
Greeted by Sister Mary Fidelis. Breath of sunshine.
Welcomed by Sister Augustine Marie (they are all full of JOY)
Scanning round chapel. Eyes drawn first to tabernacle. I genuflect
It is poised in front of a large picture window overlooking the mountains past the highway. Spectacular.
Panning from left to right: organ, 6 stations, Madonna and Child statue, Relief of St. Michael the Archangel, Infant Child of Prague, BVM bust with crown of roses just above tabernacle, Good Shepherd statue, pieta, remaining stations, St. Joseph, St. Clare, more St. Clare and St. Francis icons. Beautiful.
Sounds only of the movement of the rosary beads and their medals as they silently prep for Mass. Heavens to Betsy...there is no sacristan!
Sisters are adorned in there very heavy robes/albs/scapulars. This is full regalia for Mass. They look amazing.
Mass is prayed w priest facing away from us.
Bells are rung at the appropriate times.
The singing is angelic. Just like EWTN. No instrumentation. No one is off key? Wa?
Alto and soprano parts are sung in Choir one and two respectively.
My harmonies are arrogant. (So I stop)
It is a perfect offering.
Homily is on my patron saint. (major God moment)
I consume the Blessed Sacrament. Day is now complete.
I am at peace and do not want to leave.