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Boston Catholic Journal - Critical Catholic Commentary in the Twilight of Reason




The Bride with Lamp Lit

“Be ready, dressed for service, and keep your lamps lit”  (Saint Luke 12.35)


Preparing for death

by a Cloistered Poor Clare Colettine Nun


Happy are those servants if he finds them awake when he comes at midnight or daybreak”

It is a Poor Clare tradition, and in keeping with the spirit and exhortations of the Holy Gospel, that a Poor Clare sister retires to bed at night fully attired. The Sister wears her habit, Rosary, cord, and a night veil, so she is ready and prepared should her Lord and Master call at any hour.

At the sound of the Matins bell, she arises and makes haste to the choir, there to sing her Lord’s praises.

The opening call of the hour of Matins being, “Light your lamps for the Bridegroom is here, go out to meet Christ the Lord, Lord open my lips and my mouth shall proclaim your praise.

None of us knows the hour at which the Lord will call. Our hearts should always be prepared, by striving to live in His grace and favor.

Illness, suffering, diminishment, can touch us at the most unexpected hour ... in an instant all things change, or else vanish! Every person who has ever lived ... and died ... had planned for “tomorrow”, virtually certain that, unlike the many thousands in the graveyards they pass, it would come. As you read this and scoff, the last visitor, too, had come and gone.

The obituaries are filled with tomorrows that never came.

Realizing this, we come to see that most things in our lives are terribly ephemeral, even foolishly superfluous. We “prepare” for everything except the inevitable

In a dream of endless day, we never bother to light our lamps for the impending night, and because we are unprepared we are terrified when it comes upon us.

It need not be so. When you are uncertain of which guest will greet you at the door, at least light a lamp that you may recognize who comes.


Your Little Poor Clare Sister in Christ
for the Boston Catholic Journal

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Scio opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti verbum Meum, nec non negasti Nomen Meum 
I know your works ... that you have but little power, and yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My Name. (Apocalypse 3.8)


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