A Day in the Life of a sister Adorer

The office of Lauds and Meditation

Chant de l'Office

At 6:45 am, the sisters come together in the chapel to renew their Consecration to the Royal Heart, a prayer composed on the model of the Consecration pronounced each day by the canons and seminarians. These are the first words of the day:

“In the presence of the Most Holy Trinity and of the Immaculate Blessed Virgin, Queen of Angels and men, our Mother, we take Heaven and earth as our witnesses to give ourselves without reserve to the Love of Your Royal Heart, O Lord. We likewise consecrate to you the very value of our good deeds, past, present and future, leaving You the full and complete right to dispose of us and of all that belongs to us.”

Bréviaire

After this prayer, the office of Lauds is chanted recto-tono. It is the quintessential office of praise; all creatures unite with man to praise the Creator, as in the canticle sung by the three children in the furnace. At the end of Lauds, the sisters stay in the chapel for an hour of silent meditation. According to the words of Dom Guéranger, prayer is for every man the first of goods, his light, his food, his very life. These privileged moments of intimate union with God are carefully prepared the evening before, and carry on as an echo throughout the entire day.

"It is enough that, when we go to the chapel, we go there with this desire to praise God, to bless Him and to give Him thanks, because all the psalms, hymns, and canticles that we say are all made either to praise God for His greatness, or to bless Him for His sweetness, or to give Him thanks for His blessings." Saint Jane de Chantal, Exhortation, III.

"You do well, my dear daughters, to want to be instructed in prayer, and to ask me to tell you a little about it: it is the canal that unites the heart of a religious with that of God. Prayer attracts the waters of heaven, which descend and ascend from us to God and from God to us. This is the first act of our faith; and, therefore, what the Apostle says about faith, that without it, it is impossible to please God, the same must be said about prayer." Saint Jane de Chantal, Interviews, XXX.

The Holy Mass

Saint MesseAt the end of the hour of meditation in the chapel, the community awaits the arrival of the canon who comes for the celebration of Holy Mass, the “sun of spiritual exercises,” according to the expression of Saint Francis de Sales. It is the culminating point of the day and of one’s entire life, a life which should be nothing other than a continuous personal offering to God, in the model of the Holy Host.

The Mass is followed by the time of thanksgiving, which is for each soul a privileged moment of union with the Creator. On Sundays and feast days, the novitiate of Gricigliano attends Mass and the solemn divine Offices from the choir loft of the seminary’s chapel.

Like the canons of the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, the vocation of the sisters Adorers is to render solemn worship to God. The celebration of this divine worship, as in the solemn liturgy offered at the seminary, is an opportunity for the religious sisters to unite their adoration with that of the priests and seminarians.

Charges, Work, and Studies

ÉtudeAfter Holy Mass, the rest of our day begins. In addition to the daily chores involved in running the house such as cooking, cleaning or taking care of the sacristy, the sisters are not afraid of the occasional heavy work that is never lacking in an ancient residence! Not to mention studies, which are essential for the complete formation of novices.

Cuillette de pommes

“Daily activities come to us as a precious means of union with Christ, which can become an area and a means of sanctification, a field for the exercise of virtues, a dialogue of love that is realized in our work. Work becomes transformed by the spirit of prayer, and thus it becomes possible to remain in contemplation before God, even when one is engaged in various occupations.” Saint John Paul II

“But which has the more force, I pray you; love, to make us look upon the well-beloved, or the sight to make us love him? Knowledge, Theotimus, is required for the production of love, for we can never love what we do not know; and according as the attentive knowledge of good is augmented, love is also augmented, provided there is nothing to hinder its activity. Yet it happens often, that knowledge having produced holy love, love does not stay within the limits of the knowledge which is in the understanding, but goes forward and passes very far beyond it.” St. Francis de Sales, book VI, chapter IV

 

Instruction travaux interieur sacristie autel

Instruction

Interior work

Sacristy

Adoration

adorationImmediately after Mass and all day long until Vespers, the sisters rotate one after another before the Blessed Sacrament. It is not so much a question of guarding the Blessed Sacrament, in remaining before Him at every moment, but rather to be kept and guarded by Him.

Saint-SacrementExcerpt from our rules:

"They will contemplate before the monstrance the divine Host with whom they want to identify. They will adore their King in the Eucharist by which He wants to reign. There they will pay Him their respects, as to their King upon His throne: God hidden under the veils of the host, adored by all the angels, upholding the universe; whose throne subsists throughout the spans of time, crowned with glory and honor, surrounded by light as if by a garment, to whom everything is subject, everlasting Love who loved them first. The taste of beauty in divine worship will spring forth from this contemplation of the King of kings, for Him who is crowned with glory and honor in heaven. The Mass and the offices chanted in the presence of the divine Host will be the summit of their adoration, praying, united with the entire Church, with her own Prayer.”

It is before Jesus-Host that we bring all of the prayer intentions that our friends and benefactors confide to us. Do not hesitate to send us your prayer intentions!

At 6pm, Vespers are chanted in front of the Blessed Sacrament exposed on the altar. After Vespers the sisters sing for Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. The holy Host is reposed in the tabernacle by the priest. In cases where the community has enough sisters, adoration can continue until Compline.

Meals in Community

Repas de communauté

Christianity is the religion of the Incarnation: we are both spiritual and corporal beings, and if the soul is nourished by prayer and by the Sacraments, the body must not be forgotten. This is why community meals have their place in the life of the convent.

The meals are taken in silence for lunch and dinner, while a reading, given recto-tono, allows us to discover a variety of spiritual, historical or literary texts. The sisters take turns assigned to the various duties: reading of the text, dining room service, dishes.

 

Recreation

Récréation

The time of recreation is an important moment of the day when fraternal charity can flourish in the community. The recreation is often outside during the summer, other times it might take place around the piano, or occasionally close to the fire when the cold is a little brisk in the house.

Saint Thomas Aquinas teaches us: “The law of love is a law of fire that shines, that ignites, that lifts us up to heaven; it is like burning coal for those who begin, it is like a flame for those who advance, it is light for those who are perfect.”

The Rosary

ChapeletThe prayer of the rosary, when prayed together in community, follows the recreation in the beginning of the afternoon. “I don’t have to tell you all of the notes that make up this hymn of praise, for I would never finish; immense and incessant murmuring of the Hail Marys, varied formulas by which we pray to her... and such is true even when the recitation of the Hail Marys is a little mechanical and distracted, but nonetheless dictated by profound sentiment, an instinct of the heart of a filial tenderness for Her, which can hide itself, but which does not die, that we do not resign ourselves to let die...” Dom Guillerand

 

Gregorian chant

Chant GrégorienTo properly sing the pieces of the divine Office as well as those of the Mass, the sisters meet several times a week for Gregorian chant rehearsal.

This is done in the spirit of the tradition of the Abbey of Solesmes and its choirmaster, Dom Joseph Gajard, in a gentle and rounded technique, taking into account the Latin sentence of the text.

 Here is what Dom Gajard wrote to the Schola Saint-Grégoire:"You have come together not only to make religious music, but to praise God, in the very language and with the very accents of his Church: that is, by elevating yourself very high above the purely artistic and musical plane, you have established yourself immediately in the midst of
the supernatural. For this, I know, is your purpose in dedicating yourself exclusively to the sung prayer of the Church, the Gregorian melody. Believe me, you won't have to regret it. Under its apparent, and perhaps even real, austerity, Gregorian melody hides a power of
expression and prayer that only its faithful know. You will find there for your inner life a wonderful help, because it reflects and insinuates in the soul all Christianity, not that anemic Christianity from which we suffer so much today, but true, authentic Christianity, union with God in faith, in peace, in trust, in hope, in love above all, in filial and full abandonment to God. »

"The liturgy requires the beauty of sung melodies (...) the praise of God requires it (...) it is not a marginal ornament, but the liturgy requires this beauty, requires the sung melodies to praise God and give joy to the participants." Benedict XVI

Compline and Grand Silence

Complies

At 9pm the office of Compline is chanted, both to thank God for the graces of the preceding day and to abandon ourselves to His Divine Providence.

“Our silence is not emptiness and death; on the contrary, it ought to come closer and bring us closer to the fullness of life. We keep quiet because the words that our souls desire to live in can’t be expressed by the words of the earth.”

“It is essential to get used to praying always and everywhere. The place of prayer, it is the soul and God who inhabits it. When you pray, following Jesus' instruction, enter into the intimate and secluded room of your soul, close yourself inside, and speak to your Father whose loving gaze seeks your gaze. (...) In this private sanctuary, new heaven and kingdom of God, solitude and silence should reign.” Dom Guillerand

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