We started our day with a 7am Mass at which Fr. Saverio was the main celebrant. At the beginning of Mass Father asked us to remember our Carmelite family in Venezuela who are in special need of our prayers at this time.
Fr. Saverio's morning conference was entitled 'Contemplative Life and Enclosure.' This sentence, in particular, drew understanding and laughter from all of us: "The life of a contemplative nuns is the life of a searcher, of an explorer in the path of the Spirit, not that of a pious housewife, of a Martha so preoccupied with her guest that she forgets the guest himself and her relationship with him."
Here is another quote: "When confronted with the pluralism that obviously exists in the manner of living enclosure among Discalced Carmelite nuns, I have already stated on other occasions (using an expression of a Cistercian General Chapter), "agreed diversity is more valuable than discordant and enforced uniformity."
Father presented us with 3 reflection questions to take to our 21 small groups (7-8 sisters in each) for discussion at the end of the morning. All this we can share with our communities as soon as we have copies of the talk. After lunch the facilitators met with Stephanie, who culled the input of the 21 groups (!), synthesized it and prepared it to present to the assembly in the afternoon. She did an excellent job!
Fr. Saverio's afternoon talk was entitled 'Contemplative Life and the Word of God'. I told him afterwards it was a symphony...a truly remarkable and deep reflection on the significance of our relationship with the Word of God. I'm sure you will find it equally inspiring!
I was lucky to come upon a group of our newer members who graciously agreed to a group photo. The sisters are from the Carmels of Shoreline, Little Rock and Covington.
At the end of our meal tonight we took the opportunity to sing Happy Birthday to Sr. Marjorie (Beacon) who was celebrating her 39th birthday for the ...... time!
Stay tuned for another exciting update from St. Louis tomorrow. And keep up your prayers! We are experiencing the breath of the Spirit flowing among us.