Nothing Happens Without Your Permitting It

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Yesterday I returned from preaching a retreat to the Bridgettine Sisters (Order of the Most Holy Saviour) at the Convent of Saint Birgitta, Vikingsborg, in Darien, Connecticut. Saint Birgitta's overlooks a charming inlet of the Long Island Sound. I was without an internet connection all week!

I delivered my conferences without extensive written notes, having only my Bible in hand, and the Constitutions of the Order. The grace of "holy preaching" comes easily when the hearts of one's hearers are open and eager to receive the Word. What were the subjects addressed?

Compunction, Conversion, and Reparation
Gratitude
Chastity, Poverty, and Obedience
Eucharistic Adoration
The Sacred Wounds of Christ
The Blessed Virgin Mary

The Bridgettines in Darien — three Indians, three Mexicans, and one Italian — are admirable in their fervour, their simplicity, and their joy. The chant of the Hours imparts a characteristically monastic rhythm to their day. In addition to the Divine Office, the Bridgettines devote a significant amount of time each day to adoration of the Blessed Sacrament exposed. The Sisters' work of ecumenical hospitality has been somewhat curtailed since the fire that ravaged their guesthouse last July 11th. Restoration of the lovely old house is still in progress.

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I began each retreat conference with a prayer of Saint Birgitta of Sweden. It is a prayer that I cherish. Pray it, and you will know why:

O Lord, make haste and illumine the night.
Say to my soul
that nothing happens without Your permitting it,
and that nothing of what You permit is without comfort.
O Jesus, Son of God,
You Who were silent in the presence of Your accusers,
restrain my tongue
until I find what should say and how to say it.
Show me the way and make me ready to follow it.
It is dangerous to delay, yet perilous to go forward.
Answer my petition and show me the way.
I come to You as the wounded go to the doctor in search of aid.
Give peace, O Lord, to my heart.

3 Comments

Welcome back, your blog forms part of my daily spiritual reading. So you were missed! My sisters went to school at Isleworth where St Richard Reynolds ministered. It was fascinating to see an artist's impression of the Abbey as it may have been especially after all these years wondering what it might have been like. Thank you for all that you do. Please pray for me too.

You are back in the country? How long? I have a free airline ticket. I have a week's break August 7 to 14. Where will you be?

+Dear Father,
May God reward you for sharing this favorite prayer of yours, and I see in it much that would appeal to your heart. I shall take up this prayer as well, as it will do good to my soul in regards to the future, and even the present. There is more to be said, but not here. I'd give a lot to have a long conversation (the little one is a grace, too, believe me!)

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About Dom Mark

Dom Mark Daniel Kirby is Conventual Prior of Silverstream Priory in Stamullen, County Meath, Ireland. The ecclesial mandate of his Benedictine community is the adoration of the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar in a spirit of reparation, and in intercession for the sanctification of priests.

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