“You have made us for yourself, Lord,
and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”
“One dark night, fired by love’s urgent longings…”
John of the Cross
What do we do with the restlessness, the fire that burns within us? How do we handle and nurture our relationship to God, others, and creation? What proper ways and disciplines can we find to integrate our lives in such a way as to reflect, share, and celebrate the presence of Christ in all? Spirituality is that search and yearning in the heart of each of us, which we explore along varied paths leading, hopefully, to the narrow tightrope that Jesus once called the path to eternal life.
The spiritual life … is not limited solely to participation in the liturgy. The Christian is indeed called to pray with his brothers and sisters, but he must also enter into his chamber to pray to the Father in secret; yet more, according to the teaching of the Apostle, he should pray without ceasing.” (CSL #12)
One of the paths that sets Catholics apart from many other Christians is the principle of sacramentality. Sacramentals are associated with the Church's official rituals. They include public and private devotions, religious signs, symbols, gestures, prayers, rituals, images, music, and natural or made objects.
While not always inherently religious (e.g., water, a color or a posture), they become sacramentals, or sacred, in their religious use. They are not part of the Church's official liturgy of sacraments and prayer, but are used to worship God, honor the saints, or seek divine favor. Sacramentals allow the invisible mystery of God to be touched in a physical way.
New Eucharistic Shrine: The Blessed Sacrament Chapel of the Bethlehem Monastery of the Poor Clares, Barhamsville, VA, has been designated a Eucharistic Shrine for the particular purpose of praying for our priests in Adoration and Contemplation during the Year for Priests. The Chapel is open daily from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. A Holy Hour for Priests will be offered every Thursday at 5:00 pm, and Vespers and Benediction are celebrated on Sunday. For additional information and directions, contact the Monastery at 757. 566.1684.