Truth, Praise and Gratitude
By Hermit Sister Rebecca Mary
liturgical color of purple reminds us that Lent is a season
of sorrow, a time of penance and reflecting on the Passion
and Death of Jesus. It is an opportunity to approach
Him with deep prayer and to surround Him with gratitude for
His gift of life for us. The Church traditionally offers
us forty days for this inner journey of soul-searching, asking
us to pray, fast, give alms, show mercy and charity to our
brothers and sisters.
is a time for the humility, which is truth. Jesus says
of Himself, “I
am the Way, the Truth and the Life.” (Jn. 14:6) Because
Jesus IS truth, nothing contrary to truth is within Him. We
can confidently confirm our own inner truth with His in order
to speak and act the truth of Jesus. He says, “Anyone
committed to the truth hears my voice. ‘Truth,’ said
Pilate. ‘What is that?’” (Jn.
may, at times, be tempted like Pilate to ask, “What is
did not answer him. Perhaps it was because Pilate was
avoiding the truth of his own conscience by allowing an innocent
man to be condemned.
his book, Images of Hope, (p. 26), Pope
Benedict XVI reminds us of how difficult it is to live in truth. The
former Cardinal Ratzinger comments: “Which
of us could deny that truth has not sometimes been disturbing
-- the truth about oneself, the truth about what we should
do and let go of? Which
of us can maintain that he has never tried to steal past the
truth, or to at least fashion it so that it becomes
truthful or hearing the truth may make us uncomfortable on
occasion, but we instinctively know that truth frees us and
leads us on the way to closer company with Jesus. “You
will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (Jn.
the freedom of truth, we will quite spontaneously feel called
to give praise and gratitude to God, even during the more
somber days of Lent. What greater gift can
we give Him than our heartfelt praise and gratitude? These
will naturally flow into greater charity for others. Penance,
fasting and prayer should lead us to the happy state of praise
of God. When we walk the way of
the cross during Lent, we can express our deep gratitude and
praise to Our Lord for His profound gift of love for each one
of Jesus in the Eucharist is a peaceful, heart-warming way
to be present to His holy Presence. (“Eucharist” means “thanksgiving.”) We
give thanks for such a privilege! Receiving the two sacraments
of confession and communion more frequently is not only a boost
to our own spiritual lives, but gives God praise and gratitude
for His precious gift of salvation. What
better path to conversion of heart?
our Lent be a time of deepening truth that is full of joyous
praise to Jesus, Who gave us so much. For this, we give thanks! May your
Lent be full of His peace and your Easter overflowing with spiritual joy.
Sept. 22-28, 2006: Father Casey Bailey, OCSO,
from Our Lady of Guadalupe Trappist Monastery in Oregon, was
here to give us a series of conferences on prayer. Father
Casey is the novice master for his community and it was a privilege
and a joy to have him here for the first (and hopefully not
the last) time to share his expertise.
29-Oct. 1, 2006: Accompanied by our friend, Eberle
Umbach, I drove to Sandpoint, Idaho to give a women’s
retreat for the parish there. It was a grace-filled
event and a first experience for both of us: for Eberle,
who had never made a retreat before, and for me to be leading
a retreat. It was evidently a spiritual success, because
I was invited back to give the retreat there in September,
14 & 15, 2006: We sold our wares
at the newest parish in Boise, Risen Christ. We
try to do a sale once a month in a parish throughout our area. We
are grateful to the pastors, who are willing to host our efforts
to support ourselves “by the labor of our hands” as
the Rule of St. Benedict urges.
Rebecca Mary, HSM, Father Robert Cook, and Sister Mary Beverly,
HSM. We are grateful to Father rob for being our "good shepherd"
while we are without a resident chaplain.
29, 2006: Vince Brigante resigned from our Board
of Directors. We are deeply indebted to Vince for the
many years he has generously supported us with his care, advice
and interest in the day-to-day affairs of Marymount Hermitage,
Inc. God bless you, Vince!
31, 2006: Vic Haus, of Boise, agreed to serve
now on the Board of Directors. It is God’s providence
that Vic said yes to helping us again, actually on the anniversary
of the day in 1983, when we were incorporated in the State
of Idaho and Vic served as the first member of our Board of
Directors. Welcome aboard again, Vic!
8, 2006: We purchased a newer car with the
generous help of Steve Dominguez of Hometown Toyota in Ontario,
Oregon. Steve sold this vehicle to us, under his cost,
and had it serviced, so it was in “perfect shape.” This
is a 2001 Toyota RAV 4 and one year newer than our other car. That
had 124,000 miles on it, while the newer car has only 47,000. We
are grateful to have a good, reliable, four-wheel drive, so
that long-distance medical trips in the winter time are not
an added worry.
13 - 23, 2006: Sister Rebecca Mary was hospitalized
twice for three and four days at a time at Holy Rosary in Ontario,
Oregon. Since then, she has been in more stable health
and we feel the prayers of many have been answered with a new
combination of medicines and diet to keep her feeling better. God
bless Dr. Andrew Peterson and Dr. Tony Tesnolidek for their
care and diligence!
Sister Rebecca Mary was in the hospital, we were blessed
with visits from Bishop Michael Driscoll, Bishop of Boise,
and Father Robert Cook, our pastor in Weiser, who gave Sister
the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick. Our faithful
friends, Ron and Sherry Moore, visited Sister Rebecca Mary
every day, if not twice a day, while she was hospitalized.
Our dear friends, Carleen and Bill Prouty, in Payette, gave
me overnight hospitality, so I could be close to Sister Rebecca
Mary and not have to travel long distances back and forth to
the hospital each day.
24, 2006: Our neighbors could not bear the thought
that we were unprepared for Christmas, so on the morning of
Christmas Eve, Craig and Sandy Sova helped us decorate the
tree in chapel, clean there and decorate the window ledges
with candles and boughs.
that afternoon, another husband-wife team, John Hayes and
Eberle Umbach, helped us decorate the tree in our house,
played and sang Christmas carols, prayed Vespers with us
in chapel, and brought dinner for us to celebrate together. All
in all, it was a heart-warming and memorable preparation for
the Birthday of the Lord.
24-25, 2006: Sister Rebecca Mary and
I went to the parish Masses for Christmas Eve and Christmas
Day. We discovered that it was our non-Catholic friends
who most mourned the loss of Midnight Mass here at Marymount,
which has become their treasured tradition.
2006 - Jan. 2007: The weather this winter has
been a strange combination of severe cold temperatures and
almost no snow. This is the kind of weather which makes
our oldest, modular buildings vulnerable to frozen pipes. At
one point recently, we had four buildings frozen up: two totally
and two partially. As of Jan. 21, all of them have thawed
out, with only one broken pipe in my old hermitage.
22, 2007: Sister Rebecca Mary,
true to form, is in the midst of a new, creative endeavor. She
is completing a trilogy of children’s books, which she
is also illustrating with pen and ink line drawings. We
hope, God willing, to publish the first book later this year. The
title is The Midnight Rose. The books are written for
children, ages 8 - 12. They are appealing stories, with
(as you would suspect) some hidden spiritual, mystical qualities,
which make the reading interesting even for adults.
2007: I have been accepting invitations
from local pastors to teach in parishes this year. Topics
for the adult education classes include prayer, spirituality,
the documents of Vatican II and the encyclicals of Pope John
Paul II, but I can also do classes for programs such as the
stipend and mileage I earn by this work helps to support
our little hermit community. Both Sister Rebecca Mary
and I have renewed our interest in Scripture by reading and
studying it in a chronological, systematic way. This
has been very spiritually fruitful for us. Some of the
details which Sister Rebecca Mary knows from her study of Hebrew,
I use in my classes to enrich the linguistic background of
Scripture and theology.
Retreats for Catholic Priests
you a Catholic Priest looking for a quiet and peaceful retreat?
Then look no further than Marymount for your spiritual haven.
During this period when we have no resident Chaplain, we
invite you to come visit us. See Retreats for more information
and an application form.
is a beautiful place to spend a few days to recharge your
spiritual battery. Come to the High Desert and spend some
quiet time with God. See Retreats for
more information and an application form.
God Calling You to the Religious Life?
you have a longing in your heart to do something more for
God? Do you think you might have a calling to the life of
a religious woman hermit? Please read our page concerning Vocations for more information.
write or email us
to start your discernment process as to whether God is calling
you to a Vocation in the Marymount community.
HERMITAGE NEWSLETTER is
published by Marymount Hermitage, Inc., a non-profit, tax-exempt
corporation in the State of Idaho.
The Hermit Sisters of Mary are a canonically approved Catholic
community of women hermits following the Rule of St.
newsletter is normally published three times a year and is free.
The newsletter is sent to our relatives, friends and benefactors
so that we might share the spirituality and material progress
of Marymount Hermitage. Please pray that we may be faithful
way of life in prayer and penance, solitude and silence. Any
donations to Marymount Hermitage are sincerely appreciated
and are tax-deductible.