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Abbess When we celebrate Solemnities, feast days which commemorate the most important mysteries of our Faith or of the Benedictine Order, Mother Abbess writes and offers the Prayer of the Faithful at Mass. It is a gift to us and those attending our Mass to hear the message of the Holy Spirt spoken through Mother Abbess Lucia. In response to the celebrant's homily and integrating the Scripture readings for the Mass, she eloquently expresses the mystery of the day as it relates to the events of our monastic life and world. We share her prayers with you who cannot be with us for your contemplation.

EASTER 2018
candle “What did you see Mary on the way? I saw the tomb of the Risen Christ and the glory of the Resurrection.” With the urgency of the good news captured in the haunting words of the Sequence Victimae Paschali Laudes that we sing all this week, may we help each other live into the brightness of the inextinguishable light of Christ, trusting and believing one another in order to rise together to the more demanding brilliance of Christ’s Resurrection.

May we not stop, but keep searching for signs of Christ’s Resurrection all around us, not demanding proof or evidence in the face of doubt, but rather running and breathless, to deepen our desire to find Christ, that we might truly be released from our self-made tombs, but spread the good news of His everlasting life to the ends of the earth.
Let us pray to the Lord.
HOLY SATURDAY 2018
Easter fire While the marvelous sights and exultant sounds of this most holy night are still fresh within us, may we take the time to pause in quiet awe and thanksgiving for the gift that has been given, Christ’s ultimate victory over death, allowing the wonder of this miracle that is too much for our minds to grasp, instead to be experienced through our senses: in the dynamic play of light and darkness, fire and wind, water and flame, flesh and spirit, filling the empty tomb of every heart and indeed, of the created world itself with the hope of transcendent love.
Let us pray to the Lord.

Acknowledging that we cannot handle the truth of the Risen Christ alone, indeed seeing how many hands are needed just to keep one fragile flame alive, may we follow the example of the group of women at the tomb, walking together, talking together, and talking with any angels we should happen to meet as we search for the living Christ.
Let us pray to the Lord.

For the intentions of Our Holy Father Pope Francis for whom this Mass is offered, especially for his protection as he reaches out in dialogue where others would fear to go.
Let us pray to the Lord.
HOLY THURSDAY 2018
matzo Heeding the words of Exodus, may we never forget the wonder and gift of this Holy Night, when Christ instituted the Sacrament of the Eucharist, assuming and elevating the Passover sacrifice into the Sacrament of His own Body and Blood, establishing anew an everlasting covenant in His love.
Let us pray to the Lord.

“Ubi caritas est vera, Deus ibi est.” Where love is true, there is God, in gratitude for the witness of the three priesthoods of Christ gathered here tonight, especially for the giveness of the Lay Priesthood represented by the men and women in our sanctuary, may the experience of having their feet washed, bless them and strengthen them to in turn go out and wash the feet of all they meet so that the love of Christ may be extended to the ends of the earth.
Let us pray to the Lord.
Feast of St. Scholastica 2018
St. Scholastica BACKGROUND TO THE FEAST
February 10th is the Feast of St. Scholastica, the sister of St. Benedict. Mother Abbess Lucia took as her abbatial motto: Plus potuit quia plus amavit, which is translated: She was able to do more because she loved more. The text is taken from the Office of St. Scholastica, and is based on a story in the SECOND BOOK OF THE DIALOGUES OF ST. GREGORY THE GREAT, CONTAINING THE LIFE AND MIRACLES OF ST. BENEDICT OF NURSIA. In chapter thirty-three, Of a Miracle Wrought by His Sister Scholastica, St. Gregory recounts that one night St. Scholastica prevailed upon her brother to disobey his Rule and instead of returning to his Abbey with his monks, to stay with her talking and praying through the night. Though she did not tell him why, she knew her death was near. With his strong sense of justice, St. Benedict refused her, but her tears of supplication to God caused a sudden storm that prevented him from leaving. When St. Gregory's disciple Peter, who knew the power of St. Benedict through his miracles, wondered why in this instance St. Benedict did not get his way, Pope St. Gregory explains that St. Scholastica was "...able to do more because she loved more."

PRAYERS OF THE FAITHFUL
As St. Gregory said of St. Scholastica, “She could do more because she loved more,” may we continually renew our efforts to follow the example of St. Scholastica, not setting limits on love, but putting our prayer before the Lord with the abandon of an undivided heart, letting Him enlarge our understanding of what is right, or fair, or necessary in any given situation for the good of all,

“Martha, Martha…”or we might say: “Benedict, Benedict…one thing only is needed,” may each of us who may feel the anxiety of having too much to do, or the pull of competing obligations, hear the tenderness in Christ’s words as her addresses his friend Martha, gently reminding her to remember for whom she is doing all these things and that the one she is serving has the power to accomplish all that would otherwise be impossible, if we but knew how to ask for help,
Let us pray to the Lord.

May St. Scholastica and St. Benedict intercede for all those situations in need of fraternal forgiveness and reconciliation,
Let us pray to the Lord.

For all the Benedictine women and men throughout the world, that we may work together to inspire a new generation with the call to this demanding but wondrous vocation to love,
Let us pray to the Lord.

In gratitude to all those who have been brother to this community through the years, especially Brother Anthony, and for blessings on all those working today to move old equipment out and new equipment in and preparing the next phase of the building site,
Let us pray to the Lord.

For Archbishop Blair and the priests and seminarians of the Archdiocese of Hartford for whom this Mass is offered,
Let us pray to the Lord.
EPIPHANY 2018
tree May we remember that God always gives us a star by which we find him, even if we lose track of it for a while or we have to fight with someone we love to pursue it, and may the light of this star illumine for each of us some aspect of Christ life that has not yet been manifest to us and which will make all the difference as we now look to the year ahead and see just how many other ways there are to go forward to elude the grasp of the Herods within and without.

In gratitude for the call of Mother Maria Nugent on the anniversary of her First Profession of Vows 50 years ago, may this day be a star event, pointing ahead to a year of Golden Jubilee, of celebration and appreciation for the gifts she has unstintingly brought to Regina Laudis: the beautiful gold of her monastic knowledge and wisdom, the vulnerable frankincense of her daily service in the sanctuary—to maintain the liturgy no matter what the cost, and the myrrh of her fidelity and charity through so many different cycles of the Foundation’s life, whether standing at the foot of the crèche or the foot of the cross, may she now have the blessing of seeing many drawn to her light in continuity for the future of Regina Laudis.
Let us pray to the Lord.

May Melchior, Balthazar and Caspar intercede for the Christians of the Middle East, that in the always unfolding plan of Salvation, a new star might yet arise and lead us to peace.
Let us pray to the Lord.

For the gift of fortitude and for the safety of all battling this extreme cold.
Let us pray to the Lord.
SOLEMNITY OF MARY MOTHER OF GOD, January 1st 2018
Mary As we come together in the midst of this coldest, darkest season of the year, may we not give in to the urge to hibernate which is so strong in all creation, but instead may we take as our model and the centering faith of Mary, our reassuring guide, Alma Redemptoris Mater, remembering once again that through her “Yes” the divine joined itself to our humanity, never to be separated again, no matter how obscured by our human incapacity to grasp the mystery.
Let us pray to the Lord.

For all that has been given, thanks; for all that is not yet, yes! On this New Year’s Day 2018, giving gratitude to God for all the blessings given in the part year, may we pray for the grace to begin again, the grace to become what we are not yet, asking the Holy Spirit to help us find the form for that which exists only as a hope or a word of longing within our hearts, may we ask for the blessing of larger hearts, more forgiving hearts, that God’s peace may truly dwell among us and continue to grow.
Let us pray to the Lord.

For Mother Alma on her feastday, in gratitude for the many ways she nourished us with her eye for beauty, and in particular for the way she has poured herself out to ensure the stability and beauty of our future home, may she in turn be nourished and consoled as the vision takes on flesh, our participation by analogy in the mystery: O Admirabile Commercium.
Let us pray to the Lord.
CHRISTMAS EVE AND MORNING 2017
tree CHRISTMAS EVE
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light. Upon those who dwell in a land of gloom a light has shone. For to us a Child is born.” For the grace to experience yet again or perhaps for the first time, the wonder of Christmas, the astonishing truth that the all-powerful God responds to the pain of human darkness in every generation through the gift of new life. His life, human and divine, fragile and vulnerable as a child. May we care for the new life sent to us this year as humbly as the shepherds and joyfully as the angels.
Let us pray to the Lord.

As we unite our intentions with those of the Holy Father tonight and those of the Universal Church, we pray for all displaced persons and for those who have lost their homes, may we not be like the inn that missed its chance to welcome the Prince of Peace, but have the courage to open our hearts beyond their accustomed limits and to see those around us, even those closest to us who we think we know, in this world-changing light of Christ that makes all things new.
Let us pray to the Lord.

For the intentions of our Holy Father Pope Francis for whom this Mass is offered.
Let us pray to the Lord.

CHRISTMAS MORNING
In appreciation of the wisdom of the Church’s liturgy which always gives us more, placing the most awesome articulation of the Incarnation in the mysterious light of morning, as our eyes and minds try to adjust to a changed world and ponder the events of the night. My we allow the mystery “to be” without trying to master it, just letting it sink into our hearts as the comfort it is meant to be: In the beginning was the Word.
Let us pray to the Lord.

Whether we were or were not dreaming of this white Christmas, may we help each other to see the gift, the magical light, the exterior silence it brings and the natural way it slows us down, while we pray at the same time for the safety of all travelers and for all the road crews that assist them including our own local intrepid sanders, shovelers, plowers and grounds people.
Let us pray to the Lord.

In special gratitude for all those who have accompanied us since the beginning of Advent this year and through these last demanding days of vigil, that this Christmas bring you a light that darkness cannot overcome and may we stay together following the star to Epiphany.
Let us pray to the Lord.
ASSUMPTION OF OUR LADY 2017—FEAST DAY OF THE ABBEY OF REGINA LAUDIS
Our Lady May each of us draw closer in some small way to the grace and joy of this ineffable mystery of Our Lady’s Assumption, remembering that she who is clothed with the sun and moon and stars, was first clothed in the splendor of a human body like ours, save without sin, and as the mother of the Son of God, has now, right now and forever, taken her place beside Him in heaven, where as we heard last night at Matins: “She remains a voice to affirm and defend the dignity and the ultimate glory of material things, of human flesh and blood, of the lovely mystery of human love, of the beauty which is the work of man’s hands.”
Let us pray to the Lord.

On this feast day of Regina Laudis, may we place this work of the final phase of the New Horizons renovation under the guidance and protection of Our Lady, Queen of Praise, Queen of Heaven, and living embodiment of the Ark of the Covenant, so that as we do our human best to honor the body of the past, God will work through us and beyond us to assume what has been loved and sacrificed into a new creation, where He will continue to dwell amongst us.
Let us pray to the Lord.

May Our Lady who fulfilled the promise made to Eve, that she crush the serpent’s head, intercede for the not yet redeemed places in every human heart, that we may together overcome the forces of hatred, violence and division.
Let us pray to the Lord.

For Sister Maria Evangelista in gratitude for her Renewal of Vows today as she takes her place in the long procession of members of this community who made their vows or celebrated a monastic ceremony on this day, and may Our Lady intercede for her with special blessings, that she may maintain her resolve as she undertakes the great work that she has been entrusted with at this time.
Let us pray to the Lord.
FEAST OF ST. BENEDICT 2017
St Benedict
© Tomie dePaola 2017
“Blessed are the meek, the humble of heart, for they shall inherit the land.” As St Benedict is said to have transformed Europe through the Cross—that is prayer, the Book—the School of the Lord’s Service, and the Plow—agriculture, may we never lose sight of the privilege we have to care for our own land, its produce, and animals, and in particular gratitude for the outpouring of labor and love yesterday on the hay field and in the Blacksmith Shop under the direction of master blacksmith Louis Pezzi.
Let us pray to the Lord.

That in some small way we might continue St. Benedict’s legacy as Messenger of Peace and Maker of Unity, witnessing to the life of the Beatitudes in this world, striving to put humility, the truth of who we are, at the center of all our actions and encounters with one another, thereby creating the climate and culture in which the blessing of true happiness can take root, no matter what darkness encroaches from within and without.
Let us pray to the Lord.

This Mass is offered for lasting peace in Syria and the newly-liberated city of Mosul.
Let us pray to the Lord.
SACRED HEART 2017
cross “I love Jesus because He first loved me.” As a people peculiarly God’s own, may we cherish every experience through which the transcendent God speaks to us, whether that “small piece of cheese” makes us violently ill or tastes delicious, knowing that in either case it can open a whole world of Eucharistic life for us.

May each one here and all those who have asked for our prayers experience today some consolation from the heart of Jesus where there is always “…another word of love,” and may we in turn bring that word into whatever situation we encounter this day, to lighten the burden of another or ease the burden of the yoke that they have been asked to carry for all of us.
Let us pray to the Lord.

“Come to me all you who labor and I will give you rest for your souls.” In gratitude for all those who have come to labor with us on this land, to name just a few: for Ron Schuman for his extravagant generosity in building a new house for our expanding chicken flock, for Mother Dolores, Tomie dePaola and all the children preparing to offer The Magical World of Tomie dePaola this weekend at our theater—may it refresh many hearts, for Joseph Heldrich and all those in collaboration with the Blacksmith Shop who donated time, resources and skill to fabricate our cemetery crosses, and for the Closed Community who planted those crosses securely in the ground, making visible once again the binding power of covenantal love between our communities.
Let us pray to the Lord.

“Heart of Jesus, Desire of the Eternal Hills, have mercy on us.” In gratitude for the gift of being able to know the mystery of the Sacred Heart expressed in the medium of our land, as we are reminded constantly through the environmental signs that mark the entrance to the enclosure and in the peacefulness of the Sacred Heart Cemetery that is embraced in the very heart of this hill.
Let us pray to the Lord.
CORPUS CHRISTI 2017
bread As we have all been led through the desert, or the grave from some form of slavery often of our own making, may we always remember those times when we were fed unexpectedly and undeservedly by God’s manna, even as now Christ miraculously gives us His own Body and Blood to eat and drink. May we process towards an ever greater communion with Christ and in turn allow ourselves to become food for others on the way.
Let us pray to the Lord.

For an increase in faith and understanding, that we might grasp in some small way the mystery of what we mean by the Body of Christ, and to add one more reference to the rich reflections that Father Cooney has already offered, may we ponder the words of St. Augustine from last night’s Matins Reading: “Now you are the Body of Christ and individually you are members of it. If that is so, it is the sacrament of yourselves that is placed on the Lord’s altar and it is the sacrament of yourselves that you receive. You reply: ‘Amen’ to what you are and thereby agree to such you are. You hear the words: ‘The Body of Christ’ and you reply: ‘Amen.’ Be then a member of Christ’s Body so that your ‘Amen’ may accord with the truth."
Let us pray to the Lord.

May this transformative sacrament of unity, charity, and peace permeate all our actions, whether in the kitchen, or hay field, shop, or choir, or any other place of work or human encounter to which we are called this day, so that we might extend the Eucharist from this altar out into the world and back again to the center of love from which all love flows.
Let us pray to the Lord.

May we awaken in our time an awareness of the Eucharist as ultimately the only reality powerful enough to stop the accelerating tide of senseless violence that afflicts our nation and our world.
Let us pray to the Lord.
TRINITY SUNDAY 2017
(Offered at Mass at the Monastery of Our Lady of the Rock, Our Foundation on Shaw Island, Washington)
Squaw Bay As we stand in awe at the incomprehensible and perfect dynamism of love that is the Trinity, vaster than any ocean, may we not turn aside from facing that mystery in awareness of our own loneliness and incapacity, but rather strive to participate in that love in the simple ways open to us, as St. Paul says: “By mending our ways, encouraging one another, agreeing with one another, and living in the peace of Christ."
Let us pray to the Lord.

“God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that we might be saved.” May we take the consolation of these words to heart and not fruitlessly condemn ourselves or others, but seek how we might all be saved by being made perfect in the ways of Trinitarian love, giving precedence to one another, relinquishing our demands on how others should be, and allowing ourselves to be led by the Holy Spirit into the true and lasting communion we all seek.
Let us pray to the Lord.

For the gift of love that casts out fear.
Let us pray to the Lord.
PENTECOST 2017
poppies “Make supple what is rigid in us, warm what is cold, make straight the ways we have wandered off path.” As we have just sung in the words of the Sequence today, may we implore the “Great Harmonizer”, the Holy Spirit, to enter into all those situations where the flow of God’s love is blocked—by fear or misunderstanding or hardness of heart. And may we pray today and every day for the Grace that is available to us through the Spirit, that we might sing, speak, and hear in many voices but one language, thus experiencing the miracle of truly understanding the heart of another person.
Let us pray to the Lord.

As we hear in the accounts of the coming of the Spirit today, echoes of the original creation story of Genesis, may our hearts be filled with gratitude for the mercy of God who sent His beloved Son to redeem us and the Spirit to sustain us, that we might be “recreated”, forgiven, and forgiving, trusted again to help renew the face of the earth. May we embrace this mission to renew creation and bring Christ’s peace to the ends of the earth.
Let us pray to the Lord.

In gratitude for Mary’s presence with the Apostles in the upper room, where her gift as the Mother of the Incarnation, a human creature most capable of being open to the Holy Spirit, enabled the Apostles all together with her to conceive and give birth to the Church through the power of the Holy Spirit, now extending Christ’s Risen Body to all peoples.
Let us pray to the Lord.

For an end to the war in Syria and peace in the Middle East.
Let us pray to the Lord.
ASCENSION 2017
sky "Men of Galilee, why do you stare looking up to heaven?" That we may not squander the astounding gift of the Ascension by staring after Christ in doubt as if all is over and He is gone, but rather take to heart His words calling us to participation in a new way of union with Him and with each other, bonded as One Body, co-missioned now to witness to Him in this world as He by His Ascension restores heaven and earth to unity, bringing the fulfillment of His mission back to the Father from whom He proceeded and was never separated.
Let us pray to the Lord.

In awe at the way the Persons of the Trinity give precedence to one another. May we resist the leveling tendency in our human nature, born of fear of loss, and instead embrace those times when one in our midst is chosen to ascend in some way, however small, even just one step, knowing that God is inviting us to a new way of union with Him and with that beloved person, and with those who remain, through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Let us pray to the Lord.

That the gift of hope poured out through Christ’s ascent may be born again in the hearts of all, especially those who are struggling in a dark passage of descent, that Christ Himself endured in order to take death captive once and for all and show us the way to the Father.
Let us pray to the Lord.

For all refugees and those struggling to help them in their need.
Let us pray to the Lord.
ANNUNCIATION 2017
stained glass window May we not weary God and ourselves and each other by blinding ourselves to the signs we have been given, but open a place to take God inside us, to welcome anew in our very flesh the presence of Emmanuel; that God may always ‘be with us’ no matter what the human resistance and chaos that faces us from within and without.
Let us pray to the Lord.

May we grow continually in stability and the fullness of personhood exemplified by Our Lady which allows us to be free to say YES to God, not just with our lips but with our whole being, unafraid to let ourselves be changed in ways we cannot foresee or control.
Let us pray to the Lord.

May the proximity this year of the Feast of the Annunciation to the Passion of Our Lord remind us of the simultaneity of the great salvific events: the Incarnation and Redemption, and may we not be dismayed by the echo of Mary’s silent YES at the foot of the cross and by the empty tomb, and in the upper room where she waited with the Apostles for the Holy Spirit to come. In gratitude and awe at this lifetime of saying YES.
Let us pray to the Lord.