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A mission of prayer and love

By Bishop Terry R. LaValley

Oct. 8, 2014

Bishop LaValley’s homily for the first profession of Sister Linh Terese, a Sister Adorer for the Precious Blood, Oct. 2

My friends, these Sisters Adorers of the Precious Blood have dedicated their lives to prayer, sacrifice and penance for the salvation of souls - our souls!  All of us who call the North Country “home” have been deeply enriched, blessed through the power of their prayer and witness.

As I mentioned at the start of Mass, today not only do we mark the conclusion of this Golden Jubilee Year for this blessed monastery in Watertown, we, also, gather at this special time to witness Sister Linh Therese’s First profession as a Sister Adorer of the Precious Blood. 

As the Sister’s invitation stated, we are here to share with them the joy of Sister Linh Therese’s self-offering to God.

And don’t the readings selected for this Feast Day speak about the joy of our faith? 

Hear the prophet Isaiah sing: “I rejoice heartily in the Lord, in my God is the joy of my soul.”   In his letter to the Ephesians, St. Paul speaks about being “chosen, destined for the praise of His glory” and, then in John’s Gospel, Jesus tells His disciples: “Remain in my love. I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete.”

Dear Sisters, your prayer and the witness of your consecrated, cloistered life are necessary now more than ever as you continue to inspire in us a true longing for holiness, a deep desire for conversion and personal renewal: aims that we hold deep within our hearts.

I’m sure that all those who enter through the doors of your monastery experience the same serenity and joy that I do, each and every time, I am so graciously welcomed into your home. 

In solitude, freed from the distractions of this world, you joyfully give yourselves completely to a life of adoration and reparation.  By prayer and the contemplative life, you strive to spread the sacred fire of that devotion with which you, yourselves have been wholly inflamed. 

We become sparks of faith for others through your prayerful witness to us.  As St. John Paul II wrote when referring to those who embraced the contemplative life:  “you offer the church a singular testimony of the Church’s love for her Lord and contribute with hidden apostolic fruitfulness, to the growth of the people of God.” (VC, 8) 

Never doubt your hidden apostolic fruitfulness in the Diocese of Ogdensburg!

On this occasion, we are especially aware of the dynamic words Jesus uttered at the Last Supper:  “This is the chalice of My Blood which will be shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins.” 

Here, God attributes to His Blood the reconciliation of the human person to our Heavenly Father through the forgiveness of sins.  The Blood seals an eternal, irrevocable alliance between God and humanity.

As I mentioned on the occasion of the beginning of this Jubilee Year, according to her Spiritual Director, Mother Catherine Aurelia, “always sensed the Heart of Jesus united to her own.”

It was her deep devotion to the pulsating Blood of that most Sacred Heart of Jesus which impelled her to pray and suffer for the sanctification of nations, for priests and for the souls in Purgatory.  She sought to draw down graces for which the world thirsts.

My sisters and brothers, the world today thirsts desperately for such graces.

The preface of your Constitution, Sisters, expresses this so profoundly: “The Institute which exists under the glorious name of the Precious Blood must retrace and reflect, as far as possible, the image of the divine love with which that blood was shed; the love of which that Blood has always been and ever will be the sign, the expression, the measure and the pledge.” 

As members of this Institute, your orientation is to be totally self-giving and to pray for the salvation of all God’s people.  Your vocation, your mission is one of prayer and love.  It’s that simple.  It’s that difficult.  It’s that vital.

Sister Linh Therese, your love for Mary Immaculate is an integral part of your vocation as a Sister Adorer of the Precious Blood.  Mary Immaculate, Mother of the Church, embraced God’s will heartily and devoted herself to the Person and work of her Divine Son, thereby serving the mystery of Redemption.

It is from Mary’s Immaculate Conception that the Blood of Jesus begins its saving course, and flowing through the Sacraments, brings light and salvation to all the People of God.

The Most Precious Blood that was shed to set us free pours outward onto every Catholic altar and runs through our veins for the salvation of the world.  

The principal mission of the Sisters Adorers of the Precious Blood is to give glory to the Father, through the worship of His Son in the mystery of His precious Blood, and to honor Mary, immaculate in her conception.  

Sister Linh Therese, the first Adorer of the Precious Blood: Mary - ever led by the Spirit - is your inspiration and the model of what you hope to be as you endeavor to participate by your life of prayer and penance in the apostolic mission of the Church.

When we were finalizing the scheduling of the Mass opening the Jubilee Year, Sr. Marilyn wrote me:  “I can’t think of a more wonderful blessing upon our fifty years than to add another Adorer to our Institute.  Sister Mary Catherine Pham received the Holy Habit of the Sister Adorers of the Precious Blood on that occasion.

Today, as we close out the Jubilee, we are so blessed to witness Sister Linh Therese enter the contemplative life and make her first profession as a Sister Adorer of the Precious Blood. Praise God! 

This has been some Jubilee Year for the Sisters Adorers of the Precious Blood of Watertown!  Congratulations Sister Linh Therese.  God bless you abundantly as you respond so generously, courageously and selflessly to Jesus’ call:  Follow Me!  

May God be praised…forever may God be praised!

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