Reflection for Anniversary of the Dedication of Annunciation Monastery Chapels - May 13, 2019
Sister Nicole Kunze, Prioress
Today is the 56th anniversary of the dedication of Our Lady of the Annunciation Chapel, the main chapel in our former monastery. We celebrate this anniversary by remembering all the chapels our community uses for worship. I shared a reflection with the community this morning:
At our Sponsorship Formation Day last Thursday, our speaker, Judith Valente, shared a portion of the poem, In Silence, by Thomas Merton. When I heard it, I immediately thought of our monastery chapels.
Listen to the stones of the wall
Be silent, they try
To speak your
To the living walls.
We are surrounded by these stones, formed years and years ago, removed from the prairies of the Northern Plains and brought here. We spend significant portions of each day in our chapels, praying the Liturgy of the Hours and celebrating the Eucharist. For the majority of our community, the most meaningful events of our monastic life – profession, jubilee, installation -- have happened in our chapels made of stone. We know it is where our final earthly celebration with the community, our funeral, will be held. When we are here in this chapel, whether for community prayer, Eucharist or private prayer, we are here to listen for the Lord speaking to us, through a psalm, through a reading, through the silence. These stones have heard our prayers, our celebrations of feast days, our sorrow and grief during dark times, our despair during times of doubt or illness, our joy in a day full of blessings.
This space, the chapel, is a place where God lives and we know that God dwells in the community that assembles here. It is when we are gathered here with our monastic community and all the guests who join us, that we are truly the church. We are made one with the Lord and with one another. As we gather here day after day after day, living out our promises of obedience, stability and conversatio, building upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus as our cornerstone, may we listen to the Lord and to one another.