Just in time for Lent, Ignatius Press has released a book of profound and timeless Lenten mediations from Mother Mary Francis, PCC, the abbess of the Poor Clare Monastery of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Roswell, New Mexico.
Mother Mary Francis (1921–2006) was abbess for over 40 years and is most famous for her classic book on Poor Clare life, A Right to be Merry. This new work, entitled A Time of Renewal: Daily Reflections for the Lenten Season, presents beautiful meditations on the liturgical season of Lent, revealing the treasures of the liturgy to Christians in all walks of life. Her insight into Holy Scripture and her poetic way of writing make her reflections on the daily Mass readings fresh and attractive.
As the Ignatius Press press release says:
Mother Mary Francis excels in the art of persuasion, aware that the human heart cannot be forced but only gently led to holiness. She makes this goal attractive and desirable by tirelessly explaining why striving for holiness is the happiest and wisest way to live. This book provides a wealth of material for plundering the riches of the Lenten season and for deepening one’s spiritual life. Her meditations are profound and timeless, not changing from year to year, thus providing a lifetime of Lenten meditations in this one volume.
To order, visit the Ignatius Press website (www.ignatius.com) or call: 1-800-651-1531.
How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion, “Your God reigns!” (Isaiah 52.7)
St. Paul said to the Romans (Rom 10:14-15) that the step of those who bring the Good News is a welcome sound. In His Incarnation, the Son of God stepped forth, so to speak, from the Godhead. He brought it with Him. But in our fumbling human way of trying to express this, we say He came forth from the Godhead to earth. That was the greatest step ever made. This was the most welcome sound heard from the beginning of time, the sound for which the prophets had waited for centuries, as they told the people: “He will come. He will come.”
—Mother Mary Francis, P.C.C.
Sometimes people say when arguing about the Church’s stance on various issues that “Jesus was a product of His times, ergo, if He were on the earth today, we would have women priests, gay marriage, democratic elections for Pope,” etc. etc. etc…..
Mother Mary Francis, P.C.C., in her classic book, A Right to be Merry, says that one thing that makes the daughters of St. Clare bristle is the notion that Saint Clare, with her missionary heart, became a cloistered contemplative simply because it was the only form of religious life available to women in her day.
If Saint Francis had wanted his Second Order to be a missionary order, he was just the man to have made that a fait accompli in no time at all. No one was ever more “original” than the saint who walked at right angles to everything characteristic of his age.
What he founded was was a Second Order of enclosed, praying nuns, because that is what he wished to found. Saint Clare, on her part, did indeed have a missionary heart. That is why she entered the cloister; to be a missionary to all the world.
Any daughter of hers who is not a missionary at heart is in danger of hearing hard words from her Seraphic Mother when she meets her after death: Nescio te!-I know you not!