Blog
Service in the Church arises out of the joy of meeting the Lord and from his call. This mission is to bring to the men and women of our time the consolation of God, to bear witness to his mercy.
-Pope Francis, Rome, 6 July 2013-
- August 27, 2015 -

On September 3, 2015, many visitors will be coming here inside our enclosure. It is the day of the Opening of the Beatification process of our Co-foundress, Mother Mary Michael, Adolfine Tönnies. We in the Motherhouse anticipates this day with joy and silent prayer of thanksgiving.

Mother Mary Michael is for me a model contemplative religious. I admire her resoluteness, determination and her decisiveness, yet at the same she humbly submitted to authority, respected and honored the decision of others, and was simple enough to ask the opinion of the Sisters under her charge. She was humble, but not the “crawling” kind of humility, but a humility that is completely founded on truth.

A true servant of the Holy Spirit, the God of love, she has love God simply and trustingly like a child. Her love was quiet, nothing that attracted attention and yet effective and edifying. To think of her childlike love for God, her great devotion to the Eucharist and her missionary zeal as well as her quiet and hidden fidelity even in little things edify and inspire me. Her gaze was fixed on God and on his will. She had lived her religious life to the full, gave her all and gave her best because she loved!

On September 3, 2015 her Beatification Process will start. A Tribunal will be installed for this process and it will be responsible in judging and evaluating the historical documents and the testimony of witnesses regarding the life and works of the Servant of God.

Her eventual beatification is not so much for her as for us, her Sisters, and for all the faithful devoted to her. We need in this modern time a help and a spiritual friend and sister who will help us come close to God and will show us the way to him again by the example of her childlike love and trust in the Divine Providence. She will be for us a "signpost", pointing us the right way to our true home.

 
- August 3, 2015 -

It was such a beautiful Sunday morning! After Holy Mass I went to the veranda to pray. I looked out and saw small boats sailing on the Maas River behind our convent. It was so peaceful. I thought of capturing the peaceful scene with the camera. After I set it up, I just looked out and breathed in the peace and serenity of the moment, and prayed for all the passing boats, big and small, prayed for the people in there and also for all the passersby along the river. I usually do this and I feel some connection with these people even if they do not know me and I do not know them.

After a few minutes I took the camera and checked what I got. I was surprised to see a Sister on the scene -she was praying her rosary down in the garden! What a beautiful sight: the world outside our wall and the world inside our four walls! Two worlds apart? No! Rather, two complementary worlds united by love and prayer and brought together by a loving God!



 
- July 3, 2015 -

We are a Contemplative-missionary Congregation. Some people do not understand what we are doing inside the cloister. They are saying that outside we can still do so much. There are many poor, many needy people, many countries in need of help and ministry. If we are missionaries we must go out and minister to people.

As is written at the bottom of this page and every page of this website : Our way of life and our dedication are a challenge that can be accepted and justified only by faith...

As St. Therese of the Child Jesus puts it: “The Church is the Body of Christ. And in this body, the necessary parts are not lacking. Surely in this Body there is a heart, and this heart is burning with love for God...”

We, too, as contemplatives like St. Therese, are this heart; and if this “heart” stops beating or when the fire dies out and its love grows cold, what will happen to the entire body?


 
- July 1, 2015 -

Look at the cross!

Across the street is our cemetery. In the middle of it is a big cross planted on a high mound that even from our house we could see it between the trees. It is so consoling to look at it. At least for me!

There are times when I am down or something seems neither right nor running smoothly, or I am not feeling well...the moment I look at that cross it comforts me and makes me feel the peace flowing from the One hanging there and giving me the assurance that he knows what I am going through and that I am not alone. It reminds me that I am following a crucified Savior, who “for the sake of the joy which lay before him, endured the cross, heedless of its shame (Hebr.12:2)

It renews my strength and my resolve to continue following him “in-season and out-of-season!” knowing that “as we have shared in the suffering of Christ, so through Christ do we share in his consolation” (2Cor1:5), to enable us to comfort those who are in trouble with the same consolation we have received from him (cf.2Cor.1:4b).

Thus nothing that we endure with him and for him is useless...whatever we do, whatever we endure, whatever we experience and undergo has meaning and has saving values for the Church and for the world; yes, for all people entrusted to us by God in prayer.


 
- May 17, 2015 -

What is that hanging there on that small tree? Our garden Sister looked a little closer and was terrified to find a big cluster of bees - honeybees! The honeybees have built their colony there and they are hanging so neatly arranged on a small tree. Sister Superior called Brother Bartjes SVD, a once-upon-a-time beekeeper from the Mission House.

He came right away to have a look and said it was the most beautiful honeybee colony he has ever seen! He went back to the Mission house and returned immediately to us with all the things he needs to get them. We were watching a little fearfully from a distance while Sister took pictures as Brother instructed her. In his complete uniform, he was able to detach them from the tree and put them right away in a box without disturbing them.

We asked him what he will do with them and he said he will let them stay in there perhaps until the morning; and when they are already calm and quiet he will release them. It was really quite an experience watching him expertly but gently removing them from the branch.

One can only be filled with wonder at God’s creation! Much more is one filled with awe at the Creator himself!


 
- May 11, 2015 -

After our Morning Praise I went out of the chapel and opened the door leading to the garden, and what did I see! A beautiful flower carpet from the top of the stairs until a little farther down. Our two big Cherry Blossom trees were shedding their flowers and petals were scattered like carpet on the ground.

It’s a beautiful sight very early in the morning. It just lifted up my heart to God in praise for the beauty of his creation. He is such a wonderful Artist! Who can deny the existence of God? Nature speaks of him in their own language. All his creation give witness to him! We, who are created in his own image and likeness, are the best of his creation - the ones who are better capable of giving witness to Him!


- May 6, 2015 -

It is such a beautiful spring morning! I looked out of my window during meditation and I was greeted by loud and joyful chirping of different kinds of birds in our garden. I breathed in the fresh air and drank in their beautiful singing. We’ve just finished our Morning Praise (Lauds) and the birds were also singing their praises to God their Creator!

I listened, not with my ears but with my heart. In this great silence I let the beautiful harmony they make sink in me! It is so comforting and calming. I could sit there for hours just being present to the sound. The great silence and their melodious singing go so hand in hand. Peace, deep peace filled my innermost. God is awesome!



- May 4, 2015 -

It was raining gently outside and yet the sun was shining. It’s almost evening, but the sun has not yet set.
When I went out of my room, a sister called me excitedly but in a subdued tone because of our rule of silence (our rule, though, does not prohibit us from sharing beautiful and rare occurrences like this one). I thought something was wrong or perhaps she needed help. But then she pointed outside the window and...what is that! A beautiful rainbow just above our chapel! I quickly ran downstairs to get the camera; surely this must be photographed! It’s such a rare occurrence here.

In the corridor I met sisters who were all so excited and happy. Oh, silence was momentarily forgotten! Those who have seen the rainbow first wanted to tell the others about it, like a good news! The joy was so contagious. There was not only one rainbow but two!

After I got the camera in my workroom, I joined the others in our reading room where the view was better. The rainbows were just above the trees. It was a beautiful sight and comforting, too! One could only marvel at the Great Artist himself who paints the cloudy sky with such vivid colors! And he does so, too, in our own lives!

Another thing struck me more: The rainbows were beautiful, but my Sisters were more beautiful! Each one who saw the rainbows wanted to share to others. They did not keep the “good news” to themselves. They wanted to spread it - and spread it with so much joy that it was contagious! God must have smiled at how eager each one went out to share the “good news“! And surely, there are many little “good news” in our daily lives!


- May 2, 2015 -

A few weeks ago, while I was tending the plants in our dining room, I saw a broken young shoot of a potted Geranium. I picked it up and seeing that it was still fresh I planted it on the pot of another Geranium.

After a few days again, I saw another young shoot cut off from its main plant and already almost withered. I decided to plant it beside the other one.

Days passed, the small one was already giving signs of life but the bigger one was still limp. Everyday I water them and I look at them with expectant joy.

After a week or so, the other one has picked up strength and now standing proudly beside the smaller one. It made me so happy!

Now the two little Geraniums are healthy and starting to have new shoots. It is such a joy to see them. I thought of God; He must also be full of joy when he looks at me and sees growth in me... growth that not even the human eye can see; and God rejoices!


- May 1, 2015 -

Today is Labor Day and a day dedicated to St. Joseph, the Worker. There is so much to thank St. Joseph for. He has been such a good provider and still is. Our community, in fact, our whole Congregation is devoted to him. He helps and never disappoints those who call on him.

There are so many people who need prayers now, especially those who have no work, those who are living in extreme condition, all overseas contract workers, those who, because of infirmities or disabilities are unable to work anymore...We can make a long list of those who are in need, not to mention our own needs and the needs of our own families. All these we may entrust to the prayers of St. Joseph. And we already thank God in advance for the answered prayers!

Here is a very helpful prayer to St. Joseph:

O Glorious St. Joseph, you who have power to render things possible which seem impossible, come to our aid 
in our present trouble and distress;
Take this important and difficult affairs under your particular protection that they may end happily.

Dear, St. Joseph, all our confidence is in you;
Let it not be said that we have invoked you in vain;
And since you are so powerful with Jesus and Mary,
show that your goodness equals your power. Amen

 Great St. Joseph, pray for us and care for us!


- April 26, 2015, Good Shepherd Sunday -

Psalm 23
The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me;
He refreshes my soul.

He guides me in right paths
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
  

You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
  

Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
for years to come.

This Psalm - is this not consoling? The Lord takes care
of us...He will always defend us and lead us to the right path...If we will let him!


- April 24, 2015 -

The Lord must have smiled!

This week I am the prayer leader. This evening, during Compline (Night prayer) after a short silence of examination of conscience, as I was supposed to intone the penitential rite, I accidentally hit the books on the shelf of my pew. All my prayer books fell with such a loud noise after I said: “I confess...” and the Sisters continued...”to Almighty God...that I have sinned through my own fault...” I could hear the stifling giggles of my Sisters; and I tried to control my laughter, too.

Yes, just the right timing...”through my own fault...” at the time when we are supposed to be very seriously confessing our faults some funny thing happened. The Lord must have smiled with us. Sometimes funny and unexpected things happen just at the time of great seriousness...and God smiles with us!


- April 22, 2015 -

This morning as I enter our chapel I saw our two elderly Sisters walking together, the older one supporting the other and leading her to her place. Both Sisters could hardly walk without the aid of a walker and yet there they are helping each other. It is really so edifying to see them. It brought a smile to my lips and I thank God for the sisterly charity that reigns among us.

Truly, Psalm 133 expresses it so beautifully:

"How good and how pleasant it is,
when brothers (sisters) dwell together in unity!...
For there the Lord has decreed a blessing,
life for evermore!”


 
Communication is a means of expressing the missionary vocation of the entire Church...
to discover the beauty of faith, the beauty of encountering Christ.
In the area of communications too, we need a Church capable of bringing warmth and of stirring hearts!” 

Pope Francis, message: 48th World Communication Day -