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Sisters Of Bethlehem In Livingston Manor

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AnnL
Hi, have been thinking of you all who are discerning your way forward, particularly towards 'sisters of Bethlehem' & other groups of contemplative & monastic spirituality. The sisters of Bethlehem do really live & continue to grow their understanding of our Lady's life after the Resurrection and Ascension of our Lord. The quiet contemplation of The Word, fed & nourished by the reality of being drawn into the Holy Trinity, the dance of Love. Which is possible through the gift of The Holy Spirit...
To be able to contemplate You need to be very grounded & willing to embrace the practical repetition of daily tasks that don't always bring satisfaction, & which often you don't really want to do..... The daily struggle of fidelity & blind faith without emotional uplifts is the way of the desert....
For me I loved the Liturgy & the way of life....
The Sisters prepare You gradually & facilitate the withdrawal step by step of your life from engagement with people towards a turning towards God & the practice of sitting in Gods Presence ....offering all that you have & are for use by God & in readiness for the eventual coming into Gods Glory never having to lift your gaze because God has drawn us to himself.

It is an amazingly rich & disciplined way of life.
The desert Fathers have said... Monastic life is entering the ante- chamber of heaven.
St. Bruno has left very few written words some of which hold such an insight & depth when you are living it....
The Spirit of it being ...... 'I sit here in my weakness waiting for God in his mercy to come & save me.'
The sisters of Bethlehem are strongly influenced by Eastern Rites. These broaden the view & understanding of the Scriptures...
Sr. Marie before with a couple of other sisters before staring their Fondation spent time in various monastic communities to learn & discern Gods way forward as to how to live what was on their hearts.....,



The more we face our weaknesses the more we realise our inability to become 'holy' & are totally dependant on God to help us. The more we realise our lacks...the more we come to be touched by the Infinite Mercy of God.

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AnnL
For those of you who expressed interest in the day to day life of the Sisters of Bethlehem & the discernment of the call to that way of life.
There is SO much richness & depth love of the Liturgy, an ability to spend a lot of time in solitude, the ability to learn to communicate without day to day conversation, to take direction when you may not agree (learning it doesn't matter often!). ....
The sisters in their turn go out of there way to welcome, love & embrace you spiritually, - such an immensely powerful love-. & guide you to work with them to discover Gods will for your life.

They want vocations, but are committed for their part to be true to what's right for anyone who turns to them to seek out their way. This way of life is about being drawn into a choice of using our lives to 'Loving God from here!
When we get to heaven God will be loving us! & our opportunity to Love God will no longer be a 'choice' On this earth we have our indomitable 'will'. The sisters of Bethlehem are called to like Mary, loving & waiting upon God until he comes again!
Every morning starts with prayer to the Holy Spirit. Every evening the last prayer spoken is Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!
Annl

The richness which draws people is real -

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Sr Mary Catharine OP

Thank you Annl for sharing your experience. I have visited Bethlehem in Livingston Manor several times as I have received permission to go for a solitude retreat. Although the sisters obviously have more solitude than in a Dominican monastery I picked up aspects of the life as being very dynamic in a similar way. I had to laugh at how the sisters speed down the road toward Cana obviously not following their own speed limits. On Sunday I was on my porch and the sisters were taking their Sunday walk in a small group and I couldn't help laughing because they were doing the "nun walk" just as we do. Walk, walk, stop talk, walk, walk, stop, talk!

 

Sr. Maria was originally a Dominican moniales and one can see the influence if you know about Dominican life but of course, it is very different.

 

 

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Gabriela

Thank you Annl for sharing your experience. I have visited Bethlehem in Livingston Manor several times as I have received permission to go for a solitude retreat. Although the sisters obviously have more solitude than in a Dominican monastery I picked up aspects of the life as being very dynamic in a similar way. I had to laugh at how the sisters speed down the road toward Cana obviously not following their own speed limits. On Sunday I was on my porch and the sisters were taking their Sunday walk in a small group and I couldn't help laughing because they were doing the "nun walk" just as we do. Walk, walk, stop talk, walk, walk, stop, talk!

 

Sr. Maria was originally a Dominican moniales and one can see the influence if you know about Dominican life but of course, it is very different.

 

Sr. Mary Catharine, would you say that the Dominicans provide more opportunity for study and writing than the Sisters of Bethlehem?

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inperpetuity

I have gone on many private retreats there.  The sisters chant is very beautiful.  The silence...........and then....the bells, so beautiful.

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AnnL
The first time I visited the sisters of Behlehem, - it was to their monastery in Austria, I was in the chapel waiting for Vespers and I heard the bell all of a sudden there was a flurry of activity and a number of sisters came into the chapel, a few came running clearly to make sure they were on time ....all looked so alive most had smiles, the bell stopped, and prayer began. The most beautiful tone & prayer came from this group of vibrant animated women.

It was a life changing experience, & it stirred something in the depths of me, as it does most of us.

At that time visitors we were only feet away from the sisters. It was such an open welcoming spirit

I've never been to an English speaking monastery, we had a lot of humorous times trying to communicate (I'm Irish) the hospitality sister & prioress were French - I spent my first year there, all liturgy was in German, Sunday walks were in French & no one spoke English.... The welcome -and initiation to life in the cloister was love, care, welcome & hard work.
First couple of years are spent mainly studying Scripture and following a path of discipleship through the Gospels....
I don't know how much things have changed or not???

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AnnL
Hi Curiousing,

Have for third time set out more detailed run of the day parralels that distinguishes Carthusians & Sisters of Bethlehem from other contemplative orders. And have somehow lost/ deleted it.
Next effort I will save first before trying to post it. I was checking with your previous request & somehow couldn't get back to it. To clarify
I have a neurological movement disorder, makes it difficult to type at times.
Patience & perseverance - ha,ha! Annl

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Gabriela

Hi Curiousing,

Have for third time set out more detailed run of the day parralels that distinguishes Carthusians & Sisters of Bethlehem from other contemplative orders. And have somehow lost/ deleted it.
Next effort I will save first before trying to post it. I was checking with your previous request & somehow couldn't get back to it. To clarify
I have a neurological movement disorder, makes it difficult to type at times.
Patience & perseverance - ha,ha! Annl

 

Hi AnnL,

 

That's ok. Take your time! I really appreciate all the info you gave in your previous posts. It was very enlightening! :-)

 

Do I understand correctly that you didn't enter at Livingston Manor in New York? Is the info you gave from Austria?

 

—c

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BronxMissionary0205

Hi Curiourisng (??). Thanks for your welcome. its a long time since i've spoken about it with anyone who REALLY wants to hear about the life from inside the experience ! You are more than welcome to ask & I'm more than willing to answer what I can......
MARANTHA,


AnnL,
Hi. I am new to Phatmass. I just saw that you had been with the Monastic Sisters for a few years. I just visited Livingston Manor. I think I might be called there, so I wrote Sr. Amena to ask to meet with her. (She was not there when I was visiting.) I was wondering if you might be able to tell me what the timeline and the process is for discerning further with them? I understand from their website that the first step is the School of Life. Can that be begun any time if year and at any monastery? Or, does a person need to go on the Evangelical month and then enter in France, there, for instance? I am just trying to get a sense of what this all might look like.
God bless you, and thanks!
Bethany

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maximillion

Hi Bronxmissinary and welcome to VS.

 

I wonder if you knew that the last post before yours was in May 2013.......?

 

You might get an answer but if not start a new thread and ask again.....

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nikita92
Margaret- it has been 8 years since Christine has posted about her daughter wanting to join the Monastery! I wonder if she is still wanting to join?!

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