|Consecrated men and women, and laity at IRL Boston.|
| (C) Fr. Thomas Nelson, O.Praem., is the National Director |
of the Institute on Religious Life,
(L) Michael Wick, Excecutive Director
On Saturday November 11th we attended the Institute of Religious Life (IRL) Regional Meeting at the Basilica of Perpetual Help, Boston, M.A. This year’s meeting was titled, Sacred Liturgy and the Consecrated Life. The day of recollection included three spiritual talks, Divine Liturgy, adoration and benediction.
One of the talks titled The Holy Mysteries: the Eucharist as the Radiant Light for the Consecrated Life was presented by Sister Marla Marie. In her reflective presentation, Sister highlighted the beauty of our Maronite Church within the Easter Catholic Churches, sharing some of our Maronite spirituality, theology, icons and music utilizing power point slides for illustrations.
The second part of Sister Marla Marie’s presentation explained the Holy Mysteries by taking three rituals in the Divine Liturgy and relating them to the life of the consecrated persons. Sister discussed the ritual of the Lighting, the symbolism of Incensing, and the prayer of the Transfer of Offerings.
Sister Marla Marie referenced Church Documents such as Vita Consecrata (Consecrated Life) to help emphasize her point of how we can enter more deeply into the Mystery of the Eucharist, so that it can become who we are to others.
Some highlights that stood out for me were the beautiful prayers that were shared visually and vocally from the Divine Liturgy, while Syriac music played in the background. Another highlight was the symbolism of the incense used in the Liturgy. We as Religious are to be that pleasing aroma ascending to God as we offer up our daily prayer, worship and sacrifices. As consecrated men and women, we are called to lay down our life as a living incense.
In reference to the prayer of the Transfer of Offerings, Sister Marla Marie shared that we are model Mary’s receptivity in receiving The Word, Jesus in her heart and body. We are to receive Jesus into ourselves so that we can be fruitful in radiating his light to others.
The Institute on Religious Life (IRL) promotes and supports the growth, development, and renewal of the consecrated life—particularly vowed religious life—as a gift to the Church and an evangelical witness to the world. We include and engage bishops, clergy, religious, consecrated and lay faithful in a collaborative apostolate of prayer and service, guided by the magisterial teachings and rich heritage of the Church. More information at: www.religiouslife.com