Southern Valley Living - Summer 2018

Page 10

Garden of Prayer By Kathleen Leinen

The grounds are quiet, peaceful and devoted to the Virgin Mary. The Sisters of Carmel Monastery have developed a special relationship with the mother of Jesus — looking at Mary as mother, sister and lady of the place. They dedicated their chapel to her patronage. Located four miles west of Wahpeton, North Dakota, the large grassy expanse is broken up with statues dedicated to their benefactress. Mary is all that Carmel longs and hopes to be. She represents devotion to God — a woman who didn’t hesitate when called upon to be the mother of Jesus. Wild flowers intermix with a beautifully manicured lawn. A sighing wind filters through the leaves and a feeling of peace pervades one’s senses. Above all, quiet stillness is heard. “When all is silent, do you hear the gentle voice? A voice from within beckoning you to become closer to our Lord Jesus Christ. Do you hear the call?”

The greater part of the day and night of the cloistered nuns at Carmel of Mary Monastery is spent in prayer — their way of life is structured, simple and led by faith

Photo by Elena K Photography 10 | Southern Valley LIVING • Summer 2018

The Carmelite Sisters of Wahpeton have developed a DVD to explain their order’s history and daily life. Present among the Sisters of Carmel are four women who have devoted their adult life to developing a closer relationship to God and praying for the world’s sins. Their story is as much about the grounds where they live as their way of life. At Carmel of Mary Monastery the day begins at midnight. The nuns rise from their sleep to offer amends for the nighttime sins of the world. The Sisters then sleep for a few more hours of rest and rise at dawn. They begin the morning by coming together for prayerful chanting. Each nun then spends an hour in personal prayer and they come together again at 7 a.m. to celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of Mass. Every day brings its own duties and surprises, but the regular rhythm of liturgical prayer punctuates the day’s activities. Vesper’s bell calls the nuns together to assemble for evening prayer where they gather up the day

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