by Nikola Kanachowski.
We are a prayer house and a house of hospitality, and the word Catherine Doherty gave us for this house was "gentleness."
This word continues to be significant for us as we live with and love one another, and as we receive whoever Our Lady brings through our blue door.
Everything hinges on the structure of our daily life. We begin and end our days with communal prayer in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament—a half hour of silent adoration followed by lauds, vespers, or the rosary. And we each have our own personal prayer times as well.
We have meals and spiritual reading together, and we drive into Whitby, a nearby town, for daily Mass. It is through this daily routine that we have the strength to love and receive, first of all, ourselves and one another, and then all those who come to us.
Recently, we were blessed with a three-week visit from one of our Madonna House priests, Fr. Denis Lemieux. Fr. Denis gave us a staff retreat and the parish in Whitby a mini-mission.
Fr. Denis confirmed the beautiful ongoing work that God is doing in this humble little "room" of Madonna House. Among other things, he told us that we are a house not just for this area but for all of England and beyond, and that we have the opportunity to be the hem of Christ’s garment that people can touch and find healing.
Despite the terrible darkness in our world today, Fr. Denis sensed beauty and hope, especially in the people.
Quoting from Gerard Manley Hopkins poem, "God’s Grandeur," he said that in the English people he had encountered "the dearest freshness deep down things".
In the midst of all this living and loving, we underwent a stressful period when Daniel Rabideau’s application for a visa, for permission to stay in England, was rejected.
The Lord permitted this situation, and it was both gift and poison. Out of the struggle has come for each of us, to a greater or lesser degree, the gift of deeper surrender to God’s will and deeper trust in him and in his mysterious ways.
Through it, we became more aware of the beauty of our brother and of what he brings to this house. We also became able to see more clearly the beauty of our life here, making us want to live it as fully as possible.
Our neighbours and friends were also involved. Showing their love for us, they supported us and gave us whatever help they could. So, bit by bit, we inched along.
As of this writing, Daniel has submitted a new application, and it is now in God’s hands.
Fed by God through the sacraments and prayer, we continue to live our spiritually rich life, and out of that richness, we give ourselves to those who come.
The Lord gives us his risen life to live by whenever we call upon him.
If you enjoy our articles, we ask you to please consider subscribing to the print edition of Restoration; it's only $10 a year, and will help us stay in print. Thanks, and God bless you!