“O God, through whom Thy Church is glorified by the wonderful learning of Thy blessed Confessor Thomas and profiteth still from his holy labours: grant we pray, that we may grasp his teaching with our minds and show it, as he did, in our lives.”
A joyous occasion for our community, the Feast of St Thomas has been chosen for the blessing of our Convent by the district superior Father Black. The ceremony started with a sung School Mass, at which Father Black expounded the lesson for the Feast of St Thomas, taken from the book of Wisdom. Father pointed out that in order to receive wisdom we need to desire and strive after her; it will require an honest effort on our part. But effort well worth spending, since the light which she imparts cannot be put out; it is worth more than gold and silver. True wisdom does not merely relate to cleverness or practical real life applications which result in high paying jobs, which ultimately puff men up and lead them away from God. True wisdom leads us to contemplate God in His goodness; it humbles us before Our Father and leads us to practice discipline. True wisdom once gained, flows over into our actions and sanctify us. Hence we find in St Thomas a humble man whose greatness lays not so much in what he knew and wrote, but how he put it into practice in his own life. We therefore ask in the collect of the Mass, not only to be able grasp his teaching, but to show it, to be able to put it into practice in our lives as well.
Blessing of the convent
After Mass at which the choir sung beautifully, the teachers and children all (apart from the first year “preppies” – whose little legs would not have been able to keep up with the rest) processed to the Convent for the blessing. Once all were assembled Father proceeded with the Sisters singing the “O Lumen”. A long snake of two rows of children reciting the Rosary marked the end of the proceedings at the Convent as they made their way back to the Church.
The procession returns to the Church
But our Feast Day celebration had but begun, we were fortunate enough to be able to receive Father Black back in the afternoon, during which the Sisters were able to entertain him with a few Scottish songs dear to his heart.
Muscial items to entertain Fr Black
Since we now also have a Sister with St Thomas as patron, we were able to extend our joyous celebrations to the evening at which she was able to blow out the candle on her very first Feast Day cake as Sister Mary Thomas. We pray that this is the first of many happy years in the service of Our Lord. And joyful it is indeed, from St Catherine of Siena we learn that ” His religion is all joyous: it is a garden of delights.” To some novices whom he had just admitted into the Order and who broke out into hysterical laughter during Compline, Jordan of Saxony said: “Laugh, dear brothers, laugh !” and he reproved an old friar who sought to repress their levity. If Blessed Jordan of Saxony approved of laughing novices, it was because of the motive which he regarded as underlying their merriment: “You may well laugh, because you have escaped from the devil who formerly held you in bondage.” Like those Novices of old we are greatly comforted when reflecting on these words, and the thought that our little convent has now been blessed.
Safe from the storms and troubles of the world – we can continue to give our whole heart to the service and love of God.