The Peace of Jerusalem

I just got back from four days spent with the Monastic Community of Jerusalem in Montreal. It was a beautiful experience. Someone recommended them because of the balance I could cope with . Not over-active and not strictly cloistered either.

I don’t understand French and the community is very French, so when I got there, I wondered what I was thinking in the first place.  However, as I listened to the liturgy, I was filled so much peace.

It was not the excitement that I felt with the Salesians or the familiarity of their charism. It was just peace. I think this is what counts at the end of the day, when you get bored with the action around you.

Their community follows the rule of Jerusalem,  they are monastics in the city. They have part-time jobs to support themselves, and open their liturgy to the inhabitants of the city. This rule goes back to the early days of Christianity.

I had a good conversation with the Prioress who, kept apologizing for her bad English. I still understood it though.

She recommended that I read their rule and then come for a longer stay, so I can discern better. She also told me to learn some French 🙂

The church is a 124 years old and was the first church built for the Blessed Sacrament in North America.

My friend  St. Therese of Lisieux was there too. Both as a saint who had a devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and the church has a huge statue of her too. I was making constant novenas to her to help show me the way.

The irony is that she’s French too!

Okay, I forgot to add that during the Pentecost vigil, at the end there were prayers being said to receive the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I went up to be prayed over. Two sisters had their hand on each side of my shoulders. There was nobody in front of me. I asked to receive the gift of courage, since in my previous post on overcoming fear I mentioned how fear and anxiety can take a hold of my life. While they were praying, my eyes were closed but I sensed someone stepped in front of me and strong hands anointed me. It was like a man’s hand. I thought it might be a priest or a monk.  The community has an order of monks too.

There was nobody there. I wanted to check out the sister’s hands later to figure out how strong they were, but It would be a silly thing to do.

Did I imagine this or did someone actually step in front of me?

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2 thoughts on “The Peace of Jerusalem

  1. Safia says:

    Hello from the pham, S! What a beautiful experience. No one can ever know for sure what happened, I suppose, but it’s very likely that Christ made Himself present to you. I’ve experienced the Lord in very intense ways during prayer sessions like this one, and those types of experiences are not as rare as we think; many simply don’t discuss them. Evaluate it based on the fruits: if they exist, whether it was the Spirit working, or whether it was a Sister, it’s good and of God.

    God bless!

    You’ll be in my prayers, as you continue to discern.

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