Communities for Women
OF NOTRE-DAME DE TOUTE CONFIANCE
For two thousand
years, the Church of Our Lord Jesus Christ has been making its way
at the price of ceaseless trials and tribulations. The Apostles,
privileged witnesses of the Death and Resurrection of Our Lord,
were its foundation stones. The martyrs sprinkled it with their
blood. Then the fathers of the Desert defended its purity by separating
themselves from the world to pray. Soon they recognized the need
of coming together in monasteries. In our times, it is in monasteries
still that are to be found “seekers of God”, who have but
one love in their hearts: that of Our Lord, whose call they have
heard: “Come follow Me; and learn of Me for I am meek and humble
Divine Office, Heart of the Benedictine Life
the monks of the Orient, St. Benedict founded the monastic life
in Italy in the sixth century. The monastic life soon crossed Italy’s
border and spread throughout the world. In a peaceful little valley
of Deux Sèvres, at “Notre-Dame de Toute Confiance,” not far from
the region of the Vendée, renown for its heroic Catholic resistance
during the French Revolution, a small group of Benedictines have
assembled, desiring to follow the rule of St. Benedict, and to lead
a life of prayer and contemplation. “Seven times a day”
and once at night, they assemble in the Chapel to praise God. The
Divine Office, truly the prayer of the Church since the first centuries,
is chanted in Latin and Gregorian, which requires care and study,
so that “the heart be in accord with the voice”, as St. Benedict
says. These canonical hours, by the way, are but the repercussion,
the echo of the “sacrifice of praise” of Our Lord Jesus Christ;
the Holy Mass. The Mass is at the center of the monastic
life. Each day, Christ Jesus offers anew the sacrifice of Calvary,
and renews His call to a greater love: to give ones’ life, to give
one’s self, to let one’s self be seized by Christ.
is the soul's enemy" (Rule)
To belong to
the Church, to keep the Mass of all Times, to maintain the monastic
traditions: such is the desire of the nuns of Notre Dame de Toute
Confiance. They do not seek to innovate, but rather “attach
their barque to the ship of the ancients”.
The Rule of
St. Benedict is organized for “seeking firstly the Kingdom of
God”. A great Irish monk, Dom Marmion, who governed the Abbey
of Maredsous in Belgium at the beginning of the century, explained
it thus: “When one submits himself entirely to Jesus Christ,
when one abandons himself to Him, when our soul does but answer,
as He did, a perpetual ‘Amen’ to all that he asks of us in His Father’s
name, when we remain in this attitude of adoration, then Our Lord
Jesus Christ establish His peace in us.” This “peace”
sought and pursued unstintingly has become the motto of the Benedictines.
Crux Ave, Spes Unica!
The nun lives
for Christ alone; her only desire is Our Lord Jesus Christ lives
in her, sing in her, pray, suffer and come to life again in her.
She begins to “run in the way of the commandments with an ineffable
sweetness of love”, but only having accorded her life, by an
oft exercised patience, to the Passion of her dear Lord.
under the true King, Jesus Christ, with the powerful and glorious
weapon of obedience” also means undertaking everything that
is commanded. A vegetable garden and a poultry yard are quite useful
in the countryside. Household chores also fill up the hours, but
all that is accomplished out of love dispossesses us of our self-will.
The virtue of obedience is the dear daughter of humility, and is
it not this virtue that pleased the Most High in Our Lady? It is
comforting to pray to her under this name of “Toute Confiance”,
sure that it is she who governs the community and gives it unity.
If the monastic
life is a life of prayer and work, it is also an apostolic life.
Indeed, how can one keep from making one’s own the intention that
Our Lord be formed more and more in souls. Archbishop Lefebvre
thought – because he had experienced it – that the “treasures
of graces for missionaries are found in the convents of the contemplatives”.
“It is by prayer, sacrifice and penance that God gives his graces
to the world,” he would say.
The life of
a Benedictine proceeds thus: after a few months of postulate, the
receiving of the habit marks the entry into the novitiate, which
lasts two years. The novice then makes temporary vows for three
years; and then she pronounces her perpetual vows, with the obligation
of staying in the monastery of her profession (vow of stability),
and laboring there in obedience and humility so as to live ever
more and more for God alone (vow of conversion of life).
sweet it is to dwell together!"
you may be, who hurry to attain everlasting life, with Our Lord’s
help, accomplishes this little rule for beginners,” says St.
Benedict modestly, “and you will reach the highest summit of
Monastère Notre-Dame de Toute Confiance
Monastery of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
Caixa Postal 89756
Nova friburgo - Rio de Janeiro
Dominican Teaching Sisters of the Holy Name of Jesus and the Immaculate
Heart of Mary
La Celle - 83170 Brignolles
04 94 69 12 24
The foundation of Post Falls, ID U.S.A.