11/21/2017, 17.03
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Carmelites in Baroda celebrate the Presentation of Mary to the temple through prayers

by Nirmala Carvalho

The cloistered nuns live in the Prem Jyot (Light of Love) monastery. For the mother prioress, the service of contemplative nuns is “prayer”. Pope Francis "never ceases to invite us to ‘meet Christ’.”

Mumbai (AsiaNews) – The Discalced Carmelite nuns of Baroda (Gujarat) celebrated the feast of the Presentation of Mary to the temple, which is observed today, immersed in contemplative prayer.

"This recurrence is the feast of us (contemplative) nuns,” Sister Marie Gemma OCD, Mother Prioress at the Prem Jyot Monastery, told AsiaNews. “It is in line with the Gospel (Lk 2.19) that ‘Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.’ The same goes for us contemplative nuns.”

The Sisters took part in a solemn liturgy celebrated in their monastery. "We contemplatives do not have a ministry,” Sr Marie Gemma explained. “Other religious congregations perform special services, for example in the field of education or medical care. We contemplatives instead only have prayer."

"Like Mary, we do nothing spectacular and remain cloistered. Mary was crowned Queen of Heaven by Jesus. We contemplatives imitate Mary with prayers, making ourselves smaller, emptying ourselves, approaching God. Whatever the contemplatives do is between God and us, and this requires strength and smallness."

According to the prioress, even "Pope Francis is a contemplative. The Holy Father never ceases to invite us to 'meet Christ'. This is contemplative because to meet Jesus is everything; nothing is silly; every moment, every challenge, everything is an opportunity to meet Jesus."

"In his life and mission, Pope Francis met Jesus and this is why he always tells each and everyone of us that we must make sure to meet Jesus."

Finally, "Today is a special day for us,” Sr Marie Gemma noted. “Let us pray for Pope Francis, for the needs of the universal Church, and especially for the missionary pilgrimage of the pope in Myanmar and Bangladesh."

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