"...for my house will be called a house of prayer for all peoples." Isaiah 56:7

"O Lord,...you have been pleased to bless this house of your servant, so that it will always remain. It is you, O Lord, who blessed it, and it will be blessed forever." 1 Chr 17: 26-27

Sr. Marie De Mandat-Grancey Foundation
P.O.Box 275
Cold Spring Harbor, NY 11724 USA

" I am not a priest and cannot bless them, but all that the heart of a mother can ask of God for her children, I ask of Him and will never cease to ask Him." ~ Sister Marie

“The grace of our Lord be with us forever.” ~ Sr. Marie

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Pilgrimage to Ephesus by Robin Senior

We had the distinct pleasure of meeting Robin Senior, author of this piece, a couple of days ago while visiting a local Rosary Group to tell about Sr. Marie and Mary's House.  She shared with us her tale of visiting Mary's House and how the lyrics of certain songs "played in her heart."   The little excerpts from these hymns seem to be chosen by Mary herself.  When we visit Mary in her home, she teaches us about her Son.   

“Come and see what I have done, I’ve given my only son.  He lived for you and he died for you.  Come and see.” Tom Kendzia’s Pieta echoed in my ears as we ascended the mountain approaching Meryem Ana Evi, the remains of the house where the Virgin Mary is thought to have spent her last years with the disciple John, in Ephesus, Turkey.  Often the Lord speaks to me in hymns and today was no exception.

We, my sister Tracy and youngest daughter Seanna, were on the fifth day of our trip, a quasi pilgrimage.  In Istanbul we discovered two Roman Catholic Churches, but neither celebrated weekday Masses.  In Capadoccia we entered many cave churches, replete with colorful frescoes depicting scenes from the New Testament, remnants of places Christians worshipped secretly in the sixth through ninth centuries. 
Finally we arrived in Ephesus on Sunday, August 16, the day after the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  As we entered the house now attached to a small chapel, with a throng of other tourists, emotion overtook me.  Tears streamed from my eyes.  I wanted to stay and pray, but we were herded through like cattle. However, I was afforded an opportunity the following day.
Early Monday morning my sister and I set out.  Again as the car took us up the mountain, I heard, “he lived for you and he died for you, come and see;” upon reaching the site, “here in this place new light is streaming, now is the darkness vanished away;” and entering the house, “shepherd me oh God, from all my wants, from all my fears, from death into life.”
The place was cool and peaceful at this early hour.  Unlike the previous day, Tracy and I were alone except for two nuns and a monk preparing the altar for Mass.  Soon, two other monks and a priest entered.  I do not remember what hymns we sang, but there was an otherworldly quality about the sound of a cappella voices. Again I felt Mary’s presence and tears welled.
The gospel was that of the wealthy young man who asks Jesus what he must do to enter the kingdom of God and when told to sell everything, give to the poor and follow Him, went away sad for he had many possessions.  The priest spoke in soft Italian, for us it is not many things that separate us from God, but rather one thing - one sin.   And I knew the sin for me involves disobedience, the antithesis of Mary’s fiat!  As we descended her mountain I knew she had touched me and something within had shifted.

Pieta by Tom Kendzia
Come and see what I have done.
I've given you my only Son.
He lived for you and He died for you.
Come and See.
Lamb of God, Lamb of God,
Have mercy on us, forgive us Lord.
Come and see what I have done.
I've given you my only Son.
He lived for you and He died for you.
Come and See.

Shepherd Me, O God (Psalm 23)

Marty Haugen

Refrain: Shepherd me, O God beyond my wants,
beyond my fears, from death into life.

God is my shepherd, so nothing shall I want,
I rest in the meadows of faithfulness and love,
I walk by the quiet waters of peace. Refrain

Gently you raise me and heal my weary soul,
You lead me by pathways of righteousness and truth,
my spirit shall sing the music of your Name. Refrain
Though I should wander the valley of death
I fear no evil for you are at my side
Your rod and your staff, my comfort and my hope. Refrain

Gather Us In
Marty Haugen
© 1982 GIA Publications
Verse 1
Here in this place new light is streaming,
Now is the darkness vanished away,
See in this space our fears and our dreamings
Brought here to You in the light of this day.
Chorus 1
Gather us in the lost and forsaken,
Gather us in the blind and the lame;
Call to us now and we shall awaken,
We shall arise at the sound of our name.
Verse 2
We are the young our lives are a mystery,
we are the old who yearn for your face.
We have been sung throughout all of history,
Called to be light to the whole human race.
Chorus 2
Gather us in the rich and the haughty
Gather us in the proud and the strong,
Give us a heart so meek and so lowly,
Give us the courage to enter the song.
Verse 3
Here we will take the wine and the water,
Here we will take the bread of new birth,
Here you shall call your sons and your daughters,
Call us anew to be salt for the earth.
Chorus 3
Give us to drink the wine of compassion,
Give us to eat the bread that is you;
Nourish us well and teach us to fashion,
lives that are holy and hearts that are true.
Verse 4
Not in the dark of buildings confining,
Not in some heaven light years away,
But here in this place the new light is shining,
Now is the Kingdom, now is the day.
Chorus 4
Gather us in and hold us forever,
Gather us in and make us your own;
fire of love in our flesh and our bones.