Clasp the Crucifix and Love Him

     It was a dark cold night when Ane Kirstine arrived after a long journey from Washington state. The joy in her heart upon arriving at St. Joseph’s monastery is reflected beautifully here. The next day, feast of our Passionist Saint Charles of Saint Andrew, Ane Kirstine officially began her postulancy.

Here Ane Kirstine enters the cloister to begin her formation, which God-willing, will find its fulfillment as a perpetually professed Passionist Nun!

Ane Kirstine kisses the crucifix during her entrance ceremony

Mother Catherine Marie gave the following talk during the entrance ceremony at Vespers of the Feast of St. Charles:

     Today, as Passionists throughout the world are celebrating the memorial of our newest Passionist saint— Saint Charles of Mount Argus — we are given a glimpse into the loving providence at work in the life of Ane Kirstine.

    Was it only mere chance that Ane Kirstine was present in Rome for the canonization of our St. Charles? Was it only her imagination when she seemed to understand that he was to be her brother in a special way on her spiritual journey? And what were the odds against a young Lutheran convert whose parental home is currently almost 3000 miles away ever even knowing about St. Joseph’s Monastery in rural Whitesville, KY, much less entering it? This is so reminiscent of today’s saint leaving Belgium to spend the rest of his life as a Passionist in Ireland and England.

    Our faith tells us, of course, that nothing, nothing happens by mere chance, and so we stand before the mystery of vocation. God who has counted even the hairs of our head, God who knows the inmost heart of every soul, this God has a plan unfolding in Ane Kirstine’s life as well as in the life of each one of us. But for this plan to be accomplished, for us to become all that God wants, for us to do for the Church and the world all that God wants—it is necessary to cultivate a generous heart.

    We read in the Vatican document, Vita Consecrata: “In every age, there have been men and women who, obedient to the Father’s call and to the prompting of the Spirit, have chosen this special way of following Christ, in order to devote themselves to Him with an undivided heart” (I Cor 7:34). Like the Apostles, they too have left everything behind in order to be Christ’s closest companions and collaborators, at the service of God, of the Church and of the world.

    Before St. Charles and certainly before any of us—there was another young man, a certain Paul Daneo, who turned down an offer of worldly wealth if only he would marry. He, like the apostles, left everything behind to follow Christ’s call. An intervention of Our Mother of Sorrows gave the call in this young man’s heart a specific focus: to live in the loving memory of the Passion of Jesus. He also felt drawn to live in a way of life marked by the spirit of poverty, prayer and solitude.

    There was also that special grace given him when he was traveling on a boat near Monte Argentario, off the coast of Italy. As his eyes feasted on the vast solitude and beauty of the mountain island, Paul seemed to hear Mary calling in his heart: “Paul, Paul, I am all alone.”When he climbed that solitary mountain, tradition tells us that Our Sorrowful Mother showed him where she wanted the first Passionist monastery to be built. A divine plan was unfolding. He was being led by events.

    In one way or another, we have all heard Our Sorrowful Mother’s call to stand with her at the foot of the cross, and to share profoundly in the work of redemption. This call is all the more important in our times when far too many Catholics are leaving Christ and Our Blessed Mother “alone” and running off to satisfy worldly desires of one sort or another.

    Today the Church places before us another example of answering the call of Christ and His Mother. We have St. Charles of Mt. Argus. After he decided to enter the Passionists, sorrow struck his family, but he was determined to let nothing hold him back. Charles felt the urgency of Christ’s call, just as St. Paul of the Cross did, and just as Ane Kirstine did.

    Significantly, St. Charles had natural musical talent. He loved to sing at community get-togethers, as well as in the Church and in the choir. His favorite piece was the Ave Maria. On Good Friday each year, Charles participated in the solemn singing of the Passion, taking the part of Christ. When the Passion narrative was finished, there would be tears in the eyes of many, caused by his very appearance and general bearing as he entered into the meaning of what was being proclaimed.

    Though St. Charles was a very ordinary man with ordinary human weaknesses, he humbly admitted his failings and persevered in overcoming his faults. He urged people to turn to Jesus whose death on the cross gives us the power to overcome our sinful inclinations:

The means to become perfect is to mortify our predominant passion. As a Captain in the time of battle in order to gain the victory, endeavors to arrange the soldiers at that point where he sees the greatest dangers are to be overcome, so we should do the same. As long as we strive to overcome our little passions, we shall not be easily overcome by the strong ones. What is the means to be used to overcome our passions? It is to meditate on the Passion of our Lord. A person who is proud, for instance, if he sees that Jesus Christ is derided, mocked, sent from one place to the other, and yet kept silence, he sees a great motive for humility in Our Lord. Another is impatient. He may look to the Crucifix and find a model of patience.

    Loving to clasp a crucifix in his hand, St. Charles found his place of refuge at the foot of the cross where his suffering and the suffering of others could be seen in their true light. He once wrote: “The cross patiently borne for the love of God helps greatly for our eternal salvation….Strive to think every day for a few minutes on the bitter sufferings of Jesus Christ….May Jesus and Mary always reign in our hearts.”

    Today, as Ane Kirstine officially begins the time of her postulancy, divine providence places before her and before all of us the example of this holy Passionist, Charles of Mt. Argus. He, together with our holy founder and all the holy men and women of our Congregation who make up the choir of heaven, are wonderful models who are actually very close to us. We are in fact surrounded by a great crowd of heavenly witnesses. The heavenly choir of Passionists is not only aware of what is taking place here at our monastery today, but they are also powerfully interceding for us, especially for our new postulant.

    We too are powerfully interceding for you, Ane Kirstine, and for each member of your family, as you give such joy to the Heart of Christ in beginning your postulancy. Our Lord loves them, and will be gracious to them each in a particular way. We place each of you in the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. He will be faithful to you and to them.

    Please come forward now to receive your postulant crucifix. God bless you!

 Ane Kirstine thanks you for your prayers and for the loving greetings sent by so many.
Please continue to pray for the other women whom Jesus desires to remain with Him in Passionist life, that they may likewise give a generous response to this Beloved Good – JESUS.


This entry was posted by Sponsa Christi.

31 thoughts on “Clasp the Crucifix and Love Him

  1. Pingback: Lisa Graas » Eclipse of Reason on Display at Huffington Post?

  2. Pingback: Lisa Graas » Tax-Funded Display of Ant-Covered Crucifix at the Smithsonian

  3. Hi

    Daventry Monastery – UK — I have just found out that my two friends now live near Belmont Abbey, Belmont, Herefordshire, UK. If Aspiring Nun is wishing to get in touch with them then google Belmont Abbey and contact them they will link you up with the Sisters. They would be delighted to meet you …. and just say it was janice that linked you up – it will make them smile.



  4. Dear Aspiring Nun and other friends of Christ

    Unfortunately the monastery at Daventry (UK) closed about 5 years ago. I knew the order very well as I visited them over a period of ten years. The numbers decreased and then they sold the monastery which is now a place that cares for those with neurological problems. The beautiful chapel that was built by one of the sisters has sadly gone including the stained glass window.

    the Rev. M at the time was a Mother Regina and Sister Monica had become very dear friends, but unfortunately we have lost contact. I got the impression that they and the others may have gone to London or the US, but I am not sure. I do not know of any other groups within the UK.

    They were an amazing group of sisters with such open and large hearts that helped me through times of great trial and confusion. I also found a wisdom and spiritual insight that was deep and so very relevant in todays world. I pray that all those within this order will be blessed with the same degree of love, insight, wisdom and grace as was found at Daventry. If anyone knows where my two friends are – please let me know.

    peace and joy


  5. Dearest Ane Kirstine Wynn,

    Oh! I miss you, but knowing you are happy is what comforts me and makes me happy you are happy…if that makes sense. I do miss the times we played cards (I’ve taught many of my friends the game of “I forget” and I hope you’ve taught the Sisters there!) and I miss just having a friend who loves Christ in the same way I do!
    I will send you a long, detailed letter informing you of all the new things God has whispered (and shouted) to me in the depths of my heart.
    However, there is one thing I must know. You so generously gave me a Job’s Rosary. Was it blessed? I know you yourself cannot answer me, but if one of the sisters could answer me for you, that would be mucho appreciated.
    All my love and prayers to you and the sisters!
    Catherine (Cathy)

    I’ll find out for you. Sponsa Christi

    I’m back! Yes, the rosary has been blessed several times!

  6. Dear Ane Kirstine,

    I am praying for God’s blessings upon you and your family as you journey on. The joy in your face is palpable in these photographs, and it put me in mind of a verse from Nehemiah: “The joy of the Lord is your strength.”

    Dear Sisters,

    I live in England, and I’ve been reading your blog with interest for quite a while. I did hear that once there were Passionist nuns in Daventry, but I haven’t been able to find out any more about them. Are they still there? If not, is there a monastery in continental Europe?

    Click here for a list of all our monasteries of Passionist Nuns.

  7. Dear Passionist Nuns of St. Joseph Monastery:
    You are in our daily prayers, and we thank you for your prayers.
    We share your great joy as you welcome Ane Kirstine into her postulancy! Thank you so very much for posting the photos.
    Ane Kirstine, we miss you at Latin Mass on Saturday mornings (your beautiful voice and correct pronunciations are especially missed!).
    But knowing you are courageously following God’s call is our consolation and such an inspiration for our young Latin Mass-go-ers, so many of whom are discerning vocations, too!

    May our Lord shower you all with His special graces!

  8. God go with you Ane Kirstine, and as Fr. Paul said I am sure St. Charles is with you too. What a gift you are!!!!!!!

    With all my love, Gareth.

  9. Dear Kirstine,
    My prayers and thoughts are with you as you
    make your journey. I feel so priviledged to have known you for even such a short time. You make your parents and us very proud.
    God Bless you,

  10. Kirstine, How wonderful to see you at this powerful moment, and how amazing to see all those who are supporting you in this journey. I am honored to be among them. 🙂 John

  11. Congratulations on your new postulant! I will most certainly pray for you! Please pray for me as I try to discern my calling to become a Catholic….
    I admire the Passionist Order and maybe I will join one day!

    God bless and guide you Jeri and may He reward you for your prayers for us. I will ask Ane Kirstine, a convert from Lutheranism, to pray for you!

  12. Dearest Kirstine,
    I am overjoyed, blessed and humbled to witness your sacred journey. I am rejoicing with you!
    You are especially close in heart & prayers as you begin your postulancy and as we begin to practice for this year’s interfaith concert on Feb. 20. Our piece will be If Ye Love Me (Tallis) and combined choir pieces will be All Things Bright and Beautiful (Rutter) and Gloria in D-major (Vivaldi)….all of which so beautifully remind me of you!
    Always know how much you are loved and that you and your precious Passionist family are in my daily prayers,

  13. Hey Kirstine! you look like you’re having an awesome time! Thanks so much for my birthday card- I loved it! ❤ ❤ ❤

  14. Dear Sisters,

    Your blog has become a real inspiration to me. St. Paul of the Cross and other true Passionists like yourselves (who exemplify your founder’s charism) are showing me the way out of the fever swamps of radical traditionalism and back home to ordinary Catholicism. Please pray for me, a poor sinner.

    Congratulations to your new postulant and God bless you all!

    In the hearts of Jesus and Mary,


    Dear David, we are so very happy to hear this good news. May God be praised and may He give you His peace. Please be assured of our continued prayers. Especially to your friends St. Gemma and Bl. Mother Teresa of Calcutta who are interceding on your behalf.

  15. Dear Ane Kirstine,
    Greetings from a former Whidbey Island, Washington dweller!! My heart rejoices with you
    as you embark on this journey of love. I will keep
    you in my prayers and pray many more vocations
    will be gracing your monastery.

  16. Ane Kirstine,
    May God bless you in your following of Christ crucified and may Our Lady of Sorrows and Saint Charles walk by your side.
    Fr Paul Francis c.p.

    Dear Fr. Paul Francis, Greetings! Thank you so much for leaving a comment. We keep you in our prayers. Thank you for your “yes” to our Lord! and for praying for Ane Kirstine.

  17. Dear Kirstine,

    That was a fateful day when God sent all that rain on us at St. Charles’ Canonization Mass. You kept was warm with your smile.

    Remembering you daily in our prayers!

  18. Dear Ane Kirstine,

    you radiate such joy in the pictures Sponsa Christi posted. Know that you have a special place in our prayers in your journey as a Passionist Nun. Hold high the Banner of the Passion.

    Thank you for everything you have done for your little missionary brothers of the Mission Society of the Passion and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Principal, Father Samuel, sends a special thankful hello ! May the Passion of Jesus and the Sorrows of Mary be always in our hearts !

    Monsignor Michael Palud
    Prior of the Mission Society
    Vicar General of the Diocese of Mandeville

    So good to hear from you Msgr! I will definitely share your message and all the comments here with Ane Kirstine.

  19. BEAUTIFUL! I pray each day for all those discerners, postulants, novices, etc whose names I know, and today I offer a prayer of praise and thanksgiving for Ane Kirstine’s entrance! What a lovely talk by Mother Catherine Marie. I got goosebumps! Much joy!

    And I love it that your carpeting has heart shapes on it! So Passionist!

  20. Hi ,
    i`m Kelly, i have 22 yrs old from York , England .

    We try to share this link from –Debby Alten one succes writer made one her blog to share the story of espeacial lady with one amazing story !
    We try to make something to help alittle this childrens , just search and look ! if you need to contact Debby is on facebook or mail:

    Our hearts are for the families from Haiti ,too ! Let`s keep prayers for all the overhelming situation of there .

    Often when we face obstacles in our day-to-day life, our hurdles seem very small in comparison to what many others have to face. The Brooklyn Bridge shows us that dreams that seem impossible can be realised with determination and persistence, no matter what the odds are.The pursuit of happiness is a matter of choice…it is a positive attitude we consciously choose to express. It is not a gift that gets delivered to our doorstep each morning, nor does it come through the window. And I am certain that our circumstances are just a small part of what makes us joyful. If we wait for them to get just right, we will never find lasting joy.

    The LORD is with us !

    -:) Hugs !!!

  21. God bless Sister Ane Kirstine,as she begins her religious life! She looks radiant with the happiness only Christ can give. May God grant her the grace to persevere in her new life,and may many more young women say “yes” to Christ,and find their way to your community.
    I send you love and prayers,and may God bless you all.

  22. Does Ane Kirstine have Norwegian heritage? Her name indicates that to me…

    The entrance picture was worth more than 1000 words! That was one happy lady!! Congratulations to the monastery!

    Ane Kirstine’s mother’s family is from Denmark.

  23. What a beautiful homily about your Passionist saints! I especially appreciated the allusions to Our Lady of Sorrows on whose feast day I was born and who has meant so much to me on my own life’s spiritual journey. I will keep Ane Kirstine in my prayers. She has embarked on quite an adventure.

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