Through the reception of the Holy Eucharist, each sister is daily invited and led to offer herself, her labors, and all created things together with Christ. (Constitutions of the Congregation)
The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the cornerstone of each day for the St. Cecilia Dominican. The horarium is built around the Mass. Whether at the Motherhouse or at a mission house, the local community always celebrates Mass together. In this way, each day we partake in the Lord’s sacrifice in such a way that we are united to Him, while we are at the same time united with our sisters in community. The fullness of the Eucharistic mystery is our privilege each day in its diverse aspects of sacrifice, sacrament, and communion.
The Mass presents to us the sacrifice of Christ on Calvary. As such, the Mass gives us the perfect image of what our own sacrifice should be. Jesus’ obedient offering of self to the Father’s will is the model for all consecrated religious. His dedication of self for the salvation of mankind is imitated in the life of each one who by vow denies herself, takes up her cross, and follows Christ.
Sacramental forms call us to understand the deeper spiritual reality. In the Sacrament of the Eucharist, what appears to be food for our bodies is actually nourishment for our wounded souls. So the religious sister provides a presence in the world that is meant to draw others to the heavenly realities. Even the outward sign of the habit is designed to remind those who see it that the person is dedicated to a deeper living of the Baptismal promises.
In Holy Communion, the consecrated religious is joined to her heavenly Bridegroom. He becomes joined to us, or more properly, we to Him. The reality of this union at the same time creates a bond no less real with those who share this communion with us. The spiritual reality speaks to us of the communion we are to build in the world among all our brothers and sisters. Mankind is not meant for division but for a unity that reflects the unity of the Holy Trinity.
St. Dominic celebrated the Mass with great tears, overwhelmed yet overjoyed at the wondrous mystery. As daughters of St. Dominic, we, too, bring our praise and prayers, our joys and fears to the altar each day. We join our own sacrifice to that of the Lord, and receive from Him his own life as the sustenance of our lives.