A Carmelite response to the sexual abuse crisis

Some have asked if Carmelites have a particular message or word of advice and counsel to offer to the Catholic Church as she passes through a profound crisis concerning sexual abuse, the abuse of power, and the abuse of conscience. Of course, the answer is a resounding, “yes”. Let us turn to the teaching of our Doctors of the Church, and in particular, let us learn from their feminine genius, to be attentive to the wisdom that emanates from Carmel.

Teresa-de-Jesus_Juan-de-la-Misericordia-original
One of three portraits claimed to be the original painted by Fray Juan de la Miseria in 1570

When she was a young nun, Saint Teresa was attached to a priest with fallen morals in Becedas, and she talks about this relationship in Chapter 5 of her autobiography, The Book of Her Life.

“I was so fascinated with God at that time what pleased me most was to speak of the things of God. And since I was so young, it threw him into confusion to observe this; and by reason of the strong love he had for me, he began to explain to me about his bad moral state. This was no small matter, because for about seven years he had been living in a dangerous state on account of his affection and dealings with a woman in that same place; and, despite this, he was saying Mass. The association was so public that he had lost his honor and reputation, and no one dared to admonish him about this. To me, it was a great pity for I loved him deeply. I was so frivolous and blind that it seemed to me a virtue to be grateful and loyal to anyone who loved me. Damned be such loyalty that goes against the law of God! This is the kind of nonsense that goes on in the world, which makes no sense to me: that we consider it a virtue not to break with a friendship, even if the latter go against God, whereas we are indebted to God for all the good that is done to us. Oh, blindness of the world! You would have been served, Lord, if I had been most ungrateful to all that world and not the least bit ungrateful to You! But it has been just the reverse because of my sins.”

“Damned be such loyalty that goes against the law of God!”

Brother_Lawrence_in_the_kitchen
An artist’s rendering of Frère Laurent in the cuisine of the Couvent des Carmes

The wisdom of our Carmelite doctors teaches that practicing the presence of Christ is essential in the Christian life to weather every trial. “Keeping Christ present is what we of ourselves can do,” wrote Saint Teresa (The Book of Her Life, 12:4).

Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection agrees: “The holiest, most ordinary, and most necessary practice of the spiritual life is that of the presence of God. It is to take delight in and become accustomed to his divine company, speaking humbly and conversing lovingly with him all the time, at every moment, without rule or measure, especially in times of temptation, suffering, aridity, weariness, even infidelity and sin.” (Maxims, 2:6)

“Keeping Christ present is what we of ourselves can do”

Untitled Design (1)
USAG-Humphreys, South Korea, Full-Scale Exercise, 2012: Hostage Scenario

Saint Teresa teaches us the necessity of avoiding sin at all costs. In her Spiritual Testimonies, No. 20, Saint Teresa describes her 1571 vision of “how a soul in sin is without any power but is like a person completely bound, tied, and blindfolded; for although wanting to see, such a person cannot, and cannot walk or hear, and remains in great darkness. Souls in this condition make me feel such compassion that any burden seems light to me if I can free one of them.”

In the Interior Castle (First Dwelling, Chapter 2) she described the torment to a greater extent: “there’s no darker darkness nor anything more obscure and black… Nothing helps such a soul; and as a result, all the good works it might do while in mortal sin are fruitless for the attainment of glory… Since, after all, the intention of anyone who commits a mortal sin is to please the devil, who is darkness itself, not God, the poor soul becomes darkness itself.”

But, it was her vision of hell in 1560 that compelled her first and foremost to serve God with the greatest fervor, to avoid sin at all costs, and to “give a thousand lives to save one soul” (Way of Perfection, Chapter 1). She explained the horror of the vision in The Book of Her Life, Chapter 32:

[W]hile I was in prayer one day, I suddenly found that, without knowing how, I had seemingly been put in hell. I understood that the Lord wanted me to see the place the devils had prepared there for me and which I merited because of my sins. This experience took place within the shortest space of time, but even were I to live for many years I think it would be impossible for me to forget it…

What I felt, it seems to me, cannot even begin to be exaggerated; nor can it be understood. I experienced a fire in the soul that I don’t know how I could describe… This, however, was nothing next to the soul’s agonizing: a constriction, a suffocation, an affliction so keenly felt and with such a despairing and tormenting unhappiness that I don’t know how to word it strongly enough. To say the experience is as though the soul were continually being wrested from the body would be insufficient, for it would make you think somebody else is taking away the life, whereas here it is the soul itself that tears itself in pieces. The fact is that I don’t know how to give a sufficiently powerful description of that interior fire and that despair

I was left terrified, and still am now in writing about this almost six years later, and it seems to me that on account of the fear my natural heat fails me right here and now. Thus I recall no time of trial or suffering in which it doesn’t seem to me that everything that can be suffered here on earth is nothing; so I think in a way we complain without reason… 

Consequently, it is hardly surprising that Saint Teresa shrugged off so many hardships with her “grande y muy determinada determinación“; that is to say, her “great and very determined determination,” a typical Teresian turn of phrase that gives us a glimpse into her unflinching character. Not only was her heart aflame with divine love, but her soul bore the traces of this unquenchable fire and disconsolate despair.

“Souls in this condition make me feel such compassion that any burden seems light to me if I can free one of them”

adolfo-lozano-sidro-99
Santa Teresa de Jesús, Adolfo Lozano Sidro, oil on canvas, ca. 1897

Saint Teresa responded to the Church’s most profound crisis in centuries by practicing prayer, silence, and striving for evangelical perfection. She continues her account of the 1560 vision of hell with these remarkable words: “from this experience [the vision of hell] also flow the great impulses to help souls and the extraordinary pain that it caused me by the many that are condemned (especially the Lutherans, for they were through baptism members of the Church). It seems certain to me that in order to free one alone from such appalling torments I would suffer many deaths very willingly.” (The Book of Her Life, Chapter 32)

When the professor of moral theology at Wittenburg University sent his Disputatio pro declaratione virtutis indulgentiarum in a letter to the Archbishop of Mainz on 31 October 1517,  few could have foreseen that the 95 theses in Professor Luther’s Disputatio would wound the Church so deeply, or that the wound would grow so infected that it would spread even to Spain.

Teresian scholars Rodriguez and Kavanaugh describe the context of the times for Saint Teresa: only a few short years after the publication of Martin Luther’s 95 Theses, the Inquisition in Spain promulgated a decree (1525) against the “heresies of Luther”.  The restrictions of the Inquisition in those days were so oppressive that even Saint Ignatius of Loyola was forbidden to preach for three years.

In the months following her harrowing vision of hell, Saint Teresa continued to hear distressing reports concerning the spread of the Lutheran sect, as she called it. While she prayerfully, carefully laid the plans to gather a “few good friends” to found a Carmelite monastery of strict observance, the damnation of Lutherans – made more urgent by the terrifying vision of hell – was her constant concern. As she puts it, she had “some good motives”; we’ll let her explain:

When I began to take the first steps toward founding this monastery…  it was not my intention that there be so much external austerity or that the house have no income; on the contrary, I would have desired the possibility that nothing be lacking. In sum, my intention was the intention of the weak and wretched person that I am — although I did have some good motives besides those involving my own comfort. 

At that time news reached me of the harm being done in France and of the havoc the Lutherans had caused and how much this miserable sect was growing. The news distressed me greatly, and, as though I could do something or were something, I cried to the Lord and begged Him that I might remedy so much evil. It seemed to me that I would have given a thousand lives to save one soul out of the many that were being lost there.

I realized I was a woman and wretched and incapable of doing any of the useful things I desired to do in the service of the Lord. All my longing was and still is that since He has so many enemies and so few friends that these few friends be good ones. As a result, I resolved to do the little that was in my power; that is, to follow the evangelical counsels as perfectly as I could and strive that these few persons who live here do the same. [The Catechism of the Catholic Church defines the evangelical counsels in Nos. 1973 and 1974; a further explanation of the counsels in relation to the Ten Commandments is found at No. 2053.] 

Saint Teresa’s motives, methods, and goals are clear: she hears the distressing news, comprehends the gravity of the situation, and her immediate recourse is to “arise, cry out in the night,” and, clinging to her Spouse, to pour out her heart “like water before the presence of the Lord.” (Lamentations 2:19)

Much in the same way that Elijah stands on God’s holy mountain, speaking to Him when he hears the gentle breeze, rendering an account for his presence and actions saying, “with zeal have I been zealous for the Lord God of Hosts,” (Zelo zelatus sum pro Domino Deo exercituum, the motto of the Carmelites), even so Saint Teresa is driven with zealous zeal at this moment. She who desired in her reform to lift up the holy founders of the order as models and exemplars, the “holy fathers of the past, those hermits whose lives we aim to imitate,” (Way of Perfection, Chapter 11) Saint Teresa is following their path into the Wadi ‘Ain Es-Siah to pursue prayer and silence. For Teresa, a rugged hike along the way of perfection is the best remedy to the Church’s greatest crisis of the second millennium.

“I resolved to do the little that was in my power; that is, to follow the evangelical counsels as perfectly as I could”

Pri06r
Saint Thérèse’s Offering to Merciful Love (recto)

In her infinite wisdom, the Virgin of Carmel, who is our sister and teacher, impresses upon us the necessity of prayer for priests.  During her summer vacation in July 1890, Celine Martin writes to her sisters in the Carmelite monastery back home in Lisieux, “Oh! how necessary it is to pray for priests!” (Letter, 7/22/1890)

Nearly five years later, Saint Thérèse took her sister’s urgent request to heart as she penned the first draft of her act of Offering of Myself as a Victim of Holocaust to the Merciful Love of the Good God. The opening lines of her first draft state: “O My God! Most Blessed Trinity, I desire to love you and make you loved, to work for the glory of Holy Church by saving souls on earth and liberating those suffering in purgatory. Finally, my God, I want to make myself worthy of my vocation by helping your apostles to conquer for you all hearts.”

Thérèse eloquently expressed that desire in the final months of her life to the one apostle to whom she confided her deepest dreams and celestial aspirations: the Missionaries of Africa seminarian, Maurice Bellière. In an extraordinary letter dated 24 February 1897, Saint Thérèse plainly states her life’s mission: “If the Lord takes me soon with Him, I ask you to continue each day the same prayer, for I shall desire in heaven the same thing as I do on earth: To love Jesus and to make him loved.” 

The eminent Carmelite authority on the theology of the saints, François-Marie Léthel, O.C.D. expounded upon Saint Thérèse’s deepest desires as the preacher of the 2011 Lenten Exercises for Pope Benedict XVI and the Roman Curia. In the seventh meditation, which focuses on the Christocentrism of  Thérèse, he explains, “the light of Christ, which we contemplate with Thérèse in this meditation, is the total Truth of God and Man that shines forth in Love. Inseparable from scientia fidei, the scientia amoris of Thérèse makes him shine; and, by making him loved, she gives him easier access to our hearts.” (La lumière du Christ dans le coeur de l’Eglise, p. 101, blogger’s translation)

This “total truth of God and Man”, which Thérèse loved so passionately that she desperately hoped to die of love, is the same incarnate truth whom she sought so passionately throughout her life. Let’s join her sister, Pauline and the prioress, Mother Marie de Gonzague at her bedside after Vespers just before the community gathers to pray as she draws her final, labored breath:

After Vespers, Mother Prioress placed a picture of Our Lady of Mount Carmel on her knees. She looked at it for a moment and said, when Mother Prioress assured her she’d be soon caressing the Blessed Virgin and the Child Jesus:

“O Mother, present me quickly to the Blessed Virgin; I’m a baby who can’t stand anymore! . . . Prepare me for death.”

Mother Prioress told her that since she had always understood humility, her preparation was already made. She reflected a moment and spoke these words humbly:

“Yes, it seems to me I never sought anything but the truth; yes, I have understood humility of heart. . . . It seems to me I’m humble.”

Saints Thérèse and Teresa, these two great Doctors of the Church teach us the immediacy and power of these words: Dios es suma Verdad, y la humildad es andar en verdad (God is supreme Truth; and, to be humble is to walk in truth).

Thérèse embodied the eminent teaching of her Holy Mother Teresa.

“Yes, it seems to me I never sought anything but the truth…”

Père-Jacques_headshot
Père Jacques de Jésus (1900-1945)

The holy Martin family’s pressing call to pray for priests was echoed nearly fifty years later by a spiritual brother of Saint Thérèse, the Discalced Carmelite friar Père Jacques of Jesus. A friar from the same province as Brother Lawrence, Père Jacques was the headmaster of the Discalced Carmelite friars’ boarding school in Avon. In September 1943 he preached the annual retreat for the community of Discalced Carmelite nuns in Pontoise, France. In his opening conference of the retreat, he wasted no time in addressing the Carmelite’s call to intercession for priests, in particular for priests in dire need of prayer:

Carmel is a community of human beings who reveal God to other human beings. There should be a Carmel in every city, and then there would be no need of works. One would see God through these human beings who live for him and him alone.

In reading the history of the Church or the history of our own order, like all the other orders, except for the Carthusians, we find periods of decline and need of reform in the wake of intervals of laxity and even scandal. Even among priests and religious, we find cases of spiritual death. We learn that a particular priest grew spiritually cold and left the priesthood, only to embark upon a life of degradation. You need to be aware of such cases and, in turn, to pray for priests. As you can see, it is not enough to experience a period of surpassing spiritual fervor. Gradually, one can abandon retreat instead of intensifying it. Gradually, one can return to the world left behind by readopting its norms instead of embracing God’s standards ever more fully.

Ultimately, it is through embracing the teaching of the Carmelite Doctors of the Church that one finds peace in troubled moments; calm for our fears; reminders of God’s immutable nature and the unsurpassed value of patience; and, the most timely counsel of all: “whoever possesses God lacks nothing. God alone is enough.”

Solo dios basta
God alone is enough

 

Citations from The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila 
Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D. (unless otherwise noted)
Published by ICS Publications, Washington DC 
Copyright © 1976 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.
Excerpt from Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection, Writings and Conversations on the Practice of the Presence of God 
Edited by Conrad De Meester, OCD, Translated by Salvatore Sciurba, OCD 
Published by ICS Publications, Washington DC
Copyright © 1994, 2015 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.
Excerpt from Listen to the Silence: A Retreat With Père Jacques
Translated and Edited by Francis J. Murphy 
Copyright © 2005 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.
Published by ICS Publications, Washington DC

 

Featured post

UPDATE: Here is What we Know About the OrMu-Alianza Negotiations. — Dr. Minúscula

Regular readers of our blog will recognize the name of Bishop Silvio Baez, our Discalced Carmelite confrere who is the Auxiliary Bishop of Managua. Let us pray for these negotiations in Nicaragua, that true justice and lasting peace may dwell in the hearts and homes of the people.

Yesterday, Daniel Ortega announced the start of negotiations between his administration and the Alianza Civica por la Justicia y la Democracia. This new round begins on February 27. Details about the negotiations have been trickling out since the official announcement. Here is what we know so far: The Alianza’s team: Business Interest Appropriately Represented The Alianza…

via UPDATE: Here is What we Know About the OrMu-Alianza Negotiations. — Dr. Minúscula

BRANDSMA - I am quite alright in my solitude Blogfeatimage

Very best greetings from cell 577 Scheveningen.

I am alone here. Two by four (meters) and the height is also four. A cell dwelt in becomes sweet, says Thomas à Kempis. I already feel at home here. I pray, read and write, the days are too short. From eight till seven it is night.

I am quite all right in my solitude, although I miss the church, Mass, communion, and although no priest comes here. Yet God is near to me, now that I cannot go to people any more, nor people to me. I am very calm, happy and content, and I adapt myself. I will hold out very well.

Your Fr. Titus, Carmelite

Blessed Titus Brandsma
Letter to confreres and family from Scheveningen German Police Prison (excerpts)
February 12, 1942

Titus Brandsma was born in the Frisian city of Bolsward, Holland, 23 February 1881

This video gives details about Brandsma’s imprisonment in Scheveningen

TERESA AVILA - I am a daughter of the Church IGsize
At five in the afternoon, Teresa asked that Padre Antonio bring her Communion. When the Eucharist was brought in, her countenance changed and grew radiant with a kind of reverent beauty, making her look much younger. The impulses of love became so ardent that it seemed she who had been dying now wanted to leap from the bed to receive her Lord. She spoke aloud fervent words of love: “O my Lord and my Spouse, now the hour has arrived for us to go forth from this exile, and my soul rejoices in oneness with You over what I have so much desired.” She also uttered fervent prayers of thanksgiving to God for having made her a daughter of the Church and enabling her to die within it. [The Book of Her Foundations: Introduction]

The True Poison of the Pharisees — The Frank Friar

 

Trumpeter swan on Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge
USFWS Mountain-Prairie Trumpeter swan on Seedskadee National Wildlife Refuge | Photo: Tom Koerner/USFWS

I believe a mistake that far too many people make is misunderstanding the Pharisees. When the Pharisees are brought up they are depicted as men who live the law strictly and cruelly that results in the heaping of burdens laced upon their own people…. (35 more words)

via The True Poison of the Pharisees — The Frank Friar

Quote of the day: 22 February

Being in prayer on the feastday of the glorious St. Peter, I saw or, to put it better, I felt Christ beside me; I saw nothing with my bodily eyes or with my soul, but it seemed to me that Christ was at my side — I saw that it was He, in my opinion, who was speaking to me.

Valladolid-adoration
Ángel Cantero / Iglesia en Valladolid

Since I was completely unaware that there could be a vision like this one, it greatly frightened me in the beginning; I did nothing but weep. However, by speaking one word alone to assure me, the Lord left me feeling as I usually did: quiet, favored, and without any fear. It seemed to me that Jesus Christ was always present at my side; but since this wasn’t an imaginative vision, I didn’t see any form.

Yet I felt very clearly that He was always present at my right side and that He was the witness of everything I did. At no time in which I was a little recollected, or not greatly distracted, was I able to ignore that He was present at my side.

Yet I felt very clearly that He was always present at my right side and that He was the witness of everything I did.

I immediately went very anxiously to my confessor to tell him. He asked me in what form I saw Him. I answered that I didn’t see Him. He asked how I knew that it was Christ.

I answered that I didn’t know how, but that I couldn’t help knowing that He was beside me, that I saw and felt Him clearly, that my recollection of soul was greater, and that I was very continuously in the prayer of quiet, that the effects were much different from those I usually experienced, and that it was very clear.

It seemed to me that Jesus Christ was always present at my side

8477537711_ccf29a7ae7_m
Ángel Cantero / Iglesia en Valladolid

I could do nothing but draw comparisons in order to explain myself. And, indeed, there is no comparison that fits this kind of vision very well. Since this vision is among the most sublime (as I was afterward told by a very holy and spiritual man, whose name is Friar Peter of Alcántara and of whom I shall speak later, and by other men of great learning) and the kind in which the devil can interfere the least of all, there are no means by which those of us who know little here below can explain it. Learned men will explain it better.

I couldn’t help knowing that He was beside me
I saw and felt Him clearly
my recollection of soul was greater
I was very continuously in the prayer of quiet
the effects were much different
it was very clear

The Book of Her Life: Chapter 27; The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila 
Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D. (unless otherwise noted)
Published by ICS Publications, Washington DC 
Copyright © 1976 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.

LAFISE’S Roberto Zamora Says Dialogue Starts Soon — Dr. Minúscula

Special Meeting of the Permanent Council, November 20, 2013
Special Meeting of the OAS Permanent Council, November 20, 2013 | Juan Manuel Herrera/OAS

Roberto Zamora, president of the Lafise financial group, is in Madrid on business. He granted an interview to EFE press agency, in which he spoke about the ongoing crisis in Nicaragua, its economic and financial ramifications, and the need for a dialogue. Zamora is one of the five Nicaraguan businessmen who met with OrMu over the weekend. The Catholic Church, represented by Cardinal Brenes and Apostolic Nuncio Somertag, was also present.

Zamora told EFE that the “dialogue starts tomorrow…”

via LAFISE’S Roberto Zamora Says Dialogue Starts Soon — Dr. Minúscula

We arrived!

TERESA AVILA - We arrived in Villanueva de la Jara
St. Teresa of Avila writes in the Book of Her Foundations, “We arrived in Villanueva de la Jara on the first Sunday of Lent, the feast of St. Barbaciani, [21 February] the vigil of the feast of the Chair of St. Peter, in the year 1580.” Read more about the founding of this monastery here

Quote of the day: 21 February

We arrived in Villanueva de la Jara on the first Sunday of Lent, the feast of St. Barbaciani, [21 February] the vigil of the feast of the Chair of St. Peter, in the year 1580. On this same day at the time of the high Mass, the Blessed Sacrament was reserved in the church of the glorious St. Anne.

JOSE-MARIA MORENO GARCIA

The city council and some others along with Doctor Ervías came out to receive us, and we got down from our wagons at the church in the town, which was quite far from St. Anne’s. The joy of the whole town was so great.

It gave me much consolation to see the happiness with which they received the order of the Blessed Virgin, our Lady.

We had heard from afar the peal of the church bells. Once we were inside the church, they began the Te Deum, one verse sung by the choir and the other played by the organ.

JOSE-MARIA MORENO GARCIA

When it was finished, they carried the Blessed Sacrament on one portable platform and a statue of our Lady on another, and crosses and banners. The procession proceeded with much pomp.

JOSE-MARIA MORENO GARCIA

We were in the middle near the Blessed Sacrament with our white mantles and our veils covering our faces, and next to us were many of our discalced friars from their monastery and Franciscans from the monastery of St. Francis that was located there, and one Dominican who happened to be present (even though he was alone it made me happy to see that habit there).

Since the distance was great, there were many altars set up along the way. From time to time the procession stopped and some verses were recited in honor of our order which moved us to great devotion. So did the sight of all of them praising the great God present in our midst and the fact that because of Him they paid so much honor to us seven poor, little discalced nuns who were there.

JOSE-MARIA MORENO GARCIA

While I was engaged in all these reflections, I became very ashamed in recalling that I was among them and that if they were to do what I deserved they would all turn against me.

Saint Teresa of Avila
The Book of Her Foundations, Chapter 28

JOSE-MARIA MORENO GARCIA


We are grateful to photographer José-María Moreno García for making his photo-documentary of the Fifth Centenary visit to Saint Teresa’s foundation of Villanueva de la Jara available for download under a Creative Commons license. To see the complete photo album from this foundation, click here.

One glance

Lord, I am an ignorant child, I am blind;
I come unto you to see.
Come, your eyes will heal me,
and everything will be yours.
One glance is life!

Saint Mariam of Bethlehem

BOHNSACK - repose-toi RAINBOW GIRL
David Bohnsack, mccj / Facebook
BRO LAWRENCE - Death comes only once
We have so little time left to live. Death is at our heels, so be on guard: death comes only once!
Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection, O.C.D.
The Practice of the Presence of God, Letter 1

Quote of the day: 20 February

I have taken advantage of this opportunity to share with you the experience of one of our friars concerning the admirable effects and continual help he receives from the practice of the presence of God; we can both benefit from it.

He often complains of our blindness and cries out ceaselessly that we deserve sympathy for settling for so little. “God,” he says, “has infinite treasures to give us, yet we are satisfied with a bit of perceptible devotion that passes in an instant.” He complains that “we are blind since we bind God’s hands in this way and halt the abundant flow of his graces; yet when God finds a soul penetrated by an intense faith he pours out his graces in abundance. This torrent of his grace, impeded from running its ordinary course, expands impetuously and abundantly once it has found an outlet.”

Yes, sometimes we stop this torrent by our lack of appreciation for it. We must not stop it any longer, dear Mother; we must turn inward, break through the dam, let grace come forth, and make up for lost time. We have so little time left to live. Death is at our heels, so be on guard: death comes only once!

Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection, O.C.D.
The Practice of the Presence of God, Letter 1


Father Conrad De Meester, O.C.D. who was the editor of the French critical edition of Writings and Conversations on the Practice of the Presence of God notes these biographic details concerning the uncle whose own Discalced Carmelite vocation inspired Brother Lawrence to enter religious life after military service:

His uncle Jean, his mother’s brother, a native of Hériménil, Jean Majeur entered the Discalced Carmelites as a lay brother at the beginning of October 1633. He took the name “Brother Nicolas of the Conception.” He was professed in Paris on December 9, 1635, and died on February 20, 1652, in his nephew’s monastery in Paris.

 

Resurrection of the Dead BODLEIAN
Detail from Book of Hours, Use of Rome 
Folio 98/254
Meister des Gijsbrecht van Brederode [illustrator]
Netherlands, 1440 – 1460
Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford
See the entire folio and the complete Book of Hours here
Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection
Writings and Conversations on the Practice of the Presence of God
(Biographic note, p. 27; Letter 1, p. 53)
Copyright © 1994, 2015 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.
Published by ICS Publications, Washington DC

 

 

JUANdelaCRUZ - The soul lives where it loves SPANISH
Mas ¿cómo perseveras, ¡oh vida!,
no viviendo donde vives?
Para cuya inteligencia es de saber que el alma más vive donde ama que en el cuerpo donde anima, porque en el cuerpo ella no tiene su vida, antes ella la da al cuerpo, y ella vive por amor en lo que ama.
Cántico Espiritual (CB): Canción 8

Quote of the day: 19 February

These last two days our dear invalid has grown considerably weaker, and this morning she wasn’t able to get up to take Holy Communion. Our beloved Sister is in a state of weakness, oppression, and anxiety which leads us to think that the end cannot be far off.

She was most touched by your parcel, but she eats so little now that she only tasted it. She has asked us to convey her gratitude for this kind gesture which moved her deeply.

Letter from Sister Marie-Louise de Gonzague Vétillart, V.H.M. to Saint Zélie Martin
(excerpt)
19 February 1877


I’m enclosing a letter I just received a moment ago which doesn’t leave us any more hope, as you can see. Last week I sent some roasted goose to my sister since she’d wanted to eat some cooked in our house. I also sent her a pound of gumdrops and a dozen cakes, but Pauline wrote Marie that she gave almost all of them to her.

Finally, I think her death is imminent, and it makes me very sad. But on the other hand, I want my poor sister to be freed as soon as possible.

Letter from Saint Zélie Martin to her sister-in-law Céline Fournet Guérin
(excerpt)
20 February 1877

Garden of the Visitandines Rouen, edhal on flickr
Garden of the former Visitation monastery, Rouen | Edhral / Flickr 

OrMu Announces “Talks”; Nica Tweeter Reacts — Dr. Minúscula

Dr. Minúscula covers the unfolding drama in Nicaragua from the perspective of an academic and as a native of Nicaragua. We share the professor’s insights to help our readers understand the current events in this nation where Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D. serves as Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Managua.

On the evening of February 16, Daniel Ortega’s administration released a press statement announcing a meeting with “representative members of the private sector”. Also in attendance were Cardinal Leopoldo Brenes, archbishop of Managua, and Mons. Waldemar Sommertag, Vatican Ambassador to Nicaragua, who came as “guests”. It might be a new attempt at a National Dialogue,…

via OrMu Announces “Talks”; Nica Tweeter Reacts — Dr. Minúscula

‘La mano ajena’: secretarias de Teresa de Jesús

Teresa, de la rueca a la pluma

Los expertos han realizado cálculos sobre el número de cartas que Teresa de Jesús pudo escribir a lo largo de su vida. Se habla de unas quince mil, aunque han llegado hasta nosotros algo menos de quinientas.

Son un tesoro, en buena medida aún por explotar. A través de ellas, nos encontramos con una imagen de la santa algo distinta de la que podemos percibir en sus grandes obras doctrinales.

Edgar Allison Peers escribió en una ocasión: «El gran regalo que las cartas legan a la posteridad consiste no en lo que ellas nos cuentan de las actividades de santa Teresa, sino lo que nos cuentan sobre ella misma»¹.

Algo que se percibe cuando vamos leyendo las cartas es el avance progresivo de la debilidad, el cansancio, la enfermedad y otros achaques, la prematura ancianidad de la Madre Teresa de Jesús, a pesar de su gran fortaleza de ánimo.

Ya…

View original post 1,533 more words

La personalidad de Teresa de Jesús a través de su escritura

Teresa, de la rueca a la pluma

Ofrecemos un interesante video preparado por la grafóloga Sandra Cerro. Ella participó en 2015 en el Cngreso Mundial Teresiano que se celebró en Ávila con motivo del V Centenario. Ahora, su exposición, titulada “Semblanza grafológica de Santa Teresa, mujer emprendedora del siglo XVI”, la ha convertido en un video que acaba de publicar en su canal de youtube.

Como ella misma señala en su blog, hay algún dato que aparece en el video que conviene matizar:

  • Una errata: Al hablar de la fundación del convento de San José, se mezcla la fecha en la que Teresa se descalzó con la fecha de fundación del convento, que fue el 24 de agosto de 1562.
  • Al final del documental, hay referencia a la Santa como Patrona de las Españas. Actualmente no ostenta este título, aunque sí lo ha tenido en otros momentos de la Historia.

Este video forma parte de…

View original post 35 more words

Quote of the day: 17 February

Many and varied are the ways in which our saintly forefathers laid down how everyone, whatever his station or the kind of religious observance he has chosen, should live a life of allegiance to Jesus Christ — how, pure in heart and stout in conscience, he must be unswerving in the service of his Master.

It is to me, however, that you have come for a rule of life in keeping with your avowed purpose, a rule you may hold fast to henceforward; and therefore:

The first thing I require is for you to have a prior, one of yourselves, who is to be chosen for the office by common consent, or that of the greater and maturer part of you; each of the others must promise him obedience — of which, once promised, he must try to make his deeds the true reflection — and also chastity and the renunciation of ownership.

Saint Albert of Jerusalem
The Carmelite Rule, Chapters 2-4

Albert-of-Jerusalem-gives-the-Rule_Haifa-Carmel
Pope Innocent III, on the 17th of February 1205, gave St. Albert a pressing invitation to accept his postulation as Patriarch of Jerusalem, made by the canons of the Holy Sepulchre, by the suffragan bishops and by the King of Jerusalem, Almaricus II of Lusignan. Read more

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑