We draw near to the opening of the 92nd General Chapter of the Discalced Carmelites, which will be held in Rome from the 30th of August to the 14th of September. Celebrated every six years, friars from around the world gather at the the General Chapter to elect the new General Superior and his council and to evaluate the current status of the Order and plan for the future.
The Discalced Carmelite friars have asked us to “pray for this General Chapter and for the whole Order, that we may fully live out these words from the Acts of the Apostles”: “The churches… were now left in peace, building themselves up and living in the fear of the Lord; encouraged by the Holy Spirit, they continued to grow.” (Acts 9:31).
All who are guided by the Spirit of God are sons of God; for what you received was not the spirit of slavery to bring you back into fear; you received the Spirit of adoption, enabling us to cry out, ‘Abba, Father!’ The Spirit himself joins with our spirit to bear witness that we are children of God.
And as well as this, the Spirit too comes to help us in our weakness, for, when we do not know how to pray properly, then the Spirit personally makes our petitions for us in groans that cannot be put into words; and he who can see into all hearts knows what the Spirit means because the prayers that the Spirit makes for God’s holy people are always in accordance with the mind of God.
Romans 8:14-16, 26-27
READING FROM ST. TERESA OF THE ANDES
I’m reading Elizabeth of the Most Holy Trinity. She enchants me. Her soul is like mine. Though she was a saint, I’ll imitate her and become a saint. I want to live with Jesus in the intimate depths of my soul. I want to defend Him from His enemies. I want to live a life of heaven, as Elizabeth says, by being a praise of His glory:
- By living a divine life. By loving God with pure love. By giving myself to Him without reserve. By living in intimate communion with the Spouse of my soul.
- By fulfilling the will of God in all things. How? By fulfilling my obligations joyfully at every moment. Nothing must disturb me. All must be peace, like the peace that inundates the angels in heaven.
- By living in silence, because in this way the Holy Spirit will draw forth from me harmonious sounds and the Father, together with the Spirit, will form the image of the Word in me….
Saint Teresa of the Andes
Her intimate spiritual diary, 15 July 1917 (excerpt)
PRAYER OF ST. ELIZABETH OF THE TRINITY (excerpt)
O Consuming Fire, Spirit of Love,
descend into my soul
and make all in me as an incarnation of the Word,
that I may be to him a super-added humanity
wherein he renews his mystery;
and you, O Father,
and bend down to your little creature,
seeing in her only your beloved Son
in whom you are well pleased.
All scripture references are from The Jerusalem Bible Reader’s Edition, copyright © 1966, 1967 and 1968 by Darton, Longman & Todd, Ltd and Doubleday & Company, Inc. as accessed from The Internet Archive website.
Griffin, M D & Teresa of the Andes, S 2021, God, The Joy of My Life: A Biography of Saint Teresa of the Andes With the Saint’s Spiritual Diary, ICS Publications, Washington DC.