I went to confession to Father López. I enjoyed a peace that I hadn’t found in three months. He told me that I should ask Our Lord to give me the strength to be good; He will grant it to me. If I’m in that state now, it’s because Jesus relied on me to immolate myself even more.
I should renew my resolution every hour and offer myself entirely to God, without determining anything regarding my vocation. I should live in a spirit of faith. I should often repeat the ejaculatory prayer: Jesus meek and humble of heart, etc. [make my heart like unto thine].
Saint Teresa of the Andes
Her Intimate Spiritual Diary, 25 May 1918
Note: On 5 April 1920 as St. Teresa lay dying from typhus, she “requested the last Sacraments and received them with the greatest joy and comfort”, notes her biographer Father Michael D. Griffin, O.C.D.
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.
“…without determining anything regarding my vocation. I should live in a spirit of faith…” means a great deal to me personally, by the way. I have been trying to discern where I belong. I went to very great lengths to give myself to Carmel, for 14 months, but my mental illness was such that my Council discerned not to enter me into Formation, but ended my journey and said my vocation was not to secular Carmel. That was a massive blow and seemed final. You have remained a hugely important connection, therefore, including me still in the OCDS family. So I signed up to a Dominican course and was under an OP mentor. However my mental health interfered there too, and we have recently parted company. So I have been wondering again where on earth I do belong. My first spiritual director trained me in Ignatian Spirituality. But your emails have continued to arrive and I can see clearly how dearly I still treasure Carmel. I do appreciate it’s an active as well as contemplative vocation, but I am far more attracted to contemplation than to preaching. My one OCDS retreat under Fr Matt Blake remains a treasured memory, and I still have the CDs. So it would appear that, my Council notwithstanding, my heart is still in Carmel. I really cannot thank you enough for having remained a steady connection, for many years, in all my wanderings.
God reward you, Kathie. You’re not alone. There are others who have sought to join the OCDS but have been turned away. They too maintain their affinity for Carmel. One woman I know chose to observe the Secular Carmelite daily routine even though she couldn’t remain in the OCDS. Each one finds their own path…
That’s a very beautiful account, and a great reminder to pray that short invocation often. I hope and pray I may also receive the last Sacraments at the hour of my death. Unless, of course, Our Lord returns first!