Advent III — Splendor of Carmel

SCRIPTURE

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad,
    the desert shall rejoice and blossom;
like the crocus it shall blossom abundantly,
    and rejoice with joy and singing.
The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,
    the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.
They shall see the glory of the Lord,
    the majesty of our God.

Isaiah 35:1-2

READING

Symbol of star or lily of the snows,
Rainbow or root or vine or fruit-filled tree:
These image the Immaculate to me
Less than a cloud, a little light cloud rising
From Orient waters cleft by prophecy.
And as the Virgin in a most surprising
Maternity bore God and our doomed race,
I who bear God in mysteries of grace
Beseech her: Cloud, encompass God and me.

Nothing defiled can touch the cloud of Mary.
God as a child willed to be safe in her,
And the Divine Indweller sets His throne
Deep in a cloud in me, His sanctuary.
I pray, oh, wrap me, Cloud, light Cloud of Carmel
Within whose purity my vows were sown
To lift their secrecies to God alone.
Say to my soul, the timorous and small
House of a Presence, that it cannot see

Any frightened acre of a Deity:
I have enclosed thee all.
Thou art in softness of a summer wind lull.
O hut of God, hush thine anxiety.
Enfolded in this motherhood of mine
All that is beautiful and all divine
Is safe in thee.

Miriam of the Holy Spirit, O.C.D. (Jessica Powers)

The Cloud of Carmel

Catholic Church 1993, Proper of the Liturgy of the Hours of the Order of the Brothers of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel and the Order of Discalced Carmelites (Rev. and augm.), Institutum Carmelitanum, Rome.

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