This afternoon, in Managua, Daniel Ortega’s police forces have kept their promise to crack down on protesters. Here are some of the images and video circulating on social media as of approximately 2 pm, local time. On going coverage, via Facebook Live, from LaFise (Canal 10). Protesters, bystanders, and media were pushed back into LaFise’s…
Members of the European Parliament visit La Esperanza Women’s Prison, Tipitapa, Nicaragua (Jan 2019) When a delegation from the European Parliament approached Daniel Ortega and Rosario Murillo (OrMu) for permission to visit Nicaragua, the two co-dictators said no because some of the members of the delegation had said uttered “threatening or disrespectful statements” against OrMu.…
It is said that the eyes are the mirror of the soul; the eyes of Mary, full of grace, reflect the beauty of God, they show us a reflection of heaven. Jesus himself said that the eye is “the lamp of the body” (Mt 6:22): the eyes of Our Lady are able to bring light to every dark corner; everywhere they rekindle hope. As she gazes upon us, she says: “Take heart, dear children; here I am, your Mother!”
Minnie Louise Haskins
And I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness
and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light
and safer than a known way.”
So I went forth, and finding the Hand of God,
trod gladly into the night.
And He led me towards the hills
and the breaking of day in the lone East.
So heart be still:
What need our little life
Our human life to know,
If God hath comprehension?
In all the dizzy strife
Of things both high and low,
God hideth His intention.
God knows. His will
Is best. The stretch of years
Which wind ahead, so dim
To our imperfect vision,
Are clear to God. Our fears
Are premature; In Him,
All time hath full provision.
Then rest: until
God moves to lift the veil
From our impatient eyes,
When, as the sweeter features
Of Life’s stern face we hail,
Fair beyond all surmise
God’s thought around His creatures
Our mind shall fill.
Photo credits: Contemplation - Dartmoor, Devon | Jan Faborsky | Flickr . | Senjiu | Flickr
Christmas Day 2018
Jesus Christ is born today and the world will never be the same again. This is the truth we hold on to at Christmas; that God so loved the world that He gave us His only Son. This is what gives us hope and that hope is sometimes all we need. I […]
Está claro que esta Navidad será muy triste para muchas familias en Nicaragua. Para los más de 600 presos políticos, para las madres que han perdido a sus hijos, para las familias que han sido divididas por el exilio o la cárcel o el asesinato, para los médicos, periodistas y maestros que han quedado sin trabajo por no pensar como el régimen, para los empresarios cuyas gasolineras han sido cerradas, y también para mí porque todos ellos son mi gente mis amigos y mi país. Hoy nos ha tocado vivir algo de lo que en muchas partes del mundo llevan años sufriendo. Déjame contarte algo.
As we prepare for the 2018 Online Advent Retreat presented by the Discalced Carmelite Friars, perhaps you might like to see the work in progress. It is not too late to register to receive the weekly meditation emails!
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More than the “end of the world,” the Gospel speaks about “the truth of the world.”
The Gospel text makes an effort to tell us about the great mystery of the end of time when this world as we know it will pass away; it will end and an absolutely new world will emerge, but it will be impossible to describe. The Gospel does not speak exactly about what we call “the end of the world,” which we often imagine as a universal cataclysm, as a catastrophe in which everything will be destroyed. More than the “end of the world,” the Gospel of Mark [Mark 13:24-32] speaks about “the truth of the world.” It speaks about this world that God has created with so much love, that he has sustained and cared for over the centuries, but it will have a terminating point, an end.
Just as there is a personal end for each one of us with death, so there will be an end to this world. The world will not last forever. Only God is eternal. This world that seems so stable, so sure and eternal, one day will end. However, let’s not forget that the Gospel does not proclaim the destruction of the world, of cities, of the cosmos, or of humankind. No. What is proclaimed is that the world, as we know it today, threatened by suffering, injustice, sin, evil, and death, will end. And, it will be wonderfully recreated, transfigured into a new reality of full and everlasting life that we cannot even imagine.
Excerpt from a homily for the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.
The world as we know it today will end and it will be wonderfully transfigured into a new reality of everlasting life that we cannot even imagine.
Sister Thérèse, the humble wildflower, emboldened me and made me see that Jesus loved the humble in a very special way. She instills courage within me and, with her, I wait and hope… she has completed my conversion.
During the First World War of 1914-1918, the presence of Sister Thérèse in the trenches was extraordinarily tangible. The voluminous mail from that period asks for her support and a large quantity of ex-votos were offered to the Carmelite Sister as tokens of gratitude.
The official website of the Archives of the Carmel of Lisieux offers a sample of mail received from the front line, a selection of illustrated letters, postcards and holy cards, as well as ex-voto offerings from grateful soldiers.
Explore the Lisieux Carmelite Archives in English here
Drawn from the depths of the abyss of disbelief, I’m slowly journeying towards faith. Intensely aware of my own indigence, I one day came across Story of a Soul, which the chaplain at our camp lent to me. And there I read that there is one road, and one joy, which is called holy joy, and that even simple souls can follow it and won’t go astray. Sister Thérèse, the humble wildflower, emboldened me and made me see that Jesus loved the humble in a very special way. She instills courage within me and, with her, I wait and hope… she has completed my conversion. When I have the honor of going to fight, I would like Sister Thérèse – henceforth my patron saint – to accompany me. I will take her with me in my heart and in my head but I would like a flower from her grave to be placed in my wallet, against my heart.
Charles Gérard, Caporal
Explore the Lisieux Carmelite Archives in English here
“Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception of the Old Man” has quite a history. Nuestra Señora de la Concepcion de El Viejo, patron of Nicaragua, literally means “Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception of the Old Man.” In this case, El Viejo is a town, named in honor of one of St. Teresa of Avila’s brothers, who lived there in his old age. Multiple accounts suggest it was her brother Rodrigo.
Rodrigo was the sibling who shared one of St. Teresa’s earliest spiritual adventures. At the age of 7, the little girl believed that she could get to heaven most immediately by going to the land of the Moors and being martyred for the faith. She convinced Rodrigo…
#OigamosARomero, the digital initiative of Bishop Báez in homage to Saint Óscar Romero of America originally appeared 11 October 2018 on the digital media outlet Articulo 66 under the title, #OigamosARomero, la iniciativa digital de Monseñor Báez en homenaje a San Romero de América.
Nicaraguan religion and culture reporter Israel González Espinoza interviewed Managua’s Auxiliary Bishop, Silvio José Báez, O.C.D., concerning the social media campaign he launched to make Romero’s work and thought better known in Nicaragua and beyond, through use of the hashtag #OigamosARomero on multiple social media platforms. The hashtag is used to share everything alluding to the martyred Salvadorean archbishop.
We are grateful to Israel González Espinoza for his kind permission to translate and publish his marvelous article highlighting the media blitz campaign that is the brainchild of Bishop Báez, our Discalced Carmelite confrère.
The pope is rehabilitating many men of God misunderstood for being prophets, says the Auxiliary Bishop of Managua
October 11, 2018 | Israel González Espinoza
Bishop Silvio José Báez, Auxiliary Bishop of Managua, launched the hashtag #OigamosARomero on social media platforms as part of a tribute to the martyred Salvadorean Archbishop Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdamez [still lovingly referred to as “Monseñor Romero”], who was killed by a paramilitary commando from El Salvador´s political far-right in March 1980; he will be canonized this coming Sunday, October 14 by Pope Francis in Rome.
Bishop Báez explained that the purpose of the initiative is for Nicaraguans to get to know Monseñor Romero’s thoughts, and from that point on they can reflect on his pastoral and prophetic life and work.
“I created the hashtag #OigamosARomero to be able to talk about this extraordinary man of God who gave his life for his people,” Bishop Báez stated.
Until now, the hashtag has been used to share famous quotes, photographs, audiovisual material, and even cartoons of the so-called “bishop of the poor” of Latin America.
The goal, according to Bishop Báez, is to establish a solid number of impressions and engagements for the hashtag during the rest of the week until Sunday, which is the day that Monseñor Romero will be raised to the full honors of the altar. Along with this, the objective is that Romero’s work may spread and that his words may have an effect upon the current sociopolitical situation in the country.
“Without a doubt, Monseñor Romero is a contemporary saint for our times; his life and his witness enlighten us,” the religious leader pointed out.
I believe that it is a mission of the successor of Peter to revendicate and rehabilitate all these incarnations of the Gospel who, with human eyes and pettiness of heart, were not understood.
Báez revealed that since his years in the novitiate with the Carmelite friars in San José, Costa Rica, he has been a professed admirer of the prophetic work of Archbishop Óscar Romero, whose total dedication to the poor and his ardent defense of human rights in the face of the Salvadorean military regime led to his martyrdom while celebrating the Eucharist.
“The Pope [Francis] has given indications of rehabilitating personalities who are deeply rooted in the Gospel, and who, forgetful of self, gave their lives for the poor, for social change, and for the fight for justice in history. In their day they were misunderstood, as were so many prophets or like Jesus himself.
“I believe that it is a mission of the successor of Peter to revendicate and rehabilitate all these incarnations of the Gospel who, with human eyes and pettiness of heart, were not understood. But today, the Pope invites us to see them as models of the Gospel and as paradigms to follow if we truly want to change the world,” Bishop Báez concluded.
Encuentro con una madre en Roma, an opinion piece written by Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D., the auxiliary bishop of Managua, Nicaragua, was published 5 October 2018 online by Confidencial, an independent Nicaraguan media outlet that features world-class reporters, contributors, and editorial staff who have won international awards. It also was published 10 October in Religión Digital. Carmelite Quotes offers an original translation of Bishop Báez’s personal reflection on his meeting with Nicaraguan President Violeta Chamorro. We are grateful to the bishop for his permission to publish this translation.
In the mid-nineties, when I was in Rome preparing my doctorate in Sacred Scripture, Doña Violeta [Chamorro], as President of the Republic, came to visit the Eternal City. She kindly invited us — the few Nicaraguan priests who were studying there — through the Nicaraguan Embassy to the Holy See, to come and have an encounter with her. She herself received us at the door of the Embassy with a loving smile and a big hug:
“What a joy to see my beautiful little boys!” she told us. “What a pleasure it is to see you! Go on in!” And then she said to some of the Embassy staff: “Go, bring a Coke and a piece of cake to the Fathers.”
We had come to visit the president of our country, but we met a mother; we were attentive to the diplomatic protocol that had to be observed, but there was none, only a loving reception, full of human warmth. A couple of hours of pleasant and simple conversation went by with her about the situation in Nicaragua and her difficult presidential administration, but we also talked about what seemed to interest her a lot: how our studies were going, what needs we were experiencing in Rome, how were our families, etc.
We had come to visit the president of our country, but we met a mother
That encounter was unforgettable. I understood that Nicaragua, at that time wounded by long years of war and pain, of authoritarianism and poverty, was now in the hands of a mother. We had to establish peace and rebuild the country; and that mother, that simple, intelligent, and firm woman, was struggling to make our society a great family. She did what she could and she did a lot.
In the deep political and social crisis that we are experiencing today, we feel the urgent need for her human style, her honest management, and her great ideals of peace and democracy.
Doña Violeta will live eternally in the heart of God whom she loved and adored and she will always be remembered as the admirable protagonist of one of the most glorious pages of the history of Nicaragua. Thank you, Doña Violeta!
we feel the urgent need for her human style
We seem to give them back to Thee, O God
We seem to give them back to Thee, O God, who gavest them to us. Yet as Thou didst not lose them in giving, so we do not lose them by their return. Not as the world giveth, givest Thou, O lover of souls. What Thou givest, thou takest not away, for what is Thine is ours also, if we are Thine. And life is eternal and love is immortal and death is only an horizon, and an horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.
Lift us up, strong Son of God, that we may see further; cleanse our eyes that we may see more clearly; draw us closer to Thyself that we may know ourselves to be nearer our loved ones who are with Thee. And while Thou dost prepare a place for us, prepare us also for that happy place, that where Thou art we may be also forevermore.
“As Thou didst not lose them in giving, so we do not lose them by their return.”
Prayer attributed to Bede Jarrett, O.P.