There are the innocent children, the babes of Bethlehem and Juda, who were cruelly slaughtered by the hands of brutal hangmen. What does this mean? Where is now the rejoicing of the heavenly hosts, the silent bliss of the Holy Night? Where is the peace on earth? Peace on earth to those of goodwill. But not all are of goodwill. For the Son of the eternal Father descended from the glory of heaven, because the mystery of iniquity had shrouded the earth in the darkness of night.
Oh! How beautiful is this good Mother! How good she is; she smiled at me and listened to my prayer; I thought of entrusting everything to her; and I said to her: Mother, make the foundation quickly, found a Carmel where your Divine Son was born… I believe that our prayer will be answered and that two pieces of good news will come to us at the same time.
Oh, how beautiful Mary is!…
Saint Mary of Jesus Crucified
Prières et Cantiques Cahiers Réservés 5 (excerpt)
This English translation of the unpublished French manuscript is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission and attribution. We are grateful to the Discalced Carmelite nuns of the Holy Land for providing us with the full text of the Cahiers Réservés.
Dear brothers and sisters, the beatification of Sister Mary of Jesus Crucified, which has gathered you here in Rome from all the countries of the Near East, has surely been for all of you a great moment of joy, a source of comfort, and an invitation to courage.
It’s not a moment of joy that comes and goes: it’s an open-ended source of grace. The Church in Rome has participated in this joy and, I dare say, the universal Church, looking with emotion at this little flower of the Holy Land, who has reached holiness in such a short time, which is the full flowering of mysticism.
I am happy to be with you once again this morning, to greet you again with all my affection, to converse with you like family, while still meditating on the meaning of this beatification, to gather its fruit. The life and virtues of Mariam Baouardy are now well known to you and I mentioned them in yesterday’s solemn liturgy.
But it is good to tell you again this morning how this “little Arab” has been a privileged witness of Jesus, of the love of the Church, and of action for peace. And you will understand even better the price that the Church attaches to the life of your Christian communities in the Holy Land and around the Holy Land.
Mariam is the fruit of this Holy Land. In her, everything speaks to us of Jesus. And first of all, the places where she lived: Nazareth, near which she was born; Bethlehem, where she consumed her sacrifice; and Mount Carmel, a symbol of the solitary prayer life that provided the setting for her religious life.
But above all, she brings us close to Calvary, since she has not ceased to carry in her life the cross of Jesus, in choosing her [religious] name “of Jesus Crucified”. The beatitudes find in her their fulfillment.
To see her, we believe that we’re hearing Jesus say to us: Blessed are the poor, Blessed are the humble, Blessed are those who seek only to serve, Blessed are the meek, Blessed are the peacemakers, Blessed are those who are persecuted. All her life expresses an unheard of familiarity with God, the fraternal love of others, and joy, which are evangelical indicators par excellence.
Saint John Paul II
Speech to Pilgrims for the Beatification Sr. Mary of Jesus Crucified, Mariam Baouardy 13-14 November 1983
excerpts from Father Elias Friedman’s transcription of a memoir by Francis Lamb O.C.D. in the archives of the monastery
Francis Stuart Lamb was born, 3rd July 1867, into a family connected to the British aristocracy, in particular, to the family of Lord Melbourne, Prime Minister of England under Queen Victoria. Professed in the Anglo-Irish Province of the OCD, 14th October 1886, he was ordained priest, 31st January 1892. After terms as Prior at Wincanton and Gerard’s Cross, he was appointed Vicar Provincial of his province, 15th June 1915. On the 16th December 1918, he received patents as Vicar of Mount Carmel and Vicar Provincial of the Palestine Province of the Order, «ad instar». He arrived in Haifa, 30th January 1919. On the 4th of September 1919, he was named Vicar of the Carmelite Nuns in Haifa, then in Zaourah (Bat-Galim). A year later he offered the General his resignation because his confrères wanted a Superior who could speak Italian; but the General (Luke), refused to accept it. On 19th March 1934, he left for Rome to attend the canonization of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. In 1935, Fr. Lamb handed over the Vicariate to Fr Edmund O’Callaghan and went to live in Cairo, 1935-1938. From 1938, he resided in the new OCD foundation in Jerusalem. Together with other religious, he was the object of a death-warrant issued against him by Abu Muhamad, leader of the Northern District of the Arab Palestine Revolt (dated 24 Rabi’a al-Thani, 1358 of the Hegira: mid-June 1939). On the 31stof August 1945, Fr. Lamb became conventual again on Mount Carmel. While in residence at El Muhraqah [the Carmelite monastery at the place of Elijah’s sacrifice], he took ill and was rushed back to [Stella Maris] monastery, where he passed away, 27th April 1950, aged 83, after some months of illness.
One day, at the end of the month of October, or the beginning of November 1918, I received a telegram from the Fr. General of the Order, Clement, saying: «Come to Rome. You must go to Mount Carmel for a few months». I replied: «Will come as soon as passport can be obtained».
Over and over again I applied for the necessary passport and permission to go to Rome and from there to Mount Carmel, Palestine. I received many promises that permission would be granted, but nothing more.
Losing all hope, I applied to the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, who promised to do all in his power to help me.
Another telegram came from Rome, saying: «When are you coming?» My reply was: «As soon as the passport can be arranged».
After a still further delay, I appealed again to the Cardinal, who, on seeing me, said: «Hav’nt you gone, yet?»
His Eminence, there and then, telephoned to the Hon. M. Long, Member of Parliament. All doors flew open and I was sent for by the Foreign Office. The Foreign Minister endorsed my passport, the Italian authorities were advised and on December the 8th 1918, I left London and by 11 o’clock that night, I found myself wandering around, lost, so to speak, in the darkened streets of the great city of Paris…
I received a hearty welcome at the General’s House, but FFir. General expressed his disappointment when he learned that I did not know a word of Italian. He had received a mistaken impression because I had replied to two letters in Italian — translated for me by a friend. The next day, Fr. General sent for me and suggested, that, since this was my first visit to Rome, he would ask Fr. Florence, my future companion to Mount Carmel, to show me St. Peter’s and all the other beautiful churches and buildings in the Eternal City. Fr. Florence very kindly went out of his way to show me all that there was to be seen: the Vatican museum, the Colosseum, the Catacombs, the Prison of St. Peter, besides many beautiful works of art by the great masters.
After Chrismas, Fr. General called me to his room and asked me whom he should nominate as Vicar Provincial of the Anglo-Irish province, a post I wished to resign while I was on Mount Carmel. I recommended Fr. Ambrose, but the Fathers in England pressed for my return, only to receive the answer from the General: «Not for the present». He forthwith gave me a patent as Vicar of Mount Carmel with the power of Provincial «ad instar». He then graciously took me to meet His Holiness, Pope Benedict XV, in a private audience, introducing me as the new Vicar of Mount Carmel. I kissed the feet of His Holiness, who was standing at his desk, and received his special blessing.
Read more of the history of the reconstruction and restoration of the Carmelite shrines on Mount Carmel following the First World War as recorded in Father Francis Lamb’s memoirs here.
O my God, my All, O Christ whom I adore! My life, my all! Come, quench my hunger, my thirst, yet unfulfilled. O my Christ, my hunger for light and truth, I hunger… I hunger for souls for the Beloved… and I hunger for his glory… Souls for Christ, the Son of God! Oh! Souls! My Christ! How I would like for each beat of my heart to tell you of my tenderness… and for each beat of my heart to work for your glory… Oh! Souls! We need saints! Saints to cast souls into God… My God! I cannot go on any longer… My entire being fails me at times. You, who know… yes, to keep suffering, always suffering if the glory of my God is attached to it. Always suffering and of these sufferings for which no one knows the remedy. Oh! To suffer, my Christ! Yes, Victim of love!
To suffer if your Divine Majesty finds me worthy of it, my God, to suffer! My God, beloved Father, with my Christ, I place my soul in your hands when it will please you. Fiat! But have pity. Look not upon my misery, see only Jesus and make all his merits mine for your glory alone.
Oh! Yes, for me to live is Christ! (Written Sunday 1 August 1920) Fiat voluntas tua.
Sr. Jeanne-Marie-Ange of the Child Jesus, OCD
Discalced Carmelite nun from the Carmel of Haifa 13 January 1895 – 24 October 1921
Alberto, llamado por la gracia de Dios a ser Patriarca de la Iglesia de Jerusalén, a los amados hijos en Cristo B. y los demás eremitas, que viven bajo su obediencia junto a la Fuente, en el Monte Carmelo, salud en el Señor y la bendición del Espíritu Santo.
Muchas veces y de diversas maneras los santos Padres dejaron establecido el modo como cada uno, sea cual fuere su estado o el género de vida religiosa que abrazó, ha de vivir en obsequio de Jesucristo y servirle fielmente con corazón puro y buena conciencia.
Pero como nos pedís que os demos una fórmula de vida adecuada a vuestro proyecto común y a la que deberéis ser fieles en el futuro.
Establecemos en primer lugar que tengáis a uno de vosotros como Prior, el cual será elegido para este oficio con el consentimiento unánime de todos o de la mayor y más sana parte. A él prometerán obediencia todos los demás y se esforzarán en mantenerla de verdad con las obras, juntamente con la castidad y la renuncia a la propiedad.
Podréis fijar vuestros lugares de residencia en los desiertos, o donde quiera os lo ofrezcan adecuados y aptos para la observancia de vuestro modo de vida religiosa, según el oportuno parecer del Prior y de los hermanos.
Además, teniendo en cuenta la situación del lugar en que hayáis decidido estableceros, cada uno de vosotros tenga una celda separada, según la asignación que el Prior habrá hecho para cada uno, con consentimiento de los otros hermanos o de la parte más madura.
Hágase esto, sin embargo, de manera que toméis en refectorio común lo que os repartieren, escuchando juntos algún texto de la Sagrada Escritura, cuando esto pueda realizarse sin dificultad.
A ninguno de los hermanos le será lícito, a no ser con el permiso del Prior que entonces hubiere, el mudarse del lugar que le ha sido asignado o cambiarlo con otro.
La celda del Prior estará a la entrada del lugar donde viváis, para que sea el primero en acoger a los que acudan de fuera; y después, en todo cuanto haya de hacerse, procédase según su juicio y decisión.
Permanezca cada uno en su celda o junto a ella, meditando día y noche la ley del Señor y velando en oración, a no ser que deba dedicarse a otros justos quehaceres.
Los que saben rezar las horas canónicas con los clérigos, deben recitarlas según cuanto han establecido los santos Padres y las costumbres aprobadas por la Iglesia. Aquellos que no sepan , dirán veinticinco veces el Padrenuestro durante la oración litúrgica de la vigilia nocturna, excepto los domingos y fiestas solemnes, en los cuales establecemos que el número antedicho se duplique, de manera que el Padrenuestro se diga cincuenta veces. La misma oración se debe decir siete veces en los laudes de la mañana y en cada una de las otras horas, a excepción de las vísperas, en que se debe decir quince veces.
Ningún hermano diga que algo es suyo propio, sino que todo lo tendréis en común y a cada uno le será distribuido cuanto necesitare por mano del Prior, es decir, por el hermano por él designado para este menester, teniendo en cuenta la edad y las necesidades de cada cual.
Podréis poseer también asnos o mulos, según lo requieran vuestras necesidades, y algunos animales o aves para el sustento.
El oratorio, si se puede hacer cómodamente, construirlo en medio de las celdas y allí os reuniréis de mañana todos los días para participar en la celebración eucarística, cuando las circunstancias lo permitan.
Igualmente los días domingos, o en otros días si fuere necesario, reuníos para tratar de la observancia en la vida común y del bien espiritual de las almas. En esta ocasión corríjanse con caridad las transgresiones y culpas de los hermanos, de haberlas en alguno.
Desde la fiesta de la Exaltación de la santa Cruz hasta el domingo de la Resurrección del Señor ayunaréis todos los días, excepto los domingos; a no ser que la enfermedad o la debilidad corporal y otro justo motivo aconsejen dispensar del ayuno, pues la necesidad no tiene ley.
Absteneos de comer carne, a no ser que se deba tomar como remedio en caso de enfermedad o debilidad física. Y porque, debido a los viajes, con frecuencia tenéis que mendigar el sustento, para no ser gravosos a quien os hospeda, podréis, fuera de vuestras casas, comer alimentos preparados con carne. En caso de navegación podéis también comer la carne.
Porque la vida terrena del hombres es tiempo de tentación y todos los que quieren llevar una vida fiel a Cristo se ven sujetos a persecución, y como además el diablo vuestro adversario anda como león rugiente alrededor de vosotros, buscando a quien devorar, procurad con toda diligencia revestiros con la armadura de Dios, para que podáis resistir a las asechanzas del enemigo.
Ceñid vuestros lomos con el cíngulo de la castidad; fortaleced vuestros pechos con pensamientos santos, pues está escrito: el pensamiento santo te guardará. Revestíos la coraza de la justicia, de manera que améis al Señor vuestro Dios con todo el corazón, con toda la mente, con todas las fuerzas, y a vuestro prójimo como a vosotros mismos.
Embrazad en todo momento el escudo de la fe y con él podréis apagar los encendidos dardos del maligno; pues sin fe es imposible agradar a Dios. Cubríos la cabeza con el yelmo de la salvación, de manera que sólo la esperéis del Salvador, que es quien salvará a su pueblo de sus pecados.
Finalmente, la espada del Espíritu, es decir, la palabra de Dios, habite en toda su riqueza en vuestra boca y en vuestros corazones. Y lo que debáis hacer, hacedlo conforme a la Palabra del Señor.
Debéis hacer algún trabajo, para que el diablo os encuentre siempre ocupados y no suceda que, por vuestra ociosidad, pueda infiltrarse en vuestras almas. Tenéis en esto la enseñanza y el ejemplo del apóstol San Pablo, por cuya boca habla Cristo y que ha sido constituido y dado por Dios como predicador y maestro de las gentes en la fe y en la verdad, si le seguís, no podréis equivocaros. Hemos vivido entre vosotros, dice, trabajando con fatiga noche y día para no ser gravoso a ninguno de vosotros. No porque no tuviéramos derecho a ser mantenidos, sino para daros en nosotros mismos un ejemplo que imitar. Ya estando entre vosotros repetimos con insistencia: si alguno no quiere trabajar, tampoco coma. Porque hemos oído que algunos de vosotros no trabajan y andan inquietos de acá para allá. Advertimos a esos tales y les exhortamos en el Señor Jesucristo a trabajar en sosegado silencio para ganarse el pan. Este camino es santo y bueno: seguidlo.
El Apóstol recomienda el silencio cuando ordena trabajar callando; de la misma manera el profeta afirma: el silencio favorece la justicia; y más todavía: en el sosiego y la esperanza está vuestra fuerza. Por eso establecemos que, recitadas las Completas, guardéis silencio hasta dicha la Prima del día siguiente. Fuera de este tiempo, aunque no esté prescrito una tan rigurosa guarda del silencio, evítese con cuidado el mucho hablar; porque, como está escrito y la experiencia sobradamente enseña, en el mucho hablar no faltará pecado; y quien no se controla en el hablar encuentra su ruina. Igualmente, el que es desmedido en el hablar se daña a sí mismo. Y el Señor en el Evangelio: de toda palabra superflua que hablaren los hombres darán cuenta en el día del juicio. Cada uno de vosotros, pues, sopese sus palabras, y refrene rectamente su boca, para no resbalar y caer a causa de la lengua y su caída sea incurable y mortal. Vigile sobre su conducta, para no pecar con sus palabras, como dice el profeta; y cuide atenta y prudentemente de mantener aquel silencio que favorezca la justicia.
Tú, hermano B., y quienquiera que después de ti fuere nombrado Prior, tened siempre en el pensamiento y poned en práctica lo que el Señor dice en el Evangelio: el que quiera ser el más grande entre vosotros, será vuestro servidor; y el que quiera ser el primero entre vosotros, sea vuestro esclavo.
Y vosotros, hermanos, honrad humildemente a vuestro Prior, pensando, más que en su persona, en Cristo, que lo ha puesto sobre vosotros, y que ha dicho a los responsables de las iglesias: el que os escucha a vosotros a mí me escucha, y el que os rechaza a vosotros a mí me rechaza. Y no os encontraréis bajo juicio por el desprecio, sino merecedores, por la obediencia, del premio de la vida eterna.
Estas breves indicaciones os las hemos escrito con el fin de establecer para vosotros la fórmula de vida, según la cual habréis de conduciros. Si alguno está dispuesto a dar más, el Señor mismo, cuando vuelva, se lo recompensará. Hágase uso, sin embargo, del discernimiento, que es el que modera las virtudes.
Salutatio 1. Albertus, Dei gratia Hierosolymitanae Ecclesiae vocatus Patriarcha, dilectis in Christo filiis B. et caeteris eremitis qui sub eius obedientia iuxta fontem in Monte Carmeli morantur: in Domino salutem, et Sancti Spiritus benedictionem.
Prologus: de sequela Christi deque fratrum proposito 2. Multifarie multisque modis sancti patres instituerunt qualiter quisque, in quocumque ordine fuerit, vel quemcumque modum religiosae vitae elegerit, in obsequio Jesu Christi vivere debeat, et eidem fideliter, de corde puro et bona conscientia, deservire.
Verum, quia requiritis a nobis ut iuxta propositum vestrum tradamus vobis vitae formulam, quam tenere in posterum debeatis:
De Priore ex communi assensu habendo 3. Illud in primis statuimus ut unum ex vobis habeatis Priorem qui, ex unanimi omnium assensu, vel maioris et sanioris partis, ad hoc officium eligatur.
Quid priori praestari debeat 4. Cui obedientiain promittat quilibet aliorum, et promissam studeat operis veritate servare cum castitate et abdicatione proprietatis.
De receptione locorum 4a. Loca autem habere poteritis in eremis, vel ubi vobis donata fuerint ad vestrae religionis observantiam apta et commoda, secundum quod Priori et fratribus videbitur expedire.
De cellulis fratrum separatis 5. Praeterea, iuxta situm loci quem inhabitare proposueritis, singuli vestrum singulas habeant cellulas separatas, sicut per dispositionem Prioris ipsius, et de assensu aliorum fratrum vel sanioris partis, eaedem cellulae cuique fuerint assignatae.
De communi refectione 5a. Ita tamen ut in communi refectorio ea quae vobis erogata fuerint, communiter aliquam lectionem Sacrae Scripturae audiendo, ubi commode poterit observari, sumatis.
De cellulis deputatis non mutandis 6. Nec liceat alicui fratrum, nisi de licentia Prioris qui pro tempore fuerit, deputatum sibi mutare locum, vel cum alio permutare.
De cellula et gubernio Prioris 7. Cellula Prioris sit iuxta introitum loci, ut venientibus ad eundem locum primus occurrat, et de arbitrio et de dispositione ipsius postmodum quae agenda sunt cuncta procedant.
De mansione in cellulis ac iugi oratione 8. Maneant singuli in cellulis suis, vel iuxta eas, die ac nocte in lege Domini meditantes et in orationibus vigilantes nisi aliis iustis occasionibus occupentur.
De recitandis 9. Ii qui horas canonicas cum clericis dicere norunt, eas dicant secundum constitutionem sacrorum patrum et Ecclesiae approbabata consuetudine ad horas tam consuetudinem. Qui eas non noverunt, viginti quinque vicibus ‘Pater noster’ dicant in nocturnis vigiliis, exceptis Dominicis et solemnibus diebus, in quorum vigiliis praedictum numerum statuimus duplicari, ut dicatur ‘Pater noster’ vicibus quinquaginta. Septies autem eadem dicatur oratio in laudibus matutinis. In aliis quoque horis septies similiter eadem sigillatim dicatur oratio, praeter officia vespertina, in quibus ipsam quindecies dicere debeatis.
De non habendo proprio, vitaque communi conducenda 10. Nullus fratrum aliquid esse sibi proprium dicat, sed sint vobis omnia communia, et distribuatur unicuique per manum Prioris, id est per fratrem ab eodem ad idem officium deputatum, prout cuique opus erit, inspectis aetatibus et necessitatibus singulorum.
Quod liceat haberi in communi 10a. Asinos autem, sive mulos, prout vestra expostulaverit necessitas, vobis habere liceat, et aliquod animalium sive volatilium nutrimentum.
De oratorio et de audienda Missa cotidie 11. Oratorium, prout commodius fieri poterit, construatur in medio cellularum, ubi mane per singulos dies ad audienda missarum solemnia convenire debeatis, ubi hoc commode fieri potest.
De fraterna collatione ac correctione 12. Dominicis quoque diebus, vel aliis ubi opus fuerit, de custodia ordinis et animarum salute tractetis; ubi etiam excessus et culpae fratrum, si quae in aliquo deprehensae fuerint, caritate media corrigantur.
De ieiunio 13. Ieiunium singulis diebus, exceptis Dominicis, observetis a festo Exaltationis Sanctae Crucis usque ad diem Dominicae Resurrectionis, nisi infirmitas vel debilitas corporis, aut alia iusta causa, ieiunium solvi suadeat, quia necessitas non habet legem.
De abstinentia carnium 14. Ab esu carnium abstineatis, nisi pro infirmitatis vel debilitatis remedio sumantur. Et quia vos oportet frequentius mendicare itinerantes, ne sitis hospitibus onerosi, extra domos vestras sumere poteritis pulmenta cocta cum carnibus. Sed et carnibus supra mare vesci licebit.
De armis spiritualibus 15. Quia vero tentatio est vita hominis Super terram, et omnes qui pie volunt vivere in Christo persecutionem patiuntur, adversarius quoque vester, diabolus, tamquam leo rugiens circuit quaerens quem devoret, omni solicitudine studeatis indui armatura Dei, ut possitis stare adversus insidias inimici. Accingendi sunt lumbi cingulo castitatis; muniendum est pectus cogitationibus sanctis, scriptum est enim: Cogitatio sancta servabit te. Induenda est lorica iustitiae ut Dominum Deum vestrum ex toto corde et ex tota anima et ex tota virtute diligatis, et proximum vestrum tamquam vos ipsos. Sumendum est in omnibus scutum fidei, in quo possitis omnia tela nequissimi ignea extinguere, sine fide enim impossible est placere Deo, victoria: fides vestra Galea quoque salutis capiti imponenda est, ut de solo Salvatore speretis salutem, qui salvum facit populum suum a peccatis eorum. Gladius autem spiritus, quod est verbum Dei, abundanter habitet in ore et in cordibus vestris, et quaecumque vobis agenda sunt, in verbo Domini fiant.
De labore manuum 16. Faciendum est vobis aliquid operis, ut semper vos diabolus inveniat occupatos, ne ex otiositate vestra aliquem intrandi aditum ad animas vestras valeat invenire. Habetis in hoc beati Pauli Apostoli magisterium pariter et exemplum, in cuius ore Christus loquebatur, qui positus est et datus a Deo praedicator et doctor gentium in fide et veritate; quem si secuti fueritis, non poteritis aberrare. In labore, inquit, et fatigatione fuimus inter vos, nocte ac die operantes, ne quem vestrum gravaremus. non quasi nos non habeamus potestatem, sed ut nosmetipsos formam daremus vobis ad imitandum nos. Nam, cum essemus apud vos, hoc denuntiabamus vobis, quoniam si quis non vult operari non manducet. Audivimus enim inter vos quosdam ambulantes inquiete, nihil operantes. Iis autem qui eiusmodi sunt denuntiamus et obsecramus Domino Jesu Christo. ut cum silentio operantes suum panem manducent. Haec via sancta est et bona: ambulate in ea.
De silentio 17. Commendat autem Apostolus silentium, cum in eo praecipit operandum, et quemadmodum Propheta testatur: Cultus iustitiae silentium est; et rursus: In silentio et spe erit fortitudo vestra.
Ideoque statuimus ut dicto completorio silentium teneatis usque ad primam dictam sequentis diei.
Alio vero tempore, licet silentii non habeatur observatio tanta, diligentius tamen a multiloquio caveatur, quoniam sicut scriptum est – et non minus experientia docet – In multiloquio peccatum non deerit, et qui inconsideratus est ad loquendum sentiet mala; item, qui multis verbis utitur, laedit animam suam; et Dominus in Evangelio: De omni verbo otioso quod locuti fuerint homines, reddent rationem de eo in die iudicii. Faciat ergo unusquisque stateram verbis suis, et frenos rectos ori suo, ne forte labatur et cadat in lingua, et insanabilis sit casus eius ad mortem, custodiens cum Propheta vias suas, ut non delinquat in lingua sua et silentium, in quo cultus iustitiae est, diligenter et caute studeat observare.
Exhortatio Prioris ad fratribus inserviendam 18. Tu autem, frater B., et quicumque post te institutus fuerit Prior, illud semper habeatis in mente, et servetis in opere, quod Dominus ait in Evangelio: Quicumque voluerit inter vos maior fieri, erit minister vester, et quicumque voluerit inter vos primus esse, erit vester servus.
Exhortatio fratrum ut Priorem tamquam locum Christi tenentem honorent 19. Vos quoque, caeteri fratres. Priorem vestrum honorate humiliter, Christum potius cogitantes quam ipsum, qui posuit illum super capita vestra, et Ecclesiarum praepositis ait: Qui vos audit, me audit, qui vos spernit, me spernit: ut non veniatis in iudicium de contemptu, sed de obedientia mereamini aeternae vitae mercedem.
Epilogus: de operibus supererogatoriis discrete exercendis 20. Haec breviter scripsimus vobis, conversationis vestrae formulam statuentes, secundum quam vivere debeatis. Si quis autem supererogaverit, ipse Dominus, cum redierit, reddet ei. Utatur tamen discretione, quae virtutum est moderatrix.
Albert, called by God’s favor to be patriarch of the church of Jerusalem, bids health in the Lord and the blessing of the Holy Spirit to his beloved sons in Christ, B. and the other hermits under obedience to him, who live near the spring on Mount Carmel.
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.
Rule of St. Albert, no. 1- 2
Regula Sancti Alberti
Albertus, Dei gratia Hierosolymitanae Ecclesiae vocatus Patriarcha, dilectis in Christo filiis B. et caeteris eremitis qui sub eius obedientia iuxta fontem in Monte Carmeli morantur: in Domino salutem, et Sancti Spiritus benedictionem.
Multifarie multisque modis sancti patres instituerunt qualiter quisque, in quocumque ordine fuerit, vel quemcumque modum religiosae vitae elegerit, in obsequio Jesu Christi vivere debeat, et eidem fideliter, de corde puro et bona conscientia, deservire.
Read the full text of Father Bede Edwards, O.C.D.’s English translation of the Rule here
Read the full text of the Rule of Saint Albert in Latin here
September 17 SAINT ALBERT OF JERUSALEM Bishop and Lawgiver of Carmel
Albert Avogadro was born about the middle of the twelfth century in Castel Gualtieri in Italy. He became a Canon Regular of the Holy Cross at Mortara and was elected their prior in 1180. Named Bishop of Bobbio in 1184, and of Vercelli in 1185, he was made Patriarch of Jerusalem in 1205. There, in word and example, he was the model of a good pastor and peace-maker. While he was Patriarch (1206-1214) he formed the hermit brothers of Mount Carmel into a collegium and wrote a Rule for them. He was murdered at Acre on September 14, 1214, by the Master of the Hospital of the Holy Spirit, whom he had rebuked and deposed for immorality.
Ant. Come let us worship the Lord, the source of all just law.
Invitatory psalm, as in the Ordinary
Office of Readings
Albert, as you shine before us
Legislator, Shepherd true,
Hear in love the hymns of homage
Which your children sing to you.
Messenger of peace and concord,
Careful to foresee all need,
You instructed all your faithful
Zealously by word and deed.
From your virtues this whole country
Shines with many a precious gem;
Most of all your mem’ry’s fragrance
Clings about Jerusalem.
So renowned that Church, so honored
When you worked as pastor there,
Carmel’s hermits asked for precepts
To define a life of prayer.
We are grateful to you, Father,
For the Rule which we profess,
Apt to guide each one in Carmel
To the heights of holiness.
With your Rule to give us increase,
Fruit abundant may we see
When with you we praise in heaven
God eternal, One in Three.
87.87. Sr. Margarita of Jesus, O.C.D.
Ant. 1 The righteous one delights in the law of the Lord and ponders it day and night.
Psalm 21:2-8, 14
O Lord, your strength gives joy to the King; *
how your saving help makes him glad!
You have granted him his heart’s desire; *
you have not refused the prayer of his lips.
You came to meet him with the blessings of success, *
you have set on his head a crown of pure gold.
He asked you for life and this you have given, *
days that will last from age to age.
Your saving help has given him glory. *
You have laid upon him majesty and splendor,
you have granted your blessings to him forever. *
You have made him rejoice with the joy of your presence.
The king has put his trust in the Lord: *
through the mercy of the Most High he shall stand firm.
O Lord, arise in your strength; *
we shall sing and praise your power.
Ant. The righteous one delights in the law of the Lord and ponders it day and night.
Ant. 2 Let the law of the Lord be ever on your lips.
Psalm 92 – I
It is good to give thanks to the Lord, *
to make music to your name, O Most High,
to proclaim your love in the morning *
and your truth in the watches of the night,
on the ten-stringed lyre and the lute, *
with the murmuring sound of the harp.
Your deeds, O Lord, have made me glad; *
for the work of your hands I shout with joy.
O Lord, how great are your works! *
How deep are your designs!
The foolish man cannot know this *
and the fool cannot understand.
Though the wicked spring up like grass *
and all who do evil thrive,
they are doomed to be eternally destroyed. *
But you, Lord, are eternally on high.
Ant. Let the law of the Lord be ever on your lips.
Ant. 3 All who ponder the law of the Lord will yield fruit in due season.
Psalm 92 – II
See how your enemies perish; *
all doers of evil are scattered.
To me you give the wild ox’s strength; *
you anoint me with the purest oil.
My eyes looked in triumph on my foes; *
my ears heard gladly of their fall.
The just will flourish like the palm tree *
and grow like a Lebanon cedar.
Planted in the house of the Lord *
they will flourish in the courts of our God,
still bearing fruit when they are old, *
still full of sap, still green,
to proclaim that the Lord is just. *
In him, my rock, there is no wrong.
Ant. All who ponder the law of the Lord will yield fruit in due season.
Receive instruction from his mouth. —And lay up his words in your heart.
Eph. 6:5-8, 10-18, 23-24
From the letter of the apostle Paul to the Ephesians
Put on all the armor that God gives you
Slaves, obey your human masters with the reverence, the awe, and the sincerity you owe to Christ. Do not render service for appearance only and to please men, but do God’s will with your whole heart as slaves of Christ. Give your service willingly, doing it for the Lord rather than men. You know that each one, whether slave or free, will be repaid by the Lord for whatever good he does.
Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. Our battle is not against human forces but against the principalities and powers, the rulers of this world of darkness, the evil spirits in regions above. You must put on the armor of God if you are to resist on the evil day; do all that your duty requires, and hold your ground. Stand fast, with the truth as the belt around your waist, justice as your breastplate, and zeal to propagate the gospel of peace as your footgear. In all circumstances hold faith up before you as your shield; it will help you extinguish the fiery darts of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, the word of God.
At every opportunity pray in the Spirit, using prayers and petitions of every sort. Pray constantly and attentively for all in the holy company.
May God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ grant the brothers peace and love and faith. Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with unfailing love.
Lead a life worthy of your vocation, —living in allegiance to Jesus Christ.
Ponder the Lord’s law day and night, and keep watch at your prayers, —living in allegiance to Jesus Christ.
From the rule delivered to the Brothers of Mount Carmel by Saint Albert of Jerusalem
Since man’s life on earth is a time of trial, and all who would live devotedly in Christ must undergo persecution, and the devil, your foe, is on the prowl like a roaring lion looking for prey to devour, you must use every care to clothe yourselves in God’s armor, so that you may be ready to withstand the enemy’s ambush.
Your loins are to be girt with chastity, your breast fortified by holy meditations, for, as Scripture has it, holy meditation will save you. Put on holiness as your breastplate, and it will enable you to love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and strength, and your neighbor as yourself. Faith must be your shield on all occasions, and with it you will be able to quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked one. There can be no pleasing God without faith. On your head, set the helmet of salvation, and so be sure of deliverance by our only Savior, who sets his own free from their sins. The sword of the spirit, the word of God, must abound in your mouths and hearts. Let all you do have the Lord’s word for accompaniment.
The Apostle would have us keep silence, for in silence he tells us to work. As the Prophet also makes known to us, silence is the way to foster holiness. Elsewhere he says, your strength will lie in silence and hope. Be careful not to indulge in a great deal of talk, for as Scripture has it—and experience teaches us no less—sin will not be wanting where there is much talk, and he who is careless in speech will come to harm, and elsewhere, the use of many words brings harm to the speaker’s soul. And Our Lord says in the Gospel, every rash word uttered will have to be accounted for on Judgment Day. Make a balance, then, each of you, to weigh your words in, keep a tight rein on your mouths lest you should stumble and fail in speech, and your fall be irreparable and prove mortal. Like the Prophet, watch your step lest your tongue give offense, and employ every care in keeping silent, which is the way to foster holiness.
My children, be courageous and grow strong in the law, —for it is your way to glory.
The Lord’s law is perfect and strengthens the soul; it gives wisdom to the humble —for it is your way to glory.
Where the Vigil Office is celebrated:
Ant. Let your belts be fastened round your waists, and have your lamps burning ready.
Blessed are those who hope in the Lord
Blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it (Lk 11:28)
Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, *
whose hope is the Lord.
He is like a tree planted by water, *
that sends out its roots by the stream:
and does not fear when heat comes, *
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought, *
for it does not cease to bear fruit.
Sir 14:20; 15:3-5a, 6b
The happiness of the wise
Wisdom has been proved right by all her children (Lk 7:35)
Happy the man who meditates on wisdom, *
and reason with good sense.
She will give him the bread of understanding to eat, *
and the water of wisdom to drink.
He will lean on her and will not fall, *
he will rely on her and not be put to shame.
She will raise him high above his neighbors, *
and he will inherit an everlasting name.
Happy are those who do not go chasing after riches
Get yourselves treasure that will not fail you in heaven (Lk 12:33)
Blessed is the rich man who is found blameless, *
and who does not go after gold.
Who is he? And we will call him blessed, *
for he has done wonderful things among his people.
Who has been tested by it and been found perfect? *
Let it be for him a ground for boasting.
Who has had the power to transgress and did not transgress, *
and to do evil and did not do it?
His prosperity will be established, *
and the assembly will relate his acts of charity.
Ant. Let your belts be fastened round your waists, and have your lamps burning ready.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew
Anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave
Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “You know that among the pagans the rulers lord it over them, and their great men make their authority felt. This is not to happen among you. No; anyone who wants to be great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave, just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
You are God: we praise you; *
You are the Lord: we acclaim you;
You are the eternal Father: *
All creation worships you.
To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, *
Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord, God of power and might, *
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you. †
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. *
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.
Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you: *
Father, of majesty unbounded,
your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, *
and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the King of glory, *
the eternal Son of the Father.
When you became man to set us free *
you did not spurn the Virgin’s womb.
You overcame the sting of death, *
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. *
We believe that you will come, and be our judge.
Come then, Lord, and help your people, *
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints*
to glory everlasting.
Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance.
— Govern and uphold them now and always.
Day by day we bless you.
— We praise your name for ever.
Keep us today, Lord, from all sin.
— Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.
Lord, show us your love and mercy,
— for we have put our trust in you.
In you, Lord, is our hope:
— And we shall never hope in vain.
Prayer as at Morning Prayer
Glorious Saint Albert, we would hymn your praises,
Splendid in virtue, victor in the combat,
All hearts and voices joyously united
Here to acclaim you.
High-priest devoted, lover of the people,
Watchman unwearied; though your death was bloodstained;
Stainless your honor, when for God and duty
You fell a victim.
True to the wisdom of our ancient Fathers,
Your Rule for Carmel still preserves among us
Solitude, silence, spirit of the desert
Get us the courage needed in these last days,
Faithful transmitter of the Spirit’s message;
Make Carmel’s garden fruitful for God’s glory
Yielding new increase.
Splendor and empire to our Lord God only
Who willed to give us such a Friend and Father,
Praying at all times that we may in safety
Gain heaven’s kingdom.
126.96.36.199. Sr. Mary Paula, O.C.D.
Ant. 1 You are the light of the world; a city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
Psalms and canticle from Sunday, Week I
Ant. 2 Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father.
Ant. 3 God’s word is alive; it strikes to the heart. It pierces more surely than a two-edged sword.
Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you; consider how their lives ended, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teaching.
On your walls, Jerusalem, I have set my sentinels to guard you. —On your walls, Jerusalem, I have set my sentinels to guard you.
Day or night, they will not cease to proclaim the name of the Lord. —I have set my sentinels to guard you.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. —On your walls, Jerusalem, I have set my sentinels to guard you.
Canticle of Zechariah
Ant. Let everyone who is zealous for the law follow me: then many who were seeking righteousness and justice went out into the desert.
Let us worship Christ, the Shepherd and Guardian of our souls, who loves his people; full of hope in him let us pray:
R/.Lord, protect your people.
Lord, accept our vows and intentions, —as the first-fruits of this day. R/.
Lord, may we be inspired by our Rule, —and so proclaim your love to all. R/.
May we so love you, who are Love itself, that we may come to possess you; —and so live that our lives may be a continual hymn of praise to you. R/.
Help us, who are your servants, to keep your word faithfully; —and to seek it with all our hearts. R/.
Lord, be our teacher and guide, leading the way for us to the height of Carmel; —may we be bound to your service with a pure heart and a clean conscience. R/.
through Saint Albert of Jerusalem
you have given us a Rule of life according to your Gospel,
to help us attain perfect love.
Through his prayers may we always live
in allegiance to Jesus Christ,
and serve faithfully until death
him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.
Antiphons and psalms from the current weekday.
Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy; for I am the Lord your God. Keep my statutes, and do them; I am the Lord who sanctify you.
Let all that you do —have the Lord’s word for accompaniment.
Cf. 2 Timothy 3:12, 14-15
You are well aware that anyone who tries to live in devotion to Christ is certain to be attacked. You must keep to what you have been taught and know to be true; remember who your teachers were, and how, ever since you were a child, you have known the holy scriptures—from these you can learn the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
Follow the sound advice you have heard from me, —in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.
And now, my friends, all that is true, all that is noble, all that is just and pure, all that is lovable and gracious, whatever is excellent and admirable—fill all your thoughts with these things. The lessons I taught you, the tradition I have passed on, all that you heard me say or saw me do, put into practice; and the God of peace will be with you.
Blessed are the peacemakers. —They shall be called God’s children.
Hymn, as at Morning Prayer
Ant. 1 My life is at the service of the Gospel; God has given me this gift of his grace.
Lord, who shall be admitted to your tent *
and dwell on your holy mountain?
He who walks without fault; *
he who acts with justice
and speaks the truth from his heart; *
he who does not slander with his tongue;
he who does no wrong to his brother, *
who casts no slur on his neighbor,
who holds the godless in disdain, *
but honors those who fear the Lord;
he who keeps his pledge, come what may; *
who takes no interest on a loan
and accepts no bribes against the innocent. *
Such a man will stand firm for ever.
Ant. My life is at the service of the Gospel; God has given me this gift of his grace.
Ant. 2 This servant proved himself faithful and wise; the Lord entrusted the care of his household to him.
Happy the man who fears the Lord, *
who takes delight in all his commands.
His sons will be powerful on earth; *
the children of the upright are blessed.
Riches and wealth are in his house; *
his justice stands firm for ever.
He is a light in the darkness for the upright: *
he is generous, merciful and just.
The good man takes pity and lends, *
he conducts his affairs with honor.
The just man will never waver: *
he will be remembered for ever.
He has no fear of evil news; *
with a firm heart he trusts in the Lord.
With a steadfast heart he will not fear; *
he will see the downfall of his foes.
Open-handed, he gives to the poor; †
his justice stands firm for ever. *
His head will be raised in glory.
The wicked man sees and is angry, †
grinds his teeth and fades away;
the desire of the wicked leads to doom.
Ant. This servant proved himself faithful and wise; the Lord entrusted the care of his household to him.
Ant. 3 My sheep will hear my voice; and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.
Canticle: Rev 15:3-4
Great and wonderful are your deeds, *
O Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are your ways, *
O King of the ages!
Who shall not fear and glorify your name, O Lord? *
For you alone are holy.
All nations shall come and worship you, *
for your judgments have been revealed.
Ant. My sheep will hear my voice; and there shall be one fold and one shepherd
Act on this word. If all you do is listen to it, you are deceiving yourselves. A man who listens to God’s word but does not put it into practice is like a man who looks into a mirror at the face he was born with: he looks at himself, then goes off and promptly forgets what he looked like. There is, on the other hand, the man who peers into freedom’s ideal law and abides by it. He is no forgetful listener, but one who carries out the law in practice. Blessed will this man be in whatever he does.
This is a man who loved his brethren and ever prayed for them. —This is a man who loved his brethren and ever prayed for them.
He spent himself in their service, —and ever prayed for them.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. —This is a man who loved his brethren and ever prayed for them.
Canticle of Mary
Ant. Let the word of Christ in its richness live within you; sing gratefully in your hearts to God.
Praise and honor to Christ, who has reconciled the world to God. It was as his representative that Albert came among us, and God was encouraging us through him. Filled with faith, let us implore Christ:
R/.Remember your family, Lord.
Lord, it is in your service that we have embraced the religious life; —may we serve you faithfully with a pure heart and a clean conscience. R/.
To some of us you give special authority so that they may be at the service of the community; —may we hear your voice in their word and example. R/.
You call us to ponder your law day and night; —come and dwell with us: be on our lips and in our hearts. R/.
You commend to us that silence which is filled with your presence; —convince us that our strength is found in silence and in hope. R/.
You have said that our life on earth is a time of trial; —strengthen the faint-hearted, lift the fallen, and fill us all with your Holy Spirit. R/.
We commend to you all those who were our companions while they lived; —may they rejoice with you forever in the heavenly kingdom. R/.
through Saint Albert of Jerusalem
you have given us a Rule of life according to your Gospel,
to help us attain perfect love.
Through his prayers may we always live
in allegiance to Jesus Christ,
and serve faithfully until death
him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.
The Discalced Carmelite Friars dedicated their church and monastery in the Holy Land in homage to the “great miracle worker”, the Blessed Virgin of Carmel on the promontory of Mount Carmel in 1836.
Before the blessing of the church, the statue of the Blessed Virgin made a grand tour of Europe. Pope Pius VII received her in his private chapel for his personal veneration on 4th March 1823. His Holiness, seeing the image for the first time, exclaimed:
Bella, bella, bella! Such a devout image! Her virtues are carved in her face! That sculptor could not do what he has done except by revelation from heaven.
In 1932 the statue returned to Italy. The previous year, to commemorate the tercentenary of the Discalced Carmelites’ return to Mount Carmel, the monastery had hosted the General Chapter. Because it was felt that the statue’s garments were not in accord with its ornate surroundings, it was decided to have them carved in wood. Brother Luigi Poggi, conventual on Mount Carmel, carved a copy to be enthroned temporarily, while the head and hands were sent off to Rome.
The body was carved in Lebanese cedar, with instructions to keep the same proportions and pose as the original. In Europe, the work of restoration was entrusted to Emanuele Rieda, who finished it in less than a year.
The statue’s return to Mount Carmel was accompanied by great celebrations. In July and August the image was displayed in the Discalced Carmelites’ Roman churches and was blessed by Pius XI on the 25th of July, 1933.
At the end of August it was brought to Naples where three days’ solemn feast was kept. Finally on the 1st of September it was loaded onto the steamer Helouan bound for Haifa. On the journey the statue was accompanied by Discalced Carmelite students from the International College, bound for Mount Carmel where they were to study philosophy.
The steamer made port at Alexandria in Egypt and Port Said and reached Haifa on 8th of September. The statue was escorted by a long procession made up of civic and religious leaders, all Catholic groups in Haifa and a group of pilgrims who had come specially from Europe. In the evening it was solemnly enthroned above the high altar in the basilica.
“But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a solitary broom tree. He asked that he might die: ‘It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors’” (1 Kg 19:4).
The previous verse tells us why Elijah decides to go to the desert and wants to die: “He was afraid; he got up and fled for his life” (1 Kg 19:3).
Elijah was a great prophet, a man of God, and a giant of the faith. Even the great men of God can suffer moments of crisis and fear, as in this case with the prophet Elijah, who flees in fear before the threats and persecution of the powerful Phoenician queen Jezebel.
The prophet’s crisis, however, becomes a moment of grace because God approaches him in the desert and feeds him, giving him new strength to live.
Elijah goes to the desert, lies down and goes to sleep. He’s just waiting to die. “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors” (1 Kings 19:4). Like so many other believers in the Bible, Elijah complains before God. All that remains is to throw in the towel; everything has been useless.
And further, now Elijah is afraid. Fear leads Elijah not only to run away but also to fall asleep. Falling asleep is to remain unconscious, in a certain way: it’s an escape from reality.
However, when things turn dark; when what’s transpired becomes indecipherable and the future, uncertain: that’s when we have to be wide awake.
We must not turn off the light of conscience and discernment, for that is when we must be more clear-headed than ever.
The biblical story tells us that Elijah was awakened and fed by God, because God doesn’t want anyone to be asleep and fearful.
The prophet turns to hear the word of the Lord through an angel, saying two times: “Get up and eat” (1 Kings 19:5). After eating the first time, Elijah goes back to sleep.
Sometimes the crisis is so great
and the discouragement is so strong
that it is difficult to get up and walk.
But God is not overcome by our weakness; God insists for the second time in feeding Elijah: “Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you” (1 Kings 19:7).God doesn’t want us to feel fearful, neither does he want us to sleep.
God offered Elijah—through his messenger—frugal and simple food: a pilgrim’s meal (“a cake baked on hot stones” and “a jar of water”, 1 Kings 19:6). At that moment you don’t need a succulent feast, but effective nutrition. That kind of effective nutrition to recover strength and hope, only God can provide. Elijah ate and “he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God” (1 Kings 19:8).
Before eating, the prophet’s flight was headed toward death;after being fed in the desert, that miraculous meal takes him to Mount Horeb or Sinai, where Moses met the Lord, where Israel first made a covenant with its God.God began everything on that mountain.
Elijah fought against the injustice and arrogance of the powerful, the manipulation of religion, the violent repression, and the use of fear as a form of domination. All of these shady schemes are opposed to God’s plan.
Elijah gave everything. In the end, in self-imposed exile, escaping to protect himself from the death threats of Queen Jezebel, he falls down, tired and hopeless, in the desert. He was tempted not to keep fighting, dreaming, and hoping. It can happen to anyone.
The biblical text, however, gives us the certainty that God’s nourishment allows us to come out of our unconscious state and overcome fear—not letting anyone deprive us of hope. The bread that God gives us in the desert is more powerful than the wiles and threats of the shadowy structures of oppression and death.
Today, too, we need a bread that is mysterious and effective, that allows us to walk with strength and hope.
That bread is Jesus, who today has told us: “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever” (Jn 6:51). Jesus offers to nourish us so as to give us strength, light, hope, and the breath of life that come from the same God, the creator of life.
If Jesus nourishes us with his love and kindness, with his light and with his strength, nothing can take away our joy and hope. In our interior, in the depths of our heart, God feeds us with his Son, the Bread come down from heaven.
We have heard Jesus say: “No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me.”The Father mysteriously draws us to Jesus; he makes Jesus attractive to us. And if Jesus presents himself again to us—attractive, fascinating, familiar in the depths of our being—we are attracted to the good, the beautiful, the noble.
If Jesus makes us attractive, we will be fascinating and attractive, which does good for the human person—which builds a better world.
Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.
Auxiliary Bishop of Managua Homily, 21st Sunday in Ordinary Time (excerpts) 12 August 2018
You can read the full text of the homily on our blog here.
We thank the Christian Media Center, the communications ministry of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land, for this fine video on the City of Haifa and the citizens that live and work to make Mount Carmel of today a place of beauty and peace.
A touristic, seaside city, which stands out as a technological and academic center, Haifa is a model of peaceful coexistence between religions. Religious, historical and cultural factors explain this good union.
During the month of May, the refugees assembled for the daily prayers in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary
The scholarly journal Teresianum in 1990 published an account by noted Discalced Carmelite historian Father Elias Friedman, O.C.D. concerning the Discalced Carmelite friars’ charitable efforts to shelter refugees at Stella Maris monastery during the armed conflict in Haifa in the year 1948.
A bit of background: Fr. Elias reminds his readers that at the end of 1947 when the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted a resolution “recommending the partition of Palestine into an Arab state, a Jewish state and a corpus separatum for Jerusalem,” Jews and Arabs in the region “jostled for position in view of the approaching termination of the British Mandate.” Bloody violence ensued.
Photos from the LIFE magazine archives illustrate Fr. Elias Friedman’s documentation. Father Elias carefully noted that in 1944 the population of Haifa was 128,000, with a fair balance of Jews, Christians, and Muslims (52% Jewish); the Discalced Carmelite Fathers’ parish in the city of Haifa, Saint Joseph Church, had a membership of roughly 4000 families. After the violence broke out in 1948, “of a total population of 98,284, Jews numbered 94,718.” Saint Joseph’s parish experienced a dramatic drop in membership: in 1948, there were only about 500 families that remained. When Fr. Elias published his article in 1990, he noted that the membership had “risen slowly, so that at the time of writing, the number of parishioners stands at +/-1,500.” Haifa’s Christian population suffered immensely in 1948.
Beginning in January 1948, Catholics in Haifa began to seek secure shelter at the Monastery of the Carmelite Fathers, now known as Stella Maris, on the promontory of Mount Carmel at Haifa.
Four religious from the Christian Brothers school were the first Catholics who came to the friars asking for a place to stay. “Soon they were followed by Arab families, desperately in search of shelter.” At one point, the number of refugees at the Carmelite monastery across from the lighthouse reached a total of 521.
Father Clemente Casinelli, O.C.D. transferred to Haifa from the friars’ monastery at El-Muhraqa — the place of Elijah’s sacrifice — in April 1948 and assumed the office of Procurator. When he arrived, he found “the first floor of the monastery to be filled with men, women, and children. They were mostly Catholics, some three or four families were Greek-Orthodox, and one family was Muslim (the Sabas). The overflow spilled into the grounds of the monastery.”
The refugees were very resourceful and contributed to one another’s well-being given the circumstances. Fr. Clemente took charge of the refugee program. He was an Italian Discalced Carmelite friar who had spent six years in a British prison camp in Lebanon during World War II for no other reason than his nationality; his own harsh experiences there gave him a unique sense of initiative and compassion.
Fr. Elias notes that “the refugees assisted regularly at Sunday Mass.” A local family who were benefactors to the friars and their refugees “set a good example by first putting their contributions into the plate and taking it around the congregation at the Offertory.”
“During the month of May, the refugees assembled for the daily prayers in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary, at 7 o’clock each evening to recite the Rosary together and attend the Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament.”
Friedman, Elias. “Internal Arab refugees at the monastery of the Carmelite Fathers, Mount Carmel, Haifa (Israel).” Teresianum: Ephemerides Carmeliticae, vol. 41, no. 1, 1990, pp. 261-274.
MESSAGE FOR THE CENTENARY OF THE PROCESSION OF OUR LADY OF CARMEL Haifa, 5 May 2019
Fr. Saverio Cannistrà of the Sacred Heart, O.C.D. Discalced Carmelite Superior General
This year we celebrate the centenary of the procession of Our Lady of Carmel in Haifa. The first procession was held on April 27, 1919, Sunday in albis, and was organized to solemnly bring back to the sanctuary of Stella Maris the statue of Our Lady of Carmel, that in 1914 at the beginning of the First World War, had been transferred to the parish church in the city. The Vicar Father of Mount Carmel at that time, the Englishman P. Francis Lamb (1867-1950), writes in his memoirs that there was an extraordinary participation of the people and that the English authorities were struck by this manifestation of faith and devotion for the Mother of God in the Latin Catholic community of Haifa. It was linked to the end of the Great War and the desire to thank the Lord and Our Lady for the return of peace. The procession was repeated in the following years until it became the most important in the Holy Land after that of Palm Sunday in Jerusalem.
Here in Haifa, devotion to Mary is like a centuries-old tree with large branches and deep roots […]
Teresa Manetti was born at Campi Bisenzio, Florence, where she founded in 1874 the Congregation of Carmelite Sisters of St. Teresa, who she also sent to Lebanon and the Holy Land. She lived joyfully, body and soul, the mystery of the Cross in full conformity to the will of God and she was outstanding for her love for the Eucharist and her maternal care for children and for the poor. She died at Campi Bisenzio on April 23, 1910. She was beatified by St. John Paul II in 1986.
From the Common of Virgins or the Common of Holy Women (Religious)
Office of Readings
From the works of Saint Teresa of Avila (Interior Castle VII, 4; 4, 58. Way of Perfection 26,7, Interior Castle 11,1,11.)
Fix your gaze on the Crucified and everything becomes easy
His Majesty could not grant us a greater favor than to give us a life that would be an imitation of the life that His beloved Son lived. For this reason, I hold it certain that these favors are meant to fortify our weakness so that we may be able to imitate Him in his great sufferings.
Fix your eyes on the Crucified and everything will become easy for you. If His Majesty showed us His love by means of such works and frightful torments, how is it you want to please Him only with words?
Do you know what it means to be truly spiritual? It means becoming the slaves of God. Marked with His brand, which is that of the Cross, spiritual persons, because now they have given Him their liberty, can be sold by Him as slaves of everyone, as He was. In acting this way, He doesn’t do us any harm but rather He grants us a not insignificant grace.
We have always seen that those who were closest to Christ our Lord were those with the greatest trials. Let us look at what His glorious Mother suffered and the glorious apostles.
Take up the Cross of Jesus. Help your Spouse to carry the burden that weighs Him down and pay no attention to what they may say about you. If you should happen to stumble and fall like your Spouse, do not withdraw from the Cross or abandon it. No matter how great your trials may be, you will see that they are quite small in comparison to His.
If we never look at Him or reflect on what we owe Him and the death He suffered for us, I don’t know how we’ll be able to know Him or serve Him. And without these works in His service, what value will our faith have? And what value will our works have if they are separated from the inestimable merits of Jesus Christ, our Good? And then who will bring us to love this Lord?
I rejoice in the trials I bear and make up in my flesh that which is lacking in the sufferings of Christ —for the sake of His body which is the Church (alleluia).
I have been crucified with Christ, and now no longer live but Christ lives in me: —for the sake of His body which is the Church (alleluia).
by the inexhaustible grace of the Eucharist,
you enabled the virgin Blessed Teresa Maria
to walk the way of the Cross,
and filled her with maternal concern
for the weak and the poor.
Through her intercession
may we too be strengthened by the bread of angels
to share joyfully in the suffering of Christ
and to participate in works of love
for the establishment of your kingdom.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
This commentary on the stanzas that deal with the exchange of love between the soul and Christ, its Bridegroom, explains certain matters about prayer and its effects. It was written at the request of Mother Ana de Jesús, prioress of the Discalced Carmelite nuns of St. Joseph’s in Granada, in the year 1584.
1. These stanzas, Reverend Mother, were obviously composed with a certain burning love of God. The wisdom and charity of God is so vast, as the Book of Wisdom states, that it reaches from end to end [Wis. 8:1], and the soul informed and moved by it bears in some way this very abundance and impulsiveness in her words. As a result, I do not plan to expound these stanzas in all the breadth and fullness that the fruitful spirit of love conveys to them. It would be foolish to think that expressions of love arising from mystical understanding, like these stanzas, are fully explainable. The Spirit of the Lord, who abides in us and aids our weakness, as St. Paul says [Rom. 8:26], pleads for us with unspeakable groanings in order to manifest what we can neither fully understand nor comprehend.
Who can describe in writing the understanding he gives to loving souls in whom he dwells? And who can express with words the experience he imparts to them? Who, finally, can explain the desires he gives them? Certainly, no one can! Not even they who receive these communications. As a result, these persons let something of their experience overflow in figures, comparisons, and similitudes, and from the abundance of their spirit pour out secrets and mysteries rather than rational explanations.
If these similitudes are not read with the simplicity of the spirit of knowledge and love they contain, they will seem to be absurdities rather than reasonable utterances, as will those comparisons of the divine Song of Solomon and other books of Sacred Scripture where the Holy Spirit, unable to express the fullness of his meaning in ordinary words, utters mysteries in strange figures and likenesses. The saintly doctors, no matter how much they have said or will say, can never furnish an exhaustive explanation of these figures and comparisons, since the abundant meanings of the Holy Spirit cannot be caught in words. Thus the explanation of these expressions usually contains less than what they embody in themselves.
2. Since these stanzas, then, were composed in a love flowing from abundant mystical understanding, I cannot explain them adequately, nor is it my intention to do so. I only wish to shed some general light on them, since Your Reverence has desired this of me…
Read the official biography of the Servant of God on the website of the Discalced Carmelite General Postulation of the Causes of the Saints
Albert, called by God’s favor to be patriarch of the church of Jerusalem, bids health in the Lord and the blessing of the Holy Spirit to his beloved sons in Christ, B. and the other hermits under obedience to him, who live near the spring on Mount Carmel.
Saint Albert of Jerusalem
The Rule of St Albert, Chapter 1