25 August: St. Mary of Jesus Crucified

August 25
SAINT MARY OF JESUS CRUCIFIED
Virgin

Optional Memorial

Saint Mary (Mariam) of Jesus Crucified was born of the Baouardy family, Catholics of the Greek Melkite Rite, at Abellin in Galilee in 1846. In 1867 Mariam entered the Discalced Carmelites at Pau in France and was sent with the founding group to the Carmel of Mangalore in India where, in 1870, she made her profession. Mariam returned to France in 1872. In 1875 she went to the Holy Land where she built a monastery in Bethlehem and began planning for another at Nazareth. Noted for her supernatural gifts, especially for humility, for her devotion to the Holy Spirit, and her great love for the Church and the Pope, Mariam died at Bethlehem in 1878.

From the common of virgins, or of holy women (religious)

Second Reading

(Cat. 16, 1, 12:16 (PG 33, 936, 939-942)

From the Catechesis of Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, Bishop

To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good

The Holy Spirit, although he is one and of one nature and indivisible, apportions his grace as he wills to each one. When the dry tree is watered it brings forth shoots. So too the soul in sin: when through penance it is made worthy of the grace of the Holy Spirit, it bears the fruit of justice. Though the Spirit is one in nature, yet by the will of God and in the name of Christ he brings about multiple effects of virtue.

He uses the tongue of one man for wisdom, he illumines the soul of another by prophecy, to another he imparts the power of driving out devils, to another the gift of interpreting the sacred scriptures; he strengthens the self-control of one man, teaches another the nature of almsgiving, another to fast and mortify himself, another to despise the things of the body; he prepares another man for martyrdom.

He acts differently in different men while himself remaining unchanged, as it is written: To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

His approach is gentle, his presence fragrant, his yoke very light; rays of light and knowledge shine forth before him as he comes. He comes with the heart of a true protector; he comes to save, to heal, to teach, to admonish, to strengthen, to console, to enlighten the mind, first of the man who receives him, then through him the minds of others also.

As a man previously in darkness, suddenly seeing the sun, receives his sight and sees clearly what he did not see before, so the man deemed worthy of the Holy Spirit is enlightened in soul and sees beyond the power of human sight what he did not know before. Although his body remains on the earth, his soul already contemplates heaven as in a mirror.

Responsory

We contemplate your beauty, O Virgin of Christ:
You have received from the Lord a gleaming crown.

Nothing could bring you to surrender virginity;
nothing could separate you from the love of the Son of God.
You have received from the Lord a gleaming crown.

Prayer

God of mercy and all consolation,
you raised Saint Mary,
the humble daughter of the Holy Land,
to contemplation of the mysteries of your Son
and made her a witness to the love and joy of the Holy Spirit.
Grant us, through her intercession,
so to share in the sufferings of Christ
that we may rejoice in the revelation of your glory.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

 

Mariam-Baouardy_icon-traditional
One of the earliest and best-known icons of Saint Mary of Jesus Crucified | Photo credit: Discalced Carmelites

 

 

Learn more about Mariam here.

18 August: Blessed Martyrs of Rochefort

August 18
BLESSED JOHN-BAPTIST DUVERNEUIL,
MICHAEL-ALOYSIUS BRULARD AND JAMES GAGNOT
Priests and Martyrs

Optional Memorial

Fr. Jean-Baptiste Duverneuil (b. 1737 at Limoges), in religion Fr. Leonard, Fr. Michel-Louis Brulard (b. 1758 at Chartres), and Fr. Jacques Gagnot (b. 1753 at Frolois), in religion Fr. Hubert of Saint Claude, were among a group of 64 Martyrs beatified 1st October 1995, victims of the French Revolution who came from 14 French dioceses and from various religious Orders. In their loyalty to God, the Church and the Pope, they refused to take the oath of the Civil Constitution for the Clergy imposed by the Constituent Assembly of the Revolution. As a result, they were imprisoned, massed like animals, on a slave-trader in Rochefort Bay, waiting in vain to be deported into slavery. During 1794, the first two Carmelites died on board ship: Fr. John-Baptist on 1st July, and Fr. Michael-Aloysius on 25th July, both being buried on the island of Aix. After the plague broke out on the ship, those remaining disembarked on the island of Madame, where Fr. James died and was buried on 10th September. Noted for their loving ministry to their fellow prisoners and their patience in accepting every type of outrage, privation, and cruelty, not to mention the vicissitudes of weather, hunger and sickness, our three Discalced Carmelite priest martyrs and their companions in martyrdom gave unsurpassed Christian witness to their faith and love.

From the common of martyrs

The Second Reading

Resolutions drawn up by the Priests imprisoned on the ship Les Deux Associés

They bore in silence the cross that was placed on them

They will never give themselves up to useless worries about being set free. Instead they will make the effort to profit from the time of their detention by meditating on their past years, by making holy resolutions for the future, so that they can find in the captivity of their bodies, freedom for their soul.

If God permits them to recover totally or in part this liberty nature longs for, they will avoid giving themselves up to an immoderate joy when they receive the news. By keeping their souls tranquil, they will show they support without murmur the cross placed on them, and that they are disposed to bear it even longer with courage and as true Christians who never let themselves be beaten by adversity.

If there is question of receiving back their personal effects they will show no eagerness in asking for them; rather they will make the declaration that may be required of them with modesty and strict truth; they will receive without lament what is given to them, accustoming themselves, as is their duty, to despise the things of the earth and to be content with little, after the example of the apostles.

They are not to satisfy curious people they might come across; they will not reply to superficial questions about what happened to them; they will let people glimpse that they have patiently supported their sufferings, without descending into detail, and without showing any resentment against those who have authored and been instrumental in their suffering.

They will sentence themselves to the severest and most absolute silence about the faults of their brothers and the weaknesses into which they happened to fall due to their unfortunate situation, their bad health and the length of their punishment. They will preserve the same charity towards those whose religious opinion is different from their own. They will avoid all bitter feeling or animosity, being content to feel sorry about them interiorly and making the effort to stay on the way of truth by their gentleness and moderation.

They will not show grief over the loss of their goods, no haste to recover them, no resentment against those who possess them…

From now on they will form but one heart and one soul, without showing distinction of persons, and without leaving any of their brothers out, under any pretext. They will never get mixed up in the new politics, being content to pray for the welfare of their country and prepare themselves for a new life, if God permits them to return to their homes, and there become subjects of edification and models of virtue for the people, by their detachment from the world, their assiduousness in prayer and their love for recollection and piety.

Responsory

God and his angels look down upon us;
Christ, too, looks on as we do battle in the contest of faith.
What great dignity and glory are ours,
what happiness to struggle in the presence of God,
and to be crowned by Christ our judge.

Let us be armed with a great determination and,
pure in heart, sound in faith, and full of courage,
be prepared to face the combat.
What great dignity and glory are ours,
what happiness to struggle in the presence of God,
and to be crowned by Christ our judge.

Prayer

Lord God,
to the martyrs Blessed John-Baptist, Michael Aloysius,
James, and their companions,
you gave the grace to remain faithful and to pardon
while suffering dismaying hardship.
Through their intercession grant also to us,
to be always willing to remain faithful to your Church
and to be reconciled
with one another.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

 

Martyrs-Rochefort-oil-on-canvas
Blessed John-Baptist Duverneuil, Michael-Aloysius Brulard, and James Gagnot | Image credit: Discalced Carmelites

 

 

9 August: St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

August 9
SAINT TERESA BENEDICTA OF THE CROSS
Virgin and Martyr

Memorial

Edith Stein was born to a Jewish family at Breslau on October 12, 1891. Through her passionate study of philosophy, she searched after truth and found it in reading the autobiography of Saint Teresa of Jesus. In 1922 she was baptized a Catholic and in 1933 she entered the Carmel of Cologne, where she took the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. She was gassed and cremated at Auschwitz on August 9, 1942, during the Nazi persecution, and died a martyr for the Christian faith after having offered her holocaust for the people of Israel. A woman of singular intelligence and learning, she left behind a body of writing notable for its doctrinal richness and profound spirituality. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II at Cologne on May 1, 1987.

From the common of martyrs or of virgins

THE SECOND READING

(Edith Stein Werke (Freiburg, 1987), 11:124-126)

From the spiritual writings of Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

Ave Crux, spes unica!

We greet you, Holy Cross, our only hope! The church puts these words on our lips during the time of the passion, which is dedicated to the contemplation of the bitter sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ. The world is in flames. The struggle between Christ and antichrist rages openly, and so if you decide for Christ you can even be asked to sacrifice your life.

Contemplate the Lord who hangs before you on the wood, because he was obedient even to the death of the cross. He came into the world not to do his own will but that of the Father. And if you wish to be the spouse of the Crucified, you must renounce completely your own will and have no other aspiration than to do the will of God.

Before you, the Redeemer hangs on the cross stripped and naked, because he chose poverty. Those who would follow him must renounce every earthly possession.

Stand before the Lord who hangs from the cross with his heart torn open. He poured out the blood of his heart in order to win your heart. In order to follow him in holy chastity, your heart must be free from every earthly aspiration. Jesus Crucified must be the object of your every longing, of your every desire, of your every thought.

The world is in flames: the fire can spread even to our house, but above all the flames the cross stands on high, and it cannot be burnt. The cross is the way which leads from earth to heaven. Those who embrace it with faith, love, and hope are taken up, right into the heart of the Trinity.

The world is in flames: do you wish to put them out? Contemplate the cross: from his open heart, the blood of the Redeemer pours, blood which can put out even the flames of hell. Through the faithful observance of the vows, you make your heart open; and then the floods of that divine love will be able to flow into it, making it overflow and bear fruit to the furthest reaches of the earth.

Through the power of the cross, you can be present wherever there is pain, carried there by your compassionate charity, by that very charity which you draw from the divine heart. That charity enables you to spread everywhere the most precious blood in order to ease pain, save and redeem.

The eyes of the Crucified gaze upon you. They question you and appeal to you. Do you wish seriously to renew your alliance with him? What will your response be? Lord, where shall I go? You alone have the words of life. Ave Crux, spes unica!

RESPONSORY

We preach Christ Crucified, a scandal to the Jews
and foolishness to the pagans,
but for those who are called, whether they be Jews or Greeks,
we preach Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God.

The desire of my heart and my prayer
rises to God for their salvation;
but for those who are called, whether they be Jews or Greeks,
we preach Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God.

PRAYER

Lord, God of our fathers,
you brought Saint Teresa Benedicta
to the fullness of the science of the cross
at the hour of her martyrdom.
Fill us with that same knowledge;
and, through her intercession,
allow us always to seek after you, the supreme truth,
and to remain faithful until death
to the covenant of love ratified in the blood of your Son
for the salvation of all men and women.

Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

 

Auschwitz_main-gate
On the main gate for visitors to Auschwitz, the Nazis affixed this motto: WORK SETS YOU FREE. But for the millions who passed through the railway entrance, there was no freedom to be found and no truth in the motto.
As St. Teresa Benedicta wrote of the Nazis in a letter dated July 10, 1940:
“one must, after all, tell those poor people the real truth for once.”

7 August: Saint Albert of Trápani

August 7
SAINT ALBERT OF TRAPANI
Priest

Memorial

Albert degli Abbati was born at Trápani, Sicily, in the thirteenth century, and entered the Carmelite Order as a youth. He became renowned as a fervent preacher of the Gospel and a worker of miracles. He was Provincial of Sicily in 1296, and died at Messina, probably in 1307, with a reputation for purity and prayer.

From the common of holy men

Office of Readings

HYMN

The Feasts of August sound their glad refrain,
To Albert riseth soft, melodious strain;
Carmel echo with the songs of love
Raised to our Blessed Father throned above.

At seven years the parent roof he flies,
And, like the Baptist, all the world denies,
To seek the holy Virgin’s sacred shrine,
And live a life of holiness divine.

Clad in the flowing mantle white as snow,
He welcomes choicest gifts the Heavens bestow,
With power granted him to govern here
The lesser kingdoms of this earthly sphere.

The altar flame is by a crystal glassed,
A spectre breaketh it with pebble cast;
But Albert poureth tears before the Lord,
And lo! the sacred lamp is quick restored.

His youth, so prompt to vengeance, he subdues,
No fantasies of Hell his mind confuse
Supporting calmly fortune good or ill,
He scorneth honors with a steadfast will.

Unto one God most high be endless praise,
And to the blessed Son for equal days.
The Holy Spirit let us now adore,
And praise the Three in One forevermore.

10.10.10.10.
Mensis augusti redeuent honores

THE SECOND READING
(L. 1, c. 2: ed. AnOC 3 [1914-1916], pp. 348-49)

From the Book of the Institution of the First Monks

Hide yourself by the brook Cherith

The word of the Lord came to Elijah saying: Depart from here and go eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith near the Jordan, and there you will drink from the brook. Now these salutary commands which the Holy Spirit prompted Elijah to obey, and this promise of good things which he was moved to desire, ought to be weighed word by word with the greatest care by us, monks and solitaries, and this in a mystical sense, for they contain the full meaning of our vocation. Indeed they point the way to prophetic perfection, which is the goal of our religious, eremitical life.

It will be seen that this type of life has two aims. One of them we can, with the help of God’s grace, achieve by our own efforts and the practice of virtue. This aim is to offer God a heart holy and pure from all actual stain of sin, and we achieve it when we become perfect and hidden in Cherith—that is, in charity, of which the Wise Man says: Charity covers all offenses. It was to bring Elijah to this state that God said to him: Hide yourself by the brook Cherith.

The other aim of this kind of life is something that can be bestowed on us only by God’s generosity: namely, to taste in our hearts and experience in our minds, not only after death but even during this mortal life, something of the power of the divine presence and the bliss of heavenly glory. And this is to drink from the brook of the enjoyment of God—the reward God promised Elijah when he said: There you will drink from the brook.

The prophetic, eremitical life must be undertaken by the monk with both these aims in view, as the Psalmist makes clear when he says to God: In a desert land where there is no road and no water I have come before you in the sanctuary to see your power and your glory. By choosing to live in a desert land where there is no road and no water as the means of coming before God in the sanctuary—with a heart, that is, free from sin—he demonstrates the first aim of the solitary life he has chosen, which is to offer God a heart that is holy, or pure from all actual sin. By adding the words to see your power and your glory he declares the second aim, which is in some measure to experience or see the power of the divine presence mystically in one’s heart and to taste the bliss of heavenly glory here already in this life.

The first aim, purity of heart, can be achieved with the help of God’s grace by effort and the practice of virtue. The second aim, experimental knowledge of divine power and heavenly glory, can be realized through purity of heart and perfect love; for our Lord said: Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.

RESPONSORY

I have called you friends, for I have made known to you
all I have heard from my Father.
Remain in my love.
I have chosen you to go out and bear fruit,
fruit that shall last.
Remain in my love.

Morning Prayer

HYMN

The feast-day of Saint Albert dawns
A day of pure resplendent light;
Our brethren high in heav’n rejoice
As we our praise with theirs unite.

He realized that earthly joys
Were all too small to fill his heart;
All, all he had he gave to God,
In Carmel chose the better part.

Determined conqueror of self
He mortified each wrong desire
Until God saw reflected there
His image purified by fire.

For one so set on heavenly things
The lying foe laid many a snare,
But he resisted manfully,
And persevered in constant prayer.

Remember Carmel’s Order now,
Made glorious by your sojourn here;
O strengthen us in love of Christ
That we may likewise persevere.

All praise be to the Trinity,
The Father with his only Son
And ever-blessed Paraclete,
While never-ending ages run.

L.M.
Adest natalis gloriae

CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH

Ant. The just will speak wisdom, and truth will come from their lips, because God’s law is in their hearts.

PRAYER

Lord God,
you made Saint Albert of Trapani
a model of purity and prayer,
and a devoted servant of Our Lady.
May we practice these same virtues
and so be worthy always
to share the banquet of your grace.

Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

Evening Prayer

HYMN

The river floweth swiftly on its course,
Dry shod the Blessed Albert speeds across.
His chastened piety sustains no loss
When combated.

He kisseth tenderly the leprous face,
Nor shrinks in horror from the hideous trace;
Behold, it shineth now with former grace,
Disease hath fled.

When his glad spirit sought its heavenward flight,
The bells were pealing from the belfry height,
Nor did they sound by any human might
In mournful toll.

Two Messengers from Heaven high in air
Chant funeral praises of this man of prayer,
Before a mighty concourse gathered there
To bless his soul.

The odor sweet arising from his bier
Cured pain and suffering when the sick drew near,
And all diseases fled his tomb in fear
Of heavenly power.

O God most high, forever praise to Thee,
To Son and Spirit equal honor be;
Let us adore the Blessed One in Three
At every hour.

10.10.10.4.
Passibus siccis rapidum

CANTICLE OF MARY

Ant. Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.

 

Albert-of-Trapani_icon-paris

28 July: Blessed John Soreth

July 28
BLESSED JOHN SORETH
Priest

Optional Memorial

John Soreth was born at Caen in Normandy and entered Carmel as a young man. He took a doctorate of theology in Paris and served as regent of studies and provincial of his province. He was prior general from 1451 until his death at Angers in 1471. He restored observance within the Order and promoted its reform, wrote a famous commentary on the Rule, issued new Constitutions in 1462, and promoted the growth of the nuns and the Third Order.

From the Common of Men Saints (Religious), except the following:

Office of Readings

The Second Reading
Ch 4

From the Exhortation on the Carmelite Rule by Blessed John Soreth

Learn from Christ how you should love him

It is from Christ Himself, brother, that you will learn how to love Him. Learn to love Him tenderly, with all your heart; prudently, with all your soul; fervently, with all your strength. Love Him tenderly, so that you will not be seduced away from Him; prudently, so that you will not be open to deception; and fervently, so that downheartedness will not draw you away from God’s love. May the wisdom of Christ seem sweet to you, so that you are not led away by the glory of the world and the pleasures of the flesh. May Christ, Who is the Truth, enlighten you, so that you do not fall prey to the spirit of error and falsehood. May Christ, Who is the Strength of God, fortify you when hardships wear you out.

St. Basil says that we are bound to our benefactors by bonds of affection and duty. But what greater gift or favor could we receive than God Himself? For, He continues, I experience the ineffable love of God–a love more easily felt than described. Since God has planted the seeds of goodness in us, we can be certain that He is awaiting their fruits.

So let the love of Christ kindle your enthusiasm; let His knowledge be your teacher, and His constancy your strength. May your enthusiasm be fervent, balanced in judgment and invincible, and neither lukewarm nor lacking in discretion. Love the Lord your God with all the affection of which your heart is capable; love Him with all the attentiveness and balance of judgement of your soul and reason; love Him with such strength that you will not be afraid to die for love of Him. May the Lord Jesus seem so sweet and tender to your affections that the sweet enticements of the world hold no attraction for you; may His sweetness conquer their sweetness.

May He also be the guiding light of your intellect and the ruler of your reason: then you will not only avoid the deceptions of heresy and save your faith from their ambushes, but you will also avoid too great and indiscreet an enthusiasm in your behavior. God is Wisdom, and He wants to be loved not only fervently, but also wisely; otherwise the spirit of error will easily take advantage of your enthusiasm. If you neglect this advice, that cunning enemy thereby has a most effective means of taking the love of God from your heart by making you progress carelessly and without discretion. Therefore, may your love be strong and persevering, neither giving in to fears nor being worn out by labors.

Not to be led astray by allurements, that’s what it means to love with all one’s heart; not to be deceived by false arguments, that’s the meaning of loving with all one’s soul; not to let your spirit be broken by difficulties, that is to love with all one’s strength.

The Rule goes on to say that you should love your neighbor as yourself. For he who loves God, loves his neighbor too; “for he who does not love his brother whom he sees, how can he love God whom he does not see?”

Responsory

R/. This is the love of God: that we keep His commandments; * and His commandments are not burdensome.
V/. Those who keep His commandments abide in God, and God abides in them; * and His commandments are not burdensome.

Morning Prayer

Canticle of Zechariah

Ant. Be faithful ’til death, and I will give you the crown of life.

Prayer

Lord God,
you willed that Blessed John Soreth
should renew religious life
and establish communities for women
in the Order of Carmel.
May his prayers and merits
help us to be ever more faithful
in following Christ and His Mother.

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.

Evening Prayer

Canticle of Mary

Ant. This faithful man made his city strong and renewed the faith of sinners.

 

Maurice d'Angers
Saint Maurice (detail)
André Robin (French, 15th c.)
Stained glass
Cathedral of Saint-Maurice, Angers
André Robin was the painter in charge of the stained glass windows at the Angers Cathedral, beginning in 1434. The artist’s great attention to detail in his work is clearly seen in the window dedicated to Saint Maurice. The photographer notes that the patron saint “wears a beautiful Italianate French armour of the early 1450s. Note how all the details in its construction have been carefully depicted.”
View the complete photo by Roel Renmans here

 

Elijah: Fear and Hope

19th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

Homily of H.E. Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.
Parish of San Anthony of Mount Tabor, Managua
12th August 2018


Today’s first reading (1 Kings 19:4-8) tells us about the prophet Elijah, who one day is filled with fear and goes to the desert because, disappointed in himself, in religion, and in the society in which he lives, he wants to die: “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). He had made a great effort for years to show the people the true face of God; he had committed himself completely so that the people of Israel would keep the faith intact against the religion of the false god Baal and defend the poor against the acts of violence and injustice of King Ahab and his wife Jezebel, the royal couple who ruled at that time.

Elijah was a great prophet, a man of God, and a giant of the faith.

After having defeated the false prophets of the queen, unmasking the religious deceptions of the royal couple with which they dominated the people, and having denounced the great acts of injustice they committed, the queen had persecuted him and threatened to kill him. The prophet is afraid and runs away. Nelson Mandela said that “the brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

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 who ruled at that time in Israel. A prophet of God was running away from a soulless woman, whose will was supposed to be the law; who was the manipulator of religion; she who was the unjust and violent one. The prophet is afraid and flees to the desert.

 

Leighton, Frederic, 1830-1896; Elijah in the Wilderness
Elijah in the Wilderness
Frederic Leighton (British, 1830–1896)
Oil on canvas, 1877-78
Walker Art Gallery

 

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. The fact that Elijah lies down and wishes for death shows the drama of the moment he is experiencing: “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 and goes on about the weariness of his life, the fatigue of the struggle, the temptation to make the final withdrawal. All that remains is to throw in the towel; everything has been useless. He has probably experienced that his prophetic ministry and his efforts to fight against Baalism and against the injustice of the system in Israel have proved to be of little value.

In reality, nothing has changed and now his life is threatened.

And further, now Elijah is afraid. The powerful queen has intimidated him and threatened to take his life. To dominate others, fear is the most effective instrument. It is the preferred weapon of oppressors. 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. Poor Elijah. Defeated. Full of fear, running away from Queen Jezebel, running away from reality, and running away from himself.

 

BAEZ - We must not turn off the light IGsize

 

The biblical story tells us that Elijah was awakened and fed by God, because God doesn’t want anyone to be asleep and fearful. Precisely at the moment of the greatest darkness and fatigue is when 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.

God is not overcome by our weakness

God insists for the second time in feeding him: “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. That is why he feeds the prophet, as he feeds all of us when we feel fallen, frustrated, and hopeless. God makes the boundary seem like it becomes a new horizon; what is experienced as death is transformed into the beginning of a new life.

 

Leighton, Frederic, 1830-1896; Elijah in the Wilderness
That kind of effective nutrition to recover strength and hope, only God can provide.

 

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 goes to that mountainwhere the whole history of the covenant startedto begin again, renewed by God’s strength, and to be able to continue as a man, as a believer, and as a prophet.

 

 

SONY DSC
God began everything on that mountain. | Phillip Marsh / Flickr

 

We who are living in the current drama of our society know about the injustice and arrogance of the powerful, the manipulation of religion, violent repression, and the use of fear as a form of domination. All of these shady schemes are opposed to God’s plan.

Elijah fought against all of this. He 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.

 

BAEZ - Elijah was tempted not to keep fighting TWsize

 

The biblical text, however, gives us the certainty that God’s nourishment allows us to come out of our unconscious state and overcome fearnot letting anyone deprive us of hopeto keep moving forward to build a freer and more democratic country. 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.

We have the right to dream of a Nicaragua without rulers who oppress the people, where the dignity and rights of every person are respected, where we put off particular interests to share our goods and concerns in peace and justice, and where dissent from power is not a crime.

 

BAEZ - I dream of a Nicararagua

 

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.

 

Divine Liturgy Eucharistic Prayer St Petersburg Theological Academy Flickr
In our interior,
in the depths of our heart,
God feeds us with his Son,
the Bread come down from heaven
Saint-Petersburg Theological Academy / Flickr

 

We have heard Jesus today who told us: “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; we will prefer honesty instead of corruption, truth instead of lies, peace rather than violence.

If Jesus makes us attractive, we will be fascinating and attractive, which does good for the human person—which builds a better world.

 


Ocupa INSS protest 20jun13
† Silvio José Baez, O.C.D. is the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Managua; when he speaks of the “current drama of our society” he refers to the regime of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo. The Organization of American States commissioned a Group of Independent Experts to study the violence that occurred during the first six weeks of protests in 2018 after the government announced cutbacks to Social Security pensions. The official report was clear-cut: the Ortega-Murillo police and paramilitary forces committed crimes against humanity. However, the grievances of the people are not recent; in this photo, the youth turned out to support older adults when Social Security pension cutbacks were first announced in June 2013. The sign says, “in Ortega and Murillo’s government, senior citizens have no rights.” Learn more about the 2013 protests here. Learn more about the 2018 unrest and the challenges for the Catholic Church in Nicaragua here. Listen to Bishop Báez deliver this homily in Spanish at San Antonio en Monte Tabor parish here.| Jorge Mejía Peralta / Flickr

 

This English translation is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission.

27 July: Blessed Titus Brandsma

July 27
BLESSED TITUS BRANDSMA
Priest and Martyr

Optional Memorial

Born in Bolsward (The Netherlands) in 1881, Blessed Titus Brandsma joined the Carmelite Order as a young man. Ordained a priest in 1905, he earned a doctorate in philosophy in Rome. He then taught in various schools in Holland and was named professor of philosophy as Rector Magnificus. He was noted for his constant availability to everyone. He was a professional journalist, and in 1935 he was appointed the ecclesiastical advisor to Catholic journalists. Both before and during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands he fought, faithful to the Gospel, against the spread of Nazi ideology and for the freedom of Catholic education and of the Catholic press. For this, he was arrested and sent to a succession of prisons and concentration camps where he brought comfort and peace to his fellow prisoners and did good even to his tormentors. In 1942, after much suffering and humiliation, he was killed at Dachau. He was beatified by Saint John Paul II on Nov. 3, 1985.

From the Common of One Martyr, except the following:

Office of Readings

The Second Reading (Alternative 1)

Introduction to Het lijden vergoddelijkt

From the writings of Blessed Titus Brandsma

The mysticism of the Passion

Jesus called Himself the head of the Mystical Body, of which we are the members. He is the vine, we are the branches. He laid Himself in the winepress and Himself trod it. He handed us the wine so that, drinking it, we might lead His life, might share His suffering. Whoever wishes to do My Will, let him daily take up his cross. Whoever follows me has the light of life. I am the way, He said. I have given you an example, so that as I have done so you may do also. And when His disciples did not understand that His way would be a way of suffering, He explained this to them and said, “Should not the Christ so suffer, in order to enter into His glory?”

Then the hearts of the disciples burned within them. God’s word had set them on fire. And when the Holy Spirit had descended on them to fan that divine fire into flame, then they were glad to suffer scorn and persecution, whereby they resembled Him Who had preceded them on the way of suffering.

The prophets had already marked His way of suffering; the disciples now understood that He had not avoided that way. From the crib to the cross, suffering, poverty and lack of appreciation were His lot. He had directed His whole life to teaching people how different is God’s view of suffering, poverty and lack of human appreciation from the foolish wisdom of the world. After sin, suffering had to follow so that, through the cross, man’s lost glory and life with God might be regained. Suffering is the way to heaven. In the cross is salvation, in the cross is victory. God willed it so. He Himself assumed the obligation of suffering in view of the glory of redemption. St. Paul makes it clear to us how all the disasters of this earthly life are insignificant, how they must be considered as nothing and passing, in comparison with the glory that will be revealed to us when the time of suffering is past, and we come to share in God’s glory.

Mary, who kept all God’s words in her heart, in the fullness of grace granted her, understood the great value of suffering. While the apostles fled, she went out to meet the Savior on the way to Calvary and stood beneath the cross, in order to share His grief and shame to the end. And she carried Him to the grave, firmly trusting that He would rise.

We object when He hands us the chalice of His suffering. It is so difficult for us to resign ourselves to suffering. To rejoice in it strikes us as heroic. What is the value of our offering of self if we unite ourselves each morning only in word and gesture, rather than in thought and will, to that offering which we, together with the Church, make of Him with whom we are in the one body?

Jesus once wept over Jerusalem.

Oh, that this day you had known the gift of God!

Oh, that this day we might realize the value God has placed on the suffering He sends: He, the All-Good.

Responsory

R/. God forbid that I glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, * by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
V/. We preach Christ crucified, to others a stumbling block and a folly, but to us the power and the wisdom of God, * by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Prayer

Lord our God, source and giver of life,
you gave to Blessed Titus the Spirit of courage
to proclaim human dignity and the freedom of the Church,
even in the throes of degrading persecution and death.
Grant us that same Spirit
so that in the coming of your kingdom of justice and peace
we might never be ashamed of the Gospel
but be enabled to recognize your loving-kindness
in all the events of our lives.

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.

 

Titus-Brandsma_Rector-Magnificus
Blessed Titus Brandsma, Rector Magnificus of the Catholic University of Nijmegen

 

Titus Brandsma_Word has been received_Wichita Cath Advance 11sept42
Wichita Catholic Advance, 11 September 1942

24 July: Blessed Martyrs of Guadalajara

July 24
BLESSEDS MARIA PILAR, TERESA, AND MARIA ANGELES
Virgins and Martyrs

Optional Memorial

Maria Pilar of St. Francis Borgia (born at Tarazona on Dec. 30, 1877), Teresa of the Child Jesus and of St. John of the Cross (born at Mochales on March 5,1990), and Maria Angeles of St. Joseph (born at Getafe on March 6, 1905), Discalced Carmelite nuns of the Monastery of Guadalajara, Spain, were martyred on July 24, 1936, after having given witness to their faith in Christ the King and having offered their lives for the Church. The first fruits of the countless martyrs of the Spanish Civil War of 1936-39, they were beatified by Saint John Paul II on March 29, 1987.

From the Common of Martyrs or the Common of Virgins, except for the following:

Office of Readings

The Second Reading

Strophe 30,7-8

From the Spiritual Canticle of St. John of the Cross

The flowers of virginity and martyrdom

“We shall weave these garlands flowering in your love and bound with one hair of mine.”

This verse most appropriately refers to Christ and the Church, for in it, the Church, the Bride of Christ, addresses Him saying: let us weave garlands (understanding by garlands, all the holy souls engendered by Christ in the Church). Each holy soul is like a garland adorned with the flowers of virtues and gifts, and all of them together form a garland for the head of Christ, the Bridegroom.

The loving garlands can refer to what we call aureoles; these are also woven by Christ and the Church and are of three kinds:

The first kind is made from the beautiful flowers of all the virgins. Each virgin possesses her own aureole of virginity, and all these aureoles together will be joined into one and placed on the head of Christ, the Bridegroom.

The second aureole contains the resplendent flowers of the holy doctors. All these aureoles will be entwined into one and set upon the head of Christ over that of the virgins.

The third is fashioned from the crimson carnations of the martyrs. Every martyr has an aureole of martyrdom, and these red aureoles woven together will add the final touch to the aureole of Christ the Bridegroom.

So beautiful and fair will Christ the Bridegroom be with these three garlands when He is seen in heaven.

Therefore, we shall weave these garlands, the soul says, flowering in your love.

The flower of these works and virtues is the grace and power they possess from the love of God. Without love these works will not only fail to flower, but they will all wither and become valueless in God’s sight, even though they may be perfect from a human standpoint. Yet, because God bestows His grace and love, they are works that have blossomed in His love.

“And bound with one hair of mine.” This hair is her will and the love she has for the Beloved. This love assumes the task of the thread in a garland. As the thread binds the flowers together, so love fastens and sustains the virtues in the soul. As St. Paul remarks: “Charity is the bond of perfection” (Col 3:14).

Responsory

R/. Even if you should have to suffer for justice’s sake, happy will you be.
Do not be afraid and do not stand in awe of them, but adore the Lord Christ in your hearts * always ready to give a reason for the hope that is in you.
V/. It is better, if God so wills it, to suffer and do good deeds than to do evil, * always ready to give a reason for the hope that is in you.

Prayer

Father, strength of the humble,
you sustained in martyrdom the virgins
Blessed Maria Pilar, Teresa and Maria Angeles.
As they willingly shed their blood for Christ the King,
may we, through their intercession,
be faithful to You and to your Church until death.

Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever.

 

Spanish Civil War - Arrests at Guadarrama
A sad reminder of the horrors of the Spanish Civil War
Francoist troops taking away Republican militiamen from a mountain, probably to take them to a firing block, in Somosierra, during the Battle of Guadarrama, July-August 1936. These men most likely were farmers or workers.
Source: Cassowary Colorizations

 

20 July: Saint Elijah

July 20
SAINT ELIJAH
Prophet and Our Father

Solemnity (O.Carm.)
Feast (O.C.D.)

The prophet Elijah appears in Scripture as a man of God who lived always in His presence and fought zealously for the worship of the one God. He defended God’s law in a solemn contact on Mt. Carmel, and afterwards was given on Mt. Horeb an intimate experience of the living God. The hermits who instituted a form of monastic life in honor of Our Lady on Mt. Carmel in the twelfth century, followed monastic tradition in turning to Elijah as their Father and model.

Evening Prayer I

Hymn

Let the sun, rising, hear your prise, Elijah,
Earth, sky, and water, hear our jubilation
To the sun’s setting, glory of your people,
Strength of our Order.

O light of heaven’s radiant beauty glowing,
Mighty in wonder, blessed in your merits,
Many times witness of his greatest marvels
By the Lord chosen.

Fiery the chariot, drawn by fiery horses,
Upwards in triumph, swiftly angels bear you
Blazing in glory beyond earthly beauty
Shining from heaven.

You were the witness, Moses your companion,
To the bright glory of the sole-Begotten,
As the Apostles gazed and fell in wonder
High on Mount Tabor.

Stay with us now and shield us with your favor.
We are your children; trustingly we ask you
Stretch out your hand and grant us your protection
Guarding us always.

Praise to the Father, to the sole-Begotten,
Praise to their Holy Coeternal Spirit,
Kingdom and power, glory and dominion,
Now and forever.

11.11.11.5.
Audiat miras oriens cadensque
Tr. by Mary Paula, O.C.D.

Psalmody

Ant. 1 Elijah arose like a fire, and his word burned like a torch.

Psalm 111

I will thank the Lord with all my heart *
In the meeting of the just and their assembly.
Great are the works of the Lord, *
to be pondered by all who love them.

Majestic and glorious his work, *
his justice stands firm for ever.
He makes us remember his wonders. *
The Lord is compassion and love.

He gives food to those who fear him; *
keeps his covenant ever in mind.
He has shown his might to his people *
by giving them the lands of the nations.

His works are justice and truth: *
his precepts are all of them sure,
standing firm for ever and ever: *
they are made in uprightness and truth.

He has sent deliverance to his people †
and established his covenant for ever. *
Holy his name, to be feared.

To fear the Lord is the first stage of wisdom; †
all who do so prove themselves wise. *
His praise shall last for ever!

Ant. Elijah arose like a fire, and his word burned like a torch.

Ant. 2 How long will you limp between two sides? If the Lord is God, follow him.

Psalm 115

Not to us, Lord, not to us, *
but to your name give the glory
for the sake of your love and your truth, *
lest the heathen say: ‘Where is their God?’

But our God is in the heavens; *
he does whatever he wills.
Their idols are silver and gold, *
the work of human hands.

They have mouths but they cannot speak; *
they have eyes but they cannot see;
they have ears but they cannot hear; *
they have nostrils but they cannot smell.

With their hands they cannot feel; †
with their feet they cannot walk. *
No sound comes from their throats.
Their makers will come to be like them *
and so will all who trust in them.

Sons of Israel, trust in the Lord; *
he is their help and their shield.
Sons of Aaron, trust in the Lord; *
he is their help and their shield.

You who fear him, trust in the Lord; *
he is their help and their shield.

He remembers us, and he will bless us; †
he will bless the sons of Israel. *
He will bless the sons of Aaron.

The Lord will bless those who fear him, *
the little no less than the great:
to you may the Lord grant increase, *
to you and all your children.

May you be blessed by the Lord, *
the maker of heaven and earth.
The heavens belong to the Lord, *
but the earth he has given to men.

The dead shall not praise the Lord, *
nor those who go down into the silence.
But we who live bless the Lord *
now and for ever. Amen.

Ant. How long will you limp between two sides? If the Lord is God, follow him.

Ant. 3 The Lord will reward his servants the prophets.

Canticle: Rev 11:17-18; 12:10-12

We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, *
who are and who were,
that you have taken your great power *
and begun to reign.

The nations raged, *
but your wrath came,
and the time for the dead to be judged, *
for rewarding your servants, the prophets and saints,
and those who fear your name, *
both small and great.

Now the salvation and the power †
and the kingdom of our God *
and the authority of his Christ have come,
for the accuser of our brethren has been thrown down, *
who accuses them day and night before our God.

And they have conquered him *
by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony, *
for they loved not their lives even unto death.
Rejoice, then, O heaven, *
and you that dwell therein.

Ant. The Lord will reward his servants the prophets.

Scripture Reading

James 5:16-18

The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects. Elijah was a man of like nature with ourselves and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth its fruit.

Responsory

R/. Blessed are they * who see you. Repeat R/.
V/. And are honored with your friendship * who see you. Glory … R/.

Canticle of Mary

Ant. In former days God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets, but in these last days, he has spoken to us through his Son, whom he has appointed the heir of all things.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, *
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant, *
and from this day all generations will call me blessed.

The Almighty has done great things for me: *
holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him *
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm, *
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,*
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things, *
and has sent the rich away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel*
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. In former days God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets, but in these last days, he has spoken to us through his Son, whom he has appointed the heir of all things.

Intercessions

Let us give joyful praise to the living and true God, who chose the prophet Elijah to proclaim his power and mercy; let us say to him:

R/. Lord, make us witnesses of your love.

Lord, you accepted the sacrifice of Elijah and consumed it with fire from heaven; accept our evening sacrifice which we offer for the good of the Church. R/.

When Elijah prayed on the mountain you sent saving rain from heaven; fill us who have been called to Carmel with a spirit of prayer, so that we may draw a shower of grace to the world. R/.

You gave to the prophet Elijah the ministry of reconciling parents and children; make us workers for peace, so that the peace of Christ may reign in the world. R/.

You made Elijah the defender of your honor and of true worship; increase our concern for justice, so that by giving you all that is your due, we may serve our brothers and sisters in the spirit of the Gospel. R/.

You took the prophet Elijah to yourself in a whirlwind of fire; graciously admit our departed brothers and sisters into the embrace of your glory. R/.

Our Father …

Prayer

Almighty, ever living God,
your prophet Elijah, our Father,
lived always in your presence
and was zealous for the honor due to your name.
May we, your servants,
always seek your face
and bear witness to your love.

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.

 

Ivy border media

Invitatory

Ant. Come let us adore the living God, who speaks to us through the prophets.

Office of Readings

HYMN

Great Author of all things that are
To you we sing in joyful praise
Of him, the Thesbite, whom you love,
Elijah, seer of ancient days.

With burning zeal for your blest name
He challenged wicked priests of Baal
And conquering, killed them in his might
To make your sacred law prevail.

The victims offered by his prayer
Drew heaven’s blest consuming flame
In vain Baal’s servants scream and rave,
Their frenzy brings them only shame.

Then Jezebel, unholy queen,
In fury raves, the prophet flees,
Beneath the sheltering juniper
He sleeps and then an angel sees.

The angel offers strengthening bread
With water pure his thirst to end
And marks a journey he must make
Mount Horeb’s summit to ascend.

No food but this for forty days
He journeys through the desert land
Prefiguring the royal feast
Prepared us by the Father’s hand.

To Father, Word and Paraclete
All glory, honor ever be
O undivided Trinity
Through whom creation came to be. Amen.

88.88.
Te magne rerum Conditor

Psalmody

Ant. 1 Lord, I have had enough: take my life, I am no better than my ancestors.

Psalm 11

In the Lord I have taken my refuge. †
How can you say to my soul: *
‘Fly like a bird to its mountain.

‘See the wicked bracing their bow; †
they are fixing their arrows on the string *
to shoot upright men in the dark.
Foundations once destroyed, *
what can the just do?’

The Lord is in his holy temple, *
the Lord, whose throne is in heaven.
His eyes look down on the world; *
his gaze tests mortal men.

The Lord tests the just and the wicked: *
the lover of violence he hates.
He sends fire and brimstone on the wicked; *
he sends a scorching wind as their lot.

The Lord is just and loves justice: *
the upright shall see his face.

Ant. Lord, I have had enough: take my life, I am no better than my ancestors.

Ant. 2 An angel of the Lord said to him: Get up and eat, for there is a great journey before you.

Psalm 28

To you, O Lord, I call, *
my rock, hear me.
If you do not heed I shall become *
like those in the grave.

Hear the voice of my pleading *
as I call for help,
as I lift up my hands in prayer *
to your holy place.

Do not drag me away with the wicked, *
with the evil-doers,
who speak words of peace to their neighbors *
but with evil in their hearts.

Blessed be the Lord for he has heard *
my cry, my appeal.
The Lord is my strength and my shield; *
in him my heart trusts.
I was helped, my heart rejoices *
and I praise him with my song.

The Lord is the strength of his people, *
a fortress where his anointed find help.
Save your people; bless Israel your heritage. *
Be their shepherd and carry them for ever.

Ant. An angel of the Lord said to him: Get up and eat, for there is a great journey before you.

Ant. 3 Elijah ate and drank, and in the strength of that food he walked to the mountain of God.

Psalm 30

I will praise you, Lord, you have rescued me *
and have not let my enemies rejoice over me.

O Lord, I cried to you for help *
and you, my God, have healed me.
O Lord, you have raised my soul from the dead, *
restored me to life from those who sink into the grave.

Sing psalms to the Lord, you who love him, *
give thanks to his holy name.
His anger lasts a moment; his favor all through life. *
At night there are tears, but joy comes with dawn.

I said to myself in my good fortune: *
‘Nothing will ever disturb me.’
Your favor had set me on a mountain fastness, *
then you hid your face and I was put to confusion.

To you, Lord, I cried, *
to my God I made appeal:
‘What profit would my death be, my going to the grave? *
Can dust give you praise or proclaim your truth?’

The Lord listened and had pity. *
The Lord came to my help.
For me you have changed my mourning into dancing, *
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.
So my soul sings psalms to you unceasingly. *
O Lord my God, I will thank you forever.

Ant. Elijah ate and drank, and in the strength of that food he walked to the mountain of God.

V/. You are a man of God.
R/. And the word of God in your mouth is true.

The First Reading (Alternative)

1 Kings 19: 4-9a, 11-14a

A reading from the first book of Kings

Elijah walked all the way to the mountain of God

Elijah went a day’s journey into the desert, until he came to a broom tree and sat beneath it. He prayed for death, “This is enough, O Lord! Take my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” He lay down and fell asleep under the broom tree, but then an angel touched him and ordered him to get up and eat. He looked and there at his head was a hearth cake and a jug of water. After he ate and drank, he lay down again, but the angel of the Lord came back a second time, touched him, and ordered, “Get up and eat, else the journey will be too long for you!” He got up, ate and drank; then strengthened by that food, he walked forty days and forty nights to the mountain of God, Horeb. There he came to a cave, where he took shelter.

Then the Lord said, “Go outside and stand on the mountain before the Lord, the Lord will be passing by.” A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains and crushing rocks before the Lord—but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake—but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was fire—but the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face in his cloak and went and stood at the entrance of the cave. A voice said to him, “Elijah, why are you here?” He replied, “I have been most zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts.”

Responsory

R/. Leave this place and go eastward, said the Lord to Elijah. * And he went and did as the Lord had said.
V/. Hide yourself by the brook Cherith, and there drink from the stream; and I have commanded ravens to feed you there. * And he went and did as the Lord had said.

The Second Reading

Bk 2, Hom. 1, 17

From a Homily of Pope St. Gregory on the Book of the Prophet Ezekiel

The mystical contemplation of God

In divine contemplation the spirit is often abstracted to such a degree that it is already granted the joy of partaking a little, in image as it were, of that eternal freedom which ‘eye has not seen nor ear heard;’ but then, hampered by the weight of its own mortality, it falls back into the depths and is held captive in penalty for its sins. It has glimpsed the delights of true freedom and longs to escape from its captivity but, since it cannot, it keeps its gaze fixed upon the imprisoning doors. This is why, when the Jews had been freed from slavery to Egypt, each of them stood adoring in the doorway of his tent when God spoke and the pillar of cloud was visible.

Wherever we direct our mental gaze, there we may be said to stand. That is why Elijah said: ‘The Lord lives, in whose sight I stand.’ He did indeed stand before God, for his heart was intent on God. That the Jews gazed at the pillar of cloud and stood at the doors of their tents in adoration, has this meaning: when the human mind perceives these high and heavenly things—albeit in image—the elevation of its thought has already lifted it free from the limits of its bodily habitation; and although it is denied sight of the divine substance, it humbly adores Him whose power it can already see by spiritual illumination.

This is why Elijah is described as standing at the mouth of his cave and veiling his face when he heard the voice of the Lord speaking to him; for as soon as the voice of heavenly understanding enters the mind through the grace of contemplation, the whole man is no longer within the cave, for his soul is no longer taken up with matters of the flesh: intent on leaving the bounds of mortality, he stands at the cave’s mouth.

But if a man stands at the mouth of the cave and hears the word of God with the heart’s ear, he must veil his face. For when heavenly grace leads us to the understanding of higher things, the rarer the heights to which we are raised, the more we should abase ourselves in our own estimation by humility: we must not try to know ‘more than is fitting; we must know as it befits us to know.’ Otherwise, through over-familiarity with the invisible, we risk going astray; and we might perhaps look for material light in what is immaterial. For to cover the face while listening with the ear means hearing with our mind the voice of Him who is within us, yet averting the eyes of the heart from every bodily appearance. If we do this, there will be no risk of our spirit interpreting as something corporeal that which is everywhere in its entirety and everywhere uncircumscribed.

Beloved brothers, we have already learned through our Redeemer’s death, resurrection and ascension into heaven, what the joys of eternity mean, and we know that our fellow-citizens we have known. While our feet stand within the walls of His holy Church, let us keep our hearts facing towards the freedom of our heavenly fatherland. We are still encumbered, it is true, by the many cares of this corruptible life. If then we cannot leave the cave completely, let us at least stand at its mouth, and go out whenever we are granted the favor of doing so by the grace of our Redeemer Who lives and reigns with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end. Amen.

Responsory

R/. The word of the Lord came to Elijah. * Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord.
V/. He went out and stood at the entrance to the cave, and the Lord passed by in the whisper of a gentle breeze. * Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord.

Where the Vigil Office is celebrated:

Canticles

Ant. Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is passing by.

Canticle I  

Jer 17:7-8

Happy are those who put their trust in the Lord 

Happy are those who hear the word of God and keep it (Lk 11:28)

Blessed is the man who trust in the Lord, *
whose trust 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.

Canticle II

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 reasons 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.

Canticle III

Sir 51:1-3b, 4a, 7c, 11, 14ab, 15

Thanksgiving for delivery from affliction

God has saved us from the hands of our foes, that we might serve him (Lk 1:74)

I will give thanks to you, Lord and King, *
and praise you, God my Savior,
I give thanks to your name; *
for you have been protector and support to me,
and redeemed my body from destruction.
from the snare of the lying tongue, *
from lips that fabricate falsehood.
You have redeemed me, 
true to the greatness of your mercy, *
from the perjured tongue slandering me to the king.

Then I remembered your mercy, Lord, *
and your deeds from earliest times.
I called on the Lord, the father of my Lord: *
“Do not desert me in the days of  ordeal,
I will praise your name unceasingly,
and gratefully sing its praises;” *
and my plea was heard.

Ant. Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is passing by.

Gospel

Mt 17:1-8

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew

Moses and Elijah appeared to them

Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain where they could be alone. There in their presence he was transfigured: his face shone like the sun and his clothes became as white as the light. Suddenly Moses and Elijah appeared to them; they were talking with him. Then Peter spoke to Jesus. “Lord,” he said, “it is wonderful for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” He was still speaking when suddenly a bright cloud covered them with shadow, and from the cloud there came a voice which said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; he enjoys my favor. Listen to him.” When they heard this, the disciples fell on their faces, overcome with fear. But Jesus came up and touched them. “Stand up,” he said, “do not be afraid.” And when they raised their eyes they saw no one but only Jesus.

Te Deum

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

Almighty, ever living God,
your prophet Elijah, our Father,
lived always in your presence
and was zealous for the honor due to your name.
May we, your servants,
always seek your face
and bear witness to your love.

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.

 

watering can border medium

Morning Prayer

Hymn

Come, blest companions, let our joy resounding
Extol to Heaven the Leader of our line.
‘Tis meet the memory of his deeds abounding
Should waken ceaseless canticles divine.

He knows the gentle breathing of the Spirit
Clothed in the whistling murmur of the air,
By God’s command the chastisements they merit
Proud Jezebel and Ahab justly share.

The caverns green of Carmel form his dwelling,
With leathern tunic is he rudely clad,
To impious Ahaziah his foretelling
Gives portent of a dissolution sad.

Twice at his prayer the fire from Heaven descending
Consumeth trembling soldiers in its flame,
The flowing waters mit with his mantle rending,
Dry shod he passeth safely through the same.

O Father, let thy help and thy protection
Be o’er thy children as they humbly plead,
Entreat the Spirit, by His sweet election,
To multiply His graces in their need.

O unbegotten Father, we adore Thee,
O Son begotten, reverence be to Thee,
O glorious Spirit, bow we low before Thee,
Thou simple undivided Trinity.

11.11.11.10.
Pergamus, socii, tollere canticus

Psalmody

Ant. 1 God lives; I am standing in his presence.

Psalm 63

O God, you are my God, for you I long; *
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you*
like a dry, weary land without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary *
to see your strength and your glory.

For your love is better than life, *
my lips will speak your praise.
So I will bless you all my life, *
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet, *
my mouth shall praise you with joy.

On my bed I remember you. *
On you I muse through the night
for you have been my help; *
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you; *
your right hand holds me fast.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. God lives; I am standing in his presence.

Ant. 2 Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord; for the Lord is passing by.

Canticle – Daniel 3:57-88, 56

Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord. *
You heavens, bless the Lord,
All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord. *
All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Sun and moon, bless the Lord. *
Stars of heaven, bless the Lord.

Every shower and dew, bless the Lord. *
All you winds, bless the Lord.
Fire and heat, bless the Lord. *
Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord. *
Frost and chill, bless the Lord.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord. *
Nights and days, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord. *
Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord.

Let the earth bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Mountains and hills, bless the Lord. *
Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord.
You springs, bless the Lord. *
Seas and rivers, bless the Lord.
You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord. *
All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.
All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord. *
You sons of men, bless the Lord.

O Israel, bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord. *
Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord. *
Holy men of humble heart, bless the Lord.
Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael, bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.

Let us bless the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. *
Let us praise and exalt him above all for ever.
Blessed are you, Lord, in the firmament of heaven. *
Praiseworthy and glorious and exalted above all for ever.

Ant. Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord; for the Lord is passing by.

Ant. 3 With zeal have I been zealous for the Lord God of hosts.

Psalm 149

Sing a new song to the Lord, *
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in its maker, *
let Zion’s sons exult in their king.
Let them praise his name with dancing *
and make music with timbrel and harp.

For the Lord takes delight in his people. *
He crowns the poor with salvation.
Let the faithful rejoice in their glory, *
shout for joy and take their rest.
Let the praise of God be on their lips *
and a two-edged sword in their hand,

to deal out vengeance to the nations *
and punishment on all the peoples;
to bind their kings in chains *
and their nobles in fetters of iron;
to carry out the sentence pre-ordained; *
this honor is for all his faithful.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. With zeal have I been zealous for the Lord God of hosts.

Scripture Reading

2 Pt 1:19-21

We have confirmation of what was said in prophecies; and you will be right to depend on prophecy and take it as a lamp for lighting a way through the dark until the dawn comes and the morning star rises in your minds. At the same time, we must be careful to remember that the interpretation of scriptural prophecy is never a matter for the individual. Why? Because no prophecy ever came from man’s initiative. When men spoke for God it was the Holy Spirit that moved them.

Short Responsory

R/. I will be satisfied, Lord, * when your glory appears. Repeat R/.
V/. And in righteousness I will see your face, * when your glory appears.
Glory . . . R/.

Canticle of Zechariah

Ant. Lord God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, give proof this day that you are the God of Israel, and that I am your servant, and that all I have said is at your command.

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; *
he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior, *
born of the house of his servant David.

Through his holy prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies, *
from the hands of all who hate us.

He promised to show mercy to our fathers*
and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: *
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear, *
holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.

You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High; *
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation *
by the forgiveness of their sins.

In the tender compassion of our God *
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, *
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Lord God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, give proof this day that you are the God of Israel, and that I am your servant, and that all I have said is at your command.

Intercessions

God our Father spoke in former days through the prophets, but today he speaks to us in his Son, through whom he wishes the whole world to be joined to him. Let us humbly pray:

R/. Lord, draw us to yourself.

Lord, you revealed yourself to the prophet Elijah in silence and solitude; help us to put aside all that prevents us from hearing your voice, so that we may seek and find you. R/.

When he was thirsty, you gave Elijah refreshing water at the torrent of Karith; may we drink at the living springs of love and contemplation. R/.

As he walked to Mount Horeb, you filled Elijah with strength; may we who are strengthened by the Body and Blood of Christ press on unwearied in our journey to you. R/.

Lord, you revealed yourself to Elijah in the whisper of a gentle breeze; in attentive silence and with an obedient spirit may we receive every inspiration of the Holy Spirit. R/.

Lord, you raised up Elijah like a fire and made him zealous for your glory; may we too burn with the fire of your love, to serve the Church and our brethren in all our work. R/.

Our Father …

Prayer

Almighty, ever living God,
your prophet Elijah, our Father,
lived always in your presence
and was zealous for the honor due to your name.
May we, your servants,
always seek your face
and bear witness to your love.

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.

 

Blazon - first emblem authorized by Gracian

Prayer during the Day

Antiphons and psalms of the weekday.

Before Noon

Ant. Elijah called out to the Lord, and the Lord heard his voice.

Scripture Reading

Heb 12:1-2

Since we for our part are surrounded by this cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every encumbrance of sin which clings to us and persevere in running the race which lies ahead; let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who inspires and perfects our faith. For the sake of the joy which lay before him he endured the cross, heedless of its shame. He has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God.

V/. Lord, I have sought your face.
R/. Your face I will seek always.

Midday

Ant. The words of the Lord were fulfilled; he did what he had promised his prophet Elijah.

Scripture Reading

Heb 4:12

God’s word is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword. It penetrates and divides soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the reflections and thoughts of the heart.

V/. I have hidden your sayings in my heart, Lord.
R/. So as never to sin against you.

Afternoon

Ant. The fire of the Lord fell and consumed Elijah’s offering.

Scripture Reading

Heb 12:28-29

We who are receiving the unshakable kingdom should hold fast to God’s grace, through which we may offer worship acceptable to him in reverence and awe. For our God is a consuming fire.

V/. Lord, your word is a consuming flame.
R/. Your servant loves it.

Prayer

Almighty, ever living God,
your prophet Elijah, our Father,
lived always in your presence
and was zealous for the honor due to your name.
May we, your servants,
always seek your face
and bear witness to your love.

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.

 

Blazon Ocarm antique

Evening Prayer

Hymn

Praises to the great Elijah!
Let our songs to heaven rise.
His the grace to hear God’s whisper
Where all earthly music dies.

Clad in skins he made his dwelling
On Mount Carmel, finding there
That austere and lonely wisdom
Hidden in a life of prayer.

Yet he went forth at God’s bidding,
Flashed God’s word and law abroad
Till the idols fell around him
And his people turned to God.

May we, too, make war on falsehood,
Burn with zeal for God’s command
Till we follow our true Master
In whose sight we always stand.

Now we pray our Prophet-father
That our lives obtain this grace:
An outpouring God’s Spirit
Over every time and place.

Praise and honor to the Father,
To the Son and Spirit praise.
Theirs be all our love and worship
Now and through eternal days.

87.87.
Text: Unknown

Psalmody

Ant. 1 Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of God in your mouth is true.

Psalm 15

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. Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of God in your mouth is true.

Ant. 2 The Lord said to Elijah: Go and present yourself to Ahab; I will send rain upon the earth.

Psalm 112

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. The Lord said to Elijah: Go and present yourself to Ahab; I will send rain upon the earth.

Ant. 3 Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind, and Elisha saw him no more.

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. Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind, and Elisha saw him no more.

Scripture Reading

2 Kgs 2:11-12

As they still went on and talked, behold, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, ‘My father, my father! the chariot of Israel and its horseman!’ And he saw him no more.

Short Responsory

R/. Elisha lifted the cloak of Elijah: * he struck the waters and they divided. Repeat R/.
V/. Because the spirit of Elijah rested on Elisha: * he struck the waters and they divided.
Glory . . . R/.

Canticle of Mary

Ant. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the day of the Lord comes, that great and terrible day. He will turn the hearts of fathers to their sons and the hearts of sons to their fathers.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, *
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant, *
and from this day all generations will call me blessed.

The Almighty has done great things for me: *
holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him *
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm, *
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,*
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things, *
and has sent the rich away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel*
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the day of the Lord comes, that great and terrible day. He will turn the hearts of fathers to their sons and the hearts of sons to their fathers.

Intercessions

Let us give joyful praise to the living and true God, who chose the prophet Elijah to proclaim his power and mercy; let us say to him:

R/. Lord, make us witnesses of your love.

Lord, you accepted the sacrifice of Elijah and consumed it with fire from heaven; accept our evening sacrifice which we offer for the good of the Church. R/.

When Elijah prayed on the mountain you sent saving rain from heaven; fill us who have been called to Carmel with a spirit of prayer, so that we may draw a shower of grace to the world. R/.

You gave to the prophet Elijah the ministry of reconciling parents and children; make us workers for peace, so that the peace of Christ may reign in the world. R/.

You made Elijah the defender of your honor and of true worship; increase our concern for justice, so that by giving you all that is your due, we may serve our brothers and sisters in the spirit of the Gospel. R/.

You took the prophet Elijah to yourself in a whirlwind of fire; graciously admit our departed brothers and sisters into the embrace of your glory. R/.

Our Father …

Prayer

Almighty, ever living God,
your prophet Elijah, our Father,
lived always in your presence
and was zealous for the honor due to your name.
May we, your servants,
always seek your face
and bear witness to your love.

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.

 

Translation of Elijah_Epic Poem_BritLibrary
Image taken from page 8 of ‘[Elijah the Prophet. An epic poem.]’; courtesy British Library
To discover more illustrations from the public domain digital image collection of the British Library, visit their Flickr account, which contains more than one million photos available for download.
Featured image: Elijah Taken Up in a Chariot of Fire, Giuseppe Angeli  (c. 1740/1755)

 

23 July: Our Lady of Divine Grace

July 23
(In Europe: July 19)
OUR LADY, MOTHER OF DIVINE GRACE

Memorial

‘The Blessed Virgin Mary was eternally predestined, in the context of the Incarnation of the divine Word, to be the Mother of God. As decreed by divine Providence, she served on earth as the loving Mother of the divine Redeemer, His associate, uniquely generous, and the Lord’s humble servant. She conceived, bore, and nourished Christ; presented Him to the Father in the Temple; and was united with Him in His suffering as He died on the cross. In a completely unparalleled way she cooperated, by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity, with our Savior’s work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason, she is Mother to us all in the order of grace’ (Lumen Gentium, the Constitution on the Church, 61).

From the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary, except the following:

Office of Readings

The Second Reading

Hom. 4

From the homily of St. Cyril of Alexandria preached at the Council of Ephesus

Our access to the fountainhead of grace is through Mary

Hail Mary, Mother of God, august treasury of the whole world, unquenchable torch, crown of virginity, scepter of orthodoxy, temple indestructible, and place of the uncontainable, mother and virgin. Through you is named blessed in the holy gospel He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hail Mary! You contained the uncontainable in your holy virginal womb. Through you the Trinity is glorified; through you is the cross named precious, and adored throughout the whole world; through you heaven exults; through you angels and archangels rejoice; through you demons are put to flight; through you the devil, the tempter, fell from heaven; through you the fallen creature is taken up to heaven; through you the whole created world, gripped in the madness of idolatry, come to a recognition of the truth; through you comes about holy baptism for believers; through you the oil of gladness; through you churches have been founded through the whole world; through you nations are led to repentance.

What need is there to speak at length? Through you the only Son of God shone His light for those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death; through you prophets foretold what was to come; through you apostles preach salvation to the nations; through you the dead are raised to life; through you kings reign, through the Holy Trinity.

What man can sing adequately the praise of Mary? She is both virgin and mother! The wonder astounds me. Shall the Builder be forbidden to inhabit the temple He has built? Shall He be despised who chose His handmaid for His mother?

See then, all things rejoice. May it be ours to fear and bow before the unity of the Trinity, to worship and tremble in awe before the indivisible Trinity, as we sing praises of the ever-virgin Mary, that is the holy Church, and of her Son and immaculate spouse; for to Him is glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Responsory

R/. With confidence let us draw near to the throne of grace, * so that we may receive mercy, and find grace when we are in need of help.
V/. To you do we cry, blessed Virgin, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears, * so that we may receive mercy, and find grace when we are in need of help.

Morning Prayer

Canticle of Zechariah

Ant. It is I who give birth to all noble loving and the holy gift of hope. From me comes every grace of faithful observance; from me all promise of life and vigor.

Prayer

God of eternal wisdom,
in your providence, you willed that the Blessed Virgin Mary
should bring forth the Author of Grace,
and take part with him
in the mystery of man’s redemption.
May she obtain for us grace in abundance
and bring us to the haven of everlasting salvation.

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.

Evening Prayer

Canticle of Mary

Ant. Our salvation is in your hands, O Mother; smile upon us, and we shall be happy in our service of the Lord our King.

 

Mater-Divinae-Gratiae_sepia
“She is Mother to us all in the order of grace” (LG 61)

17 July: Blessed Teresa of Saint Augustine and Companions

July 17
BLESSED TERESA OF SAINT AUGUSTINE AND COMPANIONS

Virgins and Martyrs

Memorial

As the French Revolution entered its worst days, sixteen Discalced Carmelites from the Monastery of the Incarnation in Compiègne offered their lives as a sacrifice to God, making reparation to him and imploring peace for the Church. On June 24th, 1794, they were arrested and thrown into prison. Their happiness and resignation were so evident that those around them were also encouraged to draw strength from God’s love. They were condemned to death for their fidelity to the Church and their religious life and for their devotion to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Singing hymns, and having renewed their vows before the superior, Teresa of St. Augustine, they were put to death in Paris on July 17th, 1794. They were beatified by Pope St. Pius X on May 13, 1906.

From the Common of Martyrs or the Common of Virgins, except the following:

Office of Readings

HYMN

Let Carmel echo joyfully
The dying hymns that soared above
When Compiègne so gladly gave
Its greatest witness to God’s love.

These virgin-martyrs gave their lives.
For sin’s atonement, like their Lord;
They died to bring a troubled Church
The peace of Christ as love’s reward.

May we like them serve Holy Church
And build it up in unity,
Until at last in heav’n’s pure light
We gaze on God the Trinity.

Our Queen and Mother, Carmel’s joy,
Look down with love on us who sing
The praise of those who died for love
Of Jesus Christ, your Son, our King.

Bless God the Father, source of love,
Bless God the Word, his only Son,
Bless God the Spirit, Dove of peace,
One God, while endless ages run.

L.M.
Fr. James Quinn, S.J.

The Second Reading

Ch. 12, 1-3

From the Way of Perfection of St. Teresa of Jesus

The life of a good religious and a close friend of God is a long martyrdom

It all seems very hard work, this business of perfection — and so it is: we are waging war on ourselves! But as soon as we get down to it God becomes so active in our souls and showers so many mercies on them that whatever has got to be done in this life seems insignificant. And as we nuns do so much already, giving up our freedom for love of God and subjecting it to someone else, what excuse have we got for holding back when it comes to interior mortification?

That is where the secret lies of making all the rest so much more meritorious and perfect, not to mention doing it more easily and peacefully. The way to acquire it, as I have said, is to persevere bit by bit in not doing our own will or fancy, even in tiny things, till the body has been mastered by the spirit.

Let me repeat that it is all — or nearly all — a matter of getting rid of self-interest and our preoccupation with our own comfort. If you have started serving God seriously, the least you can offer Him is your life! If you have given Him your will, what are you afraid of? If you are a real religious, a real ‘pray-er,’ and want to enjoy God’s favors, you obviously can’t afford to shy away from wanting to die for Him, and undergo martyrdom. Don’t you realize, sisters that the life of a good religious — a person who wants to be one of God’s really close friends — is one long martyrdom? I say ‘long’ because in comparison with those whose heads have been chopped off in a trice we can call it long, but all our lives are short, very short in some cases. And we don’t even know whether our own won’t be so short that it will come to an end an hour, or even a second, after we have made up our mind to serve God fully. That could happen.

We have just got to take no account of anything that will come to an end, least of all life, for we can’t count on a single day. If we remember that every hour might be our last, is there a single one of us who will feel inclined to shirk?

Well, there is nothing you can be more certain of, believe me! So we must train ourselves to thwart our own wills in every way; then, if you try hard, as I have said, though you won’t get there all of a sudden, you will gradually arrive, without realizing it, at the peak of perfection.

Responsory

R/. Rejoice that you share the sufferings of Christ, * for when His glory is revealed you will be filled with joy.
V/. Blessed are you when you are persecuted for Christ’s sake, * for when His glory is revealed you will be filled with joy.

Morning Prayer

Hymn

Voice of the Bridegroom: now is winter passing,
Rain falls no longer, gardens yield their fragrance,
Spring blooms appearing, trees resound with birdsong —
Rise, my beloved.

Go out to meet him, virgins all exulting,
See he approaches, crowns you for your nuptials —
Rapture and gladness, when he leads you homeward
Sharing his kingdom.

Love for the Bridegroom filled your whole horizon,
Making you fearless in the face of danger;
Like him, your Master, life itself you offered,
Sacrificed for him.

Joyfully faithful to your holy calling,
Nothing could daunt you, or your lamps extinguish;
Shining and glowing you would bear them to him
Through cloud and tempest.

11.11.11.5
Sr. Margarita of Jesus, O.C.D.

Canticle of Zechariah

Ant. Prepare your lamps, you wise virgins, for behold, the Bridegroom is coming: go out and meet Him.

Prayer

Lord God,
you called Blessed Teresa of St. Augustine and her companions
to go on in the strength of the Holy Spirit
from the heights of Carmel to receive a martyr’s crown.
May our love too be so steadfast
that it will bring us
to the everlasting vision of your glory.

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.

Evening Prayer

Canticle of Mary

Ant. You virgins of the Lord, who have endured the great ordeal, come and rejoice with God forever.

 

Compiegne_Plaque_à_l'entrée_du_cimetière_de_Picpus
Plaque in Picpus Cemetery marking the two common graves where the martyrs are buried | Wikimedia Commons

16 July: Solemn Commemoration of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

July 16
SOLEMN COMMEMORATION OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

Solemnity

The sacred scriptures speak of the beauty of Mount Carmel where the prophet Elijah defended the faith of Israel in the living God. There, at the beginning of the thirteenth century, under the title of “Saint Mary of Mount Carmel,” the Order of Carmelites had its formal beginning. From the fourteenth century this title, recalling the countless blessings of its patroness, began to be celebrated solemnly, first in England and then gradually throughout the whole Order. It attained its supreme place from the beginning of the seventeenth century, when the General Chapter declared it to be the principal feast of the Order, and Paul V recognized it as the feast of the Scapular Confraternity.

Evening Prayer I

Hymn

Flower of Carmel,
Tall vine blossom laden;
Splendor of heaven,
Child-bearing yet maiden.
None equals thee.

Mother so tender,
Who no man didst know,
On Carmel’s children
Thy favors bestow.
Star of the Sea.

Strong stem of Jesse,
Who bore one bright flower,
Be ever near us
And guard us each hour,
who serve thee here.

Purest of lilies,
That flowers among thorns,
Bring help to the true heart
That in weakness turns
and trusts in thee.

Strongest of armor,
We trust in thy might:
Under thy mantle,
Hard press’d in the fight,
we call to thee.

Our way uncertain,
Surrounded by foes,
Unfailing counsel
You give to those
who turn to thee.

O gentle Mother
Who in Carmel reigns,
Share with your servants
That gladness you gained
and now enjoy.

Hail, Gate of Heaven,
With glory now crowned,
Bring us to safety
Where thy Son is found,
true joy to see.

Flos Carmeli
Tr. unknown

Psalmody

Ant. 1 The glory of Lebanon is given to her, the beauty of Carmel and Sharon.

Psalm 113

Praise, O servants of the Lord, *
praise the name of the Lord!
May the name of the Lord be blessed *
both now and for evermore!
From the rising of the sun to its setting *
praised be the name of the Lord!

High above all nations is the Lord, *
above the heavens his glory.
Who is like the Lord, our God, *
who has risen on high to his throne *
yet stoops from the heights to look down, *
to look down upon heaven and earth?

From the dust he lifts up the lowly, *
from his misery he raises the poor
to set him in the company of princes, *
yes, with the princes of his people.
To the childless wife he gives a home *
and gladdens her heart with children.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. The glory of Lebanon is given to her, the beauty of Carmel and Sharon.

Ant. 2 You are the glory of Jerusalem, the joy of Israel, the highest honor of our race.

Psalm 147

O praise the Lord, Jerusalem! *
Sion, praise your God!

He has strengthened the bars of your gates, *
he has blessed the children within you.
He has established peace on your borders, *
he feeds you with finest wheat.

He sends out his word to the earth *
and swiftly runs his command.
He showers down snow white as wool, *
he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.

He hurls down hailstones like crumbs. *
The waters are frozen at his touch;
he sends forth his word and it melts them: *
at the breath of his mouth the waters flow.

He makes his word known to Jacob, *
to Israel his laws and decrees.
He has not dealt thus with other nations; *
he has not taught them his decrees.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. You are the glory of Jerusalem, the joy of Israel, the highest honor of our race.

Ant. 3 You will rejoice in your children, for they will be blessed through you and gathered together by the Lord.

Canticle: Eph 1:3-10

Blessed be the God and Father *
of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ *
with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.

He chose us in him *
before the foundation of the world,
that we should be holy *
and blameless before him.

He destined us in love *
to be his sons through Jesus Christ,
according to the purpose of his will, †
to the praise of his glorious grace *
which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

In him we have redemption through his Blood, *
the forgiveness of our trespasses,
according to the riches of his grace *
which he lavished upon us.

He has made known to us †
in all wisdom and insight *
the mystery of his will,
according to his purpose *
which he set forth in Christ.

His purpose he set forth in Christ, *
as a plan for the fullness of time,
to unite all things in him, *
things in heaven and things on earth.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. You will rejoice in your children, for they will be blessed through you and gathered together by the Lord.

Scripture Reading

Rev 11:19; 12:1

God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.

Short Responsory

R/. How fair you are, * O Virgin Mary. Repeat R/.
V/. Your face is resplendent with grace, * O Virgin Mary.
Glory . . . R/.

Canticle of Mary

Ant. Bounteous Mother of God, glory of Mount Carmel, we are your children and your people, endow us with your own virtues; have pity, and protect us from every danger.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, *
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant, *
and from this day all generations will call me blessed.

The Almighty has done great things for me: *
holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him *
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm, *
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,*
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things, *
and has sent the rich away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel*
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Bounteous Mother of God, glory of Mount Carmel, we are your children and your people, endow us with your own virtues; have pity, and protect us from every danger.

Intercessions

Let us praise our heavenly Father, who gives us the joy of celebrating this solemn feast of the Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, as we pray:

R/. May Mary, Mother and Beauty of Carmel, intercede for us.

Lord, in your plan the Daughter of Sion was foreshadowed by the prophets and made the heir of all your promises; by imitating Mary, who is the image of the Church, may your Church on earth be more and more the sacrament of the world’s salvation. R/.

You have honored the family of Carmel with the title and patronage of the Virgin Mary; may all Carmelites live with her in unswerving allegiance to Jesus Christ. R/.

You have entrusted the whole of mankind, the brothers and sisters of your Son, to the care of Mary’s maternal heart; may the world see her image in us as we strive to live in your presence and to give ourselves for the salvation of all. R/.

You call the humble family of Carmel, living in the cloister and in the world, to be especially dedicated to the Virgin Mary; may all who are called to Carmel be of one mind and one heart as they join together in prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus. R/.

You promise a crown of glory to those who persevere in your love till the end; may our departed brothers and sisters, who shared Mary’s love for you, rejoice with you forever in heaven. R/.

Our Father …

Prayer

Lord God,
you willed that the Order of Carmel
should be named in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of your Son.
Through her prayers, as we honor her today,
bring us to your holy Mountain,
Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Or:

Father,
may the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother and Queen of Carmel,
protect us, and bring us to your holy Mountain,
Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever.

Angel_British Library_small

INVITATORY

Lord, open my lips.
 And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Ant. Come, ring out our joy to the Lord, as we thank him for the favors we have received through Mary, the Virgin Mother of Carmel.

Psalm 95

Come, let us sing to the Lord *
and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us.
Let us approach him with praise and thanksgiving *
and sing joyful songs to the Lord.

Ant. Come, ring out our joy to the Lord, as we thank him for the favors we have received through Mary, the Virgin Mother of Carmel.

The Lord is God, the mighty God, *
the great king over all the gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth *
and the highest mountains as well
He made the sea; it belongs to him, *
the dry land, too, for it was formed by his hands.

Ant. Come, ring out our joy to the Lord, as we thank him for the favors we have received through Mary, the Virgin Mother of Carmel.

Come, then, let us bow down and worship, *
bending the knee before the Lord, our maker,
For he is our God and we are his people, *
the flock he shepherds.

Ant. Come, ring out our joy to the Lord, as we thank him for the favors we have received through Mary, the Virgin Mother of Carmel.

Today, listen to the voice of the Lord:*
Do not grow stubborn, as your fathers did in the wilderness,
when at Meriba and Massah they challenged me and provoked me, *
Although they had seen all of my works.

Ant. Come, ring out our joy to the Lord, as we thank him for the favors we have received through Mary, the Virgin Mother of Carmel.

Forty years I endured that generation. 
I said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray *
and they do not know my ways.”
So I swore in my anger, *
“They shall not enter into my rest.”

Ant. Come, ring out our joy to the Lord, as we thank him for the favors we have received through Mary, the Virgin Mother of Carmel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Come, ring out our joy to the Lord, as we thank him for the favors we have received through Mary, the Virgin Mother of Carmel.

Office of Readings

Hymn

1. Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel whom in ancient prophecy
God revealed to Saint Elijah by an Oriental sea.
Rise again on God’s creation bring to bloom this arid place
with the white cloud of your beauty and the rainfall of your grace.

2. Blessed cloud of God’s protection and His luminous abode,
light the pathways of your pilgrims to the promised land of God.
On the mount of contemplation be our surety and stay.
In the night a pillar glowing and a cloud of love by day.

3. Mother fair above all mothers, by the scapular we wear
be your own sign of salvation, which our willing shoulders bear.
Shield us from the foes of darkness, we are prey they seek to win.
us as your loving children from the tragedy of sin.

4. Virgin of the Incarnation, in the mysteries of grace,
God has made His habitation in our soul’s most secret place.
Toward that bright and inner kingdom, all our words and ways compel.
For the Father, Son and Spirit in its sacred silence dwell.

5. Lady of the mystic mountain, where the Lord has set His throne,
up its steep way to the Spirit, none can walk save love alone.
Grant us grace to climb Mount Carmel and to learn that love is loss.
Guide us still our ways outdistance all earth’s treasures save the cross.

6. Queen and Beauty of Mount Carmel, Virgin of the solitude,
in the wilderness of Carmel lies the world’s eternal good.
Draw us to its deep seclusion and make God alone our goal.
In the mystical Mount Carmel that lies hidden in the soul.

87.87.D.
Sr. Miriam of the Holy Spirit, OCD

Psalmody

Ant. 1 Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord, and who shall stand in his holy place? The one with clean hands and pure heart.

When the following psalm has been used at the Invitatory, Ps 94 is said here in place of it.

Psalm 24

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness, *
the world and all its peoples.
It is he who set in on the seas; *
on the waters he made it firm.

Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord? *
Who shall stand in his holy place?
The man with clean hands and pure heart, †
who desires not worthless things, *
who has not sworn so as to deceive his neighbor.

He shall receive blessings from the Lord *
and reward from the God who saves him.
Such are the men who seek him, *
seek the face of the God of Jacob.

O gates, lift high your heads; †
grow higher, ancient doors. *
Let him enter, the king of glory!

Who is the king of glory? †
The Lord, the mighty, the valiant, *
the Lord, the valiant in war.

O gates, lift high your heads; †
grow higher, ancient doors. *
Let him enter, the king of glory!

Who is he, the king of glory? †
He, the Lord of armies, *
he is the king of glory.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord, and who shall stand in his holy place? The one with clean hands and pure heart.

Ant. 2 I will lead them to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer.

Psalm 46

God is for us a refuge and strength *
a helper close at hand, in time of distress:
so we shall not fear though the earth should rock, *
though the mountains fall into the depths of the sea,
even though its waters rage and foam, *
even though the mountains be shaken by its waves.

The Lord of hosts is with us: *
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

The waters of a river give joy to God’s city, *
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within, it cannot be shaken; *
God will help it at the dawning of the day.
Nations are in tumult, kingdoms are shaken: *
he lifts his voice, the earth shrinks away.

The Lord of hosts is with us: *
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

Come, consider the works of the Lord *
the redoubtable deeds he has done on the earth.
He puts an end to wars over all the earth; †
the bow he breaks, the spear he snaps. *
He burns the shields with fire.
“Be still and know that I am God, *
supreme among the nations, supreme on the earth!”

The Lord of hosts is with us: *
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. I will lead them to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer.

Ant. 3 Glorious things are told of you, O city of God; the Lord founded you on his holy mountain!

Psalm 87

On the holy mountain is his city *
cherished by the Lord.
The Lord prefers the gates of Sion *
to all Jacob’s dwellings.
Of you are told glorious things, *
O city of God.

Babylon and Egypt I will count *
among those who know me;
Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia, *
these will be her children
and Sion shall be called “Mother” *
for all shall be her children.

It is he, the Lord Most High, *
who gives each his place.
In his register of peoples he writes: *
‘These are her children’
and while they dance they will sing: *
‘In you all find their home.’

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Glorious things are told of you, O city of God; the Lord founded you on his holy mountain!

V/. I have brought you into the land of Carmel.
R/. To enjoy the fruits and blessings of it.

The First Reading

1 Kings 18:36-39, 41-45a

A reading from the First Book of Kings

Elijah prayed on the summit of Carmel, and heaven granted rain

And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.” Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt offering, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said “The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God.”

And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink for there is a sound of the rushing of rain.” So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he bowed himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees. And he said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” And he went up and looked, and said, “There is nothing.” And he said, “Go again seven times.” And at the seventh time he said, “Behold, a little cloud like a man’s hand is rising out of the sea.” And he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down, lest the rain stop you.’” And in a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain.

Responsory

R/. You care for the earth, give it water; you fill it with riches; * you bless its growth.
V/. The pastures of the wilderness flow with abundance, and the hills are girded with joy; * you bless its growth.
R/. You care for the earth, give it water; You fill it with riches; * you bless its growth.
V/. The pastures of the wilderness flow with abundance, and the hills are girded with joy; * you bless its growth.

The Second Reading  (Alternative 2)

May 10 and June 22, 1967

From the Allocutions of Pope Paul VI

Blessed are all who have believed

We can readily see that the Blessed Virgin Mary was endowed in high measure with a remarkable interior enlightenment, such as might have been anticipated in view of her sinlessness and the nature of her task in the world. The Gospels make abundantly clear that her soul was gifted with an extraordinary insight into the ways of God and a prophetic intuition. Yet above all else it was faith that most characterized the Mother of God — the kind of faith that does not need proof, but accepts a thing as true because God has spoken. The Second Vatican Council declares that “the Blessed Virgin went forward in her pilgrimage of faith,” and the Gospel records how generous and meritorious that pilgrimage was when it cites Elizabeth’s high tribute, which tells us so much about Mary’s psychology and holiness: “Blessed are you, for you have believed.”

We find confirmation of this faith, Our Lady’s foremost virtue, wherever the gospel tells of what she was, or what she said or what she did. Faced with the attitudes that characterize the incomparable figure of Mary in relation to the mystery of Christ realized in herself, we feel compelled to follow her example, and discover patterns for those who have, in conformity with God’s plan for our salvation chosen the religious life. She teaches us how to listen, how to explore, to accept, to make sacrifices; she teaches us how to meditate, to wait, to examine; she teaches us self-possession, and calm, absolute assurance in judgment and action; she teaches us, in short, the fullness of prayer and communion with God. And all these things, though we see them in Mary uniquely realized by that one soul which was full of grace and completely under the sway of the Holy Spirit, are yet all forms of faith, and therefore close to us and available not only for our admiration but for our imitation.

You have chosen the narrow, austere, arduous way of the ascetic life. You are in such a way committed to the pursuit of the supreme art of prayer and an intense spiritual life that you are branded as true searchers after the only fullness, the only peace, the only love: the union of the soul with God.

May the most holy Virgin Mary confirm you in your Carmelite vocation. May she safeguard your love for the things of the spirit. May she obtain for you the graces you need in your holy, laborious ascent towards the knowledge of the divine realm and the ineffable experiences of its dark nights and light-filled days. May she give you the desire for sanctity, the desire to bear eschatological witness to the kingdom of heaven. May she make you models for all the members of God’s Church, and bind you to them in brotherhood. And may she one day lead you into that possession of Christ and His glory which, even now, is the goal towards which your whole life is directed.

Responsory

R/. In faith receive the word of God which is able to save your souls. * Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.
V/. Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. * Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.

Where the Vigil Office is celebrated:

Canticles

Ant. Bring us, O Mary, to the summit of Carmel, to Christ our heavenly life.

Canticle I

Is 2:2-3

All the peoples will come to the house of the Lord

The mountain where God has chosen to dwell (Ps 67:17)

It shall come to pass in the latter days *
that the mountain of the house of the Lord
shall be established as the highest of the mountains, †
and shall be raised above the hills, *
and all the nations shall flow to it.

And many people shall come, and say †
‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, *
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may teach us his ways *
and that we may walk in his paths.’
For out of Sion shall go forth the law, *
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

Canticle II

Is 61:10-62:3

The prophet rejoices in the new Jerusalem

I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, as beautiful as a bride prepared to meet her husband (Rev 21:2)

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, *
my soul shall exult in my God;
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, *
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, *
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

For as the earth brings forth its shoots, *
and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up,
so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise *
to spring forth before all the nations.

For Sion’s sake I will not keep silent, *
and for Jerusalem’s sake, I will not rest
until her vindication goes forth as brightness, *
and her salvation as a burning torch.

The nations shall see your vindication, *
and all the kings your glory;
and you shall be called by a new name *
which the mouth of the Lord will give.

You shall be a crown of beauty *
in the hand of the Lord,
and a royal diadem *
in the hand of your God.

Canticle III

Is 62:4-7

The glory of the new Jerusalem

Here God lives among men. He will make his home among them (Rev 21:3)

No longer are you to be named ‘Forsaken,’ *
nor your land ‘Abandoned,’
but you shall be called ‘My Delight,’ *
and your land, ‘The Wedded;’
for the Lord takes delight in you *
and your land will have its wedding.

Like a young man marrying a virgin, *
so will the one who built you wed you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices in his bride, *
so will your God rejoice in you.

On your walls, Jerusalem, *
I set watchmen.
Day or night *
they must never be silent.

You who keep the Lord mindful *
must take no rest.
Nor let him take rest †
till he has restored Jerusalem, *
and made her the boast of the earth.

Ant. Bring us, O Mary, to the summit of Carmel, to Christ our heavenly life.

Gospel

Lk 1:39-56

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke

Why should I be honored with a visit from the mother of my Lord?

Mary set out at that time and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, “Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honored with a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leaped for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

And Mary said:

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord
and my spirit exults in God my savior;
because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid.
Yes, from this day forward all generations will call me blessed,
for the Almighty has done great things for me.
Holy is his name,
and his mercy reaches from age to age for those who fear him.
He has shown the power of his arm,
he has routed the proud of heart.
He has pulled down princes from their thrones and exalted the lowly.
The hungry he has filled with good things, the rich sent empty away.
He has come to the help of Israel his servant, mindful of his mercy
—according to the promise he made to our ancestors of
his mercy to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.”

Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back home.

Te Deum

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

Lord God,
you willed that the Order of Carmel
should be named in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of your Son.
Through her prayers, as we honor her today,
bring us to your holy Mountain,
Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Flowery border_British Library_medium

 

Morning Prayer

Hymn

Let us in spirit make our way
to Carmel’s mountain height;
our Virgin Mother calls us there
to gather flowers of light.

This is indeed a holy place
where God has ever reigned;
here hearts are healed in silent prayer,
and strength of mind attained.

This is where living water flowed
to save the thirsting land,
to clothe the desert with fresh grass,
with trees the burning sand.

Cradle of our religious life
is Carmel’s height austere;
wherever Mary turns her gaze
flow waters springing clear.

Let us adore the Trinity
the Father honors her,
the Son embraces her with love,
the Spirit reigns in her!

C.M.
Carmeli ad altos vertices
Tr. unknown

Psalmody

Ant. 1 Fragrant is the scent of your perfume, Immaculate Virgin. Let us follow in your footsteps.

Psalm 63

O God, you are my God, for you I long; *
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you *
like a dry, weary land without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary *
to see your strength and your glory.

For your love is better than life, *
my lips will speak your praise.
So I will bless you all my life, *
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet, *
my mouth shall praise you with joy.

On my bed I remember you. *
On you I muse through the night
for you have been my help; *
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you; *
your right hand holds me fast.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Fragrant is the scent of your perfume, Immaculate Virgin. Let us follow in your footsteps.

Ant. 2 Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you; you are the most blessed of all women.

Canticle – Daniel 3:57-88, 56

Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord. *
You heavens, bless the Lord,
All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord. *
All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Sun and moon, bless the Lord. *
Stars of heaven, bless the Lord.

Every shower and dew, bless the Lord. *
All you winds, bless the Lord.
Fire and heat, bless the Lord. *
Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord. *
Frost and chill, bless the Lord.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord. *
Nights and days, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord. *
Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord.

Let the earth bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Mountains and hills, bless the Lord. *
Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord.
You springs, bless the Lord. *
Seas and rivers, bless the Lord.
You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord. *
All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.
All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord. *
You sons of men, bless the Lord.

O Israel, bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord. *
Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord. *
Holy men of humble heart, bless the Lord.
Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael, bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.

Let us bless the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. *
Let us praise and exalt him above all for ever.
Blessed are you, Lord, in the firmament of heaven. *
Praiseworthy and glorious and exalted above all for ever.

Ant. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you; you are the most blessed of all women.

Ant. 3 Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary: you gave birth to him who made you, yet remain a virgin forever.

Psalm 149

Sing a new song to the Lord, *
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in its maker, *
let Zion’s sons exult in their king.
Let them praise his name with dancing *
and make music with timbrel and harp.

For the Lord takes delight in his people. *
He crowns the poor with salvation.
Let the faithful rejoice in their glory, *
shout for joy and take their rest.
Let the praise of God be on their lips *
and a two-edged sword in their hand,

to deal out vengeance to the nations *
and punishment on all the peoples;
to bind their kings in chains *
and their nobles in fetters of iron;
to carry out the sentence pre-ordained; *
this honor is for all his faithful.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary: you gave birth to him who made you, yet remain a virgin forever.

Reading

Is 35:1-2

Let the wilderness and the dry-lands exult,
let the wasteland rejoice and bloom,
let it bring forth flowers like the jonquil,
let it rejoice and sing for joy.
The glory of Lebanon is bestowed on it
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they shall see the glory of the Lord,
the splendor of our God.

Short Responsory

R/. Under your protection we take refuge, * Mother of God most holy. Repeat R/.
V/. Do not turn away from the prayers that spring from our need, * Mother of God most holy.
Glory . . . R/.

Canticle of Zechariah

Ant. Jesus said to His Mother, “Woman, this is your son,” and to the disciple He said, “This is your Mother;” and from that hour the disciple took her as his own.

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; *
he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior, *
born of the house of his servant David.

Through his holy prophets he promised of old †
that he would save us from our enemies, *
from the hands of all who hate us.

He promised to show mercy to our fathers*
and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: *
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear, *
holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.

You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High; *
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation *
by the forgiveness of their sins.

In the tender compassion of our God *
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, *
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Jesus said to His Mother, “Woman, this is your son,” and to the disciple He said, “This is your Mother;” and from that hour the disciple took her as his own.

Intercessions

Christ our Savior, the first-born of many brothers, gave us his Mother as our own. On this sacred day let us come to him with thankful hearts and say:

R/. For the gift of your Mother, we give glory to you, Lord.

Christ our Redeemer, you prepared a worthy dwelling place for yourself in the sinless Virgin Mary; may we work today in your service and hers, poor in spirit and pure in heart. R/.

Only Word of the Father, uttered in eternal silence and lovingly received in the womb of the Virgin, may our Carmelite vocation lead us, like Mary, to hear the Word of God and put it into practice. R/.

Christ our Teacher, you offer the Virgin Mary as the model of every virtue to those who seek you; may we, her children, mirror her life, especially in our charity towards all. R/.

Jesus, Son of Mary, you gave your Mother to the apostle John to take into his own keeping; in our familiarity with Mary may we experience your ineffable love. R/.

Christ, Spouse of the Church, you sent the fire of the Holy Spirit upon Mary when she was joined with the apostles in prayer; may the whole family of Carmel remain faithful in prayer with Mary, and so be continually renewed by the Holy Spirit. R/.

Our Father …

Prayer

Lord God,
you willed that the Order of Carmel
should be named in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of your Son.
Through her prayers, as we honor her today,
bring us to your holy Mountain,
Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

WhitefriarsLondonBookplate_BritishLibrary_small

 

Daytime Prayer

The complementary psalms are used.

Midmorning

Ant. O Mary, you are a mother beyond compare, worthy to be remembered by your children forever.

Psalm 120

To the Lord in the hour of my distress *
I call and he answers me.
“O Lord, save my soul from lying lips, *
from the tongue of the deceitful.”

What shall he repay you in return, *
O treacherous tongue?
The warriors arrows sharpened *
and coals, red-hot, blazing.

(Alas, that I abide a stranger in Meshech, *
dwell among the tents of Kedar!)

Long enough have I been dwelling *
with those who hate peace.
I am for peace, but when I speak, *
they are for fighting.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the mountains; *
from where shall come my help?
My help shall come from the Lord *
who made heaven and earth.

May he never allow you to stumble! *
Let him sleep not, your guard.
No, he sleeps not nor slumbers, *
Israel’s guard.

The Lord is your guard and your shade; *
at your right side he stands.
By day the sun shall not smite you *
nor the moon in the night.

The Lord will guard you from evil, *
he will guard you soul.
The Lord will guard your going and coming *
both now and for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 129

“They have pressed me hard from my youth,” *
this is Israel’s song.
“They have pressed me hard from my youth *
but could never destroy me.

They plowed my back like plowmen, *
drawing long furrows.
But the Lord who is just, has destroyed *
the yoke of the wicked.”

Let them be shamed and routed, *
those who hate Zion!
Let them be like grass on the roof *
that withers before it flowers.

With that no reaper fill his arms, *
no binder makes his sheaves
and those passing by will not say:
“On you the Lord’s blessing!” *
“We bless you in the name of the Lord.”

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Scripture Reading

Prov 8:32-34

And now, my sons, listen to me:
happy are those who keep my ways.
Hear instruction and be wise,
and do not neglect it.
Happy is the man who listens to me,
watching daily at my gates,
waiting beside my doors.

V/. Whoever finds me finds life.
R/. And will receive salvation from the Lord.

Midday

Ant. Your souls will rejoice in her mercy, and her praise will not bring you to shame.

Psalm 123

To you have I lifted up my eyes, *
you who dwell in the heavens;
my eyes, like the eyes of slaves *
on the hand of their lords.

Like the eyes of a servant *
on the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes are on the Lord our God *
till he show us his mercy.

Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy. *
We are filled with contempt.
Indeed all too full is our soul
with the scorn of the rich, *
with the proud man’s disdain.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 124

“If the Lord had not been on our side,” *
this is Israel’s song.
“If the Lord had not been on our side *
when men rose up against us,
then would they have swallowed us alive *
when their anger was kindled.

Then would the waters have engulfed us, *
the torrent gone over us;
over our head would have swept *
the raging waters.”

Blessed be the Lord who did not give us *
a prey to their teeth!
Our life, like a bird, has escaped *
from the snare of the fowler.

Indeed the snare has been broken *
and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the Lord, *
who made heaven and earth.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 125

Those who put their trust in the Lord
are like Mount Zion, that cannot be shaken, *
that stands for ever.

Jerusalem! The mountains surround her,
so the Lord surrounds his people *
both now and for ever.

For the scepter of the wicked shall not rest *
over the land of the just
for fear that the hands of the just *
should turn to evil.

Do good, Lord, to those who are good, *
to the upright of heart;
but the crooked and those who do evil, *
drive them away!

On Israel, peace!

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Scripture Reading

Sir 24:15-16

I made Sion my stronghold, the holy city my resting-place, Jerusalem my throne. My roots spread out among the people that enjoys his favor, my God has granted me a share in his own domain; where his faithful servants are gathered I love to linger.

V/. My spirit is sweeter than honey.
R/. My inheritance sweeter than the honeycomb.

Midafternoon

Ant. With the fruit of her hands she planted a vineyard; her children stood up and proclaimed her blessed.

Psalm 126

When the Lord delivered Zion from bondage, *
it seemed like a dream.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter, *
on our lips there were songs.

The heathens themselves said: “What marvels *
the Lord worked for them!”
What marvels the Lord worked for us! *
Indeed we were glad.

Deliver us, O Lord, from our bondage *
as streams in dry land.
Those who are sowing in tears *
will sing when they reap.

They go out, they go out, full of tears, *
carrying seed for the sowing:
they come back, they come back, full of song, *
carrying their sheaves.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 127

If the Lord does not build the house, *
in vain do its builders labor;
if the Lord does not watch over the city, *
in vain does the watchman keep vigil.

In vain is your earlier rising, *
your going later to rest,
you who toil for the bread you eat, *
when he pours gifts on his beloved while they slumber.

Truly sons are a gift from the Lord, *
a blessing, the fruit of the womb.
Indeed the sons of youth *
are like arrows in the hand of a warrior.

O the happiness of the man *
who has filled his quiver with these arrows!
He will have no cause for shame *
when he disputes with his foes in the gateways.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Scripture Reading

Sir 24:23-25

No vine ever yielded fruit so fragrant; the enjoyment of honor and riches is the fruit I bear. It is I that give birth to all noble loving, all reverence, all true knowledge, and the holy gift of hope. From me comes every grace of faithful observance, from me all promise of life and vigor.

V/. Look down from heaven and see, and visit this vine.
R/. The vine your right hand has planted.

Prayer

Lord God,
you willed that the Order of Carmel
should be named in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of your Son.
Through her prayers, as we honor her today,
bring us to your holy Mountain,
Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

 

Mount Carmel Looking toward the sea_British Library_Medium

Evening Prayer II

Hymn

When thirst broke up the ground stricken at God’s command,
and crops lay on the long baked ridges of the soil,
swiftly Elias went where Carmel towered above,
scaling rough rocks with zeal and toil.

Great soul in fervent prayer, lifting his hands on high,
prophet, he pleaded there, turning God’s wrath again.
Hour after hour he strove for those marked down to die
unless the fields were saved with rain.

Then, far off, where the sea stretched in a distant plain,
a cloud fine as a hand lit in the deep blue cope;
and soon thunderclouds came, and after them the rain
drumming the dust with rhythms of hope.

Mary, we are those crops which drought of grace lays low,
you are that mystic cloud, that fruitful womb are you.
Your son, the God you nurse, is new life’s rain to us
who grow once more as hope comes true.

Spare us, great triune God, as we too bend in prayer,
help us scale the high stars, our mother’s worthy sons;
There, raised by her, we praise you everlastingly
and pour forth love’s unending songs.

12.12.12.8.
Bro. John Leonard Davies, O.C.D.

Psalmody

Ant. 1 Behold the handmaid of the Lord: let it be done to me according to your word.

Psalm 122

I rejoiced when I heard them say: *
“Let us go to God’s house.”
And now our feet are standing *
within your gates, O Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is built as a city *
strongly compact.
It is there that the tribes go up, *
the tribes of the Lord.

For Israel’s law it is, *
there to praise the Lord’s name.
There were set the thrones of judgment *
of the house of David.

For the peace of Jerusalem pray: *
“Peace be to your homes!
May peace reign in your walls, *
in your palaces, peace!”

For love of my brethren and friends *
I say: “Peace upon you!”
For love of the house of the Lord *
I will ask for your good.

Ant. Behold the handmaid of the Lord: let it be done to me according to your word.

Ant. 2 Mary heard the Word of God and kept it, treasuring it in her heart.

Psalm 127

If the Lord does not build the house, *
in vain do its builders labor;
if the Lord does not watch over the city, *
in vain does the watchman keep vigil.

In vain is your earlier rising, *
your going later to rest,
you who toil for the bread you eat: *
when he pours gifts on his beloved while they slumber.

Truly sons are a gift from the Lord, *
a blessing, the fruit of the womb.
Indeed the sons of youth *
are like arrows in the hand of a warrior.

O the happiness of the man *
who has filled his quiver with these arrows!
He will have no cause for shame *
when he disputes with his foes in the gateways.

Ant. Mary heard the Word of God and kept it, treasuring it in her heart.

Ant. 3 The apostles persevered in prayer together with Mary, the Mother of Jesus.

Canticle: Eph 1:3-10

Blessed be the God and Father *
of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ *
with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.

He chose us in him *
before the foundation of the world,
that we should be holy *
and blameless before him.

He destined us in love *
to be his sons through Jesus Christ,
according to the purpose of his will, †
to the praise of his glorious grace *
which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

In him we have redemption through his blood, *
the forgiveness of our trespasses,
according to the riches of his grace *
which he lavished upon us.

He has made known to us †
in all wisdom and insight *
the mystery of his will,
according to his purpose *
which he set forth in Christ.

His purpose he set forth in Christ, *
as a plan for the fullness of time,
to unite all things in him, *
things in heaven and things on earth.

Ant. The apostles persevered in prayer together with Mary, the Mother of Jesus.

Scripture Reading

Gal 4:4-6

When the designated time had come, God sent forth his Son born of a woman, born under the law, to deliver from the law those who were subjected to it, so that we might receive our status as adopted sons. The proof that you are sons is the fact that God has sent forth into our hearts the spirit of his Son, which cries out “Abba, Father!”

Short Responsory

R/. I exult for joy in the Lord, * my soul rejoices in God. Repeat R/.
V/. For he has clothed me in the garments of salvation; he has wrapped me in the cloak of justice. * My soul rejoices in God.
Glory . . . R/.

Canticle of Mary

Ant. Mary, ever Virgin, has been given us as our Mother; she has taken pity on us; today we remember. Today all Carmel sings for joy as we keep a solemn festival in her honor whose name we bear.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, *
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant, *
and from this day all generations will call me blessed.

The Almighty has done great things for me: *
holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him *
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm, *
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,*
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things, *
and has sent the rich away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel*
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Mary, ever Virgin, has been given us as our Mother; she has taken pity on us; today we remember. Today all Carmel sings for joy as we keep a solemn festival in her honor whose name we bear.

Intercessions

As we honor the holy Mother of God, under whose name and patronage we live, let us pray with confidence to Christ our Lord and say:

R/. Through the intercession of the Mother of Carmel, hear us, O Lord.

You said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven;” may we stand with Mary among the poor and humble of the Lord, so that you may be our only wealth. R/.

You said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God;” in following the Immaculate Virgin may we come to love that purity of heart which makes us eager to see the Father’s face. R/.

You said, “Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe;” with Mary at our side, may we never cease to trust in the love you have for us as we journey in this night of faith. R/.

You said, “You ought to pray always and never lose heart;” teach us to pray like Mary, treasuring your word in our hearts and proclaiming it in our lives. R/.

You said, “A new commandment I give you: love one another as I have loved you;” united in heart and mind, may we be ready to spend our lives for our brothers and sisters and share with Mary in your work of redemption. R/.

Dying on the cross, you said to John, and through him to all disciples, “Behold your Mother;” may we always please you by living in the intimate company of the Mother of Grace. R/.

You said, “I want those you have given me to be with me where I am:” may all those who trusted in your everlasting mercy rejoice one day with you and Mary in our Father’s house. R/.

Our Father …

Prayer

Lord God,
you willed that the Order of Carmel
should be named in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of your Son.
Through her prayers, as we honor her today,
bring us to your holy Mountain,
Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

 

NDMC_antique-woodcut
The Banner of Carmel
Mother and Beauty of Carmel
The Moon Beneath Her Feet
Elijah and Elisha, Leaders of Carmel

 

 

13 July: Saint Teresa of Jesus “Of Los Andes”

July 13
SAINT TERESA OF JESUS “OF LOS ANDES”
Virgin

Memorial

Juanita Fernandez Solar was born at Santiago, Chile, on July 13, 1900. From her adolescence she was devoted to Christ. She entered the monastery of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns at Los Andes on May 7, 1919, where she was given the name of Teresa of Jesus. She died on April 12 of the following year after having made her religious profession. She was beatified on April 3, 1987, at Santiago, Chile, and canonized on March 21, 1993, by Saint John Paul II and proposed as a model for young people. She is the first Chilean and the first member of the Teresian Carmel in Latin America to be canonized.

From the Common of Virgins, except the following:

Office of Readings

Second Reading
Diario y cartas (Los Andes, 1983), 373, 359, 376

From the Spiritual writings of Saint Teresa of Jesus

Jesus alone is beautiful; He is my only joy. I call for Him, I cry after Him, I search for Him within my heart. I long for Jesus to grind me interiorly so that I may become a pure host where He can find His rest. I want to be athirst with love so that other souls may possess this love. I would die to creatures and to myself, so that He may live in me.

Is there anything good, beautiful or true that we can think of that would not be in Jesus? Wisdom, from which nothing would be secret. Power, for which nothing would be impossible. Justice, which made Him take on flesh in order to make satisfaction for sin. Providence, which always watches over and sustains us. Mercy, which never ceases to pardon. Goodness, which forgets the offenses of His creatures. Love, which unites all the tendernesses of a mother, of a brother, of a spouse, and which, drawing Him out of the abyss of His greatness, binds Him closely to His creatures. Beauty which enraptures… what can you think of that would not be found in this Man-God?

Are you perhaps afraid that the abyss of the greatness of God and that of your nothingness cannot be united? There is love in Him. His passionate love made Him take flesh in order that by seeing a Man-God, we would not be afraid to draw near Him. This passionate love made Him become bread in order to assimilate our nothingness and make it disappear into His infinite being. This passionate love made Him give His life by dying on the cross.

Are you perhaps afraid to draw near Him? Look at Him, surrounded by little children. He caresses them, He presses them to His heart. Look at Him in the midst of His faithful flock, bearing the faithless lamb on His shoulders. Look at Him at the tomb of Lazarus. And listen to what He says of the Magdalene: “Much has been forgiven her, because she has loved much.” What do you discover in these flashes from the Gospel except a heart that is good, gentle, tender, compassionate; in other words, the heart of a God?

He is my unending wealth, my bliss, my heaven.

Responsory

R/. I have come to rate all as loss in the light of the surpassing knowledge
of my Lord Jesus Christ: I am racing to grasp the prize
* since I have been grasped by Christ Jesus.
V/. I give no thought to what lies behind but push on to what lies ahead
as I run toward the prize to which God calls me on high
* since I have been grasped by Christ Jesus.

Prayer

God of mercy, joy of the saints,
you set the young heart of Saint Teresa ablaze
with the fire of virginal love for Christ and for His Church;
and even in suffering made her a cheerful witness to charity.
Through her intercession,
fill us with the delights of your Spirit,
so that we may proclaim by word and deed
the joyful message of your love to the world.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

 

Teresa-de-los-Andes_teenager-formal-portrait_headshot-sepia
Juanita Fernández del Solar

12 July: Saint Louis Martin and Zelie Guerin

July 12
SAINT LOUIS MARTIN AND ZELIE GUERIN

Optional Memorial

Louis Martin was born in Bordeaux, on August 22, 1823. While he was master-watchmaker in Alençon, he met Marie Azelie (Zelie) Guerin, a lace maker, born in Gandelain (St-Denis-sur-Sarthon), on December 23, 1831. They were married on July 13, 1858,and had nine children, including the future Saint Therese of the Infant Jesus. Model spouses, devoted parents, workers, attentive to the poor, always nourishing a missionary spirit, they found their strength and hope in regular attendance at Holy Mass and in a deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin. After a long illness Zelie died in Alençon on August 28, 1877. Louis, in retirement, went to Lisieux near his in-laws to ensure a better future for his five children (the other four having died in infancy). This patriarch of the family, after offering all his children to God, knew suffering and illness. He died near Evreux on July 29, 1894.

From the Common of Holy Men, with the psalms of the day.

Office of Readings

The Second Reading
(Zelie et Louis Martin, Correspondance Familiale [1863 – 1885].  Paris, 2004, L1, 72, 130, 81, 110, 147, 179, 204)

From the Letters of St. Zelie Martin

We must be willing to accept generously the will of the good God

My dear friend, I am really worried about you.  Every day my husband makes sad prophecies. He knows Paris and told me that you will be exposed to temptations that, because you are not pious enough, you will not be able to overcome.  He told me that he experienced them himself, and that he needed a lot of courage to come out victoriously from all the battles. If you only knew what trials he had to go through … I beg you, my dear Isidore (Zelie’s brother), to do as I did; pray, and you will not be carried away by the current.  If you succumb once you will be lost. On the road to perdition as on the road to salvation the first step is all important; afterwards you will be carried away by the current.

When I closed the eyes of my dear little children and buried them, I really felt the pain.  It is a pain to which I have always been resigned. I do not regret the pains and the anxieties I have had to endure on their account.  Many people have said to me: “It would have been better if you had never had them.” I cannot tolerate these words.  The pains and anxieties of this life cannot be compared to the eternal happiness of my children.  After all, they have not been lost forever, life is short and full of suffering, we shall find them in heaven.

Little Therese is always well and looks very healthy.  She is very intelligent and we have very amusing conversations.  She already knows how to pray to God. Every Sunday, she goes for some part of Vespers and if, by mistake, the family forgets to bring her there she cries uncontrollably.

My sister has spoken to me a great deal about your business… I told her not to break her neck because of this, that there is only one thing to do, pray to God, because neither she, nor I, can help you in any other way.  However, He, who is never embarrassed, will rescue us from all this when He sees that we have suffered enough, and then, you will recognize that your success is not due either to your ability or to your intelligence, but to God alone, as it happens with my lace making; this conviction is very beneficial, I have experienced it myself.  You know that we are all inclined to be proud and I notice often that those who have made their fortune are, for the most part, unbearably self-important. I am not saying that I would have been like this, nor you either, but we would have been somewhat tainted by pride; it is a fact that constant prosperity leads one away from God. He never led his chosen ones along this path, they had to pass first through the crucible of suffering in order to be purified.  You are going to say that I am preaching, but no matter I don’t wish to. I think of these things very often and I share them with you; now, call that a sermon if you like!

My dear children, I must go to Vespers to pray for the intention of our dear deceased relatives.  The day will come when you will do this for me, but I must make sure that I do not have so great a need of your prayers.  I would like to become a saint but this will not be easy; there is a lot of wood to burn but it is as hard as stone. It would have been better if I had begun earlier, when it was less difficult, but anyhow “it is better late than never.”

Today is then Wednesday, the feast of the Immaculate Conception which is a great feast for me!  On this day, the Blessed Virgin truly gave me many very special graces… This year, I will go again to find the Blessed Virgin early in the morning… my only prayer will be that those that she has given me will all be saints and that I shall not be too far behind, but they must be much better than me.

Doctor Notta is very sorry that they did not operate at the beginning, as by now it is too late.  However, he seems to be saying that I can go on for a very long time like this. But more than that we put ourselves in God’s hands, who knows better than us what we need, “it is He who wounds but also heals.”  I will go to Lourdes on the first pilgrimage, and I hope that the Blessed Virgin will heal me, if that is what is needed. Let’s remain calm while we wait.

Before leaving, I will assist at the first Mass here, arriving in Le Mans at nine o’clock, still in time to attend the High Mass, after that I will come for you… At the beginning, your father was not happy that I took all three of you, but he wishes it now, and says that we cannot make enough sacrifices to obtain so great a miracle.  Even if I do not obtain it, I will never regret taking you there. We must be willing to accept generously the will of God, whatever it is, because it will always be what is best for us.

Responsory

R/.  Be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
* So that you may be able to discover what is God’s will,
what is good, pleasing and perfect.
V/.  You must be renewed in mind and spirit, and put on the new man.
* So that you may be able to discover what is God’s will,
what is good, pleasing and perfect.

Prayer

O God,
who gave to Saint Louis and Marie Zelie
the grace to lead a life of holiness
as Christian spouses and parents,
grant that, through their intercession and example,
we may be able to love and serve you faithfully,
living worthily our own vocation.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

 


Discover more from the letters of Saints Louis Martin and Zélie Guérin on the website of the archives of the Carmel of Lisieux

 

Official-Vatican-Portrait
Saint Louis Martin and Zelie Guerin, banner for their canonization (courtesy Discalced Carmelites)

Quote of the day: 9 July

Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, thou who hast been rightly proclaimed the Patroness of Catholic missions throughout the world, remember the burning desire which thou didst manifest here on earth to plant the Cross of Christ on every shore and to preach the Gospel even to the consummation of the world; we implore thee, according to thy promise, to assist all priests and missionaries and the whole Church of God.

 

Therese-patroness-missions (DETAIL)
Thérèse patroness of the missions (detail)
Sr. Marie of the Holy Spirit, O.C.D.
Oil on canvas or panel, 1928; 85 x 132 cm.
Carmel of Lisieux
Painting executed by Sr. Marie of the Holy Spirit, Discalced Carmelite nun of Lisieux  (1892-1982), to illustrate the nomination of Thérèse as Patroness of the Missions by Pope Pius XI on 14 December 1927. Sister Marie followed a pencil on paper sketch by artist Charles Jouvenot

 

Pope Pius XI through an Apostolic Brief issued 9 July 1928 accorded a partial indulgence of 300 days once a day and a plenary indulgence, on the usual conditions, if this prayer is devoutly said every day for a month.

Sources: Efemerides Carmelitana, Raccolta

Quote of the day: 26 June

God’s will is a kiss of His love, it is an embrace of His goodness which lifts the soul out of its own misery in order to be comforted in His arms. The will of God is an act of tenderness which should make the soul want to abandon itself in love.

Blessed Mary Josephine of Jesus Crucified
Office of Readings for her feast day

 

scenic view of mountains during dawn
Photo by Simon Matzinger on Pexels.com

26 June: Blessed Mary Josephine of Jesus Crucified

June 26
BLESSED MARY JOSEPHINE OF JESUS CRUCIFIED
Virgin

Optional Memorial

Josephine Catanea was born in Naples on February 18, 1894. She entered the Carmelite community of Santa Maria Ponti Rossi and made her solemn profession August 6, 1933. In 1945 was elected prioress, an office she held until her death. She endured the painful trials of illness and persecution by abandoning herself to the will of God. All who sought her help were inspired by her deep spirituality, humility and simplicity, as she inspired hope and faith in God and in the Blessed Virgin Mary. She died in Naples on March 14, 1948.

From the Common of virgins, with the psalms of the day

Office of the Readings

Second Reading

From the writings of Blessed Mary Josephine of Jesus Crucified
(Autobiography, pp.159, 296, 202; Diary, pp. 2-3, 109, 121, 126)

I offered myself to Jesus Crucified to be crucified with Him

It has always been my heart’s burning desire to fulfill the will of God; I have never wanted anything else. I have lived and am living the divine will. It is something I need more than the food I eat and the air I breathe. I would not know how not to do His will even for a moment! I have always wanted to live and to die conforming to the will of God. I wanted God’s will to always be in my thoughts, in my words, in everything I do and in every step I make. It was only through following God’s will that I was able to transform my pains into joy, transforming my life from Mount Calvary to Mount Tabor.

God’s will is a kiss of His love, it is an embrace of His goodness which lifts the soul out of its own misery in order to be comforted in His arms. The will of God is an act of tenderness which should make the soul want to abandon itself in love.

Oh will of God, infinite love, take away my will in the flame of your love! I want to unite myself to you, my God who are my all. I want only to do whatever pleases you. I want my life to be a continuous adoration, a continuous hymn of love for you, O God who are One and Three. Even if I were a seraphim of love, would I be worthy of the Lord? If I had consumed myself with sacrifices and penances for God and my life had been a holocaust, what would I have done for you, my God and my all?

I desire to love God with the same ardour as His divine Spirit, with fervent unction of his love, to the point of living only for Him and becoming one with Him; one will, one desire and one spirit.

There is only one thing necessary in life: to know God, our supreme Good, in order to be able to love Him with all one’s heart. This knowledge of God makes our spirit disappear like a drop of water in the ocean or like a spark in a fire. 

Contemplate this infinite God, one in essence but three in Persons. Try to see in the Trinity the unique principle, the wisdom existing in infinite love, and in the Trinity see the activity of tiny creatures that live in God and love Him.

I think that one day my small voice will become like a giant’s, because it is a voice that glorifies God thanks to the means He has given me on earth: the pains, suffering, prayer and the sacrifices we encounter in life. Let us submerge ourselves in God, let us found ourselves in Him, let us lose ourselves in Him alone and try to live joyfully for He is calling us: ‘Come Bride of Christ.’

Suffering is a sweet and precious kiss from our crucified Lord. I desire only the cross, which is light and love.

Lord, you told me that I would have to suffer more each day, that you would place me on the cross and there you would give me a kiss of eternal union. I pine for this moment and pine for this happy meeting even if it means I have to live a life of agony.

Our holy mother, Teresa of Jesus, wants us to be crucified with Christ, this is the task of our lives. When I think that Jesus has placed me on the cross with Himself I feel in myself a spiritual motherhood, a tenderness for souls, a great and profound joy that I cannot explain.

How many tribulations on earth there are, how many lamentations, how many sighs and tears! I am far from all, but here I share the pain of every heart. I present to God all the sighs, the tears which water this place of exile. I am living with suffering humanity.

What consolation I felt today in my poor heart.

These words at Holy Communion gave me comfort: “Daughter, you are mine but you will be mine even more.” This is exactly what my soul ardently desires. Oh how great is the love of my Lord! Oh indescribable goodness! Oh loving Jesus I thank you and I love you! 

I want to write with my blood a countless number of times: ‘I love you, Jesus, save souls!’

Responsory
Song 2: 3, 14

R. With great delight I sat in his shadow,* and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
V. Your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.
R. and his fruit was sweet to my taste.

Prayer

Almighty and eternal God,
who willed to conform to Christ crucified
the virgin Blessed Mary Josephine,
as a victim for sinners,
grant that we, through her intercession and example,
may always embrace our own cross
and humbly fulfil your will.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

 

Maria-Giuseppina-Catanea_cloister
Blessed Mary Josephine of Jesus Crucified with one of her nuns kneeling before her
Photo: Discalced Carmelites

14 June: Blessed Maria Candida of the Eucharist

June 14
BLESSED MARIA CANDIDA OF THE EUCHARIST
Virgin

Optional Memorial

Blessed Maria Candida of the Eucharist was born on 16 January 1884 in Catanzano. Her parents, Pietro Barba and Giovanna Florona, returned to Palermo, Sicily, where she received First Holy Communion 3rd April 1894. In 1919 she entered the Discalced Carmelite Monastery, Ragusa, making solemn profession 23rd April 1924. She was Prioress and Mistress of Novices many times, radiating a sense of Carmelite holiness both within and outside of the community, influencing others with her love for the Eucharist, as well as by her numerous writings. She died on 12th June 1949, the solemnity of the Holy Trinity, and was beatified 21st March 2004.

From the common of virgins; psalms from the current weekday

Office of Readings

Second Reading
From the writings of M. Maria Candida of the Eucharist
(L’Eucharistia, Edizioni OCD-Feeria, 1999, pp. 105-108)

From contemplation of the presence to Eucharistic communion

To contemplate with deep faith our Beloved in the Sacrament, to live with Him Who comes to us every day, to remain with Him in the depths of our hearts, this is our life!

The more intense this intimate life is, the more we will be Carmelites and make progress in perfection. This contact, this union with Jesus is everything: what fruits of virtue will come from it! You must have this experience. To live with Jesus and to live by His virtues, is to listen to His beautiful voice, to His most loving wish and immediately obey it, to please quickly Him. Our eyes close, longing to find Him again, to contemplate Him in the depths of our hearts: is this not the reason why He gives us Holy Communion in the morning? Is it not the attraction for Him that remains in the Blessed Sacrament, where He lives? I do not know how to separate the ciborium in the sacred Tabernacle from the ciborium in our hearts! Oh, how many times, even though we are in the choir, before His sacred Presence, at times exposed, we experience the great need to go deeply into ourselves, and there rediscover and remain with our Jesus!

What mystery of love is this intimacy with our Beloved! I reflect on this, sometimes with emotion, and give praise to Him Who is Love! And with tears, I contemplate this intimacy. Everything here on this earth is nothing for us, withdrawn as we are, far from Him Who loved us so much; our eyes no longer see anything: and even though we close them again to lose ourselves from the same sacred environment, we close them anxious to find Him again, to see Jesus! The most delightful Mystery of Love! He allows Himself to be found by the heart that searches for Him, by the soul that knows how to do without many things for love of Him.

To be close to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, like the Saints in Heaven, who contemplate the supreme Good, is what we must do, according to our Holy Mother Teresa. Seven times a day, we come together around the throne (of our Good God), the sacred Tabernacle, reciting the divine praises: oh how much faith merits such lofty activity, what dying to self! May adoration and love accompany and beautify everything!

Responsory

R/. I am the living bread which has come down from heaven and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world.
* Anyone who eats this bread will live forever.
R/. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in them.
* Anyone who eats this bread will live forever.

Prayer

All powerful and ever-living God,
who, by the breath of the Spirit,
inspired Blessed Maria Candida, virgin,
to contemplate the riches of the Eucharist,
by her intercession, grant we beseech you,
that gratefully offering the sacrifice
of the Body and Blood of Christ,
in union with the Blessed Virgin Mary,
we may always glorify You in this Sacrament,

Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.

 

Maria-Candida-of-the-Eucharist_headshot
Blessed Maria Candida of the Eucharist (1884-1949)

12 June: Blessed Alphonsus Mary Mazurek and Companions

June 12
BLESSED ALPHONSUS MARY MAZUREK,
Priest of Our Order

AND COMPANIONS, Martyrs

Optional Memorial

He was born in 1891 at Baranowka, near Lubartow, Poland. He entered the Order of Discalced Carmelites in 1908, taking the religious name Alphonsus Mary of the Holy Spirit. He was ordained a priest and appointed as a professor while dedicating himself to the education of youth. Afterward, he served in his Order as prior and bursar. In 1944, after having been arrested by the troops that had invaded his country, he was shot on 28 August at Nawojowa Gora, near Krzeszowice. He was beatified by John Paul II on 13 June 1999, together with many other Polish martyrs.

From the common of several martyrs; psalms from the current weekday

Office of Readings

Second Reading
From the addresses of Pope John Paul II
(OR 7-8 June 1999 p. 11; 18/6/1999, p. 4)

Blessed are those who are persecuted in the cause of uprightness

Blessed are those who are persecuted in the cause of uprightness: the kingdom of Heaven is theirs. In a particular way, this beatitude places the events of Good Friday before our eyes. Christ was condemned to death as a criminal and then crucified. On Calvary, it seemed he had been abandoned by God and left at the mercy of people’s derision.

The Gospel proclaimed by Christ was put to a radical test: those who were present at the event cried out, He is the king of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. Christ does not descend from the cross since he is faithful to his Gospel. He suffers human injustice. Only in this way, in fact, is he able to accomplish the justification of mankind.

Above all, he wanted the words of the sermon on the mount to be verified in himself: Blessed are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven; this is how they persecuted the prophets before you. To whom do these words still apply? To many, many people throughout humanity’s history, to whom it was given to suffer persecution for the sake of justice. We know that the first three centuries after Christ were marked by persecutions, at times terrible, particularly under some Roman emperors from Nero to Diocletian. Even though these ceased from the time of the Edict of Milan, nevertheless they broke out again in various historical eras, in numerous places throughout the world.

Even our century has written a great martyrology. I myself, over the twenty years of my pontificate, have elevated to the glory of the altar numerous groups of martyrs: Japanese, French, Vietnamese, Spanish, Mexican. How many there were during the period of the Second World War and under the communist totalitarian system! They suffered and gave their lives in the Hitlerian or Soviet extermination camps.

The time has now come to remember all these victims and to render due honor to them. These are often Nameless, “unknown soldiers” as it were, of God’s great cause, as I wrote in the Apostolic Letter Tertio Millennio Adveniente. It is also good to speak of them on Polish land since here there was a particular sharing in this contemporary martyrology. They are an example for us to follow. From their blood, we should draw strength for the sacrifice of our life, which we ought to offer to God every day. They are an example for us to give a courageous witness of fidelity to the Cross of Christ, as they did.

I am happy that I was able to beatify, among the one hundred and eight martyrs, Blessed Father Alphonsus Mary Mazurek, a pupil, and much later, a well-deserving educator in the minor seminary connected to the Discalced Carmelite monastery. I had an occasion of meeting personally with this witness to Christ, who in 1944, as Prior of the Czerna monastery, sealed his faithfulness to God with death through martyrdom. I kneel in veneration before his relics which rest in the church of Saint Joseph and I thank God for the gift of the life, the martyrdom, and sanctity of this great religious.

Responsory
Cf Mt 5:11-12; Jn 15:20

R/. Blessed are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you falsely on my account.
* Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven (alleluia).
R/. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.
* Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven (alleluia).

Prayer

May the prayers of your martyrs
Blessed Alphonsus Mary and companions,
prevail with you, Lord, on our behalf:
Let them strengthen us in our witness to your truth.

We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

 

Alphonsus Maria Mazurek_564x389
Blessed Alphonsus Mary Mazurek (1891-1944) | Photo credit: Discalced Carmelite Order

Pentecost Novena: Edith Stein — Day 8

Pentecost Novena 8-17 Edith IGsize
Pentecost Novena: Edith Stein — Day 8

 

Are you the sweet song of love
And of holy awe
That eternally resounds around the triune throne,
That weds in itself the clear chimes of each and every being?

 


Saint Edith Stein

And I Remain With You:
From a Pentecost Novena

Day 8

 

The Hidden Life: Essays, Meditations, Spiritual Texts
The Collected Works of Edith Stein, Vol. 4
ICS Publications, Washington DC
© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites, Inc.

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