Having the permission of these two provincials, I now figured that nothing was lacking. We arranged that Father Fray John of the Cross would go to the house and get it ready so that, in spite of all, it could be lived in. For me, what was most urgent was that the friars begin, for I was very fearful lest some obstacle would come along our path. And this they did. Father Fray Antonio had already gathered some of the things necessary. Insofar as we could, we helped him; although our help amounted to little. He came to Valladolid with great happiness to speak to me and told me what he had collected, which was very little. It was only with clocks that he was well provided, for he had five of them; this greatly amused me. He told me they were meant as a help to follow the daily schedule, which he wanted well fixed; I don’t think he even had any bed yet to sleep in.
Although they had wanted to do a great deal with the house, not much time was required to prepare it because there was no money. When it was ready, Father Fray Antonio happily renounced his priorship and promised to observe the primitive rule. Although he was told to try the new way of life first, he did not want to. He went to his little house with the greatest happiness in the world. Fray John was already there.
Father Fray Antonio has told me that when he first came near the little place he felt a great inner joy, and it seemed to him that he was now through with the world by leaving it all and placing himself in that solitude. Neither of the two found the house unfit; rather, it seemed to them they were living in the midst of great pleasures.
On the First or Second Sunday of Advent (I don’t remember which of these Sundays it was), in the year 1568, the first Mass was said in that little stable of Bethlehem, for it doesn’t seem to me the house was any better.
Saint Teresa of Avila
The Book of the Foundations Chapter 14, excerpts
It was, in fact, the First Sunday of Advent, 28 November 1568 that the first Mass was offered in the new foundation of Discalced Carmelite friars. When St. Teresa obtained the formal permission from the Carmelite Prior General Giovanni Battista Rossi (Rubeo) in Rome, she exclaimed, ¡Bendito sea Dios que tengo para la fundación de mis descalzos fraile y medio! (Blessed be God that I have for the foundation of my discalced friars a friar-and-a-half!)
Kieran Kavanaugh, K, Rodriguez, O, and Teresa 1976, The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, ICS Publications, Washington DC.
November 29 BLESSEDS DENIS OF THE NATIVITY, PRIEST,
AND REDEMPTUS OF THE CROSS, RELIGIOUS Martyrs
Optional Memorial in the provinces of India: Memorial
Denis of the Nativity, a priest, called in the world Pierre Berthelot, was born in Honfleur in France in 1600. He was a cartographer and naval commander for the kings of Portugal and France before he joined the Discalced Carmelites in Goa in 1635. It was also at Goa that the Portuguese lay brother, Thomas Rodriguez da Cunha, born in 1598, had made his profession in 1615, taking the name Redemptus of the Cross. They were sent to the island of Sumatra (Indonesia), where, in the town of Achen (Aceh), they received the martyr’s crown on November 29, 1638.
From the common of several martyrs
Office of Readings
From The Ascent of Mount Carmel by Saint John of the Cross
(Bk 2, Ch 7:5—ed. Kavanaugh-Rodriguez 1979, pp. 122-24)
True self-denial means carrying Christ’s Cross
If anyone wishes to follow my way, let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me. For he who would save his soul shall lose it, but he who loses it for me shall gain it. Oh, who can make this counsel of Our Savior understandable and practicable and attractive, that spiritual persons might become aware of the difference between the method many of them think is good and that which ought to be used in traveling this road! They are of the opinion that any kind of withdrawal from the world or reformation of life suffices. Some are content with a certain degree of virtue, perseverance in prayer, and mortification, but never achieve the nakedness, poverty, selflessness, or spiritual purity (which are all the same) that the Lord counsels us here. For they still feed and clothe their natural selves with spiritual feelings and consolations rather than divesting and denying themselves of these for God’s sake.
Through this kind of conduct, they became, spiritually speaking, enemies of the cross of Christ. A genuine spirit seeks the distasteful in God rather than the delectable, leans more toward suffering than toward consolation, more toward going without everything for God rather than toward possession. It prefers dryness and affliction to sweet consolation. It knows that this is the significance of following Christ and denying self, that the other method is perhaps a seeking of self in God—something entirely contrary to love.
If a man resolutely submits to the carrying of this cross, if he decidedly wants to find and endure trial in all things for God, he will discover in all of them great relief and sweetness. A man makes progress only through imitation of Christ, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one goes to the Father but through him. This way is nothing other than a death to our natural selves.
If anyone wishes to follow my way,
let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. —Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
They have persecuted me, and they will persecute you. —Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
Canticle of Zechariah
Ant. Blessed are you when you are persecuted on my account: rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.
we celebrate the memory of Blesseds Denis and Redemptus
who died for their faithful witnessing to Christ.
Give us the strength to follow their example,
loyal and faithful to the end.
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.
Canticle of Mary
Ant. They loved Christ in their lives and imitated Him in their death: and so they reign with Him forever.
Photos from the convent of the Discalced Carmelite Friars in Banda Aceh, Indonesia courtesy of the Discalced Carmelite General Curia (used by permission)
The theological virtues perfect the faculties of the soul and produce emptiness and darkness in them.
Excerpts concerning the virtue of hope
We must discuss the method of leading the three faculties (intellect, memory, and will) into this spiritual night, the means to divine union. But we must first explain how the theological virtues, faith, hope, and charity (related to these faculties as their proper supernatural objects), through which the soul is united with God, cause the same emptiness and darkness in their respective faculties: faith in the intellect, hope in the memory, and charity in the will. Then we shall explain how in order to journey to God the intellect must be perfected in the darkness of faith, the memory in the emptiness of hope, and the will in the nakedness and absence of every affection.
As a result it will be seen how necessary it is for the soul, if it is to walk securely, to journey through this dark night with the support of these three virtues. They darken and empty it of all things. As we said, the soul is not united with God in this life through understanding, or through enjoyment, or through imagination, or through any other sense; but only faith, hope, and charity (according to the intellect, memory, and will) can unite the soul with God in this life.
These virtues, as we said, void the faculties: Faith causes darkness and a void of understanding in the intellect, hope begets an emptiness of possessions in the memory, and charity produces the nakedness and emptiness of affection and joy in all that is not God.
Hope, also, undoubtedly puts the memory in darkness and emptiness as regards all earthly and heavenly objects. Hope always pertains to the unpossessed object. If something were possessed there could no longer be hope for it. St. Paul says ad Romanos: Spes quae videtur, non est spes; nam quod videt quis, quid sperat? (Hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?) [Rom 8:24]. As a result this virtue also occasions emptiness, since it is concerned with unpossessed things and not with the possessed object.
In the sixth chapter of Isaiah we read that the prophet saw a seraph at each side of God, and that they each had six wings: with two wings they covered their feet, which signified the blinding and quenching of the affections of the will for God; with two they covered their faces, which signified the darkness of the intellect in God’s presence; and with the two remaining wings they flew, so as to indicate the flight of hope toward things that are not possessed, an elevation above everything outside of God that can be possessed, earthly or heavenly [Is. 6:2].
Saint John of the Cross
John of the Cross, St. 1991, The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross, Revised Edition, translated from the Spanish by Kavanaugh, K and Rodriguez, O with revisions and introductions by Kavanaugh, K, ICS Publications, Washington DC.
Saint Raphael Kalinowski’s last and longest stage of life is the thirty years (1877-1907) he lived in the Carmelite monastery. Consenting to the voice that called him to Carmel, Joseph Kalinowski entered formation, ready to work for God within the Church after decades of service as an engineer, military officer, prisoner of war in Siberia, professor and tutor.
On November 26, 1877, he went to Graz, Austria and was clothed in the habit of the Order, receiving at the same time his religious name: Raphael of Saint Joseph.
How did Kalinowski come to know Carmel? We turn to Father Szczepan T. Praskiewicz, OCD, for the details, referring in particular to his biography, “Raffaele Kalinowski: Tappe Fondamentali di una Vita ed Elementi di Spiritualità”, which was translated and edited as part of the book, Saint Raphael Kalinowski: An Introduction to his Life and Spirituality, published by the Discalced Carmelite friars’ Washington Province, ICS Publications. A scholar who has served on the faculty of the Discalced Carmelites’ International Theological College in Rome, the general curia of the order, as well as completing three terms as a consultant to the Congregation of the Causes of the Saints in Rome, Father Szczepan’s years of formation in the traces of Saint Raphael of St. Joseph add a unique perspective to his rigorous standards as a scholar. Fr. Praskiewicz’s 1990 biography of Kalinowski, which was translated from the Italian, edited, and published by the Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites, provides a fascinating insight into the development of the Saint’s vocation.
In his Memoirs Saint Raphael tells us that early on during his exile in Siberia he happened upon a copy of a book written by Piotr Skarga, The Lives of the Saints:
That opened up many horizons for me. There I discovered a note on the Order of the Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel and its rapid diffusion in the West. It occured to me that precisely this Order should be able to bring the schismatics back to the Church of Rome. Guided in a marvelous way by Providence, I entered this Order ten years later.
As with every vocation story, there were many graced encounters that guided his steps along the way.
Saint Raphael Kalinowski had wanted to find a way to become a Carmelite friar, which is why he became a tutor to Gucio, the young son of the noble Czartoryski family residing in Paris. But in God’s providence and unbeknownst to Saint Raphael, one of his pupil’s aunts was a Discalced Carmelite nun in the Carmel of Krakow.
In true Teresian spirit, this aunt, Sr. Mary Xavier of Jesus was seeking young men to renew Carmelite life in Poland. When the Saint accompanied his young pupil on a trip from Paris to visit his aunt at the monastery in Krakow, Kalinowski made a profound impression upon the nun; but it was the Holy Spirit that spoke to her spirit, impressing upon her the fact that her nephew’s tutor was sent by Divine Providence.
Without saying a word, Sr. Mary Xavier of Jesus began a prayer crusade for the family tutor and his vocation to the Discalced Carmelites; further, she began to correspond with him.
Saint Raphael explained what had happened in a letter to his family back home in Vilnius, Lithuania:
I have a sign of the mercy and goodness of the Lord, which brought me hope and consolation through people consecrated to him. Gucio’s aunt, the Reverend Sister Mary Xavier of Jesus… whom I met only once at the grilles and who hardly knows me, only a few days ago—exactly when I least expected it—sent me the following poem of the seraphic Saint Teresa: Let nothing trouble you, let nothing frighten you…
Fr. Praskiewicz tells us that St. Teresa’s famous Nada te turbe became Kalinowski’s motto. Soon after he received Sr. Mary Xavier’s letter, he wrote to his parents:
Each day I take strength from Saint Teresa’s words about which I wrote to you, my dear parents, in my last letter.
In the end, these very words were the source of divine inspiration that induced him to join the sons of St. Teresa, the Discalced Carmelite friars. He wrote to his parents on 4 November 1876:
A year ago there came to me, like an echo, a voice from the grilles of Carmel. This voice was clearly addressed to me and I have accepted it; it was a salvific voice from the infinite mercy of God commanding me. I can only exclaim, ‘I will sing the mercies of the Lord forever.’ The only thing that now remains for me to do is to ask your parental blessing.”
Kalinowski attended to the details, the housekeeping of his life as anyone aspiring to enter religious life would do: prepare to leave a job, a home, to travel and pray. On 5 July 1877, he left the Czartoryski family in Paris and traveled to Linz, Austria to meet the Discalced Carmelite provincial superior.
God rewarded Kalinowski for the steadfast pursuit of his vocation at such a mature age—Raphael of St. Joseph was 42 years old when he received the holy habit of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
Praskiewicz OCD, S 1998, Saint Raphael Kalinowski: An Introduction to his Life and Spirituality, Translated from the Italian by Coonan, T, Griffin OCD, M and Sullivan OCD, L, ICS Publications, Washington, D.C.
Os anunciamos una nueva propuesta de oración diaria desde la Palabra de Dios y los textos de Teresa de Jesús para acompañar este tiempo de Adviento, a cargo de Proyecto Nudo (STJ). Estas reflexiones orantes de 15 minutos irán apareciendo para ser descargadas en formato de audio. El lema elegido es “¡Entrad!” Las podremos encontrar a […]
Almost a contemporary of Thérèse of the Child Jesus, Elizabeth of the Trinity had a profound experience of the presence of God, which she matured in a remarkable manner in just a few years of life in Carmel.
In her, we acknowledge a being who is filled with natural gifts: she was intelligent and sensitive, an accomplished pianist, appreciated by her friends, and delicate in the affection she bore toward her family. Here she blossomed in the silence of contemplation, beaming from the happiness of a total forgetfulness of self; without reserve, she welcomed the gift of God, the grace of baptism and reconciliation; she admirably received the eucharistic presence of Christ. To an exceptional degree, she is aware of the communion offered to every creature by the Lord.
Today we dare to introduce to the world this cloistered religious who led a “life hidden with Christ in God” (Col 3:3) because she is a witness who is bursting with the joy that is rooted and grounded in love (cf. Eph 3:17).
She celebrates the splendor of God because she knows that in her innermost self she is inhabited by the presence of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit in whom she recognizes the reality of love that is infinitely living.
Elizabeth herself also knew physical and moral suffering. United to Christ crucified, she offered herself totally, completing in her flesh the Passion of the Lord (cf. Col 1:24), always assured of being loved and of being able to love. In peace, she donates the gift of her wounded life.
To our disoriented humanity that no longer knows how to find God or that disfigures Him, that seeks out some word on which to build its hope, Elizabeth gives the witness of a perfect opening to the Word of God, which she assimilated to the point of truly making it the nourishment of her reflection and prayer, to the point of finding therein all her reasons to live and to consecrate herself to the praise of His glory.
And this contemplative, far from isolating herself, knew how to communicate the wealth of her mystical experience to her sisters and to those close to her. Her message spreads today with a prophetic power.
We call upon her: disciple of Teresa of Jesus and John of the Cross, may she inspire and sustain all the family of Carmel; may she help many men and women, in the lay or consecrated life, to receive and share the “streams of infinity charity” that she collected “at the fountain of life” (Letter 191).
Read the full text of Saint John Paul II’s homily in French here and in Italian here.
Translations from the French are the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission. Dedicated to the Benedictines of the former St. Pius X Abbey at Pevely, Missouri sine qua non.
I remember that when my mother died I was twelve years old or a little less. When I began to understand what I had lost, I went, afflicted, before an image of our Lady and besought her with many tears to be my mother. It seems to me that although I did this in simplicity it helped me. For I have found favor with this sovereign Virgin in everything I have asked of her, and in the end she has drawn me to herself.
Saint Teresa of Avila
The Book of Her Life, Chap. 1
On 24 November 1528 Doña Beatriz Dávila Ahumada y de las Cuevas—better known as Doña Beatriz de Ahumada—made her last will and testament. Scholars such as Kieran Kavanaugh, OCD and Joseph Pérez indicate that it is believed she expired soon after she made and signed her will, dying in her palace at Gotarrendura, Avila. From there, her body was taken to the city with all due ceremony where she received a burial with honors in the Church of San Juan in Avila.
Spanish Wikipedia editor CrisDC has done a fine job creating and editing a small biography for Doña Beatriz drawing upon the research of Pérez and others, as well as consulting the Cepeda genealogy.
Father Kavanaugh discusses the “image of our Lady” in his notes to St. Teresa’s Life:
According to an old tradition, she is referring to a statue of Our Lady of Charity that was venerated in the hermitage of St. Lazarus, outside the walls of the city, near the river Adaja. After the destruction of the hermitage in the nineteenth century, the statue was moved to the cathedral where it is venerated today.
This statue of Our Lady of Charity is found in the Chapel of Our Lady of Sorrows (Capilla de la virgen de la piedad o de los dolores) in the Cathedral of Avila. You can learn more about the chapel here on the cathedral website and see a better photo of the chapel here on Wikimedia Commons, which includes the statue of Our Lady of Charity.
Finally, thanks to Flickr members javiolano for sharing his photo of the stunning autumn colors along Camino Río Arbillas in Avila in November 2016 and to juanobe for his photo of the famous “image of our Lady” who received the tears of a grief-stricken child named Teresa.
Kieran Kavanaugh, K, Rodriguez, O, and Teresa 1976, The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, ICS Publications, Washington DC.
La tendencia natural del hombre al saber queda perfeccionada por la acción del Espíritu Santo con la gracia especial de la sabiduría. Como tal carisma, es una emanación de la gloria de Dios –reflejo de la luz eterna– que prepara y dispone a quien lo recibe para contribuir a la edificación de […]
No siempre una traducción te puede desvelar lo que encierra el corazón de quien se expresó en su lengua, y sin duda moldeándola como un alfarero, para revelar lo más entrañable de su experiencia. Sentí así que el salmista tendría que querer expresar algo grande cuando en nuestra lengua se traduce pidiéndole al Señor que […]
Didn’t the Virgin Mary always live in continuous prayer, in silence, and in forgetfulness of earthly things? How can souls be saved?
They can be saved through petition, prayer, and sacrifice.
Jesus Christ made Magdalene understand that the contemplative life is the best part she could have chosen. Yes, in Carmel we begin to do what we will be doing for all eternity: loving and singing the Lord’s praises.
If this is what we will be doing in heaven, isn’t this the most perfect thing we could be doing now?
Saint Teresa of Jesus of the Andes
Letter 40 (excerpts)
In his message for the consecration of the Votive Church of Maipú, St. Paul VI wrote:
An authentic devotion to Mary will, therefore, bring as a natural fruit for you, the people of Chile, and for all who on this memorable date participate in your Marian fervor, a growing commitment to serve the Gospel with a true desire to bring the message of salvation to all men and to build together the kingdom of God among those who have been liberated in Christ. In this way, “while the Mother is honored, the Son. . . will be rightly known, loved and glorified.”
Read the full text of St. Paul VI’s message in the original Spanish here.
Note from the blogger:Our readers will recall this blog’s support for the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Managua, the Discalced Carmelite and Nicaraguan native Silvio José Báez. It may be of interest to know that the Catholic parish mentioned in this article, St. Michael the Archangel, is the home parish of the Báez family. Blogger Dr. Minúscula provides outstanding coverage of the socio-political strife and the Ortega government’s violent and brutal repression of the Church in Nicaragua. We are grateful for the first-hand knowledge and insight the professor brings to reporting on this fluid situation.
A hunger strike staged inside the Parish of St. Michael the Archangel in Masaya has led to a tense standoff between the Nicaraguan government, led by Daniel Ortega, and the Catholic Church. The protesters demand the release of over 100 people that the Ortega-Murillo authorities have classified as common criminals. However, the Civic Alliance for…
Web del Congreso Entre el 21 y el 23 de noviembre se está desarrollando en Córdoba el II Congreso Internacional dedicado a S. Juan de Ávila, con motivo del Año Jubilar Avilista. Una de las ponencias del Congreso está dedicada a la relación entre el Maestro Ávila y Teresa de Jesús, a cargo del P. […]
Think what must have been in the soul of the Virgin when, after the Incarnation, she possessed within her the Incarnate Word, the Gift of God… in what silence, what recollection, what adoration she must have been wrapped in the depth of her soul in order to embrace this God whose mother she was.
The vow of chastity intends to release human beings from all the bonds of natural common life, to fasten them to the cross high above all the bustle, and to free their hearts for union with the Crucified. This sacrifice, too, is not accomplished once and for all.
Of course, one is cut off, externally, from occasions that can become temptations outside but often much that distracts the spirit and the heart, robbing them of their freedom, cleaves to the memory and fantasy. Besides, there is also a danger that new ties establish themselves within the protective cloister walls and hinder full union with the Divine Heart.
When we enter the Order, we again become members of a family. We are to see and respect, as head and members of the Mystical Body of Christ, our superiors and the other sisters. But we are human, and something all too human can easily become mingled with holy, childlike, and sisterly love. We believe we see Christ in the people we look up to and fail to notice that we attach ourselves to them humanly and are in danger of losing sight of Christ.
But human attraction is not the only cloud on purity of heart. Too little love is a worse offense against the Divine Heart than too much. Every aversion, any anger and resentment we tolerate in our hearts closes the door to the Savior. Involuntary stirrings naturally arise through no fault of our own, but as soon as we become aware of them, we must relentlessly oppose them. Otherwise, we resist God who is love and do the devil’s work.
The song sung by the virgins attending the Lamb is surely one of purest love.
Saint Edith Stein
The Marriage of the Lamb For September 14, 1940
Stein, E 2014, The Hidden Life: Essays, Meditations, Spiritual Texts, translated from the German by Stein W, ICS Publications, Washington DC.
Rejoice! it is when all seemed lost that all is gained… We went to Naples and Pompeii yesterday and the day before with Mme. Bénard. During this time, Papa went to see the superior of the Brothers, to shake his hand and to thank him for the reception he had given him two years ago with M. l’abbé Marie. The Brother was charmed. Papa spoke to him frankly; he recounted the audience we had on Sunday, Thérèse’s desires, her request, all the ups and downs, the sadness she experienced. The superior knew that Marie, Papa’s oldest daughter, had entered Carmel. He had never seen such a thing and he was very much enthused about our family. He understood this very well, and he himself—if he had not entered the Brothers when young—believes that he would not have gone, and he thanked God every day for having called him when young (he is fifty years a Brother). He was noting down what Papa was saying about Thérèse, and he offered to speak about her to M. Révérony. But listen to the very end:
Papa stood up to leave and whom did he see enter but M. Révérony!… You may judge his surprise and that of the brother. M. Révérony was very much charmed by Papa; he seemed to be repentant. He reminded Papa that the Sovereign Pontiff had spoken to him particularly, because [M. Révérony] had introduced him by telling the pope that two of his daughters were Carmelites. Papa asked him if he had heard anything regarding the bishop’s decision, and he added: “You know very well that you had promised to help me.” What a good Father! Then he recounted Thérèse’s grief at the audience and especially when he had replied that the matter was being examined by the superiors, etc. M. Révérony was touched, I believe, and he is beginning to believe that Thérèse’s vocation is extraordinary. He even said: “Well! I will assist at the ceremony; I’m inviting myself.” Papa told him he would be happy to have him and all sorts of amiable things were exchanged between them. That is what Papa told us this morning—I could not keep this in and I am writing to you immediately. To show you the promptitude with which I am writing this, I hardly waited for Papa to finish and in the office of the hotel I seized a piece of paper and a pen and here I am!….
Are you happy, dear little sisters? Perhaps even before this letter, you have some rays of hope, perhaps you even know more good news than we do. I believe we have won M. Révérony’s sympathy. Thérèse was so pretty at the feet of the Holy Father. She was kneeling at his feet, her hands joined on the pope’s knees, and her eyes were so pleading! It was beautiful to see her this way, and then I followed, in tears, asking for a blessing for the Carmel. This scene was touching, I assure you.
It could have influenced M. Révérony. So all goes well, what joy! I believe the trials are quite close to being over. . . .
Au revoir my darlings. We must go to dinner.
Your little Céline
Pisa, Hôtel de la Minerve Nice, Beau Rivage Marseille, Grand Hôtel de Marseille, you know the dates.
Letter from Céline to Agnes of Jesus and Marie of the Sacred Heart
Jesus, hope of suffering humanity, our refuge and our strength, whose light pierces the black clouds that hang over our stormy sea, enlighten our eyes so that we can direct ourselves toward you who are our harbor. Guide our bark with the rudder of the nails of your cross, lest we drown in the storm. With the arms of this cross rescue us from the turbulent waters and draw us to yourself, our only repose, Morning Star, Sun of Justice, for with our eyes obscured by tears, we can catch a glimpse of you there, on the shores of our heavenly homeland. Redeemed by you, we pray: Salvos nos fac propter nomen tuum—“save us for the sake of your holy name” (St. Augustine).
And all this through Mary.
Saint Raphael Kalinowski
Conference, “On a Good Confession” Carmel of Leopoli, 24 November 1902
Praskiewicz OCD, S 2016, Saint Raphael Kalinowski: An Introduction to his Life and Spirituality, ICS Publications, Washington DC.
Raphael Kalinowski was born to Polish parents in the city of Vilnius in 1835. Following military service, he was condemned in 1864 to ten years of forced labor in Siberia. In 1877 he became a Carmelite and was ordained a priest in 1882. He contributed greatly to the restoration of the Discalced Carmelites in Poland. His life was distinguished by zeal for Church unity and by his unflagging devotion to his ministry as confessor and spiritual director. He died in Wadowice in 1907.
From the common of pastors or of holy men (religious)
Office of Readings
From the exhortations of Saint Raphael, Religious
(C. Gil, O. Rafal Kalinowski, pp. 109-110)
You must be holy
The Holy Scriptures praise nothing more than a perfect and holy life lived in the exact and perfect fulfillment of each one’s duties. In the Old Testament our Lord and God taught his people and told them: You must be holy because I am holy.
The Eternal Father gave us our Lord Jesus Christ as our teacher, master, and guide. He confirmed and ratified the Old Testament injunction where he taught us that we must emulate the holiness of the Father: You must be perfect just as your heavenly Father is perfect. How does one become perfect and holy? The Doctors of the Church, the leaders of souls, and the masters of the spiritual life answer: If you would be perfect and become holy, fulfill your duties faithfully.
Once a desert father was asked by a certain young hermit what books he ought to study in order to advance in holiness. The old man replied: My practice is to read two books only. In the morning hours I read the Gospel, and in the evening I read the Rule. The first teaches me the way I should walk as a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ. The other teaches me what I should do to be a good religious. That is enough for me.
Let us, therefore, be students of the laws of God so that we may conduct ourselves according to them. When you walk, these will guide you; when you lie down, watch over you; when you wake, talk with you. Wherever we may be or go, may they go with us to direct our footsteps. May they be so near us when we sleep that they may fill our thoughts as soon as we awaken. His voice will speak to us in them. He will refresh us for the day ahead. Through his laws, we will gain the victory over our doubts. We will cast away every obstacle. We will free ourselves of that sluggishness of nature which is the enemy of strength, the foe of devotion, and the lover of ease. The law of life will help us to overcome our fears in the time of temptation and to follow eagerly in the way of obedience. May it always be at hand to counsel us, so that by it we may find the strength to follow God’s call with generous hearts and willing souls.
Free your minds, then, of encumbrances, since it is the Holy One who has called you —be holy in all you do.
For it is I, the Lord, who am your God;
you have been sanctified and have become holy because I am holy. —be holy in all you do.
Lord God, you made your priest Saint Raphael
strong in adversity and filled him with
a great love in promoting Church unity.
Through his prayers, make us strong in faith
and in love for one another,
that we too may generously work together
for the unity of all believers in Christ.
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.
“The time will come when not a single stone will be left on another”. Jesus was speaking about the Temple. Now the Temple was a huge building. I’ve seen the quarry from which the stones were hewn. Some of the stones were the size of a bus. […]
Nos encontramos ya en el penúltimo domingo del Año Litúrgico, previo a la majestuosa Solemnidad de Jesucristo, Rey del Universo. Y es curioso observar cómo el mensaje de estas últimas semanas del Tiempo Ordinario, que estamos concluyendo, y el de las primeras semanas del Tiempo de Adviento,…