Advent II — The way

SCRIPTURE

In due course John the Baptist appeared; he preached in the wilderness of Judaea and this was his message: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.” This was the man the prophet Isaiah spoke of when he said:

A voice cries in the wilderness:
prepare a way for the Lord,
make his paths straight.

Matthew 3:1-3


READING

Here is a small bird cast as John the Baptist
who from my treetops is inspired to say:
I come from heaven to prepare the way.
Now in the east approach the feet of day.

Day will reward you well, my little bird,
who make his coming such enchanting news,
who with the sweetest music I have heard
unloose the golden lachet of his shoes.

Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit, OCD
(Jessica Powers)

Bird at Daybreak

 


 

Jerusalem Bible: Readers Edition scripture references provided by St. John’s Parish Mullumbimby, NSW Australia

 

Powers, J 1999, The Selected Poetry of Jessica Powers, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

Quote of the day: 6 December

In the winter of 1932 we had a celebration for St. Nicholas

 

Edith Stein biographer Sr. Teresia Renata Posselt, OCD—Edith’s former prioress in the Carmel of Cologne—writes of her experiences as a member of the faculty of the German Institute for Scientific Pedagogy at Münster, a position she accepted in early 1932. She resided at the Collegium Marianum in Münster.

Sr. Teresia Renata tells us that she took her meals with the students and made a deep impression on all she met, “basing her way of life, as always, on simplicity. (…) She would be the first in the chapel… her life was all prayer and work.”  (Posselt 2005, p. 102)

One of Edith’s students shared a personal anecdote concerning Nikolaustag, the typical German celebration of the feast day of St. Nicholas that forms a significant part of German culture. Sr. Teresia Renata includes this lovely story in her biography, which testifies to the personal warmth and affection that Edith Stein bore not only for her students but also in later years for her sisters in Carmel.

Her personality had a much stronger effect in a small group. She loved to join in our small parties and celebrations in the house and at the students’ association. In the winter of 1932 we had a celebration for St. Nicholas. After a visit by St. Nicholas, played by one of us, we sat down together in our common room in front of a plate and an innocent glass of punch. She had put a small card of the Immaculate Conception from Beuron beside each plate. It was December 8th. We sang Advent songs, and she was just like one of us. (Posselt 2005, p. 104)

 

Immaculate Conception Beuron_Abteikirche_Vorhalle_2
St. Martin’s Archabbey Church, Beuron, Germany | Andreas Praefcke / Wikimedia Commons

 

 

Posselt, T 2005, Edith Stein: The Life of a Philosopher and Carmelite, translated from the German by Batzdorff S, Koeppel J, and Sullivan J, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

Advent I — The mountain

SCRIPTURE

The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

In days to come
the mountain of the Lord’s house
shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
and shall be raised above the hills;
all the nations shall stream to it.
Many peoples 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 Zion shall go forth instruction,
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

Isaiah 2:1-3


READING

Let us rejoice, Beloved,
and let us go forth to behold ourselves in your beauty
to the mountain and to the hill,
to where the pure water flows,
and further, deep into the thicket.

to the mountain and to the hill,

That is: to the morning and essential knowledge of God, which is knowledge in the divine Word, who in his height is signified here by the mountain. That they may know the Son of God, Isaiah urges all: Come, let us ascend to the mountain of the Lord (Is. 2:3); in another passage: The mountain of the house of the Lord shall be prepared (Is. 2:2).

“And to the hill,” that is, to the evening knowledge of God, which is God’s wisdom in his creatures, works, and wondrous decrees. The hill suggests this wisdom because it is not as high as the morning wisdom. Yet the soul asks for both the evening and the morning wisdom when she says: “To the mountain and to the hill.”

Saint John of the Cross

The Spiritual Canticle: Stanza 36 (excerpts)

 


 

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition scripture references provided by biblegateway.com

 

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.

Online Retreat 2019 — Advent

Online Retreat 2019

Advent

With François de Sainte-Marie

Communing in the life of grace with Mary


Dear friends, here we are once again to invite you to live this Advent in a spirit of communion through an online retreat prepared especially for you by the Discalced Carmelite friars. 

If you are already registered and have received the meditations from one of the previous retreats, you do not need to register again and it is not too late to register even though Advent has begun.

However, don’t hesitate to extend an invitation to your friends and acquaintances so that they can register using the form on the website www.retreat-online.karmel.at

We suggest that you download the A4 poster and distribute it to your Christian community, parish, ecclesial movement, association, or prayer group. You also can promote this initiative through social media.

Inviting others to pray through the retreat is an excellent way to evangelize and witness to your faith.

This Advent we will be guided by the writings of Father François de Sainte-Marie, a Discalced Carmelite friar from the Paris province who consecrated his brief life (1910-1961) to pass on the treasures of the Carmelite heritage. His best-known project was the publication of the autograph manuscripts of Thérèse of Lisieux, under the title Autobiographical Manuscripts, which today is published under the title Story of a Soul. It brings to light his knowledge of the doctrine of little Thérèse, his scientific mind, and at the same time a great human sensitivity.

At the end of November, you will receive the first introductory text of this Advent retreat. Then you will receive the meditations for each of the 4 weeks of Advent, with the following themes:

– 1st Sunday: Return to the Gospel

– 2nd Sunday: Outstanding educator

– 3rd Sunday: Delight of the little ones

– 4th Sunday: Abyss of grace

Christmas: “True Marian devotion”

The content will be available so that you may organize your moments of meditation during the week. The texts were prepared by Discalced Carmelite friars from Avon, France, and the translation into English was prepared by Secular Carmelites from North America.

The online retreat is free of charge. You can register or unsubscribe at any time.  

If you have any difficulty in receiving the meditations, please send an email to: webretiro@karmel.at

With this invitation to the online retreat, we extend our sincere wishes for a blessed Advent!

Carmelite Quotes on behalf of

fr. Roberto Maria OCD
and the Discalced Carmelites in Austria

Advent 22: King

Oh, my soul! Let the will of God be done; this suits you. Serve and hope in His mercy, for He will cure your grief when penance for your faults will have gained some pardon for them. Don’t desire joy but suffering. O, true Lord and my King! I’m still not ready for suffering if Your sovereign hand and greatness do not favor me, but with these, I shall be able to do all things.

Soliloquies 6: Painful Longing For God

 

Christ revealing Himself to Saint Teresa_Quito School_Carmen Alto
Christ revealing Himself to Saint Teresa
Quito School (Ecuador, 17th c.)
Mural painting, c. 1653
Upper cloister, Convento del Carmen Alto, Quito, Ecuador

 

¡Oh ánima mía! Deja hacerse la voluntad de tu Dios; eso te conviene. Sirve y espera en su misericordia, que remediará tu pena, cuando la penitencia de tus culpas haya ganado algún perdón de ellas; no quieras gozar sin padecer. ¡Oh verdadero Señor y Rey mío!, que aun para esto no soy, si no me favorece vuestra soberana mano y grandeza, que con esto todo lo podré.

Exclamaciones del Alma a Dios: Capítulo 6

Soliloquies: 6, Painful Longing For God; The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila 
Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D. (unless otherwise noted)
Published by ICS Publications, Washington DC 
Copyright © 1976 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.

Advent 21: Emmanuel

Mary, at the top of Calvary standing beside the Cross
To me you seem like a priest at the altar,
Offering your beloved Jesus, the sweet Emmanuel,
To appease the Father’s justice…
A prophet said, O afflicted Mother,
‘There is no sorrow like your sorrow!”
O Queen of Martyrs, while remaining in exile
You lavish on us all the blood of your heart!

Master of the Dominican Effigies, active c.1328-1350; The Crucifixion
The Crucifixion
Master of the Dominican Effigies (active c.1328–1350)
The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology

Te me apareces, Virgen, en la sombría cumbre del Calvario, de pie junto a la cruz,
igual que un sacerdote en el altar,
ofreciendo tu Víctima, tu Jesús amadísimo, nuestro dulce Emmanuel,
para desenfadar la justicia del Padre.
Un profeta lo dijo, ¡oh Madre desolada!:
¡No hay dolor semejante a tu dolor!»
¡Oh Reina de los mártires, quedando en el destierro,
prodigas por nosotros toda la sangre de tu corazón!

The Poetry of St. Thérèse of Lisieux (PN 54) 
Translated by Fr. Donald Kinney, O.C.D.
Archives du Carmel de Lisieux
Copyright © by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.

 

Advent 17: Wisdom

And then we will go on
to the high caverns in the rock

The rock mentioned here, as St. Paul says, is Christ (1 Cor. 10:4). The high caverns of this rock are the sublime, exalted, and deep mysteries of God’s wisdom in Christ, in the hypostatic union of the human nature with the divine Word, and in the corresponding union of human beings with God, and the mystery of the harmony between God’s justice and mercy with respect to the manifestations of his judgments in the salvation of the human race. These mysteries are so profound that she very appropriately calls them high caverns: high, because of the height of the sublime mysteries; and caverns, because of the depth of God’s wisdom in them. As caverns are deep and have many recesses, so each of the mysteries in Christ is singularly deep in wisdom and contains many recesses of his secret judgments of predestination and foreknowledge concerning the children of the earth. She then adds:

which are so well concealed;

They are so well concealed that however numerous are the mysteries and marvels that holy doctors have discovered and saintly souls understood in this earthly life, all the more is yet to be said and understood. There is much to fathom in Christ, for he is like an abundant mine with many recesses of treasures, so that however deep individuals may go they never reach the end or bottom, but rather in every recess find new veins with new riches everywhere. On this account St. Paul said of Christ (Col. 2:3):

In Christ dwell hidden all treasures and wisdom.

The Spiritual Canticle: Stanza 37

 

Mesa Arch, Arches National Park, Utah
Mesa Arch, Arches National Park, Utah | Robbie Shade

 

Y luego a las subidas
cavernas de la piedra nos iremos.

La piedra que aquí dice, según dice san Pablo (1 Cor. 10, 4) es Cristo. Las subidas cavernas de esta piedra son los subidos y altos y profundos misterios de sabiduría de Dios que hay en Cristo sobre la unión hipostática de la naturaleza humana con el Verbo divino, y en la respondencia que hay a ésta de la unión de los hombres a Dios y en las conveniencias de justicia y misericordia de Dios sobre la salud del género humano en manifestación de sus juicios, los cuales, por ser tan altos y profundos, bien propiamente los llama subidas cavernas, por la alteza de los misterios subidos y cavernas por la hondura y profundidad de la sabiduría de Dios en ellos; porque así como las cavernas son profundas y de muchos senos así cada misterio de los que hay en Cristo es profundísimo en sabiduría y tiene muchos senos de juicios suyos ocultos de predestinación y presciencia en los hijos de los hombres. Por lo cual, dice luego:

Que están bien escondidas.

Tanto, que por más misterios y maravillas que han descubierto los santos doctores y entendido las santas almas en este estado de vida, les quedó todo lo más por decir, y aun por entender; y así hay mucho que ahondar en Cristo: porque es como una abundante mina con muchos senos de tesoros, que, por más que ahonden, nunca les hallan fin ni término, antes van en cada seno hallando nuevas venas de nuevas riquezas acá y allá. Que, por eso, dijo san Pablo (Cl. 2, 3) del mismo Cristo, diciendo:

En Cristo moran todos los tesoros y sabiduría escondidos

Cántico Espiritual (CB): Canción 37

BAEZ - The joy of the Lord
Excerpt from a homily for the Third Sunday in Advent by Auxiliary Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D. of the Archdiocese of Managua, Nicaragua

Advent 16: Wisdom

Wisdom enters through love, silence, and mortification. It is great wisdom to know how to be silent and to look at neither the remarks, nor the deeds, nor the lives of others.

Sayings of Light and Love, 109

Nica Leon old man tshirt glasses dark background_hermes-rivera-265441-unsplash
A wise citizen of the Léon Department in Nicaragua | Photo by Hermes Rivera on Unsplash

La sabiduría entra por el amor, silencio y mortificación. Grande sabiduría es saber callar y no mirar dichos ni hechos ni vidas ajenas.

Puntos de amor, reunidos en Beas, 29

Sayings of Light and Love, 109
The Collected Works of Saint John of the Cross, Revised Edition
Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D.
With Revisions and Introductions by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D.
ICS Publications
Copyright © 1976 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.

 

Advent 15: Elijah

Elijah, our Father, leads,
In our self-denying we follow him
Strongly and zealously,
Nuns of Carmel.

9903473755_386b7cfa95_o
Carmel of Valladolid, 21 September 2013 | Ángel Cantero

Al Padre Elías siguiendo
nos vamos contradiciendo
con su fortaleza y celo,
monjas del Carmelo.

Poetry: 10. On the Way to Heaven; The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila 
Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D. (unless otherwise noted)
Published by ICS Publications, Washington DC 
Copyright © 1976 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.

Advent 13: Spirit

Daughter, Father John of the Cross is going there. Let the nuns in that monastery speak to him of matters concerning their souls with simplicity as though they were speaking with me, for he has the spirit of our Lord.

Saint Teresa to Madre Ana de San Alberto, Letter 323

Vision of Segovia - Carmelo de Medellin
Vision of Segovia
Unidentified artist
Oil on canvas, 18th or 19th c.
Monasterio Carmelita de San José, Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia
More details here

Hija, ahí va el padre Juan de la Cruz; trátenle sus almas con llaneza en ese convento como si yo misma fuera, porque tiene espíritu de nuestro Señor.

Santa Teresa a la Madre Ana de San Alberto, Carta 323

Letters: Letter 323 to Madre Ana de San Alberto; The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila 
Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D. (unless otherwise noted)
Published by ICS Publications, Washington DC 
Copyright © 1976 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.

Advent 11: Little lamb

Like a little lamb far from the sheepfold,
I merrily frolicked unaware of the danger,
But, O Queen of Heaven! my darling Shepherdess,
Your invisible hand knew how to protect me
While I played on the edge of the precipice.
You were already showing me the summit of Carmel.
I understood then the austere delights
That I would have to love to fly away to Heaven.

St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus

142876597_8069d6fad3_o
Lost little lamb | Matthew Kirkland
Cual tierno corderillo lejos de la majada,
jugueteaba alegre ignorando el peligro.
Mas ¡oh Reina del cielo, mis pastora querida!,
tu blanca, tu invisible, dulce mano sabía protegerme.
Y así, aunque yo jugaba al borde de los hondos precipicios,
ya tú me señalabas la cumbre del Carmelo,
y ya yo comprendía las austeras delicias
que habría de abrazar para volar al cielo.

Sta. Teresa del Niño Jesús

Poetry: PN 53
Translated by Fr. Donald Kinney, O.C.D.
Archives du Carmel de Lisieux
Copyright © by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.
BAEZ - We must build bridges
The word of God came, then, over John, the son of Zechariah, in the wilderness. He is not the announcer who carries the announcement, it is the announcement who carries him, impels him, launches him onward: and he crossed the whole region of the Jordan. The word of God is always in flight in search of men and women, simple and true, to create new beginnings and processes. Straightening, smoothing, filling in empty spaces … This young and austere prophet paints a harsh and difficult landscape, which has the hard and violent features of history: all violence, exclusion, and injustice are a ravine that needs to be filled… We must build bridges with mercy, ask for forgiveness, repairing the damage caused. We have to smooth out the rough edges in our relationships.

Excerpt from a homily for the Second Sunday of Advent by Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D., Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Managua, Nicaragua. Translation by @carmelitequotes. Listen to the full audio of the Bishop Báez’s homily here.

My homily for the 2nd Sunday of Advent — carmelitevocationsocd

2nd Sunday of Advent (a) 2018 ‘John the Baptist appeared; he preached in the wilderness…’Repent, for the Kingdom of heaven is close at hand.’ Someone might say, “hey, wait a minute, isn’t John the Baptist and all this talk of repentance and sins meant for Lent? This is Christmas! Couldn’t we have something a bit […]

via My homily for the 2nd Sunday of Advent — carmelitevocationsocd

(c) Dulwich Picture Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness
Guido Reni
Oil on canvas, circa 1636-1637
Dulwich Picture Gallery, London

Advent 7: Blind

O souls, created for these grandeurs and called to them! What are you doing? How are you spending your time? Your aims are base and your possessions miseries! O wretched blindness of your eyes! You are blind to so brilliant a light and deaf to such loud voices because you fail to discern that insofar as you seek eminence and glory you remain miserable, base, ignorant, and unworthy of so many blessings!

The Spiritual Canticle: Stanza 39

 

145092322_532a5e3ce8_o
Self-blinded | Daniel Horacio Agostini

 

¡Oh almas criadas para estas grandezas y para ellas llamadas!, ¿qué hacéis?, ¿en qué os entretenéis? Vuestras pretensiones son bajezas y vuestras posesiones miserias. ¡Oh miserable ceguera de los ojos de vuestra alma, pues para tanta luz estáis ciegos, y para tan grandes voces sordos, no viendo que, en tanto que buscáis grandezas y gloria, os quedáis miserables y bajos, de tantos bienes, hechos ignorantes e indignos!

Cántico Espiritual (CB): Canción 39

 

The Spiritual Canticle: Stanza 39
The Collected Works of Saint John of the Cross, Revised Edition
Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D.
With Revisions and Introductions by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D.
ICS Publications
Copyright © 1976 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.

Advent concludes with the celebration of Christmas, it is true: but all through this season of expectation, the Church reminds us that we are awaiting the Second Coming of Him, who was born in Bethlehem twenty centuries ago. She tells us that, as quiet as His first coming was in a manger, so great and glorious shall be His coming this second time, that it shall break the Earth.

Advent is a privileged season, in which the Church prayerfully reflects and longingly sighs for her Spouse, who is the Christ, the Glorious King, coming soon to judge the world.

Read more about the war and longing of Advent on the Roman Observations blog.

Last Judgement MICHELANGELO
The Last Judgment, Michelangelo Buonarotti (Sistine Chapel fresco, 1536-1541) 

 

Advent 6: Refuge

All we can do is take refuge in God.

 

12865046425_c13ece1dcf_o
Refuge from the storm!
An acorn woodpecker taking refuge from the wind and rain. Hamilton Airfield, Novato, California.
Photo: Mark Gunn

 

Sólo nos quedaba acudir a Dios.

 

Excerpt from Letter 219 to Padre Gaspar de Salazar, Granada; The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila 
Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D. (unless otherwise noted)
Published by ICS Publications, Washington DC 
Copyright © 1976 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.

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