Quote of the day: 29 December

Archbishop Rolando J. Tria Tirona, O.C.D., D.D.

Pastoral Letter for Holy Week 2014 (excerpts)

 

The Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ obtained for us the beautiful gift of New Life, personally and as a community. New Life means a new way of looking at the totality of life, a new manner of relationship with those around us, a new pattern of actions and a new impetus and direction for our day to day living. New Life proclaims the Sacredness of Life from its conception. The newness of this life is the person of Jesus Christ Himself who through His death and Resurrection made all things new and restored them to the Father. We are made new by the self-offering and sacrifice of Jesus on Calvary and by His glorious Resurrection (cf. Col. 3:1-4).

As believers of Jesus Christ, we joyfully welcome this gift of New Life through the sacrament of Baptism. We are vivified in this New Life through the Sacrament of Confirmation, and this New Life is nourished through the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. We are forgiven and healed through the Sacraments of Penance and of the Sick. This New Life drives our prophetic vocation to fight what is evil and unjust and to promote what is noble, true and just in our society. Whatever our status, profession and situations in this present life, we are all marked with the sign of Jesus Christ who has given up His life for our salvation.

My brother and sisters in Christ, it is up to us to benefit from the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. It is up to us to allow the Risen Christ to influence our person. It is up to us to follow the way to the New Life. Jesus proclaims:  I am the way, the truth and the life (Jn 14:6).

May our INA, the Mother who endured most of the sufferings of her Son, strengthen us always and lead us to the experience of the joy of her Son’s glorious Resurrection.

Rolando J. Tria Tirona, O.C.D., D.D.

Archbishop of Caceres, Philippines

 

 

Rolando_Tria_Tirona_Coat_of_Arms

 

The coat of arms of Archbishop Rolando Octavus Joven Tria Tirana consists of his personal arms joined to that of the Diocese of Malolos, the Prelature of Infanta, and the Archdiocese of Caceres.

The upper portion of the coat of arms is the rising sun against a white background. The sun represents Jesus, the Sun of justice, who dispels the darkness of sin and bondage by His Resurrection. The sun’s yellow color, together with its rays, symbolizes the vigor and enthusiasm with which a servant-leader is called to serve his flock. Taken together, the white and yellow colors represent the Papal flag which suggests the bishop’s sharing in the office of the Apostles as well as the universal scope to which he gives himself without reserve.

The lower portion of the coat of arms has two sections.

The right section bears three cotton flowers, Bulak in Filipino, which stand for the province of Bulacan where the Archbishop has served as the third residential Bishop of the Diocese of Malolos, and the image of the Infant Jesus of Prague, a devotion spread by the Carmelites and to which the Archbishop has a special devotion, and representing the Prelature of Infanta where the Archbishop served as the third residential Bishop as well.

The left section bears the shield of the Order of the Discalced Carmelites, of which the new Archbishop is a member.

It features a mountain crowned with the Cross and flanked with three stars of David. The mountain represents the privileged place of encounter between God and His people. The mountain is Carmel home to the prophets and mystics and all who strive the interior life. Mary stands out as Queen and Beauty of this mystical mountain.

The Cross symbolizes the centrality of Jesus for Carmel and for the new Archbishop’s ministry. The three stars symbolize the priorities the Archbishop has outlined: the star at the base represents intimacy and union with God; the star on the left represents collaborative ministry for the Church of the Poor, and finally for the right represents a concern for the gift of creation.

The mountain is colored brown, symbolizing deep solidarity for all that is human. The stars are colored gold indicating the nobility and dignity of Christian vocation. All these are set against a cream background to symbolize simplicity and single-heartedness.

At the base of the mountain is the word INA (Mother) the endearing term used to express singular devotion and love for Our Lady of Penafrancia, the Patroness and Mother of the Archdiocese of Caceres. The word INA calls to mind the Carmelite Doctor of the Church, St. Therese of the Child Jesus who exclaimed: For me, Mary is more Mother than Queen! The letters that make up the word INA are Pili nuts typical and well known in the Bicol Region.

The motto is Christi Sumus which means We belong to the Lord or in Filipino Tayo’y kay Kristo and in Bicolano:  ‘Kita ki Kristo. This is the constant reminder of St. Paul: Whether we live or we die, we belong to the Lord (Rom 14:8) expressing our belongingness to Jesus Christ and the communitarian thrust which must imbue every pastor’s mission in proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ.

 


Archbishop Rolando J. Tria Tirona, O.C.D., D.D. celebrates the 25th anniversary of his episcopal ordination on 29 December 2019 in Saint John the Evangelist Metropolitan Cathedral, Naga City, Philippines, the second Discalced Carmelite from the Philippines to serve in the episcopal ministry. We wish to congratulate him on his anniversary and thank him for his many years of service to God’s people.

You may view the significant dates in his episcopal ministry and the principal consecrators at his episcopal ordination here. You can view a full-sized image of his episcopal coat of arms here. His biography on the website of the Archdiocese of Caceres is found here. More information about his anniversary is found on the Facebook page of the Archdiocese of Caceres here.

Quote of the day: 5 December

750th Anniversary

Scapular Catechesis

 

The following catechesis was prepared in the year 2000 under the direction of the North American prior provincials of the Carmelite Order and the Order of Discalced Carmelites as the Carmelite Family prepared to celebrate the 750th anniversary of the Brown Scapular. The draft was prepared by Father Sam Anthony Morello, O.C.D. and Father Patrick McMahon, O.Carm. and was then submitted to the Archdiocesan authorities in Washington, D.C. for the imprimatur of the then archbishop, Cardinal James Hickey. After several minor modifications, the Imprimatur was granted. The following is the revised and approved text. It was published as part of The Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel: Catechesis and Ritual. We share the preamble; the full text may be found here and here. The publication of the text for the 750th anniversary follows the 5 December 1994 decision in a joint meeting of the Discalced Carmelite General Definitory and the General Council of the Ancient Observance to prepare a new scapular catechesis that would become a common text for both orders. Today marks the 25th anniversary of that decision, which was significant in the life of the Carmelite family.

 


 

The Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is best understood in the context of our Catholic faith. It offers us a rich spiritual tradition that honors Mary as the first and foremost of her Son’s disciples. This scapular is an outward sign of the protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our sister, mother, and queen. It offers an effective symbol of Mary’s protection to the Order of Carmel its members, associates, and affiliates as they strive to fulfill their vocation as defined by the Carmelite Rule of Saint Albert: “to live in allegiance to Jesus Christ.”

While Christ alone has redeemed us, the Blessed Virgin Mary has always been seen by Catholics as a loving mother and protector. The Blessed Virgin has shown her patronage over the Order of Carmel from its earliest days. This patronage and protection came to be symbolized in the scapular, the essential part of the Carmelite habit.

Stories and legends abound in Carmelite tradition about the many ways in which the Mother of God has interceded for the Order, especially in critical moments of its history. Most enduring and popular of these traditions, blessed by the Church, concerns Mary’s promise to an early Carmelite, Saint Simon Stock, that anyone who remains faithful to the Carmelite vocation until death will be granted the grace of final perseverance. The Carmelite Order has been anxious to share this patronage and protection with those who are devoted to the Mother of God and so has extended both its habit (the scapular) and affiliation to the larger Church.

Private revelation can neither add to nor detract from the Church’s deposit of faith. Therefore, the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel echoes the promise of Divine Revelation: The one who holds out to the end is the one who will see salvation (Matthew 24:13), and Remain faithful unto death and I will give you the crown of life (Revelation 2:10). The Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is a reminder to its wearers of the saving grace which Christ gained upon the cross for all: All you who have been baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves in him (Galatians 3:27). There is no salvation for anyone other than that won by Christ. The Sacraments mediate this saving grace to the faithful. The sacramentals, including the scapular, do not mediate this saving grace but prepare us to receive grace and dispose us to cooperate with it. As the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches:

Sacramentals do not confer the grace of the Holy Spirit in the way that the sacraments do, but by the Church’s prayer they prepare us to receive grace and dispose us to cooperate with it. For well-disposed members of the faithful, the liturgy of the sacraments and sacramentals sanctifies almost every event of their lives with the divine grace which flows form the Paschal mystery of the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ. From this source all sacraments and sacramentals draw their power. (CCC 1670)

We see, therefore, that the Church clearly teaches that all grace, including that of final perseverance, is won for us by the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of the Lord. Simply wearing the Brown Scapular does not confer that same result.

 

Scapular Vision Shrine Aylesford gbcarmelite Flickr 7141273775_ba0de9914c_o
Scapular vision shrine (detail) Aylesford Priory, England | gbcarmelite / Flickr

 

Quote of the day: 28 September

Dear Little Therese,

I was seventeen when I read your autobiography.

It struck me forcibly. You called it ‘The story of a little flower’. To me the will-power, courage, and decisiveness it showed made it seem more like the story of a piece of steel. Once you had chosen the path of complete dedication to God, nothing could stop you: not illness, nor opposition from outside, nor inner confusion and darkness.

I remember the time I was ill and sent to a sanatorium, in the days before penicillin and antibiotics, when death awaited pretty well anyone who was sent to the hospital. I was ashamed of myself for feeling a little afraid.

‘At the age of twenty-three,’ I said to myself, ‘Therese, who until then had been healthy and full of vitality, was filled with joy and hope when she first spat blood. Not only thatbut when her health improved she got permission to end her fast with a diet of dry bread and water. And you’re almost trembling! You’re a priest! Don’t be silly!’

 

John Paul 1 receives cardinals cap
Archbishop Albino Luciani of Venice receives the Cardinal’s cap from St. Paul VI in the Consistory for the Nomination of New Cardinals on Monday, 5 March 1973 | Photo credit: albino-luciani.com

 

Reading it again, on the centenary of your birth (1873 to 1973), what now strikes me most is the way in which you loved God and your neighbor.

St. Augustine wrote: ‘We reach God, not by walking, but through love.’ You also called your road ‘the way of love’. Christ said: ‘No one comes to me unless my Father calls him’.

You were perfectly in tune with these words, feeling ‘like a bird without strength and without wings’, and seeing in God an eagle who came down to carry you off on high, on its wings. You called divine grace ‘the lifter’, which carried you to God swiftly and easily, since you were ‘too small to climb the harsh ladder of perfection’.

I said ’easily’, but let me make it clear: I meant it only in one way.

In anotherwell in the final months of your life your soul felt as if it was going down a kind of dark passage, seeing nothing of what it had once seen clearly. ‘Faith’, you wrote, ‘is no longer a veil but a wall’. Your physical sufferings were so great that you said, ‘If I had not had faith, I would have chosen death’.

In spite of that you kept saying to the Lord you loved, saying with your will alone, ‘I sing of the happiness of Paradise, but without any feeling of joy; I sing simply because I want to believe’. Your last words were: ‘My God, I love You’.

To the merciful love of God you offered yourself as a victim. All this did not prevent you from enjoying what was good and beautiful. Before your final illness you loved painting, and wrote poetry and short plays on religious subjects, taking some of the parts yourself and showing quite a talent for acting.

In the last stage of your illness, when you felt briefly better, you asked for some chocolates. You had no fear of your own imperfections, not even of having sometimes slept during meditation, out of weariness (‘mothers love their children, even when they are asleep’).

Loving your neighbor, you tried to serve others in small, useful ways, but to do so unobserved; and you preferred, if anything, to do this for people who irritated you, those you understood least. Behind their unlikeable faces you sought the beloved face of Christ.

And no one noticed these efforts of yours. ‘How mystical she was in chapel, and at her work’, the prioress wrote of you, ‘At other times she was very amusing, full of fun and making us laugh uproariously at recreation’.

Joy mixed with Christian love appears in the song of the angels at Bethlehem. It is part of the essence of the Gospel which means ‘good news’. It is characteristic of the saints. Joy may become perfect charity if it is shared, as in fact, dear St. Therese, you shared yours at recreation in the convent.

Therese, the love you gave God (and your neighbor for love of God) was really worthy of Him. This is how our love should be: a flame fed by all that’s great and fine in ourselves; a rejection of all that is refractory in us; and a victory that carries us on its wings and takes us as a gift to the feet of God.

These few lines certainly don’t contain the whole of your message to Christians, but they are enough to point out a few things to us.

Archbishop Albino Luciani
Patriarch of Venice

 

John Paul 1 general audience Summer Vining collection
Pope John Paul I (17 October 1912 — 28 September 1978) | SRE Collection (used with permission)

 

This letter to St. Therese of Lisieux is one of the series of Illustrissimi letters that Archbishop Luciani wrote regularly in a column for the Messaggero di San Antonio magazine. They were published in 1976 and are still available from booksellers in Italian and several translations, including English. We thank the whitesmokeahoy blog for publishing this excerpt from the publication.

Quote of the day: 8 September

From the Yellow Notebook of Mother Agnès of Jesus
September 8

A little robin came and landed on her bed.

Léonie sent her the little music box we have preserved, and the tunes were so sweet, even though they were popular music, that she listened to them with pleasure.

Finally, someone brought her a bouquet of wildflowers for the an­niversary of her Profession. Seeing herself so loaded with gifts, she wept with gratitude and said:

“It’s all God’s tenderness towards me: exteriorly, I’m loaded with gifts; interiorly, I’m always in my trial (of faith) . . . but also in peace.”

 

European Robin 8291616@N08 Flickr 6406283467_c6bfe20050_o
Robin Redbreast lives in Lancaster, England | carol / Flickr

Quote of the day: 3 June

Pocock, Nicholas, 1740-1821; The Frigate 'Triton'
The Frigate ‘Triton’
Nicholas Pocock (British, 1740–1821)
Oil on canvas, 1797
National Maritime Museum, London
Photo credit: National Maritime Museum / ArtUK

 

we had the happiness of going to com[muni]on, the Same hour as before. mr neale receiv’d it from mr P. after having given it to us. the weather fine wind fair, some part of the day was almost a calm. I was dressed in a fine Silk petticoat and a chince jacket th[a]t had been given me in alms w[hi]ch was So becoming & made me look So Extraordinarily fine th[a]t all my companions were jealous of me.

Mother Clare Joseph of the Sacred Heart, O.C.D.
(Frances Dickinson, 1755-1830)
Journal of a Trip to America, 3rd June 1790

 

Mother-Frances-Dickinson_Port-Tobacco
Mother Clare Joseph of the Sacred Heart, O.C.D.
(Frances Dickinson, 1755-1830)

 

Mother Clare Joseph of the Sacred Heart, O.C.D. was one of four foundresses of the Teresian Carmel in the United States of America in the summer of 1790. To her fell the task of keeping a daily journal of their ocean voyage aboard the three-masted, square-sailed, merchant frigate Brothers from Texel, Netherlands — departing 25 April — to New York, where they arrived on “friday Morning the 2d of July”. Although she makes no mention of it in her diary entry on the third of June, Mother Clare Joseph was quietly celebrating the anniversary of her profession in the Carmel of Antwerp on 3 June 1773. As for the mention of the petticoat and jacket: the nuns traveled in civilian attire.

 

The Carmelite Adventure: Clare Joseph Dickinson's Journal of a Trip to America and Other Documents 
Edited by Constance FitzGerald, O.C.D.
© 1990 Constance FitzGerald and the Carmelite Sisters of Baltimore

Marie du jour: 17 May

Oh! but, the Blessed Virgin was the strong woman, the Virgin pure; Jesus filled her heart completely, which overflowed with fire and flames, she had Heaven within her… But this is the strong woman par excellence, and she hid all this in her heart, and nothing showed on the outside. Me, I am weak…

Saint Mary of Jesus Crucified (Mariam Baouardy)
Cahiers Réservés, Cahier 5

Holy_Land_2016_P0613_Bethlehem_Carmel_st._Joseph_chapel_side_altar (2)
Reine du Carmel, Side altar in St. Joseph Chapel at Bethlehem Carmel (detail) | fallaner / Wikimedia Commons

Saint Mariam was canonized by Pope  Francis on 17 May 2015 at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. A native Palestinian from Galilee, she was a foundress of the Discalced Carmelite monasteries of Nazareth and Bethlehem in the 19th century. Learn more about the Saint of the Bethlehem Carmel here

TERESA AVILA - Once while I was praying near the Bl Sacr
Once while I was praying near the Blessed Sacrament, a saint appeared to me whose order was somewhat fallen. He held in his hands a great book. He opened it and told me to read some large and very legible letters. This is what they said. “In the time to come this order will flourish; it will have many martyrs.” (The Book of Her Life, Chap. 40)

Quote of the day: 12 March

We will reach that city of Jerusalem, where all that has been suffered will be little, or nothing, in comparison with what is enjoyed.

Things pertaining to prayer and perfection are, because of our own sins, so discredited in the world that it’s necessary for me to explain myself the way I do. If even without seeing danger people fear to walk this path of prayer, what would happen if we mentioned some of the danger?

Although, truthfully, there is danger in everything, and, while we live, we have to proceed with fear and ask the Lord to teach us and not abandon us. But, as I believe I once said, if some danger can be lacking, there is much less of it for those who turn their thoughts more to God and strive for perfection in their lives.

Since, my Lord, we see that You often free us from the dangers in which we place ourselves, even in opposition to You, how can one believe that You will fail to free us when we aim after nothing more than to please You and delight in You? Never can I believe this! It could be that because of other secret judgments God might permit some things that must happen anyway. But good never brought about evil.

Thus, may what I have said help us strive to walk better along the road so as to please our Spouse more and find Him sooner, but not make us abandon it; and encourage us to walk with fortitude along a road that has such rugged mountain passes, as does that of this life, but not intimidate us from walking through them. For, in the final analysis, by proceeding with humility, through the mercy of God, we will reach that city of Jerusalem, where all that has been suffered will be little, or nothing, in comparison with what is enjoyed.

Saint Teresa of Avila
The Book of Her Foundations, Chapter 4

Teresa-StPetersBasilica
On 12 March 1622, Saint Teresa is canonized by Pope Gregory XV along with Saints Isidore, Ignatius Loyola, Francis Xavier, and Philip Neri

 

The Book of Her Foundations: Chapter 4; 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.

Adieu Céline

The 24th of February is the anniversary of the profession of Céline Martin, Sr. Geneviève of the Holy Face, in 1896 and the vigil of her death in 1959. We have translated for our readers an extract from Céline’s biography on the website of the Carmel of Lisieux’s archives.

Céline Martin
Sr. Geneviève of the Holy Face, OCD

The Chaplain brought her Holy Communion. Since he had sent his best wishes for the occasion to her in a letter, she thanked him with a smile. She did not stop admiring two beautiful wreaths of flowers providentially offered to the monastery’s portresses on the day before.

In the morning, a choking crisis ensued, accompanied by a disturbing decline in blood pressure. In the doctor’s judgment, the danger was imminent. Despite her weakness and collapse, the dying nun completely retained her lucidity.

Later that afternoon, she asked the Sister who was treating her to come to over so that she could tell her: “I truly believe that this time, it’s the real thing. Oh ! What happiness!” As they were about to give her an injection, she said softly, “Why don’t you let the lamp go out slowly, since I’m not suffering and everything is peaceful?”

With her Sisters continually and prayerfully keeping watch by her bedside, she had a peaceful night, happy with the deliverance drawing nigh. At dawn, she was a bit restless, but without any suffering.

“It really is today,” said the Mother Prioress.

“Today!” she repeated, as if she was savoring her joy.

“Yes, you fight, it’s a hard fight! But you will have the victory because Jesus is with you.”

In a tone of triumph, a blurry look in her eyes, but extremely lucid, Sister Genevieve continued: “Jesus!”

That was her last word. She expressed the tenderness of her entire life.

Today! — Jesus!

There were light beads of perspiration on her forehead. Her face, however, remained peaceful, almost radiant. Around 9:00 a.m., the community recited the Act of Offering to Merciful Love. Communicating through signs, the patient showed that she was united to them in the prayer. As the doctor arrived, all the nuns withdrew.

It was then that, stopping suddenly, Sister Geneviève straightened up on her pillows, her eyes wide open and filled with light, staring up above in an attitude of sweet joy. The doctor, impressed, knelt down, then faded into the background, realizing that it was the end. The Community returned immediately and was able to contemplate this spectacle which lasted from eight to ten minutes.

There was in the dying nun a sort of majesty, a sovereign tranquility, where one could read in her face the certainty of the tender welcome that her Father would give her. The support remained firm, the head remained upright, even in death. Only the breath that went out imperceptibly, and a slight contraction of the throat, marked her passing.

It was Wednesday, the 25th of February 1959, at 9:25 a.m. Sister Geneviève of the Holy Face was eighty-nine years and ten months old.

Excerpted and translated from the French. To read the complete biography, click here


Discover more from Flaviane Montenegro on Instagram at @flavimontenegro

sabeth - the sunday of epiphany igsize
On January 11, 1903, the feast of the Epiphany, after 13 months of novitiate, Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity, unanimously accepted by her community, was consecrated to God for eternity through her religious profession as a Discalced Carmelite nun in the Carmel of Dijon, France.
MERTON - There is no member of the Church - Carmel IN forest FBcover (2)
Thomas Merton, monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani (in religion, Father Louis, O.C.S.O.), born January 31, 1915; died December 10, 1968

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