Quote of the day: 14 November

Let us remember this one thing. Throughout his life, Christ was unsparing of himself in his zeal to save souls. Our saints have likewise been zealous to save souls. Consider Saint Thérèse, as she offered her walk in the garden for a missionary. All our saints have been passionate apostles. So, too, must we be. This morning, we are going to make an examination of conscience in this regard. Are we other Christs and other Apostles? Are we true Carmelites? Or, are we not merely living smugly? Are we completely committed to the apostolate and eager to give our all to the souls who await our help?

Do we live in such a way that Christ is not deeply disappointed in us? We want to take care not to shy away from suffering, not to speak impulsively, and not to seek a life of comfort. We want to take care to follow our Rule in its demanding details and not just in its broad outline. In a word, we want to avoid pretending to be Carmelites, and instead to be genuine Carmelites. A pseudo-Carmelite is a pseudo-apostle. In ten, fifteen or thirty more years, you will come before God to render an account of your life. Then, Christ will show you all the souls you should have saved. You will have no valid excuse and will have to reply: “I could not spare my sleep or I was tired…”

True Carmelites are committed to saving the world. Day by day they grow in prayerfulness and year-by-year they become living embodiments of our Rule and Constitutions. Admittedly, we may be far from perfect at the beginning of our religious life. However, once we have completed our apprenticeship, we must be the living embodiment of our Rule and Constitutions for no other reason than to work with Christ for the salvation of the world. Pray to our saints and to the Virgin Mary to help you to attain that goal. Amen.

Père Jacques of Jesus

Excerpt from a retreat conference
Saturday evening 11 September 1943

 

Père-Jacques-de-Jèsus_portrait-headshot
Servant of God Père Jacques of Jesus, OCD (Lucien Bunel) | Photo credit: Discalced Carmelites
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Jacques, P 2005, Listen to the silence: a retreat with Père Jacques, translated from the French  and edited by Murphy F, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

 

 

Quote of the day: 23 October

I am asking Him that you may be not on­ly a good missionary but a saint all on fire with the love of God and souls; I beg you to obtain also for me this love so that I may help you in your apostolic work.

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux

Letter 198 to Abbé Maurice Bellière
21 October 1896

 

Belliere-3
Abbé Maurice Bellière in the African missions with the Pères Blancs | Photo credit: Discalced Carmelites

Quote of the day: 25 September

Josefa_Naval_Girbés,_Leiga_e_Terciária_Carmelita_Descalça
Josefa Naval Girbés | Image credit: Discalced Carmelites

 

The Church intones a canticle of jubilation and praise to Christ for the beatification of Josefa Naval Girbés, a virgin, and a laywoman who dedicated her life to the apostolate in her native village Algemesi in the archdiocese of Valencia, Spain. A simple woman who was docile to the breath of the Spirit, throughout the course of her long life she reached the summit of Christian perfection, dedicated to the service of her neighbor, in times that were easy for no one in the 19th century, during which she lived and developed her intense apostolic activity…

A singular characteristic of Josefa was her secular status. She, who filled cloistered convents with her disciples, remained unmarried in the world, living the evangelical principles and being an example of Christian virtues for all those sons and daughters of the Church who “are by baptism made one body with Christ and… carry out for their own part the mission of the whole Christian people in the Church and in the world” (Lumen Gentium, 31).

Saint John Paul II

Homily for the Beatification of Six Servants of God
Saint Peter’s Square, 25 September 1988

Marie du jour: 24 May

True Carmelites are committed to saving the world

 

Day by day they grow in prayerfulness and year-by-year they become living embodiments of our Rule and Constitutions. Admittedly, we may be far from perfect at the beginning of our religious life. However, once we have completed our apprenticeship, we must be the living embodiment of our Rule and Constitutions for no other reason than to work with Christ for the salvation of the world. Pray to our saints and to the Virgin Mary to help you to attain that goal. Amen.

Père Jacques of Jesus, O.C.D.
The Apostolate
Retreat for the Carmel of Pontoise, Conference Thirteen 
Saturday evening, 11 September 1943

Holy Hill main church Erik Aldrich Flickr
A moment of personal reflection and prayer is captured by photographer Erik Aldrich inside the National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians in Holy Hill, the Discalced Carmelite church and retreat center in Hubertus, Wisconsin | pureimaginations / Flickr

 

Listen to the Silence - A Retreat with Père Jacques (pp. 104) Translated and edited by Francis J. Murphy ICS Publications © Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites, Inc.

Quote of the day: March 22

Whoever knows God (in the measure in which knowledge of God is possible through natural and supernatural light) cannot do other than love Him; whoever loves Him cannot do other than serve Him.

Thus, matters of mind and heart, achievement and act of will are living faith. He who knows how to awaken faith trains all faculties. But one can only awaken it when one also summons up all the faculties. This cannot be done through tedious intellectual instruction, but it also cannot be done through fanatic instruction which “appeals to the emotions”; on the contrary, this can be done only through a religious instruction which leads from the fullness of one’s own religious life to the depths of the Godhead, an instruction which is able to present God in His kindness; such instruction enkindles love and exacts proof through deed, and it may so challenge because one achieves this by oneself. Wherever the soul is enkindled, that soul itself longs for action; and it eagerly grasps the forms of practical life for which God and Holy Church have provided: participation in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, a participation which consummates the holy sacrifice as an offering in union with the Eucharistic Lord, festive praise of God, and all works of love in which Christ is served in the members of His Mystical Body. The entire abundance of the supernatural world of the spirit is opened to the soul thereby, and an inexhaustible abundance of formative material which enters into it is thus able to build up and transform it.

Saint Edith Stein

Excerpt from Fundamental Principles of Women’s Education
Published in Stimmen der Zeit, monthly review of contemporary intellectual life, March 1931, No. 6

Nat Farbman_BessonneauChildcare_LifeMagazine_Feb19449
Child care is provided by nuns from Catholic Sisters of Charity for the women workers of Bessonneau factory. This photo by photographer Nat Farbman appeared in a February, 1949 issue of LIFE magazine. Nat Farbman was born in 1907 in Poland and he arrived in the United States at the age of four. He began working as a freelance photographer while studying electrical engineering at the University of Santa Clara. During his fifteen years as a LIFE Magazine staff photographer, he was considered one of its most versatile practitioners. He died in 1988. | Kristine / Flickr 
Essays On Woman
Edited by Dr. Lucy Gelber and Romaeus Leuven, OCD; Translated by Freda Mary Oben, Ph.D.
The Collected Works of Edith Stein, Book 2 (p. 29)
ICS Publications, Washington D.C. © Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites, Inc.

See more photos from LIFE magazine photographer Nat Farbman here

Action and Contemplation: Beginning to Pray Blog

Many believe that action and contemplation are mutually exclusive efforts. Some argue that a prayerful life is an escape from the difficult effort of loving service. Others argue that the apostolic life lacks a certain depth and devotion to the Lord. Yet the greatest mystics never saw a tension between apostolic service and contemplative prayer — for them, it would be impossible to have one without the other.  The deeper into prayer they went, the greater their apostolic zeal. The more dedicated their love of neighbor, the more they relied on prayer for strength. How is it that these prayerful people did more than those who feel they are too busy for prayer?

In her retreat, Heaven in Faith #40, Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity looked to the Virgin Mary to resolve this paradox…

Explore the wisdom of Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity with Dr. Anthony Lilles

Twitter Jail announcement
Ahora bien, para que también ustedes sepan cómo me va y qué estoy haciendo…
I want you to know how I am getting along and what I am doing…

Triduum of Prayer for the Beatification of Chiquitunga – June 22

Everything you do or say, then, should be done in the name of the Lord Jesus, as you give thanks through him to God the Father.
(Colossians 3:17)

Resolution: To forgive whoever has offended me this day.

Maria Felicia, inspire thoughts of forgiveness in us for those who have offended us that we may be able to forgive as the Lord has forgiven us.

Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be

Blazon - first emblem authorized by Gracian

Closing Prayer

Most Holy Trinity:
Father Son and Holy Spirit,
you who are pleased to place your abode
in the heart of men:
we thank you for having lit the fire of your love
in Blessed Maria Felicia of the Blessed Sacrament,
urging her to spend her youth
in the lay apostolate
and to sacrifice herself for all
in the contemplative life.
We praise and bless you
because through an exemplary life
you show us your kindness as Father and Friend
and the total exigencies of true love.
We ask you to grant us, through her intercession,
the graces that we now ask of you,
if it is for your greater glory and good for souls.
Through Christ our Lord, Amen.

CHIQUITUNGA - Once you receive your call

Photo: Curia Generalizia Carmelitani Scalzi, Rome
Triduum prayers: @ChiquitungaOficial
Chiquitunga quotes translated by Heidi Cooper, OCDS

 

The Marie du jour – May 9

John’s unique apostolate was to remain close to the Virgin Mary

Consider those closest to Christ. Saint John the Apostle grasped what was indispensable for a clear understanding of his master. John never tired of probing and querying Christ. We can see how John thus gained richer insights and fuller explanations, precisely because he went to the bother of approaching and asking Christ to clarify each day’s lesson. I picture John, walking close behind Christ, as he made his way about the Holy Land. Thus, John came to gain a wealth of intimate knowledge, which the other apostles did not acquire. Herein lies the explanation for the special character of the fourth Gospel. While the other apostles traveled across the then known world on their missionary journeys, John’s unique apostolate was to remain close to the Virgin Mary, whom Christ had entrusted to him. Thus were these two great souls conjoined in love and prayer.

Père Jacques of Jesus, OCD

St John Leading Home his Adopted Mother 1842-60 by William Dyce 1806-1864
St John Leading Home His Adopted Mother
William Dyce (Scottish, 1806-1864)
Oil paint on paper, 1842-60
Tate (not on display)
Presented anonymously 1894
Learn more about this artwork

Thus were these two great souls conjoined in love and prayer.

Listen to the Silence - A Retreat with Père Jacques (p. 11)
Translated and edited by Francis J. Murphy
ICS Publications, © Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites, Inc.

 

 

 

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