Quote of the day: 22 April

It’s not easy to let yourself  be surprised by God

We must accept that God surprises us, that he intervenes in our lives producing unexpected changes, opening unprecedented horizons, removing insurmountable obstacles. They are changes that surprise us and the newness is disconcerting and makes us afraid, as well as the changes that God brings us and the innovation that God asks of us. Sometimes they are such drastic changes in life that we feel disoriented; sometimes they are risks that we have to take – and from which we would like to flee. They are God’s surprises. Although we cannot explain some situations that we experience – and with our limited understanding, we don’t find any logical explanation – we always trust in the God who surprises us by acting unexpectedly. It’s not easy to let yourself be surprised by God. It requires a high dose of trust in his love. But it is better to abandon ourselves into his hands, even without understanding, than to be paralyzed by fear or enslaved to security and nostalgia that deceive us.

Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.
Homily for the Easter Vigil
21 April 2019

EasterVigil2019_01_withkiddies
Vigilia Pascual | Esquipula, Managua | Easter Vigil
Photo: @sj.baez

No es fácil dejarse sorprender por Dios

Hay que aceptar que Dios nos sorprende, que interviene en nuestra vida produciendo cambios inesperados, abriendo horizontes inéditos, quitando obstáculos insalvables. Son cosas nuevas que nos sorprenden y la novedad disconcierta y nos da miedo, también la novedad que Dios nos trae, la novedad que Dios nos pide. A veces son cambios tan drásticos en la vida que nos sentimos como desorientados, a veces son riesgos que hay que correr de los que quisiéramos huir. Son las sorpresas de Dios. Aunque no logremos explicar algunas situaciones que vivimos y con nuestra limitada razón no le encontremos lógica alguna, tengamos confianza siempre en el Dios que nos sorprende actuando inesperadamente. No es fácil dejarse sorprender por Dios. Se requiere una alta dosis de confianza en su amor. Pero es mejor abandonarnos en sus manos, aun sin comprender, que quedarnos paralizados por el miedo o esclavizados a seguridades y nostalgias engañosas.

Monseñor Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.
Homilía de la Vigilia Pascual
20 de abril de 2019


On Easter Sunday 21 April 2019, Silvio José Báez, O.C.D., who is the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Managua, said goodbye to the faithful as he moves to Rome at the request of Pope Francis to assume a new ministry. The Discalced Carmelite friar explained that he knows from personal experience in this transition that it is better to choose the path of abandonment than to cling to false security and nostalgia that does nothing but deceive and disappoint. He does not know yet what his new post will be, nor for how long he will be away from the archdiocese.

The blogger serves as the English translator for Bishop Báez in social media. This translation is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission. 

Quote of the day: 5 April

Just as the grain that dies in the earth is the beginning and origin of many others, in the same way the death of the first missionaries to the Congo in the ocean was the cause of many religious who offered themselves to the Father Provincial, with letters full of urgent pleading to go and take their places in the Congo.

Anonymous Portuguese historian

Chronicle of the disastrous end of the first Discalced Carmelite mission
Efemérides Carmelitanas 

FIRST CARMELITE MISSIONARY EXCURSION SHIPS Portuguese_Carracks_off_a_Rocky_Coast
Portuguese Carracks Off a Rocky Coast
Joachim Patinir (circle of) circa 1540

Six months before her death, Saint Teresa of Avila sent the first Discalced Carmelite friars on a mission to a foreign shore. On 5 April 1582 King Philip II of Spain went to the port of Lisbon to personally bid farewell to the missionaries on board the Portuguese carrack (não) San Antonio headed to the Congo. The king himself gave the signal to the ships to cut the moorings and hoist the anchors at 6:00 in the morning. Tragically, the San Antonio sank and all on board perished.

Luz de Cristo para toda la Iglesia chilena

Dios ha hecho brillar en ella de modo admirable la luz de su Hijo Jesucristo

Luz de Cristo para toda la Iglesia chilena es Sor Teresa de los Andes, Teresa de Jesús, carmelita descalza y primicia de santidad del Carmelo Teresiano de América Latina, que hoy es incorporada al número de los Santos de la Iglesia universal.

Al igual que en la primera lectura que hemos escuchado del libro de Samuel, la figura de Teresa sobresale no por “ su apariencia ni su gran estatura ”. “ La mirada de Dios – nos dice el libro sagrado – no es como la mirada del hombre, pues el hombre mira las apariencias, pero el Señor mira el corazón ”. Por eso, en su joven vida de poco más de 19 años, en sus once meses de carmelita, Dios ha hecho brillar en ella de modo admirable la luz de su Hijo Jesucristo, para que sirva de faro y guía a un mundo que parece cegarse con el resplandor de lo divino.

La vida de la bienaventurada Teresa grita quedamente desde el claustro:

“ ¡Sólo Dios basta! ”

A una sociedad secularizada, que vive de espaldas a Dios, esta carmelita chilena, que con vivo gozo presento como modelo de la perenne juventud del Evangelio, ofrece el límpido testimonio de una existencia que proclama a los hombres y mujeres de hoy que en el amar, adorar y servir a Dios están la grandeza y el gozo, la libertad y la realización plena de la criatura humana. La vida de la bienaventurada Teresa grita quedamente desde el claustro: “ ¡Sólo Dios basta! ”.

Y lo grita especialmente a los jóvenes, hambrientos de verdad y en búsqueda de una luz que dé sentido a sus vidas. A una juventud solicitada por los continuos mensajes y estímulos de una cultura erotizada, y a una sociedad que confunde el amor genuino, que es donación, con la utilización hedonista del otro, esta joven virgen de los Andes proclama hoy la belleza y bienaventuranza que emana de los corazones puros.

Cuando quiero, es para siempre. Una carmelita no olvida jamás. Desde su pequeña celda acompaña a las almas que en el mundo quiso.

En su tierno amor a Cristo Teresa encuentra la esencia del mensaje cristiano: amar, sufrir, orar, servir. En el seno de su familia aprendió a amar a Dios sobre todas las cosas. Y al sentirse posesión exclusiva de su Creador, su amor al prójimo se hace aún más intenso y definitivo. Así lo afirma en una de sus cartas: “ Cuando quiero, es para siempre. Una carmelita no olvida jamás. Desde su pequeña celda acompaña a las almas que en el mundo quiso ”.

Su encendido amor lleva a Teresa a desear sufrir con Jesús y como Jesús: “ Sufrir y amar, como el cordero de Dios que lleva sobre sí los pecados del mundo ” – nos dice –. Ella quiere ser hostia inmaculada ofrecida en sacrificio continuo y silencioso por los pecadores. “ Somos corredentoras del mundo – dirá más adelante – y la redención de las almas no se efectúa sin cruz ”.

La carmelita es hermana del sacerdote

La joven Santa chilena fue eminentemente un alma contemplativa. Durante largas horas junto al tabernáculo y ante la cruz que presidía su celda, ora y adora, suplica y expía por la redención del mundo, animando con la fuerza del Espíritu el apostolado de los misioneros y, en especial, el de los sacerdotes. “ La carmelita – nos dirá – es hermana del sacerdote ”. Sin embargo, ser contemplativa como María de Betania no exime a Teresa de servir como Marta. En un mundo donde se lucha sin denuedo por sobresalir, por poseer y dominar, ella nos enseña que la felicidad está en ser la última y la servidora de todos, siguiendo el ejemplo de Jesús, que no vino a ser servido sino a servir y a dar su vida en redención de muchos.

Ahora, desde la eternidad, Santa Teresa de los Andes continúa intercediendo como abogada de un sin fin de hermanos y hermanas. La que encontró su cielo en la tierra desposando a Jesús, lo contempla ahora sin velos ni sombras, y desde su inmediata cercania intercede por quienes buscan la luz de Cristo.

San Juan Pablo II

Extractos de la homilía de San Juan Pablo II para la canonización de Teresa de Jesús de los Andes y Claudine Thévenet
21 de marzo de 1993

TERESA ANDES - Santuario Auco Church IGsize
Perdóname | Santuario Santa Teresa de los Andes | Claudio Quezada Ibáñez / Flickr

Quote of the day: 20 March

In order that God might give His grace to those who do not or cannot ask it, or who do not wish to ask it, He enjoined us to pray for one another, so that we might be saved (Jas 5:16f). If God gave the grace of conversion to St. Augustine, it was due to the prayers of St. Monica; nor would the church have St. Paul, according to one of the fathers, were it not for the prayers of St. Stephen.

Blessed Francis Palau y Quer
(29 December 1811 20 March 1872)
From the spiritual writings of Blessed Francis Palau

Blessed-francisco-palau-y-quer
Portrait of Blessed Francis Palau y Quer based on a photograph from the period | Wikipedia

Read more from the spiritual writings of Blessed Francis Palau y Quer here

Fiesta de san José. Reflexión sobre el tema vocacional — Teresa, de la rueca a la pluma

Daniel de Pablo Maroto, ocd “La Santa” (Ávila)

La Fiesta de San José evoca, entre otros sentimientos, el recuerdo del “día del seminario” donde se educan los futuros sacerdotes. Con ese motivo, ofrezco unas reflexiones sobre las “vocaciones” sacerdotales y religiosas, tan escasas en tiempo de sequía de la fe cristiana, un hecho alarmante […]

via Fiesta de san José. Reflexión sobre el tema vocacional — Teresa, de la rueca a la pluma

El Cántico Espiritual de san Juan de la Cruz y la Laudato si’ del Papa Francisco — Orden de Carmelitas Descalzos

El Cántico Espiritual de san Juan de la Cruz y la Laudato si’ del Papa Francisco

P. Antonio Barrios, carmelita teresiano

1) Introducción

Voy a utilizar el Cántico B, por ser la última redacción donde el santo precisó algunos puntos en base a su experiencia y enseñanza. El mismo Juan de la Cruz dice en…

via El Cántico Espiritual de san Juan de la Cruz y la Laudato si’ del Papa Francisco — Orden de Carmelitas Descalzos

La espiritualidad del desierto — Teresa, de la rueca a la pluma

Anna Seguí, ocd Puçol Desierto de las Palmas (Castellón), 1- abril, 2017 Introducción “Yo la voy a enamorar: la llevaré al desierto y le hablaré al corazón” (Os 2,14). Con estas palabras del profeta Oseas, quiero suavizar un poco la hostilidad que evoca la palabra desierto, como lugar improductivo, capaz de tragarnos, hasta hacernos morir. […]

via La espiritualidad del desierto — Teresa, de la rueca a la pluma

Valladolild madonna
Statue featured in the exhibition, “Santa Teresa de Jesús y San Juan de la Cruz: El Encuentro” in Valladolid, Autumn 2014 | Ha sido presentado en el Museo de las Ferias de Medina del Campo el Catálogo de la exposición “Santa Teresa de Jesús y San Juan de la Cruz: El encuentro”. El acto de presentación ha contado con la presencia de varios de los autores de los estudios y fichas catalográficas. | Fotografía: Ángel Cantero | 25-11-2014 Iglesia de Valladolid / Flickr

 

Bajo tu amparo nos acogemos,
santa Madre de Dios;
no deseches las oraciones
que te dirigimos
en nuestras necesidades,
antes bien
líbranos de todo peligro,
¡oh Virgen gloriosa y bendita!

Amén.

No sea boba

Yo le digo que no sea boba, ni ande con temores que acobarden el alma. Dele a Dios lo que le ha dado y le da cada día, que parece quiere ella medir a Dios a la medida de su capacidad. Pues no ha de ser así. Aparéjese que le quiere Dios hacer una gran merced.

San Juan de la Cruz
A la M. Ana de san Alberto, OCD, Priora de Caravaca
Epistolario 3, 1582

Juan_writing
San Juan de la Cruz

Almas paras Dios

¡Almas, almas paras Dios!

¡No quiero que se condenen!

¡Señor, ayúdame a conseguirlo!

Beata Josefa Naval Girbés
Miembro de la Tercera Orden del Carmelo Teresiano
11.12.1820 – 24.2.1893

Josepha-Naval-Girbes_portrait
La Beata Pepa

Quote of the day: 22 February

Being in prayer on the feastday of the glorious St. Peter, I saw or, to put it better, I felt Christ beside me; I saw nothing with my bodily eyes or with my soul, but it seemed to me that Christ was at my side — I saw that it was He, in my opinion, who was speaking to me.

Valladolid-adoration
Ángel Cantero / Iglesia en Valladolid

Since I was completely unaware that there could be a vision like this one, it greatly frightened me in the beginning; I did nothing but weep. However, by speaking one word alone to assure me, the Lord left me feeling as I usually did: quiet, favored, and without any fear. It seemed to me that Jesus Christ was always present at my side; but since this wasn’t an imaginative vision, I didn’t see any form.

Yet I felt very clearly that He was always present at my right side and that He was the witness of everything I did. At no time in which I was a little recollected, or not greatly distracted, was I able to ignore that He was present at my side.

Yet I felt very clearly that He was always present at my right side and that He was the witness of everything I did.

I immediately went very anxiously to my confessor to tell him. He asked me in what form I saw Him. I answered that I didn’t see Him. He asked how I knew that it was Christ.

I answered that I didn’t know how, but that I couldn’t help knowing that He was beside me, that I saw and felt Him clearly, that my recollection of soul was greater, and that I was very continuously in the prayer of quiet, that the effects were much different from those I usually experienced, and that it was very clear.

It seemed to me that Jesus Christ was always present at my side

8477537711_ccf29a7ae7_m
Ángel Cantero / Iglesia en Valladolid

I could do nothing but draw comparisons in order to explain myself. And, indeed, there is no comparison that fits this kind of vision very well. Since this vision is among the most sublime (as I was afterward told by a very holy and spiritual man, whose name is Friar Peter of Alcántara and of whom I shall speak later, and by other men of great learning) and the kind in which the devil can interfere the least of all, there are no means by which those of us who know little here below can explain it. Learned men will explain it better.

I couldn’t help knowing that He was beside me
I saw and felt Him clearly
my recollection of soul was greater
I was very continuously in the prayer of quiet
the effects were much different
it was very clear

The Book of Her Life: Chapter 27; 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.
JUANdelaCRUZ - The soul lives where it loves SPANISH
Mas ¿cómo perseveras, ¡oh vida!,
no viviendo donde vives?
Para cuya inteligencia es de saber que el alma más vive donde ama que en el cuerpo donde anima, porque en el cuerpo ella no tiene su vida, antes ella la da al cuerpo, y ella vive por amor en lo que ama.
Cántico Espiritual (CB): Canción 8
JUAN dela CRUZ - For he truly loves you SPANISH IGsize
San Juan de la Cruz
Epistolario 15. – A la M. Leonor de san Gabriel, OCD, en Córdoba
De Segovia y julio 8 de 1589

 

Quote of the day: 9 February

SAINT TERESA OF AVILA
Spiritual Testimonies, No. 6
(Malagón, Feb. 9, 1570)

Our Lord encourages her to make more foundations and to write their history

Right after I received Communion, on the second day of Lent, in St. Joseph’s at Malagón, our Lord Jesus Christ appeared to me in an imaginative vision, as He usually does.

While I was gazing upon Him, I saw in place of the crown of thorns a crown of great brilliance on His head, there where the wounds must have been made.

Since I am devoted to this episode of the Passion, I was very much consoled and began to think how great the torment must have been since there were so many wounds; and I became afflicted. The Lord told me that I shouldn’t grieve over those wounds, but over the many that were now inflicted upon Him. I asked Him what I could do as a remedy for this because I was determined to do everything I could.

He told me that now was not the time for rest, but that I should hurry to establish these houses

He told me that now was not the time for rest, but that I should hurry to establish these houses; that He found his rest with the souls living in them; that I should accept as many houses as given me since there were many persons who did not serve Him because they had no place for it; that those houses I founded in small towns should be like this one, for, by desire, as much could be merited as in the other houses; that I should strive to put all the houses under the government of a superior; that I should insist that the interior peace not be lost through a concern for bodily sustenance; that He would help us so nothing would be lacking; that the sick especially should be cared for; that a prioress who did not provide for and favor the sick was like Job’s friends; that He made use of the scourge for the good of souls, and that in such an event they should practice patience;

and that I should write about the foundation of these houses.

I thought of how in regard to the house at Medina I never understood anything in a way that I could write of its foundation. He told me that that was all the more reason to write of it since He wanted it to be seen that the Medina foundation had been miraculous. He meant that He alone founded that house since it had seemed absolutely impossible to found.

And as a result I decided to write about the founding of these houses.

Convento de la Imagen (Alcalá de Henares) Lintel
Convento de la Imagen (Alcalá de Henares)
Llamado oficialmente como convento de Carmelitas Descalzas de la Concepción, se asienta sobre el renacentista palacio del marqués de Lanzarote, con portada obra de Covarrubias del siglo XVI.
Photo: santiago lopez-pastor

With profound gratitude to the translator, Father Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D., who with his Spanish collaborator Father Otilio Rodriguez is the sine qua non of all of the texts of St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross that we publish on this blog. Father Kieran died 2 February 2019, just days shy of his 91st birthday. His funeral Mass is celebrated today, 9 February in the monastery chapel in Washington DC and his interment will be at the provincial cemetery in Holy Hill, Wisconsin, 14 February. To learn more about Father Kieran and his remarkable career as a translator and Discalced Carmelite, visit the Washington Province blog.

Quote of the day: 26 January

Albert, called by God’s favor to be patriarch of the church of Jerusalem, bids health in the Lord and the blessing of the Holy Spirit to his beloved sons in Christ, B. and the other hermits under obedience to him, who live near the spring on Mount Carmel.

Saint Albert of Jerusalem
The Rule of St Albert, Chapter 1

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