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

 

29 November: Blesseds Denis and Redemptus

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

Second Reading
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.

Responsory

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.

Morning Prayer

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.

Prayer

Father,
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.

Evening Prayer

Canticle of Mary

Ant. They loved Christ in their lives and imitated Him in their death: and so they reign with Him forever.

 

 

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Photos from the convent of the Discalced Carmelite Friars in Banda Aceh, Indonesia courtesy of the Discalced Carmelite General Curia (used by permission) 

19 November: St. Raphael Kalinowski

November 19
SAINT RAPHAEL KALINOWSKI
Priest

Memorial

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

Second Reading

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.

Responsory

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.

Prayer

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.

 

 

Rafael-Kalinowski_1897 (2)
Saint Raphael of St. Joseph Kalinowski, photo taken 30 March 1897 | Photo credit: Discalced Carmelites

Quote of the day: 17 November

“Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord”. Carmelite life [for Raphael Kalinowski] began when he had already turned 42 years old. In the silence of recollection and contemplation another “movement” is hidden. The movement of which St. Paul speaks: “forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus” (Phil 3:13-14).

This “movement” of the human spirit, the movement that leads upwards, has its own particular intensity. The intensity of renunciation which is the source of singular creativity in the Holy Spirit. “I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord … in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him. . . I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings. . . Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal, but I press on to make it my own because Christ Jesus has made me his own.”(Phil 3, 8.10.12).

Ordained a priest, Raphael Kalinowski set to work in the vineyard of Christ. He was appreciated as a confessor and spiritual director. He instructed souls in the sublime science of love for God, for Christ, for Our Lady, for the Church, and for others. He devoted many hours to this humble apostolate. Always recollected, always united with God, a man of prayer, obedient, always ready for renunciation, fasting, and mortification.

Saint John Paul II

Homily, Rite of Canonization (excerpts)
St. Raphael Kalinowski
Sunday, 17 November 1991

 

Rafael-Kalinowski_1897 (2)
Saint Raphael of St. Joseph Kalinowski, photo taken 30 March 1897 | Photo credit: Discalced Carmelites

 

15 November: All Carmelite Souls

November 15
ALL CARMELITE SOULS

Commemoration

When November 15 falls on a Sunday, the Commemoration is celebrated on the following day.

Just as the love of Christ and the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary have brought us together in a single family, fraternal charity unites those of us still striving to lead a life of allegiance to Jesus Christ in this world, and those already awaiting the vision of God in purgatory. Today the whole Order commends our departed brothers and sisters to God’s mercy through the intercession of Our Lady, sure sign of hope and consolation, and begs for their admission to the courts of heaven.

All as in the Office of the Dead.

Prayer

Lord,
you are the glory of those who serve you.
Look lovingly on our departed brothers and sisters,
united in following Christ and his Mother
by the waters of baptism and the bonds of Carmel.
In your mercy
grant them everlasting sight of you,
their Creator and Redeemer.

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.

 

Indy Carmel cemetery cross EgoSumResurrectioEtVita CoreyBruns Flickr 12328135805_0a02a11bb2_o
Ego sum resurrectio et vita: I am the resurrection and the life (John 11:25) The cross overlooks the garden in what was once the monastery cemetery at the Carmel of Indianapolis, now Bishop Simon Bruté College Seminary | Corey Bruns / Flickr

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.

 

 

14 November: All Carmelite Saints

November 14
ALL CARMELITE SAINTS

Feast

The whole family of Carmel in the homeland, with Mary its Mother at its head, is the reason for our joy and praise to the Father on this day. We recall our brothers and sisters who once dedicated their lives to continual prayer on earth and now share in the worship of heaven. We unite ourselves spiritually to their glory, all the while journeying along the paths they traveled with courage, as they lived in obedience to Christ and followed in the footsteps of Our Lady.

Invitatory

Ant. Jesus, Son of Mary, is the source of all holiness; come, let us worship him.

Invitatory psalm, as in the Ordinary

Office of Readings

Hymn

Come, let us praise the Virgin Queen
Who called her sons from earthly strife
To Carmel, ever since the scene
Of silent eremitic life.

The special call of Christ they heard,
As Mary’s liegemen they lived there,
With her to ponder on God’s word
Absorbed in solitary prayer.

Our prophets flourished, faithful, strong;
Our martyrs stained the ground with blood,
While in their wake the virgin throng
Brought pure and spotless hearts to God.

Hail, flowers from Carmel’s mountainside
And from its vales the lilies white,
With mystic roses opened wide
Of equal fragrance and delight!

You followed Christ your King and Lord
As Mary’s faithful servants there
And pondered on God’s sacred word
In lives of solitude and prayer.

Grant that, on Carmel’s mount of prayer,
We may, from this all-hallowed place,
Spread Jesu’s fragrance everywhere
As we, too, blossom forth in grace.

Praise to the Father evermore
And to the Spirit who indwells,
To Jesus whom that Virgin bore
From whom all Carmel’s beauty wells.

L.M.
Laudemus omnes Virginem

Psalmody

Ant. 1 Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.

Psalm 1

Happy indeed is the man *
who follows not the counsel of the wicked;
nor lingers in the way of sinners *
nor sits in the company of scorners,
but whose delight is the law of the Lord *
and who ponders his law day and night.

He is like a tree that is planted *
beside the flowing waters,
that yields its fruit in due season †
and whose leaves shall never fade; *
and all that he does shall prosper.

Not so are the wicked, not so! †
For they like winnowed chaff *
shall be driven away by the wind.
When the wicked are judged they shall not stand, *
nor find room among those who are just;
for the Lord guards the way of the just *
but the way of the wicked leads to doom.

Ant. Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.

Ant. 2 The Lord has given his heritage to those who fear his name.

Psalm 61

O God, hear my cry! *
Listen to my prayer!
From the end of the earth I call; *
my heart is faint.

On the rock too high for me to reach *
set me on high,
O you who have been my refuge. *
my tower against the foe.

Let me dwell in your tent for ever *
and hide in the shelter of your wings.
For you, O God, hear my prayer, *
grant me the heritage of those who fear you.

May you lengthen the life of the king: *
may his years cover many generations.
May he ever sit enthroned before God: *
bid love and truth be his protection.

So I will always praise your name *
and day after day fulfill my vows.

Ant. The Lord has given his heritage to those who fear his name.

Ant. 3 I will bring them to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer.

Psalm 84

How lovely is your dwelling place, *
Lord, God of hosts.

My soul is longing and yearning, *
is yearning for the courts of the Lord.
My heart and my soul ring out their joy *
to God, the living God.

The sparrow herself finds a home *
and the swallow a nest for her brood;
she lays her young by your altars, *
Lord of hosts, my king and my God.

They are happy, who dwell in your house, *
forever singing your praise.
They are happy, whose strength is in you, *
in whose hearts are the roads to Zion.

As they go through the Bitter Valley †
they make it a place of springs, *
the autumn rain covers it with blessings.
They walk with ever growing strength, *
they will see the God of gods in Zion.

O Lord, God of hosts, hear my prayer, *
give ear, O God of Jacob.
Turn your eyes, O God, our shield, *
look on the face of your anointed.

One day within your courts *
is better than a thousand elsewhere.
The threshold of the house of God *
I prefer to the dwellings of the wicked.

For the Lord God is a rampart, a shield; *
he will give us his favor and glory.
The Lord will not refuse any good *
to those who walk without blame.

Lord, God of hosts, *
happy the man who trusts in you!

Ant. I will bring them to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer.

Everlasting light will shine upon your saints, Lord.
And they will live forever.

First Reading
From the book of Revelation
19:1-10; 21:1-7

The glory of the saints in the new Jerusalem

I, John, heard what sounded like the loud song of a great assembly in heaven. They were singing:

“Alleluia!
Salvation, glory and might belong to our God,
for his judgments are true and just!
He has condemned the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her harlotry.
He has avenged the blood of his servants which was shed by her hand.”

Once more they sang “Alleluia!” And as the smoke began to rise from her forever and ever, the four and twenty elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God seated on the throne and sang, “Amen! Alleluia!” A voice coming from the throne cried out:

“Praise our God, all you his servants,
the small and the great, who revere him!”

Then I heard what sounded like the shouts of a great crowd, or the roaring of the deep, or mighty peals of thunder, as they cried:

“Alleluia!
The Lord is king,
our God, the Almighty!
Let us rejoice and be glad, and give him glory!
For this is the wedding day of the Lamb;
his bride has prepared herself for the wedding.
She has been given a dress to wear made of finest linen, brilliant white”

(The linen dress is the virtuous deeds of God’s saints.)

The angel then said to me: “Write this down: Happy are they who have been invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” The angel continued, “These words are true; they come from God.” I fell at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “No, get up! I am merely a fellow servant with you and your brothers who give witness to Jesus. Worship God alone. The prophetic spirit proves itself by witnessing to Jesus.”

Then I saw new heavens and a new earth. The former heavens and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no longer. I also saw a new Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down out of heaven from God, beautiful as a bride prepared to meet her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne cry out: “This is God’s dwelling among men. He shall dwell with them and they shall be his people, and he shall be their God, who is always with them. He shall wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, crying out or pain, for the former world has passed away.

The One who sat on the throne said to me, “See, I make all things new!” Then he said, “Write these matters down, for the words are trustworthy and true!” He went on to say: “These words are already fulfilled! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To anyone who thirsts I will give to drink without cost from the spring of life-giving water. He who wins the victory shall inherit these gifts; I will be his God and he shall be my son.”

Responsory

All who are victorious shall be clothed in white garments,
and I will not blot their names out of the book of life.
To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the fountain of life,
and I will not blot their names out of the book of life.

Second Reading
From the works of Saint Teresa of Jesus

Int. Cast., V, 1:2; Way, 11:4;
Found., 14:4; 4:6, 7; 29:33

We belong to a race of saints

All of us who wear this holy habit of Carmel are called to prayer and contemplation. This explains our origin; we are the descendants of those who felt this call, of those holy fathers on Mount Carmel who in such great solitude and contempt for the world sought this treasure, this precious pearl of contemplation that we are speaking about.

Let us remember our holy forebears of the past, those hermits whose lives we aim to imitate. We must remember our real founders, those holy fathers whose descendants we are. It was by way of poverty and humility, we know, that they came to the enjoyment of God.

On the subject of the beginnings of Orders, I sometimes hear it said that the Lord gave greater graces to those saints who went before us because they were the foundations. Quite so, but we too must always bear in mind what it means to be foundations for those who will come later. For if those of us who are alive now have not fallen away from what they did in the past, and those who come after us do the same, the building will always stand firm. What use is it to me for the saints of the past to have been what they were, if I come along after them and behave so badly that I leave the building in ruins because of my bad habits? For obviously those who come later don’t remember those who have died years before as clearly as they do the people they see around them. A fine state of affairs it is if I insist that I am not one of the first, and do not realize what a difference there is between my life and virtues, and the lives of those God has endowed with such graces!

Any of you who sees your Order falling away in any respect, must try to be the kind of stone the building can be rebuilt with—the Lord will help to rebuild it.

For love of our Lord I beg them to remember how quickly everything comes to an end, and what a favor our Lord has done us in bringing us to this Order, and what a punishment anyone who starts any kind of relaxation will deserve. They must always look at the race we are descended from—that race of holy prophets. What numbers of saints we have in heaven who have worn this habit of ours! We must have the holy audacity to aspire, with God’s help, to be like them. The struggle will not last long, but the outcome will be eternal.

Responsory

I will make my home with them and walk among them;
I will be their God and they shall be my people.
I will set up my dwelling among them.
I will be their God and they shall be my people.

Where the Vigil Office is celebrated:

Ant. The beauty of Carmel has been given to them; they will see the glory of the Lord and the splendor of our God.

Canticle I

Wisdom 3:1-6

The souls of the just are in the hands of God

Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. Now … let them rest from their labors (Revelation 14:13).

The souls of the just are in the hand of God, *
and no torment shall touch them.

They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; *
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction. *
But they are in peace.

For if to others, indeed, they seem punished,
yet is their hope full of immortality; *
Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them *
and found them worthy of himself.

As gold in the furnace, he proved them, *
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.

Canticle II

Wisdom 3:7-9

The future glory of the just

The just shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father (Matthew 13:43)

In the time of their visitation they shall shine *
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
They shall judge nations and rule over peoples, *
and the LORD shall be their King forever.

Those who trust in him shall understand truth, *
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones, *
and his care is with the elect.

Canticle III

Wisdom 10:17-21

God leads his people to deliverance

Those who had overcome the beast sang the canticle of Moses, the servant of God, and the canticle of the Lamb (Revelation 15:2, 3).

God gave the holy ones the recompense of their labors, *
conducted them by a wondrous road,
and became a shelter for them by day *
and a starry flame by night.

He took them across the Red Sea *
and brought them through the deep waters
but their enemies he overwhelmed, *
and cast them up from the bottom of the depths.

Therefore the righteous despoiled the wicked;
and they sang, O Lord, your holy name *
a
nd praised in unison your conquering hand
because Wisdom opened the mouths of the dumb, *
and gave ready speech to infants

Gospel
Mt 25:34-46

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew

In so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me 

Jesus said to his disciples: “The King will say to those on his right hand, ‘Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.’ Then the virtuous will say to him in reply, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you; or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome; naked and clothe you; sick or in prison and go to see you?’ And the King will answer, ‘I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.’ Next he will say to those on his left hand, ‘Go away from me, with your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you never gave me food; I was thirsty and you never gave me anything to drink; I was a stranger and you never made me welcome, naked and you never clothed me, sick and in prison and you never visited me.’ Then it will be their turn to ask, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty, a stranger or naked, sick or in prison, and did not come to your help?’ Then he will answer, ‘I tell you solemnly, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me.’ And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the virtuous to eternal life.”

Hymn, Te Deum.

Prayer

Lord,
may the patronage
of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother,
and the prayers of all the saints of Carmel
help us to walk steadfastly in their footsteps,
and by our prayers and good works
ever further the cause of your Church.

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.

 

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Morning Prayer

Hymn

O Jesus, source of endless life
Be near to help us and defend;
O Mary, Mother of our Lord,
Lead us to heaven in the end.

You angel hosts suffused with life,
You Patriarchs who heard God’s call,
You Prophets, knowing mysteries,
Obtain forgiveness for us all.

O Saints of Carmel, throned above
In Mary’s court, obtain this grace
That where you are in glory now
We too may find a resting place.

May hosts of martyrs intercede
For us on earth, confessors pray
And choirs of holy virgins plead
That God may wash our sins away.

O blessed saints of solitude,
And all the heavenly company,
Obtain for us that life in God
Which lasts for all eternity.

Praise to the Father evermore
And to the Spirit he bestows,
To Jesus whom that Virgin bore
From whom all Carmel’s beauty flows.

L.M.
Jesu, Salvator saeculi

Psalmody

Ant. 1 Your saints, Lord, as they watched in prayer, saw your strength and your glory.

Psalms and canticle from Sunday, Week I

Ant. 2 All you men and women, saints of God, O bless the Lord forever.

Ant. 3 Eye has not seen nor ear heard what God has prepared for those who love him.

Reading
1 Peter 2:9-10

You, however, are a “chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people he claims for his own to proclaim the glorious works” of the One who called you from darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were no people, but now you are God’s people; once there was no mercy for you, but now you have found mercy.

Responsory

Let the just rejoice and sing for joy in the Lord.
Let the just rejoice and sing for joy in the Lord.
Delight in his love, you pure of heart.
And sing for joy in the Lord.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Let the just rejoice and sing for joy in the Lord.

Canticle of Zecharian

Ant. With such a cloud of witnesses around us, let us steadfastly run the race that lies before us, our eyes fixed on Jesus who inspires and perfects our faith.

Intercessions

Let us give thanks to God our Father, who gives us the joy of honoring our brothers and sisters, the saints of Carmel. United with them and with the Virgin Mary, our Mother, let us say:
We glorify you, Lord.

Lord, you called your people into the desert to make with them a covenant of love,
renew your covenant with us in Jesus Christ.

You have made us brothers and sisters of Mary, to keep your word and treasure it in our hearts;
help us to be like her, serving Christ and sharing in his work of salvation.

You called us to follow Elijah in intimacy with you,
may we live continually in your presence, and burn with zeal for your glory.

You raised up our Order in the Church to live in dedication to you and to seek union with you in prayer and contemplation,
may we ever seek your face, and so teach others how to live as your friends.

You gave our saints such apostolic zeal and charity that they did not hesitate to lay down their lives for their brothers and sisters,
may we bear the death of Christ continually in our bodies, and so share his work of redemption, even at the cost of our lives.

Our Father…

Prayer

Lord,
may the patronage
of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother,
and the prayers of all the saints of Carmel
help us to walk steadfastly in their footsteps,
and by our prayers and good works
ever further the cause of your Church.

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.

 

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Daytime Prayer

Antiphons and psalms from the current weekday.

Midmorning

Reading
Ephesians 6:17-18

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, the word of God. At every opportunity pray in the Spirit, using prayers and petitions of every sort. Pray constantly and attentively for all in the holy company.

Your word is a lamp for my feet.
And a light on my path.

Midday

Reading
Ephesians 5:18b-20

Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and inspired songs. Sing praise to the Lord with all your hearts. Give thanks to God the Father always and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

All your creatures praise you, Lord.
Your saints shall bless your name.

Midafternoon

Reading
2 Corinthians 4:17-18

The present burden of our trial is light enough, and earns for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. We do not fix our gaze on what is seen but on what is unseen. What is seen is transitory; what is unseen lasts forever.

My chosen ones shall not labor in vain.
They are the offspring of those the Lord has blessed.

Prayer

Lord,
may the patronage
of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother,
and the prayers of all the saints of Carmel
help us to walk steadfastly in their footsteps,
and by our prayers and good works
ever further the cause of your Church.

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.

 

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Evening Prayer

Hymn

On Carmel’s mount Our Lady tends
A living garden rich in flowers;
God’s Word has sown the seed of grace,
That grows in silent, prayer-filled hours.

In heaven’s glory Carmel’s saints
With Christ their King for ever reign;
The firstborn Son enfolds in joy
His brethren, born of Mary’s pain.

Dark night gives way to purest light,
The mystic sees with light unsealed;
The saints who bore Christ’s wounds of love
Now see Christ’s wounds in love revealed.

The white-robed martyrs sing the praise
Of Christ, the martyrs’ glorious Lord;
The lowly now are lifted high,
To gain at last their great reward.

Give thanks to God, the fount of grace,
Give thanks to God, our victim-priest,
Give thanks to God, the breath of life,
For Carmel’s saints on their great feast.

L.M.
James Quinn, S.J.

Psalmody

Ant. 1 In my Father’s house there are many mansions, says the Lord.

Psalm 15

Lord, who shall be admitted to your tent *
and dwell on your holy mountain?

He who walks without fault; *
he who acts with justice
and speaks the truth from his heart; *
he who does not slander with his tongue;

he who does no wrong to his brother, *
who casts no slur on his neighbor,
who holds the godless in disdain, *
but honors those who fear the Lord;

he who keeps his pledge, come what may; †
who takes no interest on a loan *
and accepts no bribes against the innocent.
Such a man will stand firm forever.

Ant. In my Father’s house there are many mansions, says the Lord.

Ant. 2 I no longer call you servants, but my friends, for I have shared with you everything I have heard from my Father.

Psalm 112

Happy the man who fears the Lord, *
who takes delight in all his commands.
His sons will be powerful on earth; *
the children of the upright are blessed.

Riches and wealth are in his house; *
his justice stands firm forever.
He is a light in the darkness for the upright: *
he is generous, merciful and just.

The good man takes pity and lends, *
he conducts his affairs with honor.
The just man will never waver: *
he will be remembered forever.

He has no fear of evil news; *
with a firm heart he trusts in the Lord.
With a steadfast heart he will not fear, *
he will see the downfall of his foes.

Open-handed, he gives to the poor; †
his justice stands firm forever. *
His head will be raised in glory.

The wicked man sees and is angry, †
grinds his teeth and fades away; *
the desire of the wicked leads to doom.

Ant. I no longer call you servants, but my friends, for I have shared with you everything I have heard from my Father.

Ant. 3 I heard what seemed to be the mighty voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying: “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God!”

Canticle: Rev 4:11; 5:9, 10, 12

O Lord our God, you are worthy *
to receive glory and honor and power.
For you have created all things; *
by your will they came to be and were made.

Worthy are you, O Lord, *
to receive the scroll and break open its seals.
For you were slain; †
with your blood you purchased for God *
men of every race and tongue, of every people and nation.

You made of them a kingdom and priests to serve our God, *
and they shall reign on the earth.

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, *
to receive power and riches,
wisdom and strength, *
honor and glory and praise.

Ant. I heard what seemed to be the mighty voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying: “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God!”

Reading
Rom 8:28-30

We know that God makes all things work together for the good of those who have been called according to his decree. Those whom he foreknew he predestined to share the image of his Son, that the Son might be the first-born of many brothers. Those he predestined he likewise called; those he called he also justified; and those he justified he in turn glorified.

Responsory

Let the just rejoice and exult at the sight of God.
Let the just rejoice and exult at the sight of God.
They shall delight in holiness,
at the sight of God.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Let the just rejoice and exult at the sight of God.

Canticle of Mary

Ant. You have left all things and have followed me; you will be repaid a hundred times over, and gain eternal life.

Intercessions

Safe in the protection of Mary, our Mother, let us call upon Jesus, our Lord and Savior, through the intercession of the Saints of Carmel:
Lord, make us holy in the truth.

You have called your faithful ones to Carmel, so that they might follow you more closely in the ways of love;
in love, may we perform the works of truth in your Church.

You have granted everlasting mutual love to those of our family who are with you in heaven;
grant your peace to our communities, and make us one in heart and mind.

It was your will that our saints, pledged to the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary, should reflect her virtues in their lives,
as we go forward each day in newness of life, may we be faithful to the spirit of our Order, endowed with your Mother’s name and patronage.

You raised up the Order of Carmel in your Church to seek union with you in prayer and self-denial, and to share the treasures of contemplation with others;
may we be attentive to the voice of your Spirit within us crying, “Abba, Father,” and ever invite the faithful to the life of prayer.

You are the crown and everlasting reward of our saints;
bring our departed brothers and sisters to share eternal joy with you in heaven.

Our Father…

Prayer

Lord,
may the patronage
of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother,
and the prayers of all the saints of Carmel
help us to walk steadfastly in their footsteps,
and by our prayers and good works
ever further the cause of your Church.

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.

 

All Carmelite Saints Ravenna icon
Iconography from the Carmel of Ravenna, Italy | Photo credit: the Carmelites

Quote of the day: 12 November

A direct and intimate experience of God is the basis of Carmelite spirituality. Therefore, before any Rule, and in order that the Rule may be lived when it is formulated, a contemplative spirit and a deep sense of God are required of those who wish to lead the life of Carmel.

If they aspire to love with the love of God himself, it is because they are strong in their hope, resolute in their faith, docile in all things to the invitations of the Spirit; it is because they depend on God alone.

Father Paul-Marie of the Cross, OCD

Carmelite Spirituality in the Teresian Tradition
II. Characteristics of Carmel: Primacy of the Contemplative Spirit

 

sunset love lake resort
Photo by Download a pic Donate a buck! ^ on Pexels.com

 

 

of the Cross P-M 1997, Carmelite Spirituality in the Teresian Tradition, translated from the French by Sullivan K, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

Quote of the day: 11 November

The Monastery of the Carmelite Fathers

Mount Carmel, 1919 – 1931

excerpts from Father Elias Friedman’s transcription of a memoir by Francis Lamb O.C.D.
in the archives of the monastery

 


Francis Stuart Lamb was born, 3rd July 1867, into a family connected to the British aristocracy, in particular, to the family of Lord Melbourne, Prime Minister of England under Queen Victoria. Professed in the Anglo-Irish Province of the OCD, 14th October 1886, he was ordained priest, 31st January 1892. After terms as Prior at Wincanton and Gerard’s Cross, he was appointed Vicar Provincial of his province, 15th June 1915. On the 16th December 1918, he received patents as Vicar of Mount Carmel and Vicar Provincial of the Palestine Province of the Order, «ad instar». He arrived in Haifa, 30th January 1919. On the 4th of September 1919, he was named Vicar of the Carmelite Nuns in Haifa, then in Zaourah (Bat-Galim). A year later he offered the General his resignation because his confrères wanted a Superior who could speak Italian; but the General (Luke), refused to accept it. On 19th March 1934, he left for Rome to attend the canonization of St. Thérèse of Lisieux. In 1935, Fr. Lamb handed over the Vicariate to Fr Edmund O’Callaghan and went to live in Cairo, 1935-1938. From 1938, he resided in the new OCD foundation in Jerusalem. Together with other religious, he was the object of a death-warrant issued against him by Abu Muhamad, leader of the Northern District of the Arab Palestine Revolt (dated 24 Rabi’a al-Thani, 1358 of the Hegira: mid-June 1939). On the 31stof August 1945, Fr. Lamb became conventual again on Mount Carmel. While in residence at El Muhraqah [the Carmelite monastery at the place of Elijah’s sacrifice], he took ill and was rushed back to [Stella Maris] monastery, where he passed away, 27th April 1950, aged 83, after some months of illness.


 

One day, at the end of the month of October, or the beginning of November 1918, I received a telegram from the Fr. General of the Order, Clement, saying: «Come to Rome. You must go to Mount Carmel for a few months». I replied: «Will come as soon as passport can be obtained».

Over and over again I applied for the necessary passport and permission to go to Rome and from there to Mount Carmel, Palestine. I received many promises that permission would be granted, but nothing more.

Losing all hope, I applied to the Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, who promised to do all in his power to help me.

Another telegram came from Rome, saying: «When are you coming?» My reply was: «As soon as the passport can be arranged».

After a still further delay, I appealed again to the Cardinal, who, on seeing me, said: «Hav’nt you gone, yet?»

His Eminence, there and then, telephoned to the Hon. M. Long, Member of Parliament. All doors flew open and I was sent for by the Foreign Office. The Foreign Minister endorsed my passport, the Italian authorities were advised and on December the 8th 1918, I left London and by 11 o’clock that night, I found myself wandering around, lost, so to speak, in the darkened streets of the great city of Paris…

I received a hearty welcome at the General’s House, but FFir. General expressed his disappointment when he learned that I did not know a word of Italian. He had received a mistaken impression because I had replied to two letters in Italian — translated for me by a friend. The next day, Fr. General sent for me and suggested, that, since this was my first visit to Rome, he would ask Fr. Florence, my future companion to Mount Carmel, to show me St. Peter’s and all the other beautiful churches and buildings in the Eternal City. Fr. Florence very kindly went out of his way to show me all that there was to be seen: the Vatican museum, the Colosseum, the Catacombs, the Prison of St. Peter, besides many beautiful works of art by the great masters.

After Chrismas, Fr. General called me to his room and asked me whom he should nominate as Vicar Provincial of the Anglo-Irish province, a post I wished to resign while I was on Mount Carmel. I recommended Fr. Ambrose, but the Fathers in England pressed for my return, only to receive the answer from the General: «Not for the present». He forthwith gave me a patent as Vicar of Mount Carmel with the power of  Provincial «ad instar». He then graciously took me to meet His Holiness, Pope Benedict XV, in a private audience, introducing me as the new Vicar of Mount Carmel. I kissed the feet of His Holiness, who was standing at his desk, and received his special blessing.

 

Stella Maris State of Israel Bit of Haifa Flickr Blogfeatimage
In December 2010 the State of Israel featured this photo of Stella Maris Monastery and Pilgrim’s Hostel in their Flickr photo album, calling the image, “A Bit of Haifa”

 

Read more of the history of the reconstruction and restoration of the Carmelite shrines on Mount Carmel following the First World War as recorded in Father Francis Lamb’s memoirs here.

Quote of the day: 8 November

You must build a little cell within your soul as I do. Remember that God is there and enter it from time to time; when you feel nervous or you’re unhappy, quickly seek refuge there and tell the Master all about it.

Ah, if you got to know Him a little, prayer wouldn’t bore you anymore; to me it seems to be rest, relaxation. We come quite simply to the One we love, stay close to Him like a little child in the arms of its mother, and we let our heart go.

You used to love sitting very close to me and telling me your secrets; that is just how you must go [to] Him; if only you knew how well He understands…. You wouldn’t suffer any more if you understood that.

It is the secret of life in Carmel: the life of a Carmelite is a communion with God from morning to evening, and from evening to morning. If He did not fill our cells and our cloisters, ah! How empty they would be! But through everything, [we] see Him, for we bear Him within us, and our life is an anticipated Heaven.

I ask God to teach you all these secrets, and I am keeping you in my little cell; for your part, keep me in yours, and that way we will never be parted.

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity

Letter 123 to Françoise de Sourdon
Thursday, 19 June 1902

 

Valladolid-adoration
Ángel Cantero, archivalladolid / Flickr 

 

Elizabeth of the Trinity, S 2003, The Complete Works of Elizabeth of the Trinity volume 2: Letters from Carmel, translated from the French by Nash, A, ICS Publications, Washington DC

St. Elizabeth of the Trinity Novena – Day 9

O my Three, my All, my Beatitude, infinite Solitude, Immensity in which I lose myself, I surrender myself to You as Your prey

Intention

For an increase in the fruit of self-control

St. Paul speaks

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity speaks

O my God, Trinity whom I adore, help me to forget myself entirely that I may be established in You as still and as peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity.  May nothing trouble my peace or make me leave You, O my Unchanging One, but may each minute carry me further into the depths of Your Mystery.  Give peace to my soul; make it Your heaven, Your beloved dwelling, and Your resting place.  May I never leave You there alone but be wholly present, my faith wholly vigilant, wholly adoring, and wholly surrendered to Your creative Action.

O my beloved Christ, crucified by love, I wish to be a bride for Your Heart; I wish to cover You with glory; I wish to love You… even unto death!  But I feel my weakness, and I ask You to “clothe me with Yourself,” to identify my soul with all the movements of Your Soul, to overwhelm me, to possess me, to substitute Yourself for me that my life may be but a radiance of Your Life.  Come into me as Adorer, as Restorer, as Savior.  O Eternal Word, Word of my God, I want to spend my life in listening to You, to become wholly teachable that I may learn all from You.  Then, through all nights, all voids, all helplessness, I want to gaze on You always and remain in Your great light.  O my beloved Star, so fascinate me that I may not withdraw from Your radiance.

O consuming Fire, Spirit of Love, “come upon me,” and create in my soul a kind of incarnation of the Word: that I may be another humanity for Him in which He can renew His whole Mystery.  And You, O Father, bend lovingly over  Your poor little creature; “cover her with Your shadow,” seeing in her only the “Beloved in whom You are well pleased.”

O my Three, my All, my Beatitude, infinite Solitude, Immensity in which I lose myself, I surrender myself to You as Your prey.  Bury Yourself in me that I may bury myself in You until I depart to contemplate in Your light the abyss of Your greatness.

Meditation 

St. Elizabeth’s biographer, Fr. Conrad de Meester, OCD, writes that her self-control during the last two years before she entered the Carmel of Dijon was quite evident and permitted the depth and richness of her heart to become visible to others around her. Even in her famous prayer to the Holy Trinity, that sense of self-mastery shines through as she writes these self-effacing lines: “to forget myself entirely… as still and as peaceful… may nothing trouble my peace… wholly present… wholly surrendered.” Like a radiology technician who instructs a patient, “don’t breathe, don’t move”, it seems as if St. Elizabeth is choosing not to breathe, not to move, but rather to remain transfixed as she gazes on her beloved Star.

And what about us? We may recognize that we need to grow in self-control, but have no clue where or how to begin. Why not begin with our prayer lives, our spiritual habits? If we can devote 5 minutes daily to devotion, scripture, meditation, even to silence, that 5 minutes of self-discipline can enable us to grow in self-mastery in other areas of our lives, as well. Is it worth a try? If we answer, “yes,” then St. Elizabeth probably would say this novena was worth the effort.

NOVENA PRAYER 

O Saint Elizabeth!
In your great love of God,
You were always so close
to your friends’ needs.
Now, in Heaven,
Face to face with the Lord,
Do intervene near Him
for the needs we recommend to you.

(Make your request)

Teach us how to abide,
in Love and Faith,
with the Holy Trinity
in the utmost of our heart.
Teach us how to radiate God’s Love
amongst men, in our everyday life
just as you did yourself,
so that we may be a praise of God’s glory.

Our Father… (pray slowly, contemplating the meaning of the prayer)

Glory be… (three times, in praise of the indwelling Trinity)

 

8x10.ai
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / Flickr

 

Scripture passages for the novena provided by Bible Gateway

Prayer to the Holy Trinity translated by the Discalced Carmelite nuns of Boston Carmel

Novena Prayer translated by the nuns of the Carmel of Dijon

References to Fr. Conrad de Meester’s biography of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity are drawn from Rien Moins Que Dieu: Sainte Élisabeth de la Trinité (Presses de la Renaissance, Paris, 2017)

November 8: St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

November 8
SAINT ELIZABETH OF THE TRINITY
Virgin

Optional Memorial

Elizabeth Catez of the Trinity was born in 1880 in the diocese of Bourges. In 1901 she entered the Discalced Carmelite monastery of Dijon. There she made her profession of vows in 1903 and from there she was called “to light, to love, and to life” by the Divine Spouse in 1906. A faithful adorer in spirit and in truth, her life was a “praise of glory” of the Most Blessed Trinity, present in her soul and loved amidst interior darkness and excruciating illness. In the mystery of divine inhabitation, she found her “heaven on earth,” her special charism, and her mission for the church.

From the common of virgins or of holy women (religious)

Office of Readings

Second Reading
From the writings of Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity, Virgin
(Oeuvres completes I (Paris, 1980), p. 200)

The indwelling Trinity

O my God, Trinity Whom I adore, help me to forget myself entirely that I may be established in You as still and as peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity. May nothing trouble my peace or make me leave You, O my Unchanging One, but may each minute carry me further into the depths of your Mystery. Give peace to my soul; make it Your heaven, Your beloved dwelling, and Your resting place. May I never leave You there alone but be wholly present, my faith wholly vigilant, wholly adoring, and wholly surrendered to your creative action.

O my beloved Christ, crucified by love, I wish to be a bride for Your Heart; I wish to cover You with glory; I wish to love You even until I die of love! But I feel my weakness, and I ask You to clothe me with Yourself, to identify my soul with all the movements of Your Soul, to overwhelm me, to possess me, to substitute Yourself for me that my life may be but a radiance of Your life. Come into me as Adorer, as Restorer, as Savior. O Eternal Word, Word of my God, I want to spend my life in listening to You, to become wholly teachable that I may learn all from You. Then, through all nights, all voids, all helplessness, I want to gaze on You always and remain in Your great light. O my beloved Star, so fascinate me that I may not withdraw from Your radiance.

O Consuming Fire, Spirit of Love, come upon me, and create in my soul a kind of incarnation of the Word: that I may be another humanity for Him in which He can renew His whole Mystery. And you, O Father, bend lovingly over Your poor little creature: cover her with Your shadow, seeing in her only the Beloved in whom You are well pleased.

O my Three, my All, my Beatitude, infinite Solitude, Immensity in which I lose myself, I surrender myself to You as Your prey. Bury Yourself in me that I may bury myself in You until I depart to contemplate in Your light the abyss of Your greatness.

Responsory

You are God’s temple and the Spirit of God lives in you.
Glorify God in your body.
To the praise of his glory,
glorify God in your body.

Prayer

O God of bountiful mercy,
you revealed to Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity
the mystery of your secret presence
in the hearts of those who love you,
and you chose her to adore you in spirit and in truth.
Through her intercession
may we also abide in the love of Christ,
that we may merit to be transformed
into temples of your life-giving Spirit
to the praise of your glory.

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.

 

 

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Elizabeth Catez, the prize-winning pianist | Photo credit: Discalced Carmelites

St. Elizabeth of the Trinity Novena – Day 8

Quite gently, with patience and God’s help, we get there in the end

Intention

For an increase in the fruit of gentleness

St. Paul speaks

I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3)

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity speaks

Be at peace. I don’t believe you’re crazy yet, just nervous and overexcited, and when you’re like that, you make others suffer too. Ah, if I could teach you the secret of happiness as God has taught it to me. You say I don’t have any worries or sufferings; it’s true that I’m very happy, but if you only knew that a person can be just as happy even when she is crossed. We must always keep our eyes on God. In the beginning it’s necessary to make an effort when we’re just boiling inside, but quite gently, with patience and God’s help, we get there in the end. (Letter 123 to Françoise de Sourdon, 19 June 1902)

Meditation 

During the diocesan investigation process into Saint Elizabeth’s holiness, her sisters in the Carmel of Dijon consistently mentioned Elizabeth’s douceur, her spirit of gentleness. This is a quality that we have seen in her correspondence, such as today’s letter to young Françoise. When Elizabeth tells her friend ‘Framboise’ “I don’t believe you’re crazy yet, just nervous and overexcited”, there is a calm, gentle, maternal voice that seems to resound. Isn’t the fruit of gentleness seen not only in how we treat others but also in how we treat ourselves? How can we take Elizabeth’s advice and put it into practice today?

NOVENA PRAYER 

O Saint Elizabeth!
In your great love of God,
You were always so close
to your friends’ needs.
Now, in Heaven,
Face to face with the Lord,
Do intervene near Him
for the needs we recommend to you.

(Make your request)

Teach us how to abide,
in Love and Faith,
with the Holy Trinity
in the utmost of our heart.
Teach us how to radiate God’s Love
amongst men, in our everyday life
just as you did yourself,
so that we may be a praise of God’s glory.

Our Father… (pray slowly, contemplating the meaning of the prayer)

Glory be… (three times, in praise of the indwelling Trinity)

 

gentle 15mar18
David Bohnsack, mccj / Facebook (Used by permission)

 

Elizabeth of the Trinity, S 2003, The Complete Works of Elizabeth of the Trinity volume 2: Letters from Carmel, translated from the French by Nash, A, ICS Publications, Washington DC

November 7: Blessed Francis Palau y Quer

November 7
BLESSED FRANCIS PALAU Y QUER
Priest

Optional Memorial

Born in Aytona, Lerida, on December 29, 1811, Blessed Francis Palau y Quer entered the Order in 1832 and was ordained priest in 1836. Civil turmoil forced him to live in exile and outside his community. On his return to Spain in 1851, he founded his “School of Virtue”—which was a model of catechetical teaching—at Barcelona. The school was suppressed and he was unjustly exiled to Ibiza (1854-1860) where he lived at El Vedra in solitude and experienced mystically the vicissitudes of the Church. While in the Balearic Islands he founded the Congregations of Teresian Carmelite Missionary Brothers and Sisters (1860-1861). He preached popular missions and spread love for Our Lady wherever he went. He died at Tarragona on March 20, 1872, and was beatified by Pope John Paul II on April 24, 1980.

Common of Pastors or Men Religious

Office of Readings

Second Reading
From the spiritual writings of Blessed Francis Palau y Quer

The efficacy of prayer in favor of the Church

God in His providence has ordained not to cure our ills or grant us grace without the intervention of prayer. He wishes us to help in saving each other by means of our prayer (cf. Jas 5:16f). If the heavens showered down dew and the clouds rained the righteous One, if the earth opened to bring forth the Savior (cf. Is 45:8), it was God’s good pleasure that His coming should be preceded by the prayers of that singular Virgin who by the beauty of her virtues drew into her womb the uncreated Word of God.

The Redeemer came, and by constant prayer, He reconciled the world to the Father. If Christ’s prayer and the fruits of His redemptive work are to be applied to any nation or people, or if the gospel message is to enlighten them and they are to have someone to administer the sacraments, it is indispensable that someone or even many persons should have previously won them over and reconciled them to God by earnest entreaties and supplications, by prayers and sacrifices.

For the purpose, among others, the Eucharistic sacrifice is offered on our altars. This sacred Victim which we present to the Father every day, accompanied by our own petitions, is not simply destined to recall the memory of the life, passion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but also to oblige God in His goodness to show His graciousness in applying the graces of His Son’s redemption to the nation, province, city, village, or to whatever person or persons for whom the Mass is offered. It is precisely here that we plead with the Father for the redemption of the world, namely, for the conversion of the nations. Before the grace of redemption is applied to the world or, in other words, before the standard of the cross is lifted up among the nations, God the Father ordains that His only Son, made man, should plead with Him by means of ‘prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears’ (Heb 5:7), in the anguish of death and through the shedding of His blood, especially on the altar of the cross that was raised on Calvary.

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.

It is noteworthy in this context that the Apostles, who were sent to preach and to teach all nations, acknowledged that the results of their preaching sprang from prayer more than from their words. In fact, at the election of the seven deacons who were charged with external works of charity, they said: ‘But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word’ (Acts 6:4). Notice carefully that they say they would devote themselves first of all to prayer and only afterward to the ministry of the Word. For they would never convert any nation until prayer had first obtained the grace of its conversion.

Christ prayed throughout His entire life, whereas He spent only three years preaching. Since God does not distribute His graces to men except through prayer, because He wishes us to recognize Him as the source from which all good things flow; in like manner, He does not wish to save us from danger, or cure our wounds, or console us in affliction, except by means of this same exercise of prayer.

Responsory

Ask and you shall receive; seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you. For whoever asks, receives; whoever seeks, finds; whoever knocks, is admitted.
The prayer of the righteous has great power in its effects.

Pray for one another that you may find healing.
The prayer of the righteous has great power in its effects.

Prayer

O God,
through your Spirit
you filled Bl. Francis, your priest,
with singular gifts of prayer and apostolic charity.
Through his intercession
grant that Christ’s beloved Church,
refulgent with the beauty of the Virgin Mother Mary,
may be an ever more effective universal sacrament of salvation.

We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit
one God, for ever and ever.

 

Francisco Palau medallion

St. Elizabeth of the Trinity Novena – Day 7

I need also, Father, to ask for your prayer, that I may be wholly faithful

Intention

For an increase in the fruit of faithfulness

St. Paul speaks

We know that in all things God works for good with those who love him, those whom he has called according to his purpose. Those whom God had already chosen he also set apart to become like his Son, so that the Son would be the first among many believers. And so those whom God set apart, he called; and those he called, he put right with himself, and he shared his glory with them. (Romans 15:13-14)

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity speaks

I really think that next year I will celebrate your feast with Saint Dominic in “the inheritance of the saints in light”; this year, I am recollecting myself once again in the heaven of my soul to celebrate a very private feast day with you, and I need to tell you that; I need also, Father, to ask for your prayer, that I may be wholly faithful, wholly attentive, and may ascend my Calvary as a bride of the Crucified. “Those whom God foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Divine Son.” (Letter 304 to Père Vallée, 2 August 1906) 

Meditation 

With all that we know of Saint Elizabeth by now—the testimonies to her holiness—is it any wonder that three months before her death she is begging a priest to pray for her faithfulness? She surely senses that there is a steep, uphill climb ahead of her when she writes about her ascent of “Calvary as a bride of the Crucified.” Our own crosses and our own Calvaries may not be so extreme as hers, but isn’t our need for prayer to grow in the fruit of faithfulness just as essential? Where are some specific points in our spiritual lives where we need to grow in faithfulness to God?

NOVENA PRAYER 

O Saint Elizabeth!
In your great love of God,
You were always so close
to your friends’ needs.
Now, in Heaven,
Face to face with the Lord,
Do intervene near Him
for the needs we recommend to you.

(Make your request)

Teach us how to abide,
in Love and Faith,
with the Holy Trinity
in the utmost of our heart.
Teach us how to radiate God’s Love
amongst men, in our everyday life
just as you did yourself,
so that we may be a praise of God’s glory.

Our Father… (pray slowly, contemplating the meaning of the prayer)

Glory be… (three times, in praise of the indwelling Trinity)

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Sue Cro / Flickr

 

 

Elizabeth of the Trinity, S 2003, The Complete Works of Elizabeth of the Trinity volume 2: Letters from Carmel, translated from the French by Nash, A, ICS Publications, Washington DC

6 November: St. Nuno Alvares Pereira

November 6
SAINT NUNO ALVARES PEREIRA
Religious

Optional Memorial
In the province of Portugal, Memorial

Nuno was born in 1360 and fought for many years as a soldier for the independence of Portugal. After his wife’s death, he entered the Order of Our Lady of Mount Carmel as a brother in the house he had founded in Lisbon and took the name of Nuno of Saint Mary (1423). He died there in 1431, after distinguishing himself by his prayer, penance, and filial devotion to the Mother of God.

From the common of holy men (religious)

Office of Readings

SECOND READING

From the Exhortation on the Carmelite Rule by Blessed John Soreth

(Tex. 15, c. 6: ed. Paris 1625, pp. 195-97)

The helmet of hope and the sword of salvation

On your head set the helmet of salvation, and so be sure of deliverance by our only Savior, who sets his own free from their sins. The helmet of salvation is hope, which looks forward to eternal salvation; and it is called the helmet of salvation because, just as the helmet is the uppermost piece of a soldier’s armor, worn on the head, so hope is the uppermost of the virtues, always facing upwards and sighing for the joys of heaven. Of salvation means that hope obtains what it longs for: salvation; or rather, just as the shield of faith is faith itself, the helmet of salvation is salvation—Jesus Christ himself—for salvation is from the Lord, and we are to hope for salvation from our only Savior. The remembrance of, or longing for, his lasting salvation is the headpiece of our minds, which makes us safe against any blows the evil one can deal us.

But it is better to be armed for attack than for mere defense. This is why the Rule adds: The sword of the spirit, the word of God, must abound in your mouths and hearts; let whatever you do have the Lord’s word for accompaniment. The pieces of armor we have been considering, the breastplate of holiness, the shield of faith and the helmet of salvation, will keep you safe enough from ever giving into the devil or any of his minions; but there is another weapon which will enable you to subdue him completely with his whole horde and his works. This is the sword of the spirit, that spiritual blade, the word of God. There are four reasons why the word of God is called the sword of the spirit: first, it is made by the Holy Spirit, for it is not you who speak but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. Second, it slays our spiritual foes as Isaiah says: With the breath of his lips he shall slay the wicked. Third, it divides spirit from flesh as we find in the Letter to the Hebrews: The word of God is living and active, piercing to the division of soul and spirit. Fourth, it wounds and penetrates our innermost spiritual parts, which is why it is compared to sharp arrows in the Psalms: A warrior’s sharp arrows.

The temptations our enemy subjects us to may be cruel, but far more cruel to him is a text from the word of God. And if armor and weapons are not defense enough for us and we feel the need of rations, we need not think we have been left without supplies; God’s word is our provision. Though an army encamp against me and temptation lays siege, I will trust in the word of my God, the sword of the spirit, and it will bring me easy victory. Then I can wash my hands, knowing that he has prepared a table before me that I may not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, and in the strength of that food I shall run with our father Elijah to the mountain of God by way of his commandments. That is why the Rule adds: The word of God must abound in your mouths in preaching, and in your hearts in meditation. Just as our Order’s patroness the Blessed Virgin Mary kept all these words in her heart, so must they abound in your hearts by meditation, and in your mouths by instruction. It is by your Rule then brothers, and from the Order’s first institution that you are bidden to preach the word of God like our father Elijah whose word burned like a torch; after his example let the word of God abound in your mouths and hearts, and let all you do, whatever it may be, have the Lord’s word for accompaniment.

RESPONSORY

Romans 13:13, 14; Psalm 119:105

Cast aside the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light,
the Lord Jesus Christ

Your word is a lamp for our feet, and a light on our path,
the Lord Jesus Christ

Morning Prayer

CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH

Ant. The Lord is my inheritance; he is good to those who seek him

PRAYER

Lord God,
you called Saint Nuno Alvares Pereira
to put aside his sword and follow Christ
under the patronage of Our Lady of Mount Carmel.
Through his prayers may we too deny ourselves,
and devote ourselves to you with all our hearts.

Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

Evening Prayer

CANTICLE OF MARY

Ant. Our faith is the victorious power that overcomes the world

 

Nuno-Alvares_soldier-icon

 

Quote of the day: 5 November

Whatever the troubles and difficulties that weigh you down, bear them all patiently and keep in mind that these are the things which constitute your cross. Offer your help to the Lord and carry the cross with Him in gladness of heart. There is always something to be endured, and if you refuse one cross, be sure that you will meet with another, and maybe a heavier one. If we trust in God and rely on His help, we shall overcome the allurements of vice. We must never let our efforts flag nor our steps grow weary, but must keep our hearts under steady discipline.

Consider the afflictions and great trials which the holy Fathers endured in the desert. And yet the interior trials they suffered were far more intense than the physical penances they inflicted on their own bodies. One who is never tried acquires little virtue. Accept then whatever God wills to send, for any suffering He permits is entirely for our good.

Blessed Françoise d’Amboise

Foundress of the Carmelite nuns in France
From the Exhortations of Blessed Françoise to her nuns

 

Francoise dAmboise kneeling crowned sepia

St. Elizabeth of the Trinity Novena – Day 6

If you could see through the grilles the goodness lavished on me

Intention

For an increase in the fruit of goodness

St. Paul speaks

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. I myself am satisfied about you, my brethren, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another. (Romans 15:13-14)

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity speaks

If you knew how well cared for I am in my dear Carmel, what a Mother I have unceasingly near me… She is a true mama for her little patient. You would have tears in your eyes if you could see through the grilles the goodness lavished on me by this heart whom God has made so motherly.
(Letter 326 to Madame Farrat, around 18 October 1906) 

Meditation 

“It takes one to know one,” we often say. This holds true for St. Elizabeth of the Trinity and the many times that she wrote about the goodness of her community during her illness. In her letters to her own mother, Elizabeth repeatedly reassured her mother of the exquisite charity of her prioress: “our good Mother takes such good care of me.” That is just an example of Elizabeth’s own goodness, wherein she continually praises the goodness in those around her. Being filled with goodness is a fruit of our growing relationship with God, who, as Jesus told the rich young man, is the ultimate in goodness: “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone” (Mk 10:18). 

NOVENA PRAYER 

O Saint Elizabeth!
In your great love of God,
You were always so close
to your friends’ needs.
Now, in Heaven,
Face to face with the Lord,
Do intervene near Him
for the needs we recommend to you.

(Make your request)

Teach us how to abide,
in Love and Faith,
with the Holy Trinity
in the utmost of our heart.
Teach us how to radiate God’s Love
amongst men, in our everyday life
just as you did yourself,
so that we may be a praise of God’s glory.

Our Father… (pray slowly, contemplating the meaning of the prayer)

Glory be… (three times, in praise of the indwelling Trinity)

 

angel peasap Flickr 471837691_f0783ee559_o
peasap / Flickr

 

 

Elizabeth of the Trinity, S 2003, The Complete Works of Elizabeth of the Trinity volume 2: Letters from Carmel, translated from the French by Nash, A, ICS Publications, Washington DC

St. Elizabeth of the Trinity Novena – Day 5

Although I possess nothing, I nevertheless appoint as my sole heir…

Intention

For an increase in the fruit of kindness

St. Paul speaks

Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity speaks

I the undersigned declare that although I possess nothing, since I have previously disposed of everything that belonged to me, I nevertheless appoint as my sole heir Madame la comtesse Georges de Sourdon, resident of Dijon.
Elizabeth Catez
30 October 1906
(Letter 338 to Madame de Sourdon, 30 October 1906)

Meditation 

St. Elizabeth’s biographer, the Discalced Carmelite scholar Fr. Conrad De Meester, O.C.D., notes that “what at first glance looks like an official will, in reality, constitutes a true message of friendship… an astounding gesture of kindness and even of gaiety in this totally exhausted young woman, who is going to collapse that every evening and die ten days later.” Elizabeth doesn’t write about kindness; she simply was kindness personified. If God, who is Love, dwells within us, then kindness dwells within us and overflows to those around us. Shouldn’t that be the model for our lives?

NOVENA PRAYER 

O Saint Elisabeth!
In your great love of God,
You were always so close
to your friends’ needs.
Now, in Heaven,
Face to face with the Lord,
Do intervene near Him
for the needs we recommend to you.

(Make your request)

Teach us how to abide,
in Love and Faith,
with the Holy Trinity
in the utmost of our heart.
Teach us how to radiate God’s Love
amongst men, in our everyday life
just as you did yourself,
so that we may be a praise of God’s glory.

Our Father… (pray slowly, contemplating the meaning of the prayer)

Glory be… (three times, in praise of the indwelling Trinity)

 

Spiti 2010 359 kanglapass Flickr 4908057875_b66a2c458c_o
kanglapass / Flickr

 

 

Elizabeth of the Trinity, S 2003, The Complete Works of Elizabeth of the Trinity volume 2: Letters from Carmel, translated from the French by Nash, A, ICS Publications, Washington DC

Quote of the day: 3 November

“But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment will ever touch them.” (Wisdom 3:1)

Yet, Titus Brandsma went through torment: he was punished in the eyes of men. Yes, God tried him. The former prisoners from concentration camps know very well what kind of human Calvary those places of punishment were.

Places of great human trial.

The test of physical strength, ruthlessly driven to complete annihilation.

The test of moral forces

Perhaps today’s Gospel speaks to us even better, recalling the commandment to love our enemies. The concentration camps were organized according to the program of contempt for man, according to the program of hatred. Through what a test of conscience, of character, of the heart a follower of Christ had to pass, who remembered Christ’s words about loving your enemies! Not responding to hatred with hatred but with love. This is perhaps one of the greatest tests of a man’s moral energies.

Titus Brandsma emerged victorious from this test. In the midst of the raging hatred, he knew how to love; everyone, even his torturers: “They, too, are children of the good God,” he said, “and perhaps something still remains within them…”

Certainly, such heroism cannot be improvised. Father Titus went on to develop it over the course of a lifetime, starting from the first experiences of childhood, lived in a deeply Christian family, in the beloved land of Frisia. From the words and examples of parents, from the teachings heard in the village church, from the charitable initiatives experienced within the parish community, he learned to know and to practice the fundamental commandment of Christ concerning love for everyone, not excluding even our own enemies. It was an experience that marked him in-depth, to the point of orienting his whole life.

The activities that Father Brandsma carried out during his existence were of a surprising multiplicity; but, if one wanted to look for the inspiring motive and the driving force, you would find it right here: in the commandment of the love taken to extremes.

Saint John Paul II

Homily, Mass for the Beatification of Titus Brandsma (excerpt)
3 November 1985, Vatican Basilica

 

Dachau gate P Fahr Flickr
payam_fahr / Flickr

 

 

This English translation is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission.

 

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