Quote of the day: 5 January

And the kings have a special meaning for us, too. Even though we already belonged to the external Church, an interior impulse nevertheless drove us out of the circle of inherited viewpoints and conventions. We knew God, but we felt that he desired to be sought and found by us in a new way. Therefore we wanted to open ourselves and sought for a star to show us the right way. And it arose for us in the grace of vocation.

We followed it and found the divine infant. He stretched out his hands for our gifts. He wanted the pure gold of a heart detached from all earthly goods; the myrrh of a renunciation of all the happiness of this world in exchange for participation in the life and suffering of Jesus; the frankincense of a will that surrenders itself and strains upward to love itself in the divine will. In return for these gifts, the divine child gave us himself.

Saint Edith Stein

The Hidden Life and Epiphany (excerpt)
6 January 1940


Kirk Edge 2008 Therese relic visit Flickr 3984098379_f95ce97c4a_o
Carmelite Monastery Kirk Edge, 2008 | catholicrelics.co.uk / Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0



Stein, E 2014, The Hidden Life: Essays, Meditations, Spiritual Texts, translated from the German by Stein W, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

Quote of the day: 21 November

The vow of chastity intends to release human beings from all the bonds of natural common life, to fasten them to the cross high above all the bustle, and to free their hearts for union with the Crucified. This sacrifice, too, is not accomplished once and for all.

Of course, one is cut off, externally, from occasions that can become temptations outside but often much that distracts the spirit and the heart, robbing them of their freedom, cleaves to the memory and fantasy. Besides, there is also a danger that new ties establish themselves within the protective cloister walls and hinder full union with the Divine Heart.

When we enter the Order, we again become members of a family. We are to see and respect, as head and members of the Mystical Body of Christ, our superiors and the other sisters. But we are human, and something all too human can easily become mingled with holy, childlike, and sisterly love. We believe we see Christ in the people we look up to and fail to notice that we attach ourselves to them humanly and are in danger of losing sight of Christ.

But human attraction is not the only cloud on purity of heart. Too little love is a worse offense against the Divine Heart than too much. Every aversion, any anger and resentment we tolerate in our hearts closes the door to the Savior. Involuntary stirrings naturally arise through no fault of our own, but as soon as we become aware of them, we must relentlessly oppose them. Otherwise, we resist God who is love and do the devil’s work.

The song sung by the virgins attending the Lamb is surely one of purest love.

Saint Edith Stein

The Marriage of the Lamb
For September 14, 1940


Clothing day at the Carmel of Consuegra (Toledo), founded in 1597 | José-María Moreno García / Flickr



Stein, E 2014, The Hidden Life: Essays, Meditations, Spiritual Texts, translated from the German by Stein W, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

Quote of the day: 1 November

Pilgrim in the footsteps of Saint Teresa of Jesus, with great satisfaction and joy I come to Avila. In this city there are so many Teresian places, such as the monastery of Saint Joseph, the first of the “dovecotes” founded by her; this monastery of the Incarnation, where Saint Teresa received the Carmelite habit, made her religious profession, had her decisive “conversion” and lived her experience of total consecration to Christ. It can well be said that this is the shrine of the contemplative life, place of great mystical experiences, and the focal point of monastic foundations.

To contemplate so many cloistered religious today, I cannot help but think about the great Spanish monastic tradition, its influence on Spanish culture, customs and life. Isn’t it here where the moral strength dwells, where there is a continuous reference to the spirit of the Spaniards?

The Pope calls you today to continue cultivating your consecrated life through a liturgical, biblical and spiritual renewal, following the guidelines of the Council. All this requires a permanent formation that enriches your spiritual life, giving it a solid doctrinal, theological and cultural foundation. In this way, you will be able to give the evangelical response that so many young people of our time expect, who today also approach your monasteries, attracted by a life of generous surrender to the Lord.

In this regard I want to issue a call to Christian communities and their Pastors, reminding them of the irreplaceable position occupied by the contemplative life in the Church. We all must deeply value and esteem the dedication of contemplative souls to prayer, praise, and sacrifice.

They are very necessary in the Church. They are living prophets and teachers for all; they are the vanguard of the Church on the way to the kingdom. Their attitude toward the realities of this world, which they contemplate according to the wisdom of the Spirit, enlightens us about the last things and makes us feel the gratuitousness of God’s saving love. I, therefore, urge everyone to try to foster vocations to monastic life among young women, in the assurance that these vocations will enrich the whole life of the Church.

Daughters of Carmel: May you be living images of your Mother Teresa, of her spirituality and her humanism. May you truly be as she was and wanted to be calledand as I wish her to be calledTeresa of Jesus.

Saint John Paul II

Meeting with Cloistered Nuns (excerpts)
Carmel of the Incarnation, Ávila
1 November 1982



1982 Nuns at the Encarncion Avila to see JP2 1nov82 ElPais
Roughly 3000 cloistered nuns representing approximately 15,000 contemplative religious gathered at the Carmel of the Incarnation in Ávila on All Saints Day, where they awaited the Holy Father Pope St. John Paul II. Having spent the entire night outside the monastery in a prayer vigil, they were overjoyed at the sight of his helicopter when it arrived. For some, this was the first time they had left their cloisters in decades. | Ricardo Martín / El País (See more)



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

Quote of the day: 16 October

Edith Stein was a Carmelite even while she was in the world.

In all actuality, for Edith Stein entrance into Carmel was a descent from the height of a distinguished career to the depth of insignificance. Maybe she herself did not perceive this as we see it.

But when she left behind the world at her crossing the threshold of Carmel, did not everything that gave her prominence in that world sink with it and lower her to the level of the humanly commonplace?

She was received into the Cologne Carmel as just another postulant.

Most of the Sisters had not even heard of her before. None of them was aware of her public activities; very few would have been able to follow her if she had tried to introduce them into her own intellectual world.

But no one thought about this—least of all Edith herself. Everyone assumed, quite naturally, that she should undertake the thousand and one little tasks that a postulant has to get used to from the first day. And it was moving to watch the childlike way in which Edith struggled to fall in with the regulations of the house at every point, promptly responding to all requests and trying to accustom herself to this new mode of life.

Sister Teresia Renata Posselt, O.C.D.

Edith Stein: The Life of a Philosopher and Carmelite, Chap. 14


Flemish Emblems Humility British Museum AN01132143_001_l
Humility (ootmoedigeyt)
Anonymous Flemish, 17th c.
Engraving on paper, 1685-1686
British Museum
From the Flemish Emblems series, the emblem of humility is exemplified by a nun standing in a room near a bed, holding a ball in her hand and stepping on a crown with her foot.
Photo credit: British Museum Online Collection (Creative Commons)



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


Quote of the day: 1 June

I ardently desire to live in God’s will, I know that this is this way saints are made, and I want to become a saint to give glory to God.

Blessed Maria Giuseppina of Jesus Crucified (Giuseppina Catanea)
From her diary

Maria Giuseppina of Jesus Crucified, a professed nun of the Discalced Carmelite monastery of Saints Teresa and Joseph at Ponti Rossi in Naples, Italy, was beatified 1 June 2008 in the Cathedral of Naples, Italy. Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe presided at the Eucharist and Rite of Beatification, to whom Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of the Causes of the Saints, sent a message as the representative of Pope Benedict XVI.


black and white silhouette of christ the redeemer
Photo by Pedro Sandrini on Pexels.com

Marie du jour: 21 May

As prayer is one of the chief objects of the Order of Carmel, the Sisters are constantly called upon from far and near to give the assistance of their prayers in all kinds of spiritual and temporal necessities. The following incident will serve to show with what faith and confidence the people recur to the Community:

The Baltimore Sun, Monday, September 25, 1882
The Baltimore Sun, Monday, September 25, 1882 (p. 4)

In the latter part of the year 1882, small-pox broke out in the city of Baltimore and it was feared that it would become an epidemic. Many persons requested the prayers of the Sisters to avert the calamity, and they chanted daily, in community, the hymn to Our Lady, for help in time of pestilence: “Stella coeli extirpavity” [sic].

La procession des Carmélites_GUILLOT Laurent_Musee Saint-Denis
La procession des Carmélites, Laurent Guillot (French, 18th c.), Musée d’Art et d’Histoire, Saint-Denis

In January of 1883, a secular newspaper published the following item: “The Mayor received yesterday a card, signed,  ‘Our City,’ requesting the prayers of the good Carmelite Nuns for the small-pox sufferers.” On hearing of this petition, the Sisters redoubled their supplications and daily went in procession through the cloisters, carrying a statue of Our Lady and chanting the Litany of the Blessed Virgin, with appropriate versicles and prayers. Thus they continued to implore the mercy of God until the faith of the good citizens of Baltimore was rewarded and all danger was at an end.

Charles Currier
Carmel in America: a centennial history of the Discalced Carmelites in the United States (p. 354)

Latin text

Stélla caéli extirpávit
Quae lactávit Dóminum
Mórtis péstem quam plantávit
Prímus párens hóminum.
Ipsa stélla nunc dignétur
Sídera compéscere,
Quórum bélla plébem caédunt
Dírae mórtis úlcere.

O gloriósa stélla máris
A péste succúre nóbis:
Audi nos, nam te fílius
Níhil négans honórat.
Sálva nos, Jésu!

Pro quíbus vírgo máter te órat.

English translation

The star of heaven, she who
suckled the Lord, has uprooted
the scourge of death which the
first parent of mankind planted.
That very star is now worthy
to encompass the world,
whose wars cut down the people
with the sore of dreaded death.

O glorious star of the sea,
save us from the scourge:
Hear us, for the son,
denying nothing, honors you.
Save us, Jesus!

For us, the virgin mother entreats you.

Quote of the day: 9 April

Monday, 9 April 1888

Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord

Thérèse enters the Carmel of Lisieux

From Marie Martin (Marie of the Sacred Heart) to her father, Saint Louis Martin 
9th April 1888

Incomparable Father,

What Céline tells us is worthy of you! Ah! What a remarkable father we have! He truly is unique… Also, I’m not surprised that God is taking all the children away from this incomparable father! He is too dear to his Heart for Him not to look upon him and his family with a very special love. How our dear mother must be smiling down upon you, she must be rejoicing to see her darling boat being so well directed by you towards Heaven.


Entrée aqua-entree-1
St. Thérèse crosses the threshold of the cloister, a later watercolor | Photo: Archives of the Carmel of Lisieux | Visit the Archives site to see the annotated sketch for this watercolor and all of the artworks associated with the life of St. Thérèse, her “Life in Pictures


O best of fathers, how accountable we would be if we didn’t become saints, and if we didn’t follow in the footsteps of your generosity… Ah! How Jesus will have to repay you a hundredfold for the lily barely in bloom, the lily, filled with freshness, that you are offering him today. Oh, your crown in heaven! Darling Father, how radiant and beautiful it will be. Ah! Pray that your diamond may not be too pale beside so many beauties.

I can’t continue any longer, my heart is too full of affection for you and is all yours.

Our Mother couldn’t help crying as she read Céline’s account. Ah! What a remarkable father you are!!

M. of the S. H.

O best of fathers, how accountable we would be if we didn’t become saints

N.B. — St. Thérèse entered the Carmel of Lisieux on the Feast of the Annunciation, which was deferred to Monday, April 9 in the year 1888 because March 25 was Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord. “Our Mother” refers to the prioress, Mother Marie de Gonzague. You can read a brief biographical sketch of Mother Marie here; as Sr. Geneviève (Céline) remarked at the end of her life to another younger member of the community, “But we loved her! But you would have loved her! Only…” she continued with an appropriate facial expression “she was feared as a storm is feared when you have no umbrella … “

Read an outstanding essay concerning Thérèse’s entry to the Carmel of Lisieux on April 9, written by St. Thérèse expert Maureen O’Riordan and illustrated with 19th-century photos, published on her blog Saint Therese of Lisieux: A Gateway.


The letter from Marie of the Sacred Heart to her father, Saint Louis Martin, all correspondence by family and friends, and other texts and sources concerning St. Thérèse are found on the official website of the Archives of the Carmel of Lisieux

Quote of the day: 25 February

On Wednesday, the 25th of February 1959, at 9:25 a.m. Sister Geneviève of the Holy Face died at the age of 89 years and 10 months, and 63 years of religious profession.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today! — Jesus!

Céline Martin
Sr. Geneviève of the Holy Face, OCD

Read the complete account of her final day on our post, Adieu Céline

Quote of the day: 5 February

Your life will pass like an instant.
On Carmel we are very near Heaven.
My beloved, my love has chosen you.
I have reserved a glorious throne for you!….

Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus
PN 16, Song of Gratitude of Jesus’s Fiancée


On 5 February 1895, Céline Martin was clothed in the Carmelite habit and began her novitiate in the Carmel of Lisieux. St. Thérèse wrote the Song of Gratitude of Jesus’s Fiancée as a gift for her sister’s clothing.

14 December: St. John of the Cross

December 14
Priest, Doctor of the Church, and our Father


When December 14 falls on a Sunday, the solemnity is transferred to the following day.

John was born at Fontiveros in Spain about 1542. He entered the Carmelites and with the permission of his superiors began to live a stricter life. Afterwards, he was persuaded by Saint Teresa to begin, together with some others, the Discalced reform within the Order; this cost him much hard work and many trials. He died in Ubeda in 1591, outstanding in holiness and wisdom, to which his many spiritual writings give eloquent witness.

Evening Prayer I


Soldier of the King eternal,
Valiant warrior, hail to thee!
Column raised to heights supernal
In unshaken majesty.
We revere thy glorious merits
And the tide of homage wells
From the fountain of our spirits,
Heav’nward rising as it swells.

Thou hast felt the strong protection
Of the Virgin Mother’s power,
Saving thee with sweet election
In the dread and dangerous hour.
Since thy youth she never swerveth
In her watchful care of thee,
And forever she preserveth
Him who vowed her slave to be.

Chosen offspring of our Mother,
In her labors thou didst share,
Aiding her, as son and brother,
Carmel’s beauty to repair;
Ruined shrine and temple raising
From the dust of slow decay,
Mary’s honor meetly praising,
In the dawn of fairer day.

Lo, the Cross thy weapon glorious,
As on Calvary’s height of yore,
When our Jesus reigned victorious,
Fallen nature to restore;
So thy burning love retrieveth
Glory of an ancient race,
And by suffering achieveth
Marvels of renewing grace.

Praise unto thy God be given
For the grace, O John, conferred,
When with chalice raised to Heaven,
Thine entreating prayer was heard:
In that first rapt celebration
Of the sacrifice divine,
Pledge of thine assured salvation
He hath deigned in love to sign.

Regis aeterni generose miles


Ant. 1 He opened his mouth in prayer, and the Lord filled him with the spirit of understanding.

Psalm 113

Praise, O servants of the Lord, *
praise the name of the Lord!
May the name of the Lord be blessed *
both now and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to its setting *
praised be the name of the Lord!

High above all nations is the Lord, *
above the heavens his glory.
Who is like the Lord, our God, *
who has risen on high to his throne
yet stoops from the heights to look down, *
to look down upon heaven and earth?

From the dust he lifts up the lowly, *
from his misery he raises the poor
to set him in the company of princes, *
yes, with the princes of his people.
To the childless wife he gives a home *
and gladdens her heart with children.

Ant. He opened his mouth in prayer, and the Lord filled him with the spirit of understanding.

Ant. 2 The Lord gave him treasures out of the darkness, and riches that had been hidden away.

Psalm 146

My soul, give praise to the Lord; +
I will praise the Lord all my days, *
make music to my God while I live.

Put no trust in princes *
in mortal men in whom there is no help.
Take their breath, they return to clay *
and their plans that day come to nothing.

He is happy who is helped by Jacob’s God, *
whose hope is in the Lord his God,
who alone made heaven and earth, *
the seas and all they contain.

It is he who keeps faith forever, *
who is just to those who are oppressed.
It is he who gives bread to the hungry, *
the Lord, who sets prisoners free,

the Lord who gives sight to the blind, *
who raises up those who are bowed down,
the Lord, who protects the stranger *
and upholds the widow and orphan.

It is the Lord who loves the just *
but thwarts the path of the wicked.
The Lord will reign forever, *
Zion’s God, from age to age.

Ant. The Lord gave him treasures out of the darkness, and riches that had been hidden away.

Ant. 3 No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no human heart has conceived all that God has prepared for those who love him.

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. No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no human heart has conceived all that God has prepared for those who love him.


Ephesians 3:14-19

I, Paul, kneel before the Father from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name; and I pray that he will bestow on you gifts in keeping with the riches of his glory. May he strengthen you inwardly through the working of his Spirit. May Christ dwell in your hearts through faith, and may charity be the root and foundation of your life. Thus you will be able to grasp fully, with all the holy ones, the breadth and length and height and depth of Christ’s love, and experience this love which surpasses all knowledge, so that you may attain to the fullness of God himself.


The God who brought light out of darkness has shone in our hearts.
The God who brought light out of darkness has shone in our hearts.

To give the light of knowledge of God’s glory that appears in the face of Christ.
He has shone in our hearts.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit
The God who brought light out of darkness has shone in our hearts.


Ant. I sought wisdom in my prayer; I found it abundantly within myself, and advanced greatly in it.


Christ our Redeemer inspired our Father Saint John of the Cross to follow him, and raised him to the heights of contemplation. Let us praise our Lord, and say:

R/.  Glory to you forever!

Christ our God, you taught your servant John the science of the Cross;
kindle the fire of your love in those to whom you have entrusted the teaching and government of your Church.

Christ, unfailing light, you reveal yourself in the night of faith to the poor in spirit;
let your face shine on all those who seek you in poverty amid the darkness of this world.

Christ, our only teacher, you disclose your highest secrets to those who love and seek you;
grant the consummation of your love to those you have called to serve you in Carmel.

Christ, triumphant in heaven in the midst of all your saints,
grant everlasting rest and peace in your glory to all our departed brothers and sisters.

Our Father…


you endowed our Father Saint John of the Cross
with a spirit of self-denial and a love of the cross.
By following his example
may we come to the eternal vision 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.



Ant. Come, let us worship Christ Jesus, sole Word of the Father.

Invitatory psalm, as in the Ordinary

Office of Readings


O John, rejoice this hallowed day
The triumph of the Cross to hail,
Whereon with Christ ‘twas thine to stay,
Transfixed with pang of spear and nail!

Nor insults, scorn, nor cruel scourge,
Bondage, nor hunger can restrain
The love thy panting soul doth urge
To taste the bitter draught of pain.

Thine only joy, thy sole reward,
The boon for which thy spirit sighed,
To mirror here thy suffering Lord,
Like Him in anguish crucified.

While thou dost search the mystic night,
Through darkness gleams a radiant star,
And Carmel’s camp is all alight,
With flame that leads to heights afar.

Let them that dwell in bliss above
Praise Thee, O Christ, with joyful lay,
Let them that run to Thee in love
Pursue, like John, the thorn-strewn way.

Diem Ioammes advehit


Ant. 1 God chose us to be conformed to the image of his Son.

Psalm 16

Preserve me, God, I take refuge in you. +
I say to the Lord: “You are my God. *
My happiness lies in you alone.”

He has put into my heart a marvelous love +
for the faithful ones who dwell in his land. *
Those who choose other gods increase their sorrows.
Never will I offer their offerings of blood. *
Never will I take their name upon my lips.

O Lord, it is you who are my portion and cup; *
it is you yourself who are my prize.
The lot marked out for me is my delight: *
welcome indeed the heritage that falls to me!

I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel, *
who even at night directs my heart.
I keep the Lord ever in my sight: *
since he is at my right hand, I shall stand firm.

And so my heart rejoices, my soul is glad; *
even my body shall rest in safety.
For you will not leave my soul among the dead, *
nor let your beloved know decay.

You will show me the path of life, +
the fullness of joy in your presence, *
at your right hand happiness forever.

Ant. God chose us to be conformed to the image of his Son.

Ant. 2 Among you I claimed to know nothing save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

Psalm 34: I

I will bless the Lord at all times,
his praise always on my lips;
in the Lord my soul shall make its boast. *
The humble shall hear and be glad.

Glorify the Lord with me. *
Together let us praise his name.
I sought the Lord and he answered me; *
from all my terrors he set me free.

Look towards him and be radiant; *
let your faces not be abashed.
This poor man called; the Lord heard him *
and rescued him from all his distress.

The angel of the Lord is encamped *
around those who revere him, to rescue them.
Taste and see that the Lord is good. *
He is happy who seeks refuge in him.

Revere the Lord, you his saints. *
They lack nothing, those who revere him.
Strong lions suffer want and go hungry *
but those who seek the Lord lack no blessing.

Ant. Among you I claimed to know nothing save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

Ant. 3 For me, to live is Christ, to die is gain.

Psalm 34: II

Come, children, and hear me *
that I may teach you the fear of the Lord.
Who is he who longs for life  *
and many days to enjoy his prosperity?

Then keep your tongue from evil *
and your lips from speaking deceit.
Turn aside from evil and do good, *
seek and strive after peace.

The Lord turns his face against the wicked *
to destroy their remembrance from the earth.
The Lord turns his eyes to the just *
and his ears to their appeal.

They call and the Lord hears *
and rescues them in all their distress.
The Lord is close to the broken-hearted; *
those whose spirit is crushed he will save.

Many are the trials of the just man *
but from them all the Lord will rescue him.
He will keep guard over all his bones, *
not one of his bones shall be broken.

Evil brings death to the wicked, *
those who hate the good are doomed.
The Lord ransoms the souls of his servants. *
Those who hide in him shall not be condemned.

Ant. For me, to live is Christ, to die is gain. In you is the source of life.
In your light we see light itself.

From the letter of the apostle Paul to the Colossians
Colossians 1:11-29

God has transferred us to the Kingdom of his beloved Son

By the might of his glory you will be endowed with the strength needed to stand fast, even to endure joyfully whatever may come, giving thanks to the Father for having made you worthy to share the lot of the saints in light. He rescued us from the power of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of his beloved Son. Through him we have redemption, the forgiveness of our sins.

He is the image of the invisible God, the first born of all creatures. In him, everything in heaven and on earth was created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominations, principalities or powers; all were created through him and for him. He is before all else that is. In him everything continues in being. It is he who is head of the body, the church; he who is the beginning, the first-born of the dead, so that the primacy may be his in everything. It pleased God to make absolute fullness reside in him and, by means of him, to reconcile everything in his person, both on earth and in the heavens, making peace through the blood of his cross.

You yourselves were once alienated from him; you nourished hostility in your hearts because of your evil deeds. But now, Christ has achieved reconciliation for you in his mortal body by dying, so as to present you to God holy, free of reproach and blameless. But you must hold fast to faith, be firmly grounded and steadfast in it, unshaken in the hope promised you by the gospel you have heard. It is the gospel which has been announced to every creature under heaven, and I, Paul, am its servant.

Even now I find my joy in the suffering I endure for you. In my own flesh I fill up what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ for the sake of his body, the church. I became a minister of this church through the commission God gave me to preach among you his word in its fullness, that mystery hidden from ages and generations past but now revealed to his holy ones. God has willed to make known to them the glory beyond price which this mystery brings to the Gentiles—the mystery of Christ in you, your hope of glory. This is the Christ we proclaim while we admonish all men and teach them in the full measure of wisdom, hoping to make every man complete in Christ. For this I work and struggle, impelled by that energy of his which is so powerful a force within me.


This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased;
—listen to him.

In many and varied ways God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us in his Son.
Listen to him.

The second reading and responsory may be taken from The Liturgy of the Hours or the following may be used:

From The Spiritual Canticle by Saint John of the Cross
(Red. B, st. 1,4 — ed. Kavanaugh-Rodriguez 1979, pp. 434-45)

Traces of the divine beauty in creation

Created things in themselves, as Saint Augustine declares, give testimony to God’s grandeur and excellence. For God created all things with remarkable ease and brevity, and in them he left some trace of who he is, not only in giving all things being from nothing, but even by endowing them with innumerable graces and qualities, making them beautiful in a wonderful order and unfailing dependence on one another. All of this he did through his own wisdom, the Word, his only begotten Son by whom he created them.

Saint Paul says: The Son of God is the splendor of his glory and the image of his substance. It should be known that only with this figure, his Son, did God look at all things, that is he communicated to them their natural being and many natural graces and gifts, and made them complete and perfect, as is said in Genesis: God looked at all things that he made, and they were very good. To look and behold that they were very good was to make them very good in the Word, his Son.

Not only by looking at them did he communicate natural being and graces, as we said, but also with this image of his Son alone, he clothed them in beauty by imparting to them supernatural being. This he did when he became man and elevated human nature in the beauty of God and consequently all creatures, since in human nature he was united with them all.

Accordingly, the Son of God proclaimed: If I be lifted up from the earth, I will elevate all things to me. And in this elevation of all things through the incarnation of his Son and through the glory of his resurrection according to the flesh, the Father did not merely beautify creatures partially, but rather we can say, clothed them wholly in beauty and dignity.


Prayer of a Soul Taken with Love

O God, you will not deprive me of what you have given me in Christ.
In him you have given me all things.

Mine are the heavens, mine is the earth,
mine are the peoples, the just and the sinners,
mine are the angels, and mine is the Mother of God
In him you have given me all things.

Those who desire to extend, in accordance with tradition, the celebration of the Vigil of Solemnities and Feasts should first celebrate the Office of Readings; after the two readings and before the Te Deum they should add the canticles and Gospel as indicated below.

A homily may follow the Gospel. The Te Deum is then sung, followed by the concluding prayer and the conclusion of the Hour as usual.



Ant. Come, let us climb the mountain of the Lord, where God is pleased to dwell; there dwell his honor and glory alone.

Canticles from the Common of the Dedication of a Church

Jn 12:35-36a, 44b-50

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John

Believe in the light and you will become sons of light

Jesus declared publicly:

“The light will be with you only a little longer now.
Walk while you have the light,
or the dark will overtake you;
he who walks in the dark does not know where he is going.
While you still have the light,
believe in the light
and you will become sons of light.”

“Whoever believes in me
believes not in me
but in the one who sent me,
and whoever sees me,
sees the one who sent me.
and whoever sees me,
sees the one who sent me.
I, the light, have come into the world,
so that whoever believes in me
need not stay in the dark anymore.
If anyone hears my words and does not keep them faithfully,
it is not I who shall condemn him,
since I have come not to condemn the world,
but to save the world:
he who rejects me and refuses my words
has his judge already:
the word itself that I have spoken
will be his judge on the last day.
For what I have spoken does not come from myself;
no, what I was to say, what I had to speak,
was commanded by the Father who sent me,
and I know that his commands mean eternal life.
And therefore what thee Father has told me
is what I speak.

HYMN, Te Deum.


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.


Morning Prayer


Bearing His Cross, the gentle Lord drew nigh,
Offering the crown by merit richly won.
O Love! to quaff Thy cup and with Thee die,
Low answers John.

To live despised, in suffering and alone,
The one insatiate yearning of his breast;
To die devoid of honor, and unknown,
His heart’s request.

Death yielded triumph of the Cross at last,
While dazzling globes of fire from Heav’n descend,
And o’er his deeds the light of glory cast
To cheer his end.

His dying couch, with light irradiate,
Dims with celestial beam earth’s fitful flame,
Perfumes exhale, breathing of heavenly state
And saintly fame.

Honor supreme be to the Father given,
To Word and Paraclete in praise unite,
Upon whose Triune flame the hosts of Heaven
Feed with delight.
Dum crucem gestat Dominus, Ioanni


Let us together
Up the high mountain
Go where the weather
Keeps a June glow.
You in your beauty,
I in your beauty,
Earth in your beauty,
All give delight.

Up past the steepest
Cliffs of our striving,
Up from the deepest
Thickets of pain
Where darkness bound you,
Ravaged and slew you,
Till daybreak found you,
Risen again.

Haste then our going
Up the high mountain,
Pure water flowing
Down from the height,
Wind in the spruces,
Light on the aspens,
Fruit of sweet juices
All give delight.

Deep caverns holding
Secrets of heaven,
Summits unfolding
Myst’ries divine,
Nightingale singing,
Grove lit with beauty
Each new day bringing
Taste of new wine.

Sweet the ascending
Up the high mountain,
Sweeter the ending
Love spread abroad.
Everyone sharing
Grace of your image.
Everyone bearing
The beauty of God.

Sr. Miriam of the Holy Spirit, O.C.D.


Ant. 1 Truly you are a hidden God, O God of Israel, our Savior.

Psalms and canticle from Sunday, Week I

Ant. 2 All things are yours, for you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.

Ant. 3 Give thanks to the Lord in your hearts, sing him spiritual canticles.


2 Corinthians 3:17-18

The Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. All of us, gazing on the Lord’s glory with unveiled faces, are being transformed from glory to glory into his very image by the Lord who is the Spirit.


Your light will shine in the darkness and the darkness will be as noon.
Your light will shine in the darkness and the darkness will be as noon.

The Lord will fill your soul with his splendor,
and the darkness will be as noon.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit
Your light will shine in the darkness and the darkness will be as noon.


Ant. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become children of light.

Or: The Lord has come to give light to those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet in the way of peace.


Jesus Christ, the head and bridegroom of his Church makes us joyful today on this feast of John of the Cross, his servant. Let us say to him:

R/.  You, Christ, are the King of Glory.

Only Word of the Father, uttered eternally in the eternal silence, and in the fullness of time received in the Virgin’s womb;
—may we hear your words today in the depths of our hearts, and put them into practice.

Wisdom of the Father, you showed your great love for us by emptying yourself in the Incarnation and on the Cross;
may we, who have been redeemed by your blood, always live in close communion with you.

Perfect Image of the Godhead, in whom all the mysteries of eternal love are revealed and poured out,
may we go forward in the strength of your Spirit, toward your inaccessible light.

Supreme Delight of the Father, in whom God looks mercifully on all men;
may we become perfect in compassion as our heavenly Father is perfect.

First-born of all creation, through you the Father in his goodness created and re-created all things,
may our thoughts be turned today from the visible world to your invisible beauty.

Our Father…


you endowed our Father Saint John of the Cross
with a spirit of self-denial and a love of the cross.
By following his example
may we come to the eternal vision 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.


Daytime Prayer

Complementary psalmody


Ant. Those who wish to come after me must deny themselves, take up their cross, and follow me.


Ephesians 4:22-24

Acquire a fresh, spiritual way of thinking. You must put on that new man created in God’s image, whose justice and holiness are born of truth.

A pure heart create for me, O God.
Put a steadfast spirit within me.


Ant. Whoever would draw near to God must believe; the righteous live by faith.


Romans 5:1-2

Now that we have been justified by faith, we are at peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have gained access by faith to the grace in which we now stand, and we boast of our hope for the glory of God.

I live by faith in the Son of God.
Who loved me and gave himself for me.


Ant. Your strength will lie in silence and hope.


Romans 8:24-25

In hope we were saved. But hope is not hope if its object is seen; how is it possible for one to hope for what he sees? And hoping for what we cannot see means awaiting it with patient endurance.

The Lord is good to those who trust in him.
To the soul who seeks him.


you endowed our Father Saint John of the Cross
with a spirit of self-denial and a love of the cross.
By following his example
may we come to the eternal vision 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.


Evening Prayer II


Saint of the eagle eye,
Gazing enrapt on high
Mid dread abysses of Divinity;
Martyr by heart’s intent,
Virgin yet penitent,
Prophet and guide in realms of mystery.

Oft in thy life, ’tis told
Sweet converse thou didst hold
With the pure Virgin and her Son divine;
Thence came the wondrous light
Flooding with glory bright
Thy mystic page, for wisdom there did shine.

Clearly thou dost reveal
Secrets the clouds conceal
For thou hast seeped thy soul in rays above,
Pondering the mountain height,
Darkness of faith’s long night
And the reviving flame of mystic love.

When by God’s holy will
Thou dost His word instill,
Wondrous the marvels by the soul divined,
Like Him evoking light
From chaos deep as night,
Cheering with healthful beams the darkened mind.

O John, thy praise intone
Prostrate before the throne!
Thee hath the Father signed with light most true,
Gifts of the Spirit shine
And the meek Lamb divine
Openeth the book of life to thy pure view.

O satis felix! Speculator alti

Ant. 1 God loved us so much that he brought us to life with Christ.

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. God loved us so much that he brought us to life with Christ.

Ant. 2 We know and believe in the love God has for us.

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. We know and believe in the love God has for us.

Ant. 3 The love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given us.

Canticle: Ephesians 1:3-10

Praised be the God and Father *
of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Who has bestowed on us in Christ *
every spiritual blessing in the heavens.

God chose us in him *
before the world began,
to be holy *
and blameless in his sight.

He predestined us +
to be his adopted sons through Jesus Christ, *
such was his will and pleasure,
that all might praise the glorious favor *
he has bestowed on us in his beloved.

In him and through his blood we have been redeemed, *
and our sins forgiven,
so immeasurably generous *
is God’s favor to us.

God has given us the wisdom *
to understand fully the mystery,
the plan he was pleased *
to decree in Christ.

A plan to be carried out *
in Christ, in the fullness of time,
to bring all things into one in him, *
in the heavens and on the earth.

Ant. The love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given us.


1 Corinthians 13:8-10, 12-13, 14:1a

Love never fails. Prophecies will cease, tongues will be silent, knowledge will pass away. Our knowledge is imperfect and our prophesying is imperfect. When the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. Now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. My knowledge is imperfect now; then I shall know even as I am known. There are in the end three things that last: faith, hope and love, and the greatest of these is love. Seek eagerly after love.


Love is as strong as death: It flashes forth like flames of fire.
Love is as strong as death: It flashes forth like flames of fire.

Who can separate us from the love of Christ?
It flashes forth like flames of fire.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit
Love is as strong as death: It flashes forth like flames of fire.


Ant. Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, so that the love with which you loved me may be in them, and that I may be in them.

God the Father has given us his Spirit through Jesus Christ his beloved Son, so that we may be partakers in the divine nature and witnesses to his love in the Church. Let us praise him and say:

R/.  Through the intercession of Saint John, hear us, O Lord.

Give your Church the living faith that will lead all men and women to seek you;
and bring them to the closest union with you.

Give the hope of heaven to all who are faithful in seeking you;
may they obtain all that they hope for.

Pour out your love upon us;
that where there is no love we may put love and so draw love out.

May all Carmelites be imitators of the Virgin Mary, Mother of our Order;
may we follow every inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Grant final purification to our departed brothers and sisters,
so that they may come without delay to sing canticles of love with all your saints.

Our Father…


you endowed our Father Saint John of the Cross
with a spirit of self-denial and a love of the cross.
By following his example
may we come to the eternal vision 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.

Saint John of the Cross and three miraculous apparitions in his relics
Saint John of the Cross and three miraculous apparitions in his relics
Anonymous (Spanish, 17th c.)
Engraving, used as a cover for the ms. Informaciones sobre la vida y milagros de San Juan de la Cruz 
Manuscrito 12738, Biblioteca Nacional de España

Teresa de Jesús y ‘La pluma dorada’: Scholarly articles and estudios dedicados a Alison Weber — Teresa, de la rueca a la pluma blog

Nota Bene: Míriada Hispánica is the academic review published by the University of Virginia Hispanic Studies Program. The most recent issue, No. 16, is dedicated as a festschrift in homage to Professor Alison Weber upon her retirement from the University as Professor of Spanish. Well known among Carmelites for her groundbreaking work Teresa de Avila and the Rhetoric of Femininity  (Princeton UP, 1990; reprinted in paperback in 1996), Dr. Weber continues to teach as a Professor Emerita and continues to pursue her research interests concerning Saint Teresa, the Spanish mystics, and women’s writing in early modern Spain. Numero 16 of Míriada Hispánica features two articles in English in regard to Carmelite themes. Teresa of Avila, Courtier by Professor Luis Corteguera of the University of Kansas examines Teresa of Avila’s views on authority as reflected in her courtly metaphors. María de San José in Portugal: Life in the Lisbon Carmel by Dr. Barbara Mujica, Professor of Spanish Emerita at Georgetown University offers a detailed, fascinating, and well-sourced account of the María de San José’s influence and experience that prepared the Discalced Carmelite nuns of Lisbon to cope with the English attack on their monastery in 1589.

The entire issue is available for free download here


La profesora Alison Weber, recientemente jubilada de la Universidad de Virgina, ha sido objeto de un homenaje por parte de la revista Miriada Hispánica, que edita la Universidad de Virginia en su Centro de Estudios de Valencia (Hispanic Studies Program). El último número, coordinado por Jennifer E. Barlow, está dedicado a temas muy queridos por […]

via Teresa de Jesús y ‘La pluma dorada’. Estudios dedicados a Alison Weber — Teresa, de la rueca a la pluma

Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel: Day 4

Scripture – Isaiah 26:3-4

You, Lord, give perfect peace
   to those who keep their purpose firm
   and put their trust in you.
Trust in the Lord forever;
   he will always protect us.

Reading – Blessed Constance of Compiègne’s address to her brother, as recorded by Sr. Marie of the Incarnation (Mme. Philippe)

Gentlemen, it was only with the consent of my parents that I entered here. If they now want me to leave because their tenderness causes them to be alarmed by those dangers I may face in wanting to remain, I am grateful to them. But nothing, absolutely nothing but death can ever separate me from the company of my Mothers and Sisters. And you, my brother, whom I am happy to see, though probably for the last time, please reassure our dear parents that indifference plays no part in my refusal to yield to their desires. My heart is even sorely grieved to cause them sorrow. Yet surely they won’t find it a bad thing that I am led by my conscience. Plead with them then on my behalf, beg them not to worry about me since nothing whatsoever can happen except as it pleases God to allow it. And, in regard to that, I am completely at peace.

Novena Prayer

O Most beautiful Flower of Mount Carmel,
Fruitful Vine, Splendor of heaven,
Blessed Mother of the Son of God,
Immaculate Virgin, assist me in this my necessity.
O Star of the Sea, help me
and show me herein that you are my Mother.

O Holy Mary, Mother of God,
Queen of heaven and earth,
I humbly beseech you from the bottom of my heart
to succor me in this necessity.
There are none that can withstand your power!
O help me and show me herein that you are my Mother.

Our Lady, Queen and Beauty of Carmel,
pray for me and obtain my requests!
Sweet Mother, I place this cause in your hands!

Excerpt from William Bush, To Quell the Terror: The Mystery of the Vocation of the Sixteen Carmelites of Compiègne Guillotined July 17, 1774 
Copyright © 1999, 2013 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc. 
 Published by ICS Publications, Washington DC

Novena to Saints Louis and Zélie Martin – Day 6

through my tears,
my heart abounds with joy


April 10, 1888

… Thérèse, my little Queen, entered Carmel yesterday! God alone could demand such a sacrifice, but He’s helping me so powerfully that through my tears, my heart abounds with joy.

One who loves you,

Louis Martin.

From Louis Martin to the Nogrix family – April 10, 1888

You must be renewed in mind and spirit, and put on the new man.
V/.  So that you may be able to discover what is God’s will,
what is good, pleasing and perfect.

O God,
who gave to Saint Louis and Marie Zelie
the grace to lead a life of holiness
as Christian spouses and parents,
grant that, through their intercession and example,
we may be able to love and serve you faithfully,
living worthily our own vocation.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Discover more from the letters of Saints Louis Martin and Zélie Guérin on the website of the archives of the Carmel of Lisieux

The poor carpenter Joseph

Excerpted from Scene 2 of The Flight Into Egypt, Pious Recreation 6 by Saint Thérèse of Lisieux (21 January 1896)

Saint Joseph enters, carrying his tools.
THE BLESSED VIRGIN, with a tone of gentle reproach.

Joseph, you’ve been away a long time, why do you work such long days?

O, Mary! Let me spend my energy in the service of Jesus. It is for Him and for you that I work; this thought gives me cour­age and helps me to bear fatigue. And then, when I return in the evening, one caress from Jesus, a single glance from you, make me forget the day’s labors.
He wipes the sweat from his brow, then sits down by Alary and looks at the Child Jesus. The Blessed Virgin puts Him on Saint Joseph’s knees; then his face takes on an expression of Celestial joy; he presses the Divine Child to his heart, kisses Him lovingly and. says to Him:
Little Child! How sweet Your smile is!… Is it really true that I, the poor carpenter Joseph, have the happiness of hold­ing in my arms the King of Heaven, the Savior of humanity?… Is it true that I have the sublime mission of being the foster father to Him whose presence satisfies the ardent seraphim and who nourishes even- creature? Is it true that I am the spouse of the Mother of God, the guardian of her virginity?…

O Mary! Tell me, what is this profound mystery?… The Desired of the eternal hills, the Emmanuel for whom all the patriarchs have sighed, sits on my knees and He looks at me, His poor, unworthy servant.


Like you, Joseph, I am astonished to be able to press to my heart the Divine Child whose mother I am; I am astonished that a little milk is needful to Him who gives life to the world. (After a long, contemplative silence, Mary continues:) Soon Jesus will grow up and you will have to teach the Creator of the uni­verse how to work…. With you, He will earn His bread by the sweat of His adorable brow….


What are you saving, Mary? Must Jesus become a poor workman like me? I’ll never have the courage to see Him hear the reproaches I receive!…

Even today, the rich lord for whom I was working was not happy with my work and sent me away, telling me to seek my fortune elsewhere. After much searching and main rebuffs, I finally found enough work to last a whole month: I’ll be able to do it here at home, a happiness for which I didn’t dare to hope. Not to go away from Jesus and from you, what a consolation!… (Realizing that little Jesus is asleep, he lowers his voice) The Di­me Child is sleeping; take up your Treasure, His bedtime has come. (He kisses Jesus on the forehead, then gives Him to Mary who takes Him respectfully.)


Joseph, may God bless your sleep, rest in peace beneath the gaze of Him whose heart is always watching.

Read more here

Holy Family_REMBRANDT_with a curtain

The Holy Family With a Curtain, Rembrandt van Rijn, 1646


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