On this feast day of St. Albert of Jerusalem, we recall that he gave the Rule of Life to Carmelite hermits who lived "near the spring on Mount Carmel." He urged them to clothe themselves with God's armor and to prepare for "the enemy's ambush". The enemy came in human form when the Mamluks who conquered the Crusader stronghold at Acre moved south unchallenged and massacred the hermits on Carmel.
"The soul must practice the following instructions if it wishes to attain in a short time holy recollection and spiritual silence, nakedness, and poverty of spirit, where one enjoys the peaceful comfort of the Holy Spirit," writes St John of the Cross in the introduction to The Precautions.
"I would desire all fears so as not to offend for an instant Him who in an instant can annihilate us, because it pleases His Majesty that there be no one against us whom He will not put to flight."
We celebrate the baptism of St. Teresa with an excerpt from the Book of Her Life: "He never tires of giving, nor can He exhaust His mercies. Let us not tire of receiving."
What is the Discalced Carmelite experience in Ukraine at the moment? Provincial Delegate Father Józef Kucharczyk explains: "This is what I feel: spiritual warfare! I don’t feel like a hero... The priests and the faithful don’t feel like heroes, but we are really fighting with the devil!"
Like our Lord in today's gospel reading, St. Teresa compares the soul to a tree that is planted by the fount of life. "There would be no freshness, no fruit, if it were not for this fount sustaining the tree, preventing it from drying up, and causing it to produce good fruit."
From the beginning of the Interior Castle, St. Teresa of Avila explains what it would mean for this "beautiful castle... to fall into mortal sin; there's no darker darkness nor anything more obscure and black...."
A soul depends on grace in proportion to its desire for greater perfection. God's help is necessary at every moment because, without it, the soul can do nothing.
Since man's life on earth is a time of trial, and all who would live devotedly in Christ must undergo persecution...
From 7th April to 10th May, the day on which the Blessed Virgin healed her, Therese remained in a sorry state
"She is Mother to us all in the order of grace"