The Holy Family: The fiber of humanity — Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.

Homily

The Holy Family of
Jesus, Mary, and Joseph
Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.
Auxiliary Bishop of Managua

Saint Agatha Catholic Church
Archdiocese of Miami
29 December 2019


Gospel
Mt 2:13-15, 19-23

When the magi had departed, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said,
“Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt,
and stay there until I tell you.

Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.”
Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night
and departed for Egypt.
He stayed there until the death of Herod,
that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled,
Out of Egypt I called my son.

When Herod had died, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared in a dream
to Joseph in Egypt and said,
“Rise, take the child and his mother and go to the land of Israel,
for those who sought the child’s life are dead.”
He rose, took the child and his mother,
and went to the land of Israel.
But when he heard that Archelaus was ruling over Judea
in place of his father Herod,
he was afraid to go back there.
And because he had been warned in a dream,
he departed for the region of Galilee.
He went and dwelt in a town called Nazareth,
so that what had been spoken through the prophets
might be fulfilled,
He shall be called a Nazorean.

 


 

Dear brothers and sisters:

Today we celebrate the feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, which reminds us of a particular dimension of the mystery of God’s becoming human in Jesus Christ: the Lord wanted to live in the very heart of a family. He entered the world as a child, born of the Virgin Mary and, through Joseph he received a legal father, was lovingly welcomed and protected by his parents, and was educated by them in the best human and religious values of his people. Ever since then the family, every family, has a certain sacredness. The Son of God sanctifies and gladdens every family with his presence and enables families to experience tenderness, reconciliation, and hope by sustaining them with his tender and merciful love.

The gospel text that we heard reminds us that Jesus’ family was a family like many of our families today, forced to move to foreign lands to save their lives and survive. As soon as Jesus is born, he suffers opposition from the mighty of this world, as will be the case throughout his life. The servant Messiah, devoid of power, always will be spied upon, persecuted, and harassed by the leaders of religion and politics who are governed by selfishness, ambition, and violence. The powerful are afraid of God’s people and respond to the gifts of God with intimidation and terror.

King Herod, who ruled in Judea, fearing the “king of the Jews” (Mt 2:2), who according to the testimony of the Magi was just born in Bethlehem, decided to take drastic measures to eliminate the child. Those who wield power like despots in an authoritarian manner always live in fear of losing their power. Ambitious and thirsty for power, Herod is afraid and orders the murder of all the children under the age of two in Bethlehem (Mt 2:16). Like the ancient Pharaoh of Egypt, like the tyrants of today who dominate by repression and the shedding of innocent blood, Herod chooses to kill rather than lose his power and privileges. History repeats itself.

Because he’s just a little child, Jesus is not able to take care of himself and protect himself from danger and it’s only thanks to Joseph and Mary’s care that his life is saved. Salvation history, woven by God with the fiber of humanity, passes through the daily events of families who are called to protect life by keeping love alive and seeking relationships of closeness and affection.

An angel, a messenger of the Lord, appeared in a dream to Joseph and commanded him: “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt, and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.” Joseph promptly obeys, takes Mary and the newborn with him, and goes to Egypt where they experience the dramatic conditions of refugees, characterized by fear, poverty, uncertainty, and discomfort (cf. Mt 2:13-15, 19-23).

Unfortunately, thousands of families in our Latin American countries can see themselves in this sad reality. I’m thinking especially of Cuba, Venezuela and, more recently, my beloved people in Nicaragua. How many people in our countries, children, women and the elderly included, have to leave their homeland because of hunger or violence in search of an existence with greater dignity or simply to save their lives! I’m thinking today especially of the approximately 80,000 Nicaraguans who’ve had to flee our country, persecuted by a dictatorial government and its dark forces of death, in search of safety, trying to survive at all costs by exposing themselves to all kinds of risks and dangers!

Jesus wanted to belong to a family that experienced these difficulties so that no one would feel excluded from God’s loving presence. The flight into Egypt caused by Herod’s threats shows us that God is there wherever people are in danger, wherever they suffer, wherever they are forced to flee, and wherever they experience rejection and abandonment. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph experienced what it means to leave your own land and become immigrants, to have to flee and take refuge in a foreign country. In the midst of such a painful drama, Mary’s maternal heart and Joseph’s attentive heart always held onto the trust that God never would abandon them. Through their intercession, may this same conviction be rooted in your hearts, dear brothers and sisters, most of you who are immigrants and refugees who have left our countries. Don’t sink into sadness or let yourselves be overcome by despair in the face of difficulties; put your trust in the God who is the protector of the weak and vulnerable and who will never abandon you; live out your exile in communion with Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, who will accompany you with their love and help you to envision ever-new horizons.

After some time following Herod’s death, an angel reveals to Joseph—once again in a dream—that he can return to Israel. The situation is as yet uncertain because Archelaus, Herod’s son, reigns over Judea. This is why Jesus and his parents are going to Galilee. Joseph, the great dreamer of the dreams of God, also dreams in Egypt, in a foreign land, and Mary and Jesus share those dreams with him. Exile is a time to welcome the dreams that are born from trust in God. God is also there where men and women dream, where they hope to return to their homes in freedom, and where they plan and make choices in favor of life and dignity for themselves and their families.

Exile, even when forced by socio-political circumstances, can become a time of salvation, an authentic experience of God in darkness and pain. The great majority of you, who are either immigrants or refugees because of egotism, corruption, and violence, have a special place in the heart of God. He comforts, protects and invites you not to reproduce the same dehumanizing patterns of behavior of those who forced you out of your own country. Those who live outside their land are called to behave honestly in public life in the country that welcomes them, to respect its laws and to conduct themselves with integrity in all aspects of life. But that isn’t all. Immigrants and refugees must cultivate selfless friendships and fraternal charity towards one another, you must help each other in times of difficulty and, as far as possible, create networks of humanitarian aid and support among yourselves.

The family of Nazareth, which knew exile with all its difficulties and was protected by God, returned to its land and invites all exiles and refugees to feel loved and protected by God. Don’t lose hope that a safer future is reserved for you, too. Let us ask Jesus, Joseph, and Mary that you always may find an outstretched hand to help you and that you may experience fellowship, solidarity, and the warmth of friendship. Don’t stop dreaming. Don’t forget your country, because as our great Rubén Dario said, “if the homeland is small, a great one can dream of it.” To my Nicaraguan compatriots outside the homeland, I remind you that Nicaragua is made for freedom, not for living like hostages. From now on, let us dream and strive to build a more dignified country for everyone, one that is free, just, peaceful and democratic. God is with us.

 

 

"Holy Family" by Simon Vouet (French, 1590-1649) is licensed under CC0 1.0
Holy Family
Simon Vouet (French, 1590-1649)
Etching, 1633
Cleveland Museum of Art (Licensed under CC0 1.0)

 


Silvio José Báez, O.C.D. has served as the Auxiliary Bishop of Managua since May 2009, when he was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI. A scripture scholar, a former professor at the Pontifical Theological Faculty Teresianum in Rome and editor of the facultys eponymous academic journal, the bishop currently serves at the good pleasure of the Holy Father Pope Francis in Rome.  Read our profile of Bishop Báez here and search our blog posts concerning the bishop here.

 

This English translation of Bishop Báez's Spanish homily is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission and attribution.

 

Jesus: God’s love story — Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.

Homily

The Nativity of the Lord
Mass During the Day
Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.
Auxiliary Bishop of Managua

Saint Agatha Catholic Church
Archdiocese of Miami
25 December 2019


Gospel
John 1:1-18

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came to be through him,
and without him nothing came to be.
What came to be through him was life,
and this life was the light of the human race;
the light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness has not overcome it.
A man named John was sent from God.
He came for testimony, to testify to the light,
so that all might believe through him.
He was not the light,
but came to testify to the light.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
He was in the world,
and the world came to be through him,
but the world did not know him.
He came to what was his own,
but his own people did not accept him.

But to those who did accept him
he gave power to become children of God,
to those who believe in his name,
who were born not by natural generation
nor by human choice nor by a man’s decision
but of God.
And the Word became flesh
and made his dwelling among us,
and we saw his glory,
the glory as of the Father’s only Son,
full of grace and truth.
John testified to him and cried out, saying,
“This was he of whom I said,
‘The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me
because he existed before me.’”
From his fullness we have all received,
grace in place of grace,
because while the law was given through Moses,
grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
No one has ever seen God.
The only Son, God, who is at the Father’s side,
has revealed him.

 


 

Dear brothers and sisters:

On this Christmas Day, the gospel that we heard is the prologue of the Gospel of John, which is a solemn poem, an authentic canticle dedicated to the Word of God, a hymn that from the earliest centuries helped Christians to delve into the mystery enclosed in Jesus of Nazareth.  If on this Christmas day we all listen to this gospel with simple faith and openness to God, it also can help us to believe in Jesus in a deeper way. Given the great richness of the Gospel text, we will try to dwell only on some of its central affirmations.

In the beginning was the Word

“In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was with God” (Jn 1:1). The prologue of John’s gospel starts with these words. It speaks of the beginning. Not the beginning of human history, but rather of the absolute principle from which everything has sprung. It affirms that from eternity “the Word” already existed. At the beginning of it all, there is no chaos, no absolute disorder; at the beginning of it all, there is no absurdity, darkness or nothingness. No. A word and a reason exist.  There is a divine “why” that brings everything into being and justifies everything that exists, a desire and a plan of God’s love that creates and guides everything. It’s a kind of divine wisdom (cf. Prov 8) that has created the universe and wisely maintains and cares for everything with tenderness and love.

Only if we trust that there has always been an eternal word from God that lovingly guides and directs everything for our good, can we ever overcome despair, moments of anguish, the unmanageability of our very lives, social and personal uncertainties, and the darkness in which everything seems to lose meaning.  Beyond all this, there is a logic, an eternal word, a divine reason, which is love. We can live with serenity and trust because God’s love, which is his eternal Word, which has always existed, enfolds, guides and protects us.

The Word of God became flesh

Today’s gospel has reminded us that God is not mute. From all eternity God has a word that he has wanted to speak, to communicate. He hasn’t remained silent, enclosed within himself. Throughout the course of history, that eternal word has been communicated to us: through creation, through revelation to the people of Israel, and through the cultures of all the peoples. God has always wanted to speak to us: to tell us how much he loves us, to reveal and explain his Word to us and his loving plan for us.

Today, we heard in the Gospel that this Word “became flesh” (Jn 1:14). The eternal Word became human, took on substance and entered history as a human being. Jesus of Nazareth is that Word that God has always wanted to speak to us. Jesus, the Word made flesh, incarnates God’s eternal plan; he embodies God’s infinite and gracious love for humanity and for each one of us.

God has not conveyed Himself to us through sublime concepts and doctrines. His Word has been incarnated in the intimate and simple life of Jesus so that even the most ordinary people can understand it. The eternal Word has been incarnated silently in the manger, like a child in need, so that we can welcome it and embrace it with love. In those days, the Word shone in Jesus’ humanity and was revealed in his works and words: when he healed the sick; when he offered God’s mercy and forgiveness to sinners; when he dedicated himself to acts of kindness by embracing the children on the streets, because he didn’t want anyone to feel like an orphan; when he blessed the sick, because he didn’t want them to feel forgotten by God; when he caressed the skin of lepers, because he didn’t want them to be excluded; and, when he died on the cross to teach us that no one has greater love than the one who gives his life for those whom he loves. The entire life of Jesus is the greatest book alive in which we can read the Word of God.

He made his dwelling among us

This Word of God “made his dwelling among us” (Jn 1:14). The distances have vanished. God became “flesh”; he became human like us out of love. Since his birth in Bethlehem, he has lived among us. He has fallen so intensely in love with humanity that he hasn’t departed from our midst. That is why to meet God we don’t have to go outside the world, but rather we need to approach Jesus and let ourselves be touched and invaded by the love of God that has been revealed in him. It’s up to us to allow ourselves to be surprised and embraced by this love on a daily basis.

It’s a pity that God has come down to the depths of our existence, yet life still seems empty to us; it’s a shame that God has come to dwell in the human heart, yet at times we feel an unbearable inner emptiness; and, it is a tragedy that God has come to reign among us, but seems to be totally absent from our interpersonal and social relationships.

When we don’t understand the sacred value of that which is material and human since God became man, we become indifferent to the hunger of the poor, or indifferent to the disrespect for human rights, the violence of war, or the destruction of the planet. When we don’t understand that God has taken on that which is material, we make the beauty of sex into an experience of slavery and deceptive pleasure. Because we don’t take seriously the fact that God took on all that is human, we don’t know how to accept our human limitations with humility, nor do we live with joy and patience the necessary journey of maturity and aging. Only when we lovingly take on our human condition do we fully accept God and allow Him to transform us with His infinite love.

No one has ever seen God

The text of today’s gospel ends with this statement: “No one has ever seen God: it is the only Son, who is nearest to the Father’s heart, who has made him known”. Jesus has been like the great narrative of God’s love. He did not make Him known through theory but through a story of goodness and forgiveness, which culminates in the cross and resurrection. The story of Jesus is the story of God among us. Only Jesus has “told” us what God is like.

Everything changes when we grasp that Jesus is the human face of God. Everything becomes clearer, simpler, and more attractive. By contemplating Jesus we know how God looks upon us when we suffer, how he looks for us when we are lost, and that he understands us and forgives us when we deny him. In Jesus, the “grace of the truth” of God has been revealed to us. We still won’t see God. You can’t see him. But Jesus helps us to overcome this impossibility of seeing God. The only way to see God is to listen to Jesus, to follow Jesus, and to live in communion with Jesus. He himself will say later: “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father”. May we welcome Jesus, may we be transformed by his love, and may we become not only holier but more human.

 

In the beginning Shkolnik ICON FrTed Flickr S5504096566_f9119d89ea_o (straighten-fx)
Creation of the Cosmos (detail)
Written by Dmitry Shkolnik
St. Paul Orthodox Church
Dayton, Ohio

 


Silvio José Báez, O.C.D. has served as the Auxiliary Bishop of Managua since May 2009, when he was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI. A scripture scholar, a former professor at the Pontifical Theological Faculty Teresianum in Rome and editor of the facultys eponymous academic journal, he currently serves at the good pleasure of the Holy Father Pope Francis in Rome.  Read our profile of Bishop Báez here and search our blog posts concerning the bishop here.

 

This English translation of Bishop Báez's Spanish homily is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission and attribution.

St. Joseph: Silence, Humanity and Love — Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.

Homily

Fourth Sunday of Advent
Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.
Auxiliary Bishop of Managua

Saint Agatha Catholic Church
Archdiocese of Miami
22 December 2019


Gospel
Matthew 1:18-24

This is how the birth of Jesus Christ came about.
When his mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph,
but before they lived together,
she was found with child through the Holy Spirit.
Joseph her husband, since he was a righteous man,
yet unwilling to expose her to shame,
decided to divorce her quietly.
Such was his intention when, behold,
the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said,
“Joseph, son of David,
do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home.
For it is through the Holy Spirit
that this child has been conceived in her.
She will bear a son and you are to name him Jesus,
because he will save his people from their sins.”
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet:
Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall name him Emmanuel,

which means “God is with us.”
When Joseph awoke,
he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded him
and took his wife into his home.

 


 

Dear brothers and sisters:

On this Fourth Sunday of Advent, on the eve of the Christmas celebration, the liturgy of the word is centered on the person and experience of Saint Joseph, a young worker from Nazareth engaged to Mary, whom he loved and who he was going to marry. Before living together, Joseph discovers that she is expecting a child whose paternal origin is not entirely clear to him. The Gospel says that Joseph was “just”, that is, he faithfully fulfilled the law of the Lord; and not wishing to disown her in public, he decided to do so in private, sending her away quietly (cf. Mt 1:19). Was he surprised to see that Mary was pregnant since they had not had relations? Is it possible that his fiancée didn’t involve him in the event by sharing with him what she had understood from God about this birth?

Something unexpected and unpleasant is interjected in the marriage plans of the two young people. That pregnancy could only be the fruit of betrayal and, from the point of view of the cultural and religious customs of the time, Mary was considered an adulteress and according to the Law of Moses, she was to be stoned to death for her infidelity. Adultery was a break with the patriarchal order that dominated society; since the woman was deemed as belonging to the husband, so the aggrieved husband could denounce her and have her killed for her sin.

Joseph was just, that is, a faithful observer of the Lord’s law, but not in the style of the Pharisees, attached to the letter of the law. Joseph fulfills the law of the Lord by acting with profound humanity. With Joseph, justice means humanity, as the Book of Wisdom says: “the righteous must be kind” (Wis 12:19). He breaks with the logic of domination and possession. The other person is not first and foremost a sinner, a personified error, or a traitor, but a human being who has received life as a gift and commitment; a person who has the right to make changes and to live. Joseph proves to be truly just.

Joseph is not ashamed, he doesn’t belittle Mary and he doesn’t act in such a way as to expose her to shame and death. He doesn’t react in an impulsive and disciplinary fashion, but he looks for a solution that respects the dignity and integrity of his beloved Mary. Joseph’s justice is manifested in the fact that he was “unwilling to expose her to shame”, in not acting as if he owned her by deciding that she had to suffer and die. Nor does he care about his image as a man whose honor has been tarnished and whose rights have been violated by his future wife. Joseph acts with humanity and love.

Joseph’s actions were a huge, painful inner struggle for him. How many questions, how many doubts, how much uncertainty assail Joseph! It’s at this moment that God intervenes by revealing to Joseph in a dream the mystery of the conception of Mary’s son: it is the work of the creative power of God’s Spirit (v. 20-21). That dream obviously not only tried to resolve the conflict that had arisen between two spouses, but its ultimate aim was above all to reveal the identity of the child that was growing in Mary’s womb. Her child is the result of the power of the Holy Spirit; he is a creature that only God could give us. Joseph, accepting divine revelation about the divine origin of Jesus and accepting his role as the legal father of the child, presents himself as a “just” man, again not on the ethical-legal level of the old covenant like the Pharisees, but in the evangelical sense of the new covenant, as one who thoroughly fulfills the divine will—even without thoroughly understanding it—with absolute trust in God. He is the just and obedient man, open to God’s ways and docile to his will.

Joseph—who never speaks, of whom the Gospel doesn’t recall even one word, a silent and strong man, simple and energetic, practical and free—is also a dreamer.  The fate of the world was entrusted to his dreams because the just man has the same dreams as God. Today we need dreamers who are committed to making their dreams come true. It takes courage to dream, not mere imagination. Dreaming means not being content with the world as it is, but rather having the courage to see and imagine the most humane and the happiest future for everyone. Shakespeare said that “we are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep” (The Tempest, Act 4, Scene 1, lines 1887-1889).

“When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him” (Mt 1:24). He doesn’t hesitate. Now he knows that God is asking him to do the hardest, not the easiest thing, and he decides not to leave Mary—not to run away; he abandons his doubts and decides to do God’s will (Mt 1:24). Maybe he knew the saying of his wife, Mary: “Behold the handmaid of the Lord” (Lk 1:38) because in silence he repeats the same thing with his attitude when he gets up: “Here is your servant. Use me”. His willingness to choose God’s will, even if it is the most difficult and incomprehensible, his courage of faith not to run away but to stay and collaborate with God, changes Saint Joseph’s life forever. It will be his rule of life. Saint Joseph is like Abraham. He always walked without knowing where God was taking him, but he journeyed in serenity, knowing that he was in God’s hands.

Joseph accepts the legal paternity of the child; he will give him his last name. In this way, Jesus, the son of the Virgin Mary, is directly linked to the dynasty of King David. The Son of God is now also the son of David. He receives his name from his legal father. Joseph names him as the angel has indicated: Jesus, in Hebrew yehoshua, means “The Lord saves”. The divine origin of Jesus and his saving mission are wonderfully condensed in his name. That is why he was born, that is why he came into the world, as the angel explained to Joseph: “He will save his people from their sins” (v. 21). From now on Joseph will be the father of Jesus. He will walk in faith before the mystery of that son who is growing up before his eyes, who was his own but at the same time was not, welcoming the mystery of God in him through loving care and the silence of faith.

Saint Joseph’s life isn’t the life of a man who seeks his own fulfillment no matter how much it costs, who wants to do what’s convenient for him, whatever he pleases, and whatever sets him apart; but rather, his is the exemplary life of a man who denies himself, who doesn’t run away in the face of difficulties, and who humbles himself to let God lead the way. He hasn’t allowed himself to be paralyzed by doubt and fear in the face of the incomprehensible, nor has he allowed himself to be guided by a reasonable plan that he himself organized in human terms; rather, responding to God’s wishes, he has renounced his will in order to give himself over to the will of the Other, to the magnificent will of the Most High. In this way, he shows us that a person is completely fulfilled through this complete renunciation of self in order to do God’s will.

This Christmas we contemplate Saint Joseph, with the Virgin and the Child in the manger; Joseph—who had an unwavering trust in God, which allowed him to accept a situation that was difficult in human terms and, in a certain sense, incomprehensible. May he teach us that to be righteous is to be human; that to be a believer is to trust and obey God; and, that to be a believer it isn’t necessary to speak much. Joseph never spoke in the Gospel, because, as Saint John of the Cross says, “what is wanting, if anything is wanting, is not writing or speaking—rather these usually superabound—but silence and work.”

 


Silvio José Báez, O.C.D. has served as the Auxiliary Bishop of Managua since May 2009, when he was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI. A scripture scholar, a former professor at the Pontifical Theological Faculty Teresianum in Rome, and editor of the facultys eponymous academic journal, he currently serves at the good pleasure of the Holy Father Pope Francis in Rome.  Read our profile of Bishop Báez here and search our blog posts concerning the bishop here.

 

 

RIZI-Francisco_Dream of St Joseph_IMA
The Dream of St. Joseph
Francisco Rizi (Spanish, 1608-1685)
Oil on canvas, about 1665
Indianapolis Museum of Art at Newfields

Gallery label

In a subject that became popular in Spain during the 17th century, an angel appears to St. Joseph in a dream and explains that Mary has miraculously conceived a child. The luminous angel points to a vision of Mary with the infant Christ in her womb and the dove of the Holy Spirit above her. The veneration of the expectant Virgin as protectress of women in childbirth was prevalent at the Spanish court.

The artist’s forceful draftsmanship, fluid brushwork, and radiant color exemplify the most important tendencies of late Baroque painting in Madrid.

Rizi was born in Spain, the son of a Bolognese painter who worked for Philip II at the royal complex of El Escorial. In 1656 Rizi became royal painter to Philip IV. He was also a stage designer.

Learn more about this painting here. Learn more about Francisco Rizi here.

 

This English translation of Bishop Báez's Spanish homily is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission and attribution.

Online Retreat 2019 — Advent

Online Retreat 2019

Advent

With François de Sainte-Marie

Communing in the life of grace with Mary


Dear friends, here we are once again to invite you to live this Advent in a spirit of communion through an online retreat prepared especially for you by the Discalced Carmelite friars. 

If you are already registered and have received the meditations from one of the previous retreats, you do not need to register again and it is not too late to register even though Advent has begun.

However, don’t hesitate to extend an invitation to your friends and acquaintances so that they can register using the form on the website www.retreat-online.karmel.at

We suggest that you download the A4 poster and distribute it to your Christian community, parish, ecclesial movement, association, or prayer group. You also can promote this initiative through social media.

Inviting others to pray through the retreat is an excellent way to evangelize and witness to your faith.

This Advent we will be guided by the writings of Father François de Sainte-Marie, a Discalced Carmelite friar from the Paris province who consecrated his brief life (1910-1961) to pass on the treasures of the Carmelite heritage. His best-known project was the publication of the autograph manuscripts of Thérèse of Lisieux, under the title Autobiographical Manuscripts, which today is published under the title Story of a Soul. It brings to light his knowledge of the doctrine of little Thérèse, his scientific mind, and at the same time a great human sensitivity.

At the end of November, you will receive the first introductory text of this Advent retreat. Then you will receive the meditations for each of the 4 weeks of Advent, with the following themes:

– 1st Sunday: Return to the Gospel

– 2nd Sunday: Outstanding educator

– 3rd Sunday: Delight of the little ones

– 4th Sunday: Abyss of grace

Christmas: “True Marian devotion”

The content will be available so that you may organize your moments of meditation during the week. The texts were prepared by Discalced Carmelite friars from Avon, France, and the translation into English was prepared by Secular Carmelites from North America.

The online retreat is free of charge. You can register or unsubscribe at any time.  

If you have any difficulty in receiving the meditations, please send an email to: webretiro@karmel.at

With this invitation to the online retreat, we extend our sincere wishes for a blessed Advent!

Carmelite Quotes on behalf of

fr. Roberto Maria OCD
and the Discalced Carmelites in Austria

16 July: Solemn Commemoration of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

July 16
SOLEMN COMMEMORATION OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

Solemnity

The sacred scriptures speak of the beauty of Mount Carmel where the prophet Elijah defended the faith of Israel in the living God. There, at the beginning of the thirteenth century, under the title of “Saint Mary of Mount Carmel,” the Order of Carmelites had its formal beginning. From the fourteenth century this title, recalling the countless blessings of its patroness, began to be celebrated solemnly, first in England and then gradually throughout the whole Order. It attained its supreme place from the beginning of the seventeenth century, when the General Chapter declared it to be the principal feast of the Order, and Paul V recognized it as the feast of the Scapular Confraternity.

Evening Prayer I

Hymn

Flower of Carmel,
Tall vine blossom laden;
Splendor of heaven,
Child-bearing yet maiden.
None equals thee.

Mother so tender,
Who no man didst know,
On Carmel’s children
Thy favors bestow.
Star of the Sea.

Strong stem of Jesse,
Who bore one bright flower,
Be ever near us
And guard us each hour,
who serve thee here.

Purest of lilies,
That flowers among thorns,
Bring help to the true heart
That in weakness turns
and trusts in thee.

Strongest of armor,
We trust in thy might:
Under thy mantle,
Hard press’d in the fight,
we call to thee.

Our way uncertain,
Surrounded by foes,
Unfailing counsel
You give to those
who turn to thee.

O gentle Mother
Who in Carmel reigns,
Share with your servants
That gladness you gained
and now enjoy.

Hail, Gate of Heaven,
With glory now crowned,
Bring us to safety
Where thy Son is found,
true joy to see.

Flos Carmeli
Tr. unknown

Psalmody

Ant. 1 The glory of Lebanon is given to her, the beauty of Carmel and Sharon.

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 for evermore!
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.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. The glory of Lebanon is given to her, the beauty of Carmel and Sharon.

Ant. 2 You are the glory of Jerusalem, the joy of Israel, the highest honor of our race.

Psalm 147

O praise the Lord, Jerusalem! *
Sion, praise your God!

He has strengthened the bars of your gates, *
he has blessed the children within you.
He has established peace on your borders, *
he feeds you with finest wheat.

He sends out his word to the earth *
and swiftly runs his command.
He showers down snow white as wool, *
he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.

He hurls down hailstones like crumbs. *
The waters are frozen at his touch;
he sends forth his word and it melts them: *
at the breath of his mouth the waters flow.

He makes his word known to Jacob, *
to Israel his laws and decrees.
He has not dealt thus with other nations; *
he has not taught them his decrees.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. You are the glory of Jerusalem, the joy of Israel, the highest honor of our race.

Ant. 3 You will rejoice in your children, for they will be blessed through you and gathered together by the Lord.

Canticle: Eph 1:3-10

Blessed be the God and Father *
of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ *
with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.

He chose us in him *
before the foundation of the world,
that we should be holy *
and blameless before him.

He destined us in love *
to be his sons through Jesus Christ,
according to the purpose of his will, †
to the praise of his glorious grace *
which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

In him we have redemption through his Blood, *
the forgiveness of our trespasses,
according to the riches of his grace *
which he lavished upon us.

He has made known to us †
in all wisdom and insight *
the mystery of his will,
according to his purpose *
which he set forth in Christ.

His purpose he set forth in Christ, *
as a plan for the fullness of time,
to unite all things in him, *
things in heaven and things on earth.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. You will rejoice in your children, for they will be blessed through you and gathered together by the Lord.

Scripture Reading

Rev 11:19; 12:1

God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.

Short Responsory

R/. How fair you are, * O Virgin Mary. Repeat R/.
V/. Your face is resplendent with grace, * O Virgin Mary.
Glory . . . R/.

Canticle of Mary

Ant. Bounteous Mother of God, glory of Mount Carmel, we are your children and your people, endow us with your own virtues; have pity, and protect us from every danger.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, *
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant, *
and from this day all generations will call me blessed.

The Almighty has done great things for me: *
holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him *
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm, *
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,*
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things, *
and has sent the rich away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel*
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Bounteous Mother of God, glory of Mount Carmel, we are your children and your people, endow us with your own virtues; have pity, and protect us from every danger.

Intercessions

Let us praise our heavenly Father, who gives us the joy of celebrating this solemn feast of the Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, as we pray:

R/. May Mary, Mother and Beauty of Carmel, intercede for us.

Lord, in your plan the Daughter of Sion was foreshadowed by the prophets and made the heir of all your promises; by imitating Mary, who is the image of the Church, may your Church on earth be more and more the sacrament of the world’s salvation. R/.

You have honored the family of Carmel with the title and patronage of the Virgin Mary; may all Carmelites live with her in unswerving allegiance to Jesus Christ. R/.

You have entrusted the whole of mankind, the brothers and sisters of your Son, to the care of Mary’s maternal heart; may the world see her image in us as we strive to live in your presence and to give ourselves for the salvation of all. R/.

You call the humble family of Carmel, living in the cloister and in the world, to be especially dedicated to the Virgin Mary; may all who are called to Carmel be of one mind and one heart as they join together in prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus. R/.

You promise a crown of glory to those who persevere in your love till the end; may our departed brothers and sisters, who shared Mary’s love for you, rejoice with you forever in heaven. R/.

Our Father …

Prayer

Lord God,
you willed that the Order of Carmel
should be named in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of your Son.
Through her prayers, as we honor her today,
bring us to your holy Mountain,
Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Or:

Father,
may the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother and Queen of Carmel,
protect us, and bring us to your holy Mountain,
Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever.

Angel_British Library_small

INVITATORY

Lord, open my lips.
 And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Ant. Come, ring out our joy to the Lord, as we thank him for the favors we have received through Mary, the Virgin Mother of Carmel.

Psalm 95

Come, let us sing to the Lord *
and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us.
Let us approach him with praise and thanksgiving *
and sing joyful songs to the Lord.

Ant. Come, ring out our joy to the Lord, as we thank him for the favors we have received through Mary, the Virgin Mother of Carmel.

The Lord is God, the mighty God, *
the great king over all the gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth *
and the highest mountains as well
He made the sea; it belongs to him, *
the dry land, too, for it was formed by his hands.

Ant. Come, ring out our joy to the Lord, as we thank him for the favors we have received through Mary, the Virgin Mother of Carmel.

Come, then, let us bow down and worship, *
bending the knee before the Lord, our maker,
For he is our God and we are his people, *
the flock he shepherds.

Ant. Come, ring out our joy to the Lord, as we thank him for the favors we have received through Mary, the Virgin Mother of Carmel.

Today, listen to the voice of the Lord:*
Do not grow stubborn, as your fathers did in the wilderness,
when at Meriba and Massah they challenged me and provoked me, *
Although they had seen all of my works.

Ant. Come, ring out our joy to the Lord, as we thank him for the favors we have received through Mary, the Virgin Mother of Carmel.

Forty years I endured that generation. 
I said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray *
and they do not know my ways.”
So I swore in my anger, *
“They shall not enter into my rest.”

Ant. Come, ring out our joy to the Lord, as we thank him for the favors we have received through Mary, the Virgin Mother of Carmel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Come, ring out our joy to the Lord, as we thank him for the favors we have received through Mary, the Virgin Mother of Carmel.

Office of Readings

Hymn

1. Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel whom in ancient prophecy
God revealed to Saint Elijah by an Oriental sea.
Rise again on God’s creation bring to bloom this arid place
with the white cloud of your beauty and the rainfall of your grace.

2. Blessed cloud of God’s protection and His luminous abode,
light the pathways of your pilgrims to the promised land of God.
On the mount of contemplation be our surety and stay.
In the night a pillar glowing and a cloud of love by day.

3. Mother fair above all mothers, by the scapular we wear
be your own sign of salvation, which our willing shoulders bear.
Shield us from the foes of darkness, we are prey they seek to win.
us as your loving children from the tragedy of sin.

4. Virgin of the Incarnation, in the mysteries of grace,
God has made His habitation in our soul’s most secret place.
Toward that bright and inner kingdom, all our words and ways compel.
For the Father, Son and Spirit in its sacred silence dwell.

5. Lady of the mystic mountain, where the Lord has set His throne,
up its steep way to the Spirit, none can walk save love alone.
Grant us grace to climb Mount Carmel and to learn that love is loss.
Guide us still our ways outdistance all earth’s treasures save the cross.

6. Queen and Beauty of Mount Carmel, Virgin of the solitude,
in the wilderness of Carmel lies the world’s eternal good.
Draw us to its deep seclusion and make God alone our goal.
In the mystical Mount Carmel that lies hidden in the soul.

87.87.D.
Sr. Miriam of the Holy Spirit, OCD

Psalmody

Ant. 1 Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord, and who shall stand in his holy place? The one with clean hands and pure heart.

When the following psalm has been used at the Invitatory, Ps 94 is said here in place of it.

Psalm 24

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness, *
the world and all its peoples.
It is he who set in on the seas; *
on the waters he made it firm.

Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord? *
Who shall stand in his holy place?
The man with clean hands and pure heart, †
who desires not worthless things, *
who has not sworn so as to deceive his neighbor.

He shall receive blessings from the Lord *
and reward from the God who saves him.
Such are the men who seek him, *
seek the face of the God of Jacob.

O gates, lift high your heads; †
grow higher, ancient doors. *
Let him enter, the king of glory!

Who is the king of glory? †
The Lord, the mighty, the valiant, *
the Lord, the valiant in war.

O gates, lift high your heads; †
grow higher, ancient doors. *
Let him enter, the king of glory!

Who is he, the king of glory? †
He, the Lord of armies, *
he is the king of glory.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord, and who shall stand in his holy place? The one with clean hands and pure heart.

Ant. 2 I will lead them to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer.

Psalm 46

God is for us a refuge and strength *
a helper close at hand, in time of distress:
so we shall not fear though the earth should rock, *
though the mountains fall into the depths of the sea,
even though its waters rage and foam, *
even though the mountains be shaken by its waves.

The Lord of hosts is with us: *
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

The waters of a river give joy to God’s city, *
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within, it cannot be shaken; *
God will help it at the dawning of the day.
Nations are in tumult, kingdoms are shaken: *
he lifts his voice, the earth shrinks away.

The Lord of hosts is with us: *
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

Come, consider the works of the Lord *
the redoubtable deeds he has done on the earth.
He puts an end to wars over all the earth; †
the bow he breaks, the spear he snaps. *
He burns the shields with fire.
“Be still and know that I am God, *
supreme among the nations, supreme on the earth!”

The Lord of hosts is with us: *
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

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

Ant. 3 Glorious things are told of you, O city of God; the Lord founded you on his holy mountain!

Psalm 87

On the holy mountain is his city *
cherished by the Lord.
The Lord prefers the gates of Sion *
to all Jacob’s dwellings.
Of you are told glorious things, *
O city of God.

Babylon and Egypt I will count *
among those who know me;
Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia, *
these will be her children
and Sion shall be called “Mother” *
for all shall be her children.

It is he, the Lord Most High, *
who gives each his place.
In his register of peoples he writes: *
‘These are her children’
and while they dance they will sing: *
‘In you all find their home.’

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Glorious things are told of you, O city of God; the Lord founded you on his holy mountain!

V/. I have brought you into the land of Carmel.
R/. To enjoy the fruits and blessings of it.

The First Reading

1 Kings 18:36-39, 41-45a

A reading from the First Book of Kings

Elijah prayed on the summit of Carmel, and heaven granted rain

And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.” Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt offering, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said “The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God.”

And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink for there is a sound of the rushing of rain.” So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he bowed himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees. And he said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” And he went up and looked, and said, “There is nothing.” And he said, “Go again seven times.” And at the seventh time he said, “Behold, a little cloud like a man’s hand is rising out of the sea.” And he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down, lest the rain stop you.’” And in a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain.

Responsory

R/. You care for the earth, give it water; you fill it with riches; * you bless its growth.
V/. The pastures of the wilderness flow with abundance, and the hills are girded with joy; * you bless its growth.
R/. You care for the earth, give it water; You fill it with riches; * you bless its growth.
V/. The pastures of the wilderness flow with abundance, and the hills are girded with joy; * you bless its growth.

The Second Reading  (Alternative 2)

May 10 and June 22, 1967

From the Allocutions of Pope Paul VI

Blessed are all who have believed

We can readily see that the Blessed Virgin Mary was endowed in high measure with a remarkable interior enlightenment, such as might have been anticipated in view of her sinlessness and the nature of her task in the world. The Gospels make abundantly clear that her soul was gifted with an extraordinary insight into the ways of God and a prophetic intuition. Yet above all else it was faith that most characterized the Mother of God — the kind of faith that does not need proof, but accepts a thing as true because God has spoken. The Second Vatican Council declares that “the Blessed Virgin went forward in her pilgrimage of faith,” and the Gospel records how generous and meritorious that pilgrimage was when it cites Elizabeth’s high tribute, which tells us so much about Mary’s psychology and holiness: “Blessed are you, for you have believed.”

We find confirmation of this faith, Our Lady’s foremost virtue, wherever the gospel tells of what she was, or what she said or what she did. Faced with the attitudes that characterize the incomparable figure of Mary in relation to the mystery of Christ realized in herself, we feel compelled to follow her example, and discover patterns for those who have, in conformity with God’s plan for our salvation chosen the religious life. She teaches us how to listen, how to explore, to accept, to make sacrifices; she teaches us how to meditate, to wait, to examine; she teaches us self-possession, and calm, absolute assurance in judgment and action; she teaches us, in short, the fullness of prayer and communion with God. And all these things, though we see them in Mary uniquely realized by that one soul which was full of grace and completely under the sway of the Holy Spirit, are yet all forms of faith, and therefore close to us and available not only for our admiration but for our imitation.

You have chosen the narrow, austere, arduous way of the ascetic life. You are in such a way committed to the pursuit of the supreme art of prayer and an intense spiritual life that you are branded as true searchers after the only fullness, the only peace, the only love: the union of the soul with God.

May the most holy Virgin Mary confirm you in your Carmelite vocation. May she safeguard your love for the things of the spirit. May she obtain for you the graces you need in your holy, laborious ascent towards the knowledge of the divine realm and the ineffable experiences of its dark nights and light-filled days. May she give you the desire for sanctity, the desire to bear eschatological witness to the kingdom of heaven. May she make you models for all the members of God’s Church, and bind you to them in brotherhood. And may she one day lead you into that possession of Christ and His glory which, even now, is the goal towards which your whole life is directed.

Responsory

R/. In faith receive the word of God which is able to save your souls. * Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.
V/. Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. * Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.

Where the Vigil Office is celebrated:

Canticles

Ant. Bring us, O Mary, to the summit of Carmel, to Christ our heavenly life.

Canticle I

Is 2:2-3

All the peoples will come to the house of the Lord

The mountain where God has chosen to dwell (Ps 67:17)

It shall come to pass in the latter days *
that the mountain of the house of the Lord
shall be established as the highest of the mountains, †
and shall be raised above the hills, *
and all the nations shall flow to it.

And many people shall come, and say †
‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, *
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may teach us his ways *
and that we may walk in his paths.’
For out of Sion shall go forth the law, *
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

Canticle II

Is 61:10-62:3

The prophet rejoices in the new Jerusalem

I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, as beautiful as a bride prepared to meet her husband (Rev 21:2)

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, *
my soul shall exult in my God;
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, *
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, *
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

For as the earth brings forth its shoots, *
and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up,
so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise *
to spring forth before all the nations.

For Sion’s sake I will not keep silent, *
and for Jerusalem’s sake, I will not rest
until her vindication goes forth as brightness, *
and her salvation as a burning torch.

The nations shall see your vindication, *
and all the kings your glory;
and you shall be called by a new name *
which the mouth of the Lord will give.

You shall be a crown of beauty *
in the hand of the Lord,
and a royal diadem *
in the hand of your God.

Canticle III

Is 62:4-7

The glory of the new Jerusalem

Here God lives among men. He will make his home among them (Rev 21:3)

No longer are you to be named ‘Forsaken,’ *
nor your land ‘Abandoned,’
but you shall be called ‘My Delight,’ *
and your land, ‘The Wedded;’
for the Lord takes delight in you *
and your land will have its wedding.

Like a young man marrying a virgin, *
so will the one who built you wed you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices in his bride, *
so will your God rejoice in you.

On your walls, Jerusalem, *
I set watchmen.
Day or night *
they must never be silent.

You who keep the Lord mindful *
must take no rest.
Nor let him take rest †
till he has restored Jerusalem, *
and made her the boast of the earth.

Ant. Bring us, O Mary, to the summit of Carmel, to Christ our heavenly life.

Gospel

Lk 1:39-56

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke

Why should I be honored with a visit from the mother of my Lord?

Mary set out at that time and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, “Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honored with a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leaped for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

And Mary said:

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord
and my spirit exults in God my savior;
because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid.
Yes, from this day forward all generations will call me blessed,
for the Almighty has done great things for me.
Holy is his name,
and his mercy reaches from age to age for those who fear him.
He has shown the power of his arm,
he has routed the proud of heart.
He has pulled down princes from their thrones and exalted the lowly.
The hungry he has filled with good things, the rich sent empty away.
He has come to the help of Israel his servant, mindful of his mercy
—according to the promise he made to our ancestors of
his mercy to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.”

Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back home.

Te Deum

You are God: we praise you; *
You are the Lord: we acclaim you;
You are the eternal Father: *
All creation worships you.

To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, *
Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord, God of power and might, *
heaven and earth are full of your glory.

The glorious company of apostles praise you. 
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. *
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.

Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you: *
Father, of majesty unbounded,
your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, *
and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the King of glory, *
the eternal Son of the Father.

When you became man to set us free *
you did not spurn the Virgin’s womb.

You overcame the sting of death, *
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. *
We believe that you will come, and be our judge.

Come then, Lord, and help your people, *
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints*
to glory everlasting.

Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance.
 Govern and uphold them now and always.

Day by day we bless you.
 We praise your name for ever.

Keep us today, Lord, from all sin.
 Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.

Lord, show us your love and mercy,
 for we have put our trust in you.

In you, Lord, is our hope:
 And we shall never hope in vain.

Prayer

Lord God,
you willed that the Order of Carmel
should be named in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of your Son.
Through her prayers, as we honor her today,
bring us to your holy Mountain,
Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Flowery border_British Library_medium

 

Morning Prayer

Hymn

Let us in spirit make our way
to Carmel’s mountain height;
our Virgin Mother calls us there
to gather flowers of light.

This is indeed a holy place
where God has ever reigned;
here hearts are healed in silent prayer,
and strength of mind attained.

This is where living water flowed
to save the thirsting land,
to clothe the desert with fresh grass,
with trees the burning sand.

Cradle of our religious life
is Carmel’s height austere;
wherever Mary turns her gaze
flow waters springing clear.

Let us adore the Trinity
the Father honors her,
the Son embraces her with love,
the Spirit reigns in her!

C.M.
Carmeli ad altos vertices
Tr. unknown

Psalmody

Ant. 1 Fragrant is the scent of your perfume, Immaculate Virgin. Let us follow in your footsteps.

Psalm 63

O God, you are my God, for you I long; *
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you *
like a dry, weary land without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary *
to see your strength and your glory.

For your love is better than life, *
my lips will speak your praise.
So I will bless you all my life, *
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet, *
my mouth shall praise you with joy.

On my bed I remember you. *
On you I muse through the night
for you have been my help; *
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you; *
your right hand holds me fast.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Fragrant is the scent of your perfume, Immaculate Virgin. Let us follow in your footsteps.

Ant. 2 Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you; you are the most blessed of all women.

Canticle – Daniel 3:57-88, 56

Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord. *
You heavens, bless the Lord,
All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord. *
All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Sun and moon, bless the Lord. *
Stars of heaven, bless the Lord.

Every shower and dew, bless the Lord. *
All you winds, bless the Lord.
Fire and heat, bless the Lord. *
Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord. *
Frost and chill, bless the Lord.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord. *
Nights and days, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord. *
Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord.

Let the earth bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Mountains and hills, bless the Lord. *
Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord.
You springs, bless the Lord. *
Seas and rivers, bless the Lord.
You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord. *
All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.
All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord. *
You sons of men, bless the Lord.

O Israel, bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord. *
Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord. *
Holy men of humble heart, bless the Lord.
Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael, bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.

Let us bless the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. *
Let us praise and exalt him above all for ever.
Blessed are you, Lord, in the firmament of heaven. *
Praiseworthy and glorious and exalted above all for ever.

Ant. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you; you are the most blessed of all women.

Ant. 3 Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary: you gave birth to him who made you, yet remain a virgin forever.

Psalm 149

Sing a new song to the Lord, *
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in its maker, *
let Zion’s sons exult in their king.
Let them praise his name with dancing *
and make music with timbrel and harp.

For the Lord takes delight in his people. *
He crowns the poor with salvation.
Let the faithful rejoice in their glory, *
shout for joy and take their rest.
Let the praise of God be on their lips *
and a two-edged sword in their hand,

to deal out vengeance to the nations *
and punishment on all the peoples;
to bind their kings in chains *
and their nobles in fetters of iron;
to carry out the sentence pre-ordained; *
this honor is for all his faithful.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary: you gave birth to him who made you, yet remain a virgin forever.

Reading

Is 35:1-2

Let the wilderness and the dry-lands exult,
let the wasteland rejoice and bloom,
let it bring forth flowers like the jonquil,
let it rejoice and sing for joy.
The glory of Lebanon is bestowed on it
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they shall see the glory of the Lord,
the splendor of our God.

Short Responsory

R/. Under your protection we take refuge, * Mother of God most holy. Repeat R/.
V/. Do not turn away from the prayers that spring from our need, * Mother of God most holy.
Glory . . . R/.

Canticle of Zechariah

Ant. Jesus said to His Mother, “Woman, this is your son,” and to the disciple He said, “This is your Mother;” and from that hour the disciple took her as his own.

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; *
he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior, *
born of the house of his servant David.

Through his holy prophets he promised of old †
that he would save us from our enemies, *
from the hands of all who hate us.

He promised to show mercy to our fathers*
and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: *
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear, *
holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.

You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High; *
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation *
by the forgiveness of their sins.

In the tender compassion of our God *
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, *
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Jesus said to His Mother, “Woman, this is your son,” and to the disciple He said, “This is your Mother;” and from that hour the disciple took her as his own.

Intercessions

Christ our Savior, the first-born of many brothers, gave us his Mother as our own. On this sacred day let us come to him with thankful hearts and say:

R/. For the gift of your Mother, we give glory to you, Lord.

Christ our Redeemer, you prepared a worthy dwelling place for yourself in the sinless Virgin Mary; may we work today in your service and hers, poor in spirit and pure in heart. R/.

Only Word of the Father, uttered in eternal silence and lovingly received in the womb of the Virgin, may our Carmelite vocation lead us, like Mary, to hear the Word of God and put it into practice. R/.

Christ our Teacher, you offer the Virgin Mary as the model of every virtue to those who seek you; may we, her children, mirror her life, especially in our charity towards all. R/.

Jesus, Son of Mary, you gave your Mother to the apostle John to take into his own keeping; in our familiarity with Mary may we experience your ineffable love. R/.

Christ, Spouse of the Church, you sent the fire of the Holy Spirit upon Mary when she was joined with the apostles in prayer; may the whole family of Carmel remain faithful in prayer with Mary, and so be continually renewed by the Holy Spirit. R/.

Our Father …

Prayer

Lord God,
you willed that the Order of Carmel
should be named in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of your Son.
Through her prayers, as we honor her today,
bring us to your holy Mountain,
Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

WhitefriarsLondonBookplate_BritishLibrary_small

 

Daytime Prayer

The complementary psalms are used.

Midmorning

Ant. O Mary, you are a mother beyond compare, worthy to be remembered by your children forever.

Psalm 120

To the Lord in the hour of my distress *
I call and he answers me.
“O Lord, save my soul from lying lips, *
from the tongue of the deceitful.”

What shall he repay you in return, *
O treacherous tongue?
The warriors arrows sharpened *
and coals, red-hot, blazing.

(Alas, that I abide a stranger in Meshech, *
dwell among the tents of Kedar!)

Long enough have I been dwelling *
with those who hate peace.
I am for peace, but when I speak, *
they are for fighting.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the mountains; *
from where shall come my help?
My help shall come from the Lord *
who made heaven and earth.

May he never allow you to stumble! *
Let him sleep not, your guard.
No, he sleeps not nor slumbers, *
Israel’s guard.

The Lord is your guard and your shade; *
at your right side he stands.
By day the sun shall not smite you *
nor the moon in the night.

The Lord will guard you from evil, *
he will guard you soul.
The Lord will guard your going and coming *
both now and for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 129

“They have pressed me hard from my youth,” *
this is Israel’s song.
“They have pressed me hard from my youth *
but could never destroy me.

They plowed my back like plowmen, *
drawing long furrows.
But the Lord who is just, has destroyed *
the yoke of the wicked.”

Let them be shamed and routed, *
those who hate Zion!
Let them be like grass on the roof *
that withers before it flowers.

With that no reaper fill his arms, *
no binder makes his sheaves
and those passing by will not say:
“On you the Lord’s blessing!” *
“We bless you in the name of the Lord.”

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Scripture Reading

Prov 8:32-34

And now, my sons, listen to me:
happy are those who keep my ways.
Hear instruction and be wise,
and do not neglect it.
Happy is the man who listens to me,
watching daily at my gates,
waiting beside my doors.

V/. Whoever finds me finds life.
R/. And will receive salvation from the Lord.

Midday

Ant. Your souls will rejoice in her mercy, and her praise will not bring you to shame.

Psalm 123

To you have I lifted up my eyes, *
you who dwell in the heavens;
my eyes, like the eyes of slaves *
on the hand of their lords.

Like the eyes of a servant *
on the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes are on the Lord our God *
till he show us his mercy.

Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy. *
We are filled with contempt.
Indeed all too full is our soul
with the scorn of the rich, *
with the proud man’s disdain.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 124

“If the Lord had not been on our side,” *
this is Israel’s song.
“If the Lord had not been on our side *
when men rose up against us,
then would they have swallowed us alive *
when their anger was kindled.

Then would the waters have engulfed us, *
the torrent gone over us;
over our head would have swept *
the raging waters.”

Blessed be the Lord who did not give us *
a prey to their teeth!
Our life, like a bird, has escaped *
from the snare of the fowler.

Indeed the snare has been broken *
and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the Lord, *
who made heaven and earth.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 125

Those who put their trust in the Lord
are like Mount Zion, that cannot be shaken, *
that stands for ever.

Jerusalem! The mountains surround her,
so the Lord surrounds his people *
both now and for ever.

For the scepter of the wicked shall not rest *
over the land of the just
for fear that the hands of the just *
should turn to evil.

Do good, Lord, to those who are good, *
to the upright of heart;
but the crooked and those who do evil, *
drive them away!

On Israel, peace!

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Scripture Reading

Sir 24:15-16

I made Sion my stronghold, the holy city my resting-place, Jerusalem my throne. My roots spread out among the people that enjoys his favor, my God has granted me a share in his own domain; where his faithful servants are gathered I love to linger.

V/. My spirit is sweeter than honey.
R/. My inheritance sweeter than the honeycomb.

Midafternoon

Ant. With the fruit of her hands she planted a vineyard; her children stood up and proclaimed her blessed.

Psalm 126

When the Lord delivered Zion from bondage, *
it seemed like a dream.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter, *
on our lips there were songs.

The heathens themselves said: “What marvels *
the Lord worked for them!”
What marvels the Lord worked for us! *
Indeed we were glad.

Deliver us, O Lord, from our bondage *
as streams in dry land.
Those who are sowing in tears *
will sing when they reap.

They go out, they go out, full of tears, *
carrying seed for the sowing:
they come back, they come back, full of song, *
carrying their sheaves.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 127

If the Lord does not build the house, *
in vain do its builders labor;
if the Lord does not watch over the city, *
in vain does the watchman keep vigil.

In vain is your earlier rising, *
your going later to rest,
you who toil for the bread you eat, *
when he pours gifts on his beloved while they slumber.

Truly sons are a gift from the Lord, *
a blessing, the fruit of the womb.
Indeed the sons of youth *
are like arrows in the hand of a warrior.

O the happiness of the man *
who has filled his quiver with these arrows!
He will have no cause for shame *
when he disputes with his foes in the gateways.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
 as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Psalm 128

O blessed are those who fear the Lord *
and walk in his ways!

By the labor of your hands you shall eat. *
You will be happy and prosper;
the wife like a fruitful vine *
in the heart of your house;
Your children like shoots of the olive, *
around your table.

Indeed thus shall be blessed *
the man who fears the Lord.
May the Lord bless you from Zion *
all the days of your life!
May you see your children’s children *
in a happy Jerusalem!

On Israel, peace!

Scripture Reading

Sir 24:23-25

No vine ever yielded fruit so fragrant; the enjoyment of honor and riches is the fruit I bear. It is I that give birth to all noble loving, all reverence, all true knowledge, and the holy gift of hope. From me comes every grace of faithful observance, from me all promise of life and vigor.

V/. Look down from heaven and see, and visit this vine.
R/. The vine your right hand has planted.

Prayer

Lord God,
you willed that the Order of Carmel
should be named in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of your Son.
Through her prayers, as we honor her today,
bring us to your holy Mountain,
Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

 

Mount Carmel Looking toward the sea_British Library_Medium

Evening Prayer II

Hymn

When thirst broke up the ground stricken at God’s command,
and crops lay on the long baked ridges of the soil,
swiftly Elias went where Carmel towered above,
scaling rough rocks with zeal and toil.

Great soul in fervent prayer, lifting his hands on high,
prophet, he pleaded there, turning God’s wrath again.
Hour after hour he strove for those marked down to die
unless the fields were saved with rain.

Then, far off, where the sea stretched in a distant plain,
a cloud fine as a hand lit in the deep blue cope;
and soon thunderclouds came, and after them the rain
drumming the dust with rhythms of hope.

Mary, we are those crops which drought of grace lays low,
you are that mystic cloud, that fruitful womb are you.
Your son, the God you nurse, is new life’s rain to us
who grow once more as hope comes true.

Spare us, great triune God, as we too bend in prayer,
help us scale the high stars, our mother’s worthy sons;
There, raised by her, we praise you everlastingly
and pour forth love’s unending songs.

12.12.12.8.
Bro. John Leonard Davies, O.C.D.

Psalmody

Ant. 1 Behold the handmaid of the Lord: let it be done to me according to your word.

Psalm 122

I rejoiced when I heard them say: *
“Let us go to God’s house.”
And now our feet are standing *
within your gates, O Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is built as a city *
strongly compact.
It is there that the tribes go up, *
the tribes of the Lord.

For Israel’s law it is, *
there to praise the Lord’s name.
There were set the thrones of judgment *
of the house of David.

For the peace of Jerusalem pray: *
“Peace be to your homes!
May peace reign in your walls, *
in your palaces, peace!”

For love of my brethren and friends *
I say: “Peace upon you!”
For love of the house of the Lord *
I will ask for your good.

Ant. Behold the handmaid of the Lord: let it be done to me according to your word.

Ant. 2 Mary heard the Word of God and kept it, treasuring it in her heart.

Psalm 127

If the Lord does not build the house, *
in vain do its builders labor;
if the Lord does not watch over the city, *
in vain does the watchman keep vigil.

In vain is your earlier rising, *
your going later to rest,
you who toil for the bread you eat: *
when he pours gifts on his beloved while they slumber.

Truly sons are a gift from the Lord, *
a blessing, the fruit of the womb.
Indeed the sons of youth *
are like arrows in the hand of a warrior.

O the happiness of the man *
who has filled his quiver with these arrows!
He will have no cause for shame *
when he disputes with his foes in the gateways.

Ant. Mary heard the Word of God and kept it, treasuring it in her heart.

Ant. 3 The apostles persevered in prayer together with Mary, the Mother of Jesus.

Canticle: Eph 1:3-10

Blessed be the God and Father *
of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ *
with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.

He chose us in him *
before the foundation of the world,
that we should be holy *
and blameless before him.

He destined us in love *
to be his sons through Jesus Christ,
according to the purpose of his will, †
to the praise of his glorious grace *
which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

In him we have redemption through his blood, *
the forgiveness of our trespasses,
according to the riches of his grace *
which he lavished upon us.

He has made known to us †
in all wisdom and insight *
the mystery of his will,
according to his purpose *
which he set forth in Christ.

His purpose he set forth in Christ, *
as a plan for the fullness of time,
to unite all things in him, *
things in heaven and things on earth.

Ant. The apostles persevered in prayer together with Mary, the Mother of Jesus.

Scripture Reading

Gal 4:4-6

When the designated time had come, God sent forth his Son born of a woman, born under the law, to deliver from the law those who were subjected to it, so that we might receive our status as adopted sons. The proof that you are sons is the fact that God has sent forth into our hearts the spirit of his Son, which cries out “Abba, Father!”

Short Responsory

R/. I exult for joy in the Lord, * my soul rejoices in God. Repeat R/.
V/. For he has clothed me in the garments of salvation; he has wrapped me in the cloak of justice. * My soul rejoices in God.
Glory . . . R/.

Canticle of Mary

Ant. Mary, ever Virgin, has been given us as our Mother; she has taken pity on us; today we remember. Today all Carmel sings for joy as we keep a solemn festival in her honor whose name we bear.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, *
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant, *
and from this day all generations will call me blessed.

The Almighty has done great things for me: *
holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him *
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm, *
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,*
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things, *
and has sent the rich away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel*
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Mary, ever Virgin, has been given us as our Mother; she has taken pity on us; today we remember. Today all Carmel sings for joy as we keep a solemn festival in her honor whose name we bear.

Intercessions

As we honor the holy Mother of God, under whose name and patronage we live, let us pray with confidence to Christ our Lord and say:

R/. Through the intercession of the Mother of Carmel, hear us, O Lord.

You said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven;” may we stand with Mary among the poor and humble of the Lord, so that you may be our only wealth. R/.

You said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God;” in following the Immaculate Virgin may we come to love that purity of heart which makes us eager to see the Father’s face. R/.

You said, “Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe;” with Mary at our side, may we never cease to trust in the love you have for us as we journey in this night of faith. R/.

You said, “You ought to pray always and never lose heart;” teach us to pray like Mary, treasuring your word in our hearts and proclaiming it in our lives. R/.

You said, “A new commandment I give you: love one another as I have loved you;” united in heart and mind, may we be ready to spend our lives for our brothers and sisters and share with Mary in your work of redemption. R/.

Dying on the cross, you said to John, and through him to all disciples, “Behold your Mother;” may we always please you by living in the intimate company of the Mother of Grace. R/.

You said, “I want those you have given me to be with me where I am:” may all those who trusted in your everlasting mercy rejoice one day with you and Mary in our Father’s house. R/.

Our Father …

Prayer

Lord God,
you willed that the Order of Carmel
should be named in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of your Son.
Through her prayers, as we honor her today,
bring us to your holy Mountain,
Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

 

NDMC_antique-woodcut
The Banner of Carmel
Mother and Beauty of Carmel
The Moon Beneath Her Feet
Elijah and Elisha, Leaders of Carmel

 

 

Quote of the day: 31 May

 

When I read in the Gospel “that Mary went in haste to the hill country of Judea” (Lk 1:39) to perform her loving service for her cousin Elizabeth, I imagine her passing by so beautiful, so calm and so majestic, so absorbed in recollection of the Word of God within her. Like Him, her prayer was always this: “Ecce, here I am!” Who? “The servant of the Lord,” (Lk 1:38) the lowliest of His creatures: she, His Mother! Her humility was so real for she was always forgetful, unaware, freed from self. And she could sing: “The Almighty has done great things for me, henceforth all peoples will call me blessed.” (Lk 1:49, 48)

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity
Last Retreat, Fifteenth Day

 

Magnificat-Siby-Flickr
Magnificat | Siby / Flickr

 

The Complete Works of Elizabeth of the Trinity volume 1: 
I Have Found God, General Introduction and Major Spiritual Writings 
ICS Publications, Washington DC
© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites, Inc.

Marie du jour: 30 May

Second Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C

Gospel — John 2:1-5

There was a wedding in Cana of Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the celebration. When the wine ran out, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They don’t have any wine.”

Jesus replied, “Woman, what does that have to do with me? My time hasn’t come yet.”

His mother told the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

 


 

Commentary

The Mother of the Lord shows us the way: whatever he tells you, do it. Do what he says, put his gospel into practice, make it a body in motion, of flesh and blood. The huge, empty water jars in your heart will be filled he will transform your life, from empty to full, from dull to happy.

 

The attitude of Mary
must be our attitude as a Church:
trust-filled but active.

 

This involves not only Jesus’ action but it involves our action, as well. “Truly, a New Covenant is pledged at this wedding. And a new mission is entrusted to the servants of the Lord, namely, the entire Church: ‘Do whatever he tells you’. To serve the Lord means to listen and to put his Word into practice. It is the simple, essential recommendation of Jesus’ Mother. It is the program for a Christian’s life” (Pope Francis).

Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.
Auxiliary Bishop of Managua

 

Cana stone water jars Israel museum
Typical stone water jars displayed in the Israel Museum | Seetheholyland.net / Flickr

 

Quote of the day: 15 May

I only have to cast my eyes on the holy gospel, all at once I breathe in the fragrance of the life of Jesus and I know where to run… It isn’t the first place, but the last place that I aim for; instead of moving ahead with the Pharisee, I repeat, full of trust, the humble prayer of the tax collector; but above all I imitate Magdalene’s behavior, her astonishing or rather her loving audacity that charms the Heart of Jesus seduces my own. Yes, I feel it, even if I’d have on my conscience all the sins that can be committed, I’d go — my heart,  broken from repentance — to throw myself in the arms of Jesus because I know how much he cherishes the prodigal child who comes back to him. It’s not because the good Lord in his prevenient mercy has preserved my soul from mortal sin that I rise up to him through trust and love…

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
Manuscript C 35 recto – 37

 

Child and Tears_coolbite1_Flickr
Child and Tears
“When a child can be brought to tears, and not from fear of punishment, but from repentance he needs no chastisement. When the tears begin to flow from the grief of their conduct you can be sure there is an angel nestling in their heart.” — Horace Mann
Photo: coolbite1 / Flickr

 

Learn more about St. Thérèse’s boundless trust in God’s merciful love here

Manuscript C translation is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission

 

 

 

 

St. Joseph Novena 2019 – Day 8

Today we continue the novena to St. Joseph. Joseph is so silent in the Gospels, so ordinary, that it took many years for the Church to give him due importance. St. Joseph is special because he reflects in a unique way the love of the Eternal Father for his only begotten Son.

Reading
1 Peter 3:8-12

8 Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called — that you might inherit a blessing. 10 For

“Those who desire life
and desire to see good days,
let them keep their tongues from evil
and their lips from speaking deceit;
11 let them turn away from evil and do good;
let them seek peace and pursue it.
12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
and his ears are open to their prayer.
But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

Reflection

The Gospels summarize the life of St. Joseph in a single statement — Joseph was a just man. Being just meant living an upright, integrated, and authentic life.

Am I transparent in my dealings, accounts, rules, etc.?

Prayer

Holy Joseph, Man according to the Heart of God you whose heart was afire with ardent charity and whose life was a constant prayer and continual contemplation, direct us in the way of perfection. Obtain for us the grace of which we stand in need, in order to arrive at the sanctity to which we are called particularly, a spirit of prayer, humility, and surrender to God’s will, of which you were the model.

Hymn to St. Joseph 

So let your Church, thus mentored
By faithful, humble life,
See Joseph as a model
For all in daily strife:
To trust your Word whenever
We seem to be distressed,
To do our work with gladness,
To know our love is blessed.

J. Michael Thompson
Copyright © 2010, World Library Publications
76 76 D
AURELIATHAXTED

Source: Carmelite Sisters of St. Teresa 
Hymn used with the kind permission of the composer

Mary, Mother and Teacher

She is the model of all
who live by the Spirit of the gospel;
As we look up to her in prayer we learn
from her mind to love you above all things,
from her spirit to be rapt in contemplation of your Word, and
from her heart to serve the needs of others.

ndmc_protection
Early image of the Blessed Virgin clothed in the Carmelite habit surrounded by Carmelite saints
Excerpt from the preface to the Eucharistic Prayer, Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother and Teacher in the Spirit; taken from The Collection of Masses of the Blessed Virgin Mary, published by the Congregation of Divine Worship in 1986.

A new world to come

More than the “end of the world,” the Gospel speaks about “the truth of the world.”

The Gospel text makes an effort to tell us about the great mystery of the end of time when this world as we know it will pass away; it will end and an absolutely new world will emerge, but it will be impossible to describe. The Gospel does not speak exactly about what we call “the end of the world,” which we often imagine as a universal cataclysm, as a catastrophe in which everything will be destroyed. More than the “end of the world,” the Gospel of Mark [Mark 13:24-32] speaks about “the truth of the world.” It speaks about this world that God has created with so much love, that he has sustained and cared for over the centuries, but it will have a terminating point, an end.

Just as there is a personal end for each one of us with death, so there will be an end to this world. The world will not last forever. Only God is eternal. This world that seems so stable, so sure and eternal, one day will end. However, let’s not forget that the Gospel does not proclaim the destruction of the world, of cities, of the cosmos, or of humankind. No. What is proclaimed is that the world, as we know it today, threatened by suffering, injustice, sin, evil, and death, will end. And, it will be wonderfully recreated, transfigured into a new reality of full and everlasting life that we cannot even imagine.

Excerpt from a homily for the Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.

BAEZ - The world will not last forever BLOGsize

The world as we know it today will end and it will be wonderfully transfigured into a new reality of everlasting life that we cannot even imagine.

 

#OigamosARomero, the digital initiative of Bishop Báez in homage to Saint Óscar Romero of America

 

#OigamosARomero, the digital initiative of Bishop Báez in homage to Saint Óscar Romero of America originally appeared 11 October 2018 on the digital media outlet Articulo 66 under the title, #OigamosARomero, la iniciativa digital de Monseñor Báez en homenaje a San Romero de América.

Nicaraguan religion and culture reporter Israel González Espinoza interviewed Managua’s Auxiliary Bishop, Silvio José Báez, O.C.D., concerning the social media campaign he launched to make Romero’s work and thought better known in Nicaragua and beyond, through use of the hashtag #OigamosARomero on multiple social media platforms. The hashtag is used to share everything alluding to the martyred Salvadorean archbishop.

We are grateful to Israel González Espinoza for his kind permission to translate and publish his marvelous article highlighting the media blitz campaign that is the brainchild of Bishop Báez, our Discalced Carmelite confrère.

The pope is rehabilitating many men of God misunderstood for being prophets, says the Auxiliary Bishop of Managua

October 11, 2018 | Israel González Espinoza

Bishop Silvio José Báez, Auxiliary Bishop of Managua, launched the hashtag #OigamosARomero on social media platforms as part of a tribute to the martyred Salvadorean Archbishop Óscar Arnulfo Romero y Galdamez [still lovingly referred to as “Monseñor Romero”], who was killed by a paramilitary commando from El Salvador´s political far-right in March 1980; he will be canonized this coming Sunday, October 14 by Pope Francis in Rome.

Bishop Báez explained that the purpose of the initiative is for Nicaraguans to get to know Monseñor Romero’s thoughts, and from that point on they can reflect on his pastoral and prophetic life and work.

“I created the hashtag #OigamosARomero to be able to talk about this extraordinary man of God who gave his life for his people,” Bishop Báez stated.

BAEZ - Articulo 66 Oigamos article poster
The hashtag is used to share all the references to the martyred Salvadorean archbishop
Photo: I. González

 

Until now, the hashtag has been used to share famous quotes, photographs, audiovisual material, and even cartoons of the so-called “bishop of the poor” of Latin America.

The goal, according to Bishop Báez, is to establish a solid number of impressions and engagements for the hashtag during the rest of the week until Sunday, which is the day that Monseñor Romero will be raised to the full honors of the altar. Along with this, the objective is that Romero’s work may spread and that his words may have an effect upon the current sociopolitical situation in the country.

“Without a doubt, Monseñor Romero is a contemporary saint for our times; his life and his witness enlighten us,” the religious leader pointed out.

2018-10-12
A sample tweet from Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.

I believe that it is a mission of the successor of Peter to revendicate and rehabilitate all these incarnations of the Gospel who, with human eyes and pettiness of heart, were not understood.

Báez revealed that since his years in the novitiate with the Carmelite friars in San José, Costa Rica, he has been a professed admirer of the prophetic work of Archbishop Óscar Romero, whose total dedication to the poor and his ardent defense of human rights in the face of the Salvadorean military regime led to his martyrdom while celebrating the Eucharist.

“The Pope [Francis] has given indications of rehabilitating personalities who are deeply rooted in the Gospel, and who, forgetful of self, gave their lives for the poor, for social change, and for the fight for justice in history. In their day they were misunderstood, as were so many prophets or like Jesus himself.

“I believe that it is a mission of the successor of Peter to revendicate and rehabilitate all these incarnations of the Gospel who, with human eyes and pettiness of heart, were not understood. But today, the Pope invites us to see them as models of the Gospel and as paradigms to follow if we truly want to change the world,” Bishop Báez concluded.

Oigamos a Romero footer image

 

 

BAEZ - Religion that ignores evil
“What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore the more important aspects of the law—justice, mercy, and faith” (Mt 23:23)

The Marie du jour – May 9

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

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

Père Jacques of Jesus, OCD

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

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

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

 

 

 

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