Carmelite Online Retreat — Lent 2020

Online Carmelite Retreat 2020


With St. John of the Cross


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

If you have registered already and received the meditations from one of the previous retreats, you do not need to register again. 

However, don’t hesitate to extend an invitation to your friends and acquaintances so that they can register using the form on the website: 

We suggest that you share this link with 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 Lent we will be guided by the beautiful writings of St. John of the Cross, a Doctor of the Church who pioneered the Discalced Carmelite reform with St. Teresa in the sixteenth century. 

At the end of February, you will receive the introductory text of this retreat. Then you will receive the meditations for each of the 7 weeks of Lent and Easter, with the following themes:

  • 1st week: The obstacle within us
  • 2nd week: Only Jesus
  • 3rd week: Straight to the heart
  • 4th week: Journey in the night
  • 5th week: New life
  • Holy Week: “The true spiritual person”
  • Easter: “On that glad night”

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:

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

Elijah’s Breeze on behalf of
fr. Roberto Maria OCD and
The Discalced Carmelites in Austria

Quote of the day: 11 February

To Lourdes, in the Pyrenees


Beneath my trembling fingers, vibrate, O my lyre,
Together let us sing a new hymn
To greet this beautiful country
And to express what it inspires within me.
Hello, hello, beautiful nature!
Hello, immortal mountains
Hello, you who make us dream of Heaven,
O solitary and blessed grotto
Where I so love to contemplate Mary,
Where everything is pure, calm, quiet.
O Lourdes, miraculous land,
A foretaste of the Eternal Home,
Are you not a little corner of Heaven…
In the midst of the valley of darkness?
I would never wish to leave you.
Alas, we must be separated,
And for how many years will that be?
You whom I love, dear Pyrenees!…
Who knows? One day, among you,
Perhaps she will bring me back,
That Madonna of Massabielle?
How sweet that happiness would seem to me!
I would return, poor, lonely
And having nothing left on this earth
If not the Heart, the Cross of Jesus.
Oh! Can one desire anything more!…
Is this not the supreme treasure
That Jesus gives to all those whom He loves:
For to the privileged ones within His Heart
Jesus shares his pain!

In the meantime, mountains so dear,
O blessed and lonely grotto,
Beautiful country that makes you dream of Heaven,
I must, therefore, tell you
   A Dieu.

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity

P 59 To Lourdes, in the Pyrenees
22 July 1898


Lourdes Our Lady prays the rosary window detail paullew flickr 2085623379
Detail of the window in the upper basilica at Lourdes depicting the first apparition. This is how St. Bernadette described it: ‘She looked at me immediately, smiled at me and signed to me to advance as if she had been my mother. All fear had left me, but I seemed to know no longer where I was. I rubbed my eyes, I shut them; but the lady was still there continuing to smile at me making me understand that I was not mistaken. Without thinking of what I was doing I took my rosary in my hands and went on my knees. The lady made with her head a sign of approval and herself took into her hands a rosary which hung on her right arm. When I attempted to begin the rosary and tried to lift up my hand to my forehead my arm remained paralyzed, and it was only after the lady had signed herself (with the sign of the cross) that I could do the same. The lady left me to pray all alone; she passed the beads of her rosary through her fingers, but she said nothing; only at the end of each decade did she say the Gloria with me. When the recitation of the rosary was finished, the lady returned to the interior of the rock and the golden cloud disappeared with her.’ | Commentary and photo credit: Fr. Lawrence Lew, OP / Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0 


Sous mes doigts tremblants, vibre, ô ma lyre,
Chantons ensemble un hymne nouveau
Pour saluer ce pays si beau
Et pour exprimer ce qu’il m’inspire.
Salut, salut, nature si belle !
Salut, montagnes immortelles
Salut, toi qui fais rêver aux Cieux,
O grotte solitaire et bénie
Où j’aime tant contempler Marie,
Où tout est pur, calme, silencieux.
O Lourdes, terre miraculeuse,
Avant-goût du Séjour éternel,
N’est-tu pas un petit coin du Ciel
Au milieu de la vallée ombreuse ?
J’aimerais ne jamais vous quitter.
Hélas, il faudra nous séparer,
Et ce sera pour combien d’années ?
Vous que j’aime, chères Pyrénées !…
Qui sait ? Un jour, au milieu de vous,
Peut-être me ramènera-t-elle,
Cette Madone de Massabielle ?
Que ce bonheur me semblerait doux !
Je reviendrais, pauvre, solitaire
Et n’ayant plus rien sur cette terre
Sinon le Coeur, la Croix de Jésus.
Oh ! peut-on désirer rien de plus !…
N’est-ce pas là le trésor suprême
Que Jésus donne à tous ceux qu’Il aime :
Car aux privilégiés de son Coeur
Jésus fait partager sa douleur !

En attendant, montagnes si chères,
O grotte bénie et solitaire,
Beau pays qui fais rêver aux Cieux,
Il faut donc que je vous dise
   A Dieu.



de la Trinité, E 1996, Oeuvres complètes / édition critique réalisée par le P. Conrad de Meester, carme, Les Editions du Cerf, Paris.
Translation from the French text is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission


Quote of the day: 1 December

Have a great love for those who contradict and fail to love you, for in this way love is begotten in a heart that has no love. God so acts with us, for he loves us that we might love by means of the very love he bears toward us.

Saint John of the Cross

Letter 33 to a Discalced Carmelite nun in Segovia
Ubeda, October-November 1591


Saint John of the Cross, Francisco Antonio Gijón (Spanish, 1653 – after 1705), 1675, National Gallery of Art, Washington DC. | Credit: National Gallery of Art



John of the Cross, St. 1991, The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross, Revised Edition, translated from the Spanish by Kavanaugh, K and Rodriguez, O with revisions and introductions by Kavanaugh, K, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

Quote of the day: 5 October

The Apparitions of St. Teresa

As told by Blessed Anne of St. Bartholomew


Teresian expert Father Kieran Kavanaugh reminds us that “on September 29 the Madre went to bed never to rise again. She had suffered a hemorrhaging from which it was understood that she would die.”

Blessed Anne of St. Bartholomew was constantly at her side throughout those final days. She herself writes, “I did not leave her for a moment. I begged the religious to bring me what was necessary for her. I gave it to her. It was a consolation to her for me to do so.”

On 3 October, her condition worsened; the doctor administered a painful cupping treatment, Father Kavanaugh explains. On 4 October, the feast of St. Francis, Fr. Kavanaugh says that “she remained in prayer, in deep quiet and peace, without speaking or stirring throughout the whole day.”

Poor Blessed Anne of St. Bartholomew, who had virtually no respite for hours, was ordered by Father Antonio of Jesus (Heredia)St. John of the Cross’ companion in the first foundation of Discalced Carmelite friars at Duruelo“to go and get something to eat. But Teresa began looking about, and when Antonio asked her if she was looking for Sister Ana, she gestured affirmatively.”

Blessed Anne of St. Bartholomew hurried back to St. Teresa’s cell. . .


Panel from the great reliquary of Blessed Anne of St. Bartholomew in Antwerp depicts the death of St. Teresa in her arms | Tijl Vereenooghe, erfgoed / Flickr


As soon as she saw me, she smiled at me, showed me such condescension and affection that she caught me with her two hands and rested her head in my arms. I held her thus in my embrace until she expired.

As the Saint loved me so much, I had begged her to console me, and to ask of our Lord for me perfect liberty of spirit, without attachment for anyone whomsoever. I was naturally affectionate, and I loved the Saint more than anyone could love her, also the other religious whom I saw advanced in perfection and loved by the Saint.

I loved them very much, and sometimes the Saint told me this attachment for friends was not good for my soul, and I must overcome it for my spiritual welfare; but until that hour when God called her to Himself, I had not succeeded.

It was she who obtained this grace for me, for from that time I was free and detached and it seemed to me that I had a yet greater love for the religious, loving them without any mixture of self-love; and, for the rest, it was as if I were alone in the world. I love all my Sisters in God and for God.

I received such strength of soul to prepare the body of the Saint for burial, that I did it with as much calmness as if her death had been a matter of indifference to me.

I wished to remain in that convent, but neither the Superior nor the religious of the Monastery of Avila, to which I belonged, would give their consent. They sent for me in haste. I felt some perplexity of soul. But the Saint appeared to me and said: “My daughter, obey the command given you, and depart!”

From the time of my return to the Convent of Avila, I prayed to the Saint and recommended myself to her. I spoke of this to my confessor. He told me it was wrong to recommend myself to a Saint who was not yet canonized and commanded me not to do it.

That same night whilst asleep, the Saint appeared to me most glorious and resplendent. She said to me: “My child, ask of me anything you wish and I will obtain it for you.”

Awakening, then, I said to her: ‘I ask of you the Spirit of God, that it may always dwell in my soul.”

She disappeared, leaving me in perfect certainty of the opinion I had formed of her sanctity. The command of my confessor, however, did not fail to cause me pain, for he had told me not to pray to her as a Saint. Even had not the signal favors granted her by God, and which proved that He loved her, led me to think her such, the consideration alone of the love with which she had endured for God so many labors, of which I was witness, and in which I had taken some part, would cause me to state as a certainty that she was a real Saint.

From the time in which she appeared to me in such great glory, as I have already narrated, I earnestly desired that her holy body should be brought back to Avila. One day, occupied with this thought, and believing that they feared to remove the holy body because they knew not in what condition they would find it, I fervently begged of our Lord to make this known to me.

Immediately I entered into a spiritual slumber, and angels carried me to the sepulcher; they opened it and showed me the body; it was entire, having the same color as when later they brought it forth from the tomb, and it exhaled the same odor and perfume.

The angels showed me two sleeves on her arms, also entire and in the same condition as when I placed them there. They said: “Are you satisfied? Do you wish anything more?”

I replied yes, that I would be more satisfied if I saw the Saint in her own convent at Avila, but that the Duke of Alba would never consent to it.

They said to me: “Do not make any account of the opposition of the Duke of Alba. It is the king who will decide; this matter depends on him alone.”


alba tormes corazon 01
The heart of St. Teresa is preserved in a reliquary  above the altar of the Carmel of Alba de Tormes | Photo credit:


The Duke and Duchess of Alba died soon after, and the king, to please his heirs, was unwilling that the holy body should be transferred to Avila. Before this happened, the Order earnestly desired the translation of the holy body from Alba to Avila.

My tender affection for the Saint led me to recommend the affair to God with great fervor. Our Lord said to me: “Do not be troubled; the holy body will return to this house.”

Continuing with importunity, I asked our Lord when this would take place, because I was eager to know. He replied: “It will be on the Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin.”

There was still almost a year to wait; but on the day fixed the thing was accomplished; they took the body of the Saint from the house at Alba and transferred it to that of Avila.

It was received there with the liveliest transports of joy. The number of lights burning was so great the convent seemed like heaven. The Saint gave a thousand proofs of tenderness towards her children; in whatever part of the convent they might be, she appeared to them and consoled them.


Apparition in Segovia Cuzco artist Patrimonio Catolico Pero
One of St Teresa’s many apparitions to her nuns is captured in this 18th c. Peruvian oil painting by an unidentified Cuzco artist | Photo credit: PESSCA Archives


Anne of St. Bartholomew, M; Bouix, M 1917,  Autobiography of the Blessed Mother Anne of Saint Bartholomew, inseparable companion of Saint Teresa, and foundress of the Carmels of Pontoise, Tours and Antwerp, translated from the French by anonymous, H. S. Collins Printing Co., Saint Louis.


Teresa of Avila, St. 1985, The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, translated from the Spanish by Kavanaugh, K; Rodriguez, O, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

Quote of the day: 2 October

Capt Catez 04_deuils_portrait
Capt. Joseph Catez (1832-1887)


Oh father, ten years ago
You were stricken by cruel death!
You left your grief-stricken widow,
Your children, still quite young;
And your soul left the earth,
The place of exile and of misery,
To return to the bosom of God
In the beautiful city of Heaven.

It was in my weak arms as a child,
These arms that caressed you so much,
That your brief agony lasted,
The last battle of your life!
And I tried to hold on
To that last, long breath!

Protector of my childhood,
Who knew how to watch over
His dear little children with constancy,
I truly promise you that the years
Will not erase from my memory
The souvenir of a beloved father
Who was called by Jesus,
Still quite young, to eternal glory!

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity

Poem 37, 2 October 1897


7 years old 04_deuils_e06
Elizabeth, age 7 (1887)


The year 1887 was difficult for St. Elizabeth’s family. When she was two years old, her maternal grandmother died, leaving her grandfather, Raymond Rolland as a widower to fend for himself. Eventually, he moved in with his daughter Marie and son-in-law Capt. Joseph Catez.

But 24 January 1887, Grandfather Rolland died in the Catez home.  It was a rude shock for the family.

Eight months later, Joseph Catez, the proud army captain, was knocked down by serious health problems. It’s his heart, the doctor says. Besides, he can feel it himself, says biographer Conrad de Meester (2017). Several times during the summer of 1887 he has serious heart attacks, “but the courageous captain, a committed Christian, doesn’t complain easily.”

Nobody expected his condition to deteriorate so quickly, however. The veritable unraveling of the strong fabric of his existence was so rapid and so tragic for the Catez family.

Sunday morning 2 October 1887, Captain Catez fought his last battle and died, borne away in one single night by a massive heart attack. He died in the arms of Elizabeth, who literally felt him draw his last breath.

Elizabeth was always a daddy’s girl; the profound event, which engraved an indelible image upon her memory, inspired her to compose a poem on the anniversary of Captain Catez’s death 10 years later.

The French website of the Carmel of Dijon provides more detail here. Images of Capt. Catez and Elizabeth at age seven are courtesy of the Carmel of Dijon.


de Meester C 2017, Rien moins que Dieu: Sainte Elisabeth de la Trinité biographie, Presses de la Renaissance, Paris.

Quote of the day: 16 September

We must continually apply ourselves so that all our actions, without exception, become a kind of brief conversation with God, not in a contrived manner but coming from the purity and simplicity of our hearts.

Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection
Spiritual Maxims, 7


woman sitting fallen tree trunk in front of a waterfalls
Photo by Stevanus Praska on



Lawrence of the Resurrection, B 2015, Writings and Conversations on the Practice of the Presence of God, translated from the French by Sciurba, S, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

Quote of the day: 26 August

Saint Teresa of Jesus’



During that time of unusual demonstrations of grace and of the most severe tests, Teresa also received a visible sensory image of the glowing love that pierced her heart.

“I saw beside me at my left side an angel in a physical form. . . . Because of his flaming face, he seemed to belong to that lofty choir made up only of fire and love. . . . I saw a long golden dart in his hands the end of which glowed like fire. From time to time the angel pierced my heart with it. When he pulled it out again, I was entirely inflamed with love for God.”

The heart of the saint, which has been preserved in the monastery of Alba and remains intact to this day, bears a long, deep wound.

One who loves feels compelled to do something for the beloved.

Saint Edith Stein
Love for Love (excerpt)


L’Estasi di Santa Teresa
Gian Lorenzo Bernini (Italian, 1598-1680)
Marble sculpture, 1647-1652
Cornaro Chapel, Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome
Photo: Curia Generalizia Carmelitani Scalzi


Translator’s Notes

For comparison purposes, we share the corresponding translation of St. Teresa’s account of the transverberation from the 1985 edition by Fathers Kieran Kavanaugh, OCD and Otilio Rodriguez, OCD:

“I saw close to me toward my left side an angel in bodily form. . . . His face was so aflame that he seemed to be one of those very sublime angels that appear to be all afire. . . . I saw in his hands a large golden dart and at the end of the iron tip there appeared to be a little fire. It seemed to me this angel plunged the dart several times into my heart and that it reached deep within me. When he drew it out, I thought he was carrying off with him the deepest part of me; and he left me all on fire with great love of God.”

Editorial Notes

Dr. Lucy Gelber and Fr. Michael Linssen, OCD indicate in their notes that the manuscript of the article Love for Love included this addition: Leben und Werke der heiligen Teresa von Jesus. Edith also dated the manuscript at the end of the foreword: Carmel Cologne-Lindenthal, Candlemas, 1934.

Dr. Gelber and Father Linssen continue:

The article appeared in Kleine Lebensbilder, No. 84, Freiburg, Kanisiuswerk, 1934. Edith Stein mentions the appearance of the shortened article in her letter to Mother Petra Brüning of October 17, 1934 (Edith Steins Werke, Vol. IX, Letter 182): “I am allowed to send you the little book on Teresa that I wrote for our dear mother’s name day and that has now appeared—even though horribly shortened….”

These dates reveal that Edith Stein, still using her name in the world, wrote this study of St. Teresa while she was a postulant, and that this article composed during the first months of her life in the Order appeared in print after her clothing (April 15, 1934), now using her religious name. At that time the original title of the manuscript was also changed to Teresa of Jesus.


Gelber, L, Linssen, M and Stein, E 1992, The Hidden Life: Essays, Meditations, Spiritual Texts, ICS Publications, Washington DC.


Kieran Kavanaugh, K, Rodriguez, O, and Teresa 1976, The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

26 August: St. Teresa of Jesus’ Transverberation

August 26

Memorial for the Discalced Carmelite Nuns
Optional Memorial for all others

“The chief among Teresa’s virtues was the love of God, which our Lord Jesus Christ increased by means of many visions and revelations. He made her his Spouse on one occasion. At other times she saw an angel with a flaming dart piercing her heart. Through these heavenly gifts the flame of divine love in her heart became so strong that, inspired by God, she made the extremely difficult vow of always doing what seemed to her most perfect and most conducive to God’s glory” (Gregory XV in the Bull of Canonization).


Ant. Come let us worship the Lord, Source of all wisdom.

Invitatory psalm, as in the Ordinary

Office of Readings


Noonday blaze of virtues rare;
Highest gifts of grace and prayer;
You have lived, in deep repose,
All that faith on us bestows.

Wedded to the Father’s Word,
Word of light, in silence heard
Leaning on the Savior’s breast,
Guided by the Spirit blest.

Blest the mind refined by fire
To receive divine desire,
Wisdom’s secrets in your heart,
Opened by the heavenly dart.

Christ drew you to his embrace
By the fragrance of his grace;
In your teaching we confide,
Trusting you, our heav’n-sent guide.

Truth eternal, One and Three,
May Teresa constantly
Lead us up the mountain’s ways
To the realms of joy and praise.

Sr. Margarita of Jesus, O.C.D.


(Red. B, st. 2, no. 2-4, 9,, 12, 8: ed. Kavanaugh-Rodriguez 1979, pp. 596-99)

From the Living Flame of Love by Saint John of the Cross

You have wounded my heart

Moses declares in Deuteronomy, Our Lord God is a consuming fire, that is, a fire of love, which being of infinite power, can inestimably consume and transform into itself the soul it touches. Yet he burns each soul according to its preparation: he will burn one more, another less, and this he does insofar as he desires, and how and when he desires. When he wills to touch somewhat vehemently, the soul’s burning reaches such a high degree of love that it seems to surpass that of all the fires of the world, for he is an infinite fire of love. Because the soul in this case is entirely transformed by the divine flame, it not only feels a cautery, but has become a cautery of blazing fire.

It is a wonderful thing and worth relating that, since this fire of God is so mighty it would consume a thousand worlds more easily than the fire of this earth would burn up a straw, it does not consume and destroy the soul in which it so burns. And it does not afflict it, rather, commensurate with the strength of the love, it divinizes and delights it, burning gently. Since God’s purpose in granting these communications is to exalt the soul, he does not weary and restrict it, but enlarges and delights it, brightens and enriches it. The happy soul that by great fortune reaches this cautery knows all things, tastes all things, does all it wishes, and prospers; no one prevails before it and nothing touches it. This is the soul of which the Apostle speaks: The spiritual one judges all things and he is judged by no one. And again: The spirit searches out all things, unto the deep things of God.

It will happen that while the soul is inflamed with the love of God, it will feel that a seraphim is assailing it by means of an arrow or dart which is all afire with love. And the seraphim pierces and cauterizes this soul which, like a red-hot coal, or better, a flame, is already enkindled. For the soul is converted into the immense fire of love.

Few persons have reached these heights. Some have, however, especially those whose virtue and spirit was to be diffused among their children. For God accords to founders, with respect to the first fruits of the spirit, wealth and value commensurate with the greater or lesser following they will have in their doctrine and spirituality.

O happy wound, wrought by one who knows only how to heal! O fortunate and choicest wound; you were made only for delight, and the quality of your affliction is delight and gratification for the wounded soul! You are great, O delightful wound, because he who caused you is great! And your delight is great, because the fire of love is infinite and makes you delightful according to your capacity and greatness. O, then, delightful wound, so much more sublimely delightful the more the cautery touched the intimate center of the substance of the soul, burning all that was burnable in order to give delight to all that could be delighted!


The Lord our God is one Lord.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul, and with all your strength.

The Lord your God is a consuming fire.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul, and with all your strength.


Flowery border_British Library_medium


Morning Prayer


The day is dawning with delight,
When, spotless as the dove,
Theresa winged her spirit flight
Afar, to realms of love and light,
In heavenly courts above.

Her ear hath caught the mystic sound,
Oh, come, my sister, spouse!
From Carmel’s summit come, be crowned,
Bride of the Lamb, in bliss profound,
Come plight thy nuptial vows!

O Jesus! Spouse of Virgin choice,
Thy holy name we praise!
While heavenly choirs, too, rejoice,
Their bridal canticle to voice,
And hymn their endless lays.

Felix dies, qua candidae

Antiphons and psalms of the current weekday.


2 Corinthians 4:5-7

It is not ourselves we preach but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts, that we in turn might make known the glory of God shining on the face of Christ. This treasure we possess in earthen vessels, to make it clear that its surpassing power comes from God and not from us.


My heart is ever pleading, show me your face.
My heart is ever pleading, show me your face.

I long to gaze upon you, Lord.
Show me your face.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
My heart is ever pleading, show me your face.

Ant. In my heart, imprisoned in my bones, was the likeness of a burning fire, and I was scarcely able to bear it.


The Lord of glory, Crown of all the Saints, gives us the joy of honoring our Mother, Saint Teresa. Let us praise him, saying:
Glory to you, Lord!

Source of life and holiness, in your saints you show us the infinite marvels of your grace;
in company with Saint Teresa may we sing of your mercies forever.

You want your love to blaze like fire throughout the world;
with Saint Teresa, make us zealous in spreading your charity.

You make friends of your saints, and reveal to them the mysteries of your heart;
bind us to yourself in friendship so close that we may taste the secrets of your love, proclaim your wonders, and draw others to you.

You pronounced blessed the pure of heart, and promised that they should see you;
purify our sight, so that we may see you in everyone and be faithful to you in all things.

You resist the proud and give wisdom to little ones;
make us humble of heart, so that we may receive your wisdom for the sake of the whole Church.

Our Father …


Almighty God,
you filled the heart of Saint Teresa of Avila, our Mother,
with the fire of your love
and gave her strength to undertake difficult tasks
for the honor of your name.
Through her prayers
may the power of your love fill our hearts also
and stir us to ever more generous efforts in your service.

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


Ivy border media


Evening Prayer


As messenger of the Most high,
Theresa from her home would fly,
Good tidings of the Heavenly King
To heathen lands afar to bring,
Or yield for Christ her gentle life,
In ruddy streams of martyr strife.

But death with sweeter aspect came,
Awaiting her with rapturous claim.
Ecstatic pangs delight her soul,
And, conquered by their strong control,
She falleth, wounded from above
By piercing lance of heavenly love.

Oh, flaming victim! may thy dart
Enkindle every frozen heart,
That upward mounting, one with thine,
They rise, consumed with fire divine.
And may thy pleading safely keep
Thy nations from the burning deep.

All praise unto the Father be,
And to the Son eternally,
With joyful harmony repeat
All praise unto the Paraclete,
The Blessed Trinity adore
With reverent homage evermore.

Regis superni nuntia

Antiphons and psalms of the current weekday.


Jude 20-21

Beloved, grow strong in your holy faith through prayer in the Holy Spirit. Persevere in God’s love, and welcome the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ which leads to life eternal.


You are the temple of the living God.
You are the temple of the living God.

And the Spirit of God dwells in you,
the temple of the living God.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
You are the temple of the living God.


Ant. My heart will rejoice in your salvation; I will sing to the Lord for his goodness to me.


Christ loved his Church and gave his life for her that she might be holy: let us pray to Christ that his Church may be holy and spotless in all her members:
Lord Jesus, be with your Church.

You are the Head of the Church and the source of all her grace;
keep us all close to you in faith and love, as living members of your Body.

You founded the Church on Peter and the apostles, and through them you teach us the truth and lead us in green pastures;
enlighten and guide those you have placed over your Church, and confirm our faith so that in them we may hear your voice leading us to life.

You choose some to announce the Good News by teaching, baptizing, calling to repentance, and offering in your memory the Eucharistic Sacrifice;
as the harvest is great, and the laborers few, send laborers into your harvest.

You choose some of your friends to follow you more closely in your poverty, your chastity and your obedience, for the building up of the Church;
with Mary as their Mother and teacher, may all religious cling to you and show forth your life within them as they serve the Church.

You made your people one body and one spirit in the unity of faith and baptism;
may all whom you have redeemed preserve the unity of the Spirit through the bonds of peace.

You died for our redemption and rose so that we could have life;
may all who have died in your love and await the revelation of your glory rejoice at the eternal banquet in the company of your saints.

Our Father …

Almighty God,
you filled the heart of Saint Teresa of Avila, our Mother,
with the fire of your love
and gave her strength to undertake difficult tasks
for the honor of your name.
Through her prayers
may the power of your love fill our hearts also
and stir us to ever more generous efforts in your service.

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


Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Ecstasy of Saint Teresa, 1647-52
Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome (Discalced Carmelite Fathers)
Photo: Curia Generalizia Carmelitani Scalzi



Learn more about Bernini’s masterpiece on the Khan Academy website


Photos of artworks from Quito provided by the Project on the Engraved Sources of Spanish Colonial Art (PESSCA)

His heart an open wound with love

Stanzas applied spiritually to Christ and the soul


1. A lone young shepherd lived in pain
withdrawn from pleasure and contentment,
his thoughts fixed on a shepherd-girl
his heart an open wound with love.

2. He weeps, but not from the wound of love,
there is no pain in such affliction,
even though the heart is pierced;
he weeps in knowing he’s been forgotten.

3. That one thought: his shining one
has forgotten him, is such great pain
that he bows to brutal handling in a foreign land,
his heart an open wound with love.

4. The shepherd says: I pity the one
who draws herself back from my love,
and does not seek the joy of my presence,
though my heart is an open wound with love for her.

5. After a long time, he climbed a tree,
and spread his shining arms,
and hung by them, and died,
his heart an open wound with love.


Sacred Heart adored by angels_Andrés López 1785
The Sacred Heart of Jesus adored by angels
Andrés López
Oil on copper, 1785
Peyton Wright Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
See a larger work here on a similar theme by Andrés López in the sacristy of the Oratorio de San Felipe Neri in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico


Poetry: Poem 7, The Collected Works of Saint John of the Cross, Revised Edition
Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D., With Revisions and Introductions by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D.
ICS Publications Copyright © 1976 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.

Pentecost Novena: Edith Stein — Day 3

Pentecost Novena 3-17 Edith IGsize (1)
Pentecost Novena: Edith Stein — Day 3

Are you not the sweet manna
That from the Son’s heart
Overflows into my heart,
The food of angels and the blessed?
He who raised himself from death to life,
He has also awakened me to new life
From the sleep of death.
And he gives me new life from day to day,
And at some time his fullness is to stream through me,
Life of your life indeed, you yourself:
Holy Spirit eternal life!

Saint Edith Stein

And I Remain With You:
From a Pentecost Novena

Day 3


The Hidden Life: Essays, Meditations, Spiritual Texts
The Collected Works of Edith Stein, Vol. 4
ICS Publications, Washington DC
© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites, Inc.

Pentecost Novena: St. Edith Stein — Day 1

EDITH - Pentecost Novena 1 IGsize
Pentecost Novena: St. Edith Stein — Day 1


Who are you, sweet light, that fills me
And illumines the darkness of my heart?
You lead me like a mother’s hand,
And should you let go of me,
I would not know how to take another step.

Saint Edith Stein

And I Remain With You:
From a Pentecost Novena

Day 1


The Hidden Life: Essays, Meditations, Spiritual Texts
The Collected Works of Edith Stein, Vol. 4
ICS Publications, Washington DC
© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites, Inc.
Nativity_MELCHERS Gari
The Nativity
Julius Garibaldi “Gari” Melchers (American, 1860-1932)
Oil on canvas, ca. 1891
Gari Melchers Home and Studio, Fredericksburg


Mary was also a model of faith. Oh, how pleasing that faith was to the Heavenly Father! It was her faith that made Jesus grow in Her more each day. If we have such faith, Jesus will also grow in our hearts.

Saint Mary of Jesus Crucified
Thoughts of St. Mary of Jesus Crucified


Marie du jour: 17 May

Oh! but, the Blessed Virgin was the strong woman, the Virgin pure; Jesus filled her heart completely, which overflowed with fire and flames, she had Heaven within her… But this is the strong woman par excellence, and she hid all this in her heart, and nothing showed on the outside. Me, I am weak…

Saint Mary of Jesus Crucified (Mariam Baouardy)
Cahiers Réservés, Cahier 5

Holy_Land_2016_P0613_Bethlehem_Carmel_st._Joseph_chapel_side_altar (2)
Reine du Carmel, Side altar in St. Joseph Chapel at Bethlehem Carmel (detail) | fallaner / Wikimedia Commons

Saint Mariam was canonized by Pope  Francis on 17 May 2015 at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. A native Palestinian from Galilee, she was a foundress of the Discalced Carmelite monasteries of Nazareth and Bethlehem in the 19th century. Learn more about the Saint of the Bethlehem Carmel here

Deep within, Mary had learned to listen to the heartbeat of her Son, and that in turn taught her, throughout her life, to discover God’s heartbeat in history. 

Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.
From the homily of His Holiness Pope Francis
Holy Mass on the Solemnity of Mary, the Holy Mother of God

BAEZ 8Sep18 Tweet
Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D. is the Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Managua

Quote of the day: 5 May

One day I felt greatly mortified because my age and weakness would not permit me to perform as much penance as I wished. Our Lord made me understand that the most important thing does not consist in performing wonderful exterior acts and showing great feeling, but a good heart is what He prizes and wishes from us. This, it is to be understood, is when we cannot do the good that we desire.

Blessed Anne of St. Bartholomew
Autobiography of the Blessed Mother Anne of Saint Bartholomew
Fourth Book, Chapter Three 

Anne of St. Bartholomew praying before an altar
In 1622 and 1624 she prevented, by her prayers, the city of Antwerp from falling into the power of the Dutch, which caused her to receive the glorious title of Guardian and Liberatrix of Antwerp




Lent: A Season for the Heart — The Frank Friar

The Frank Friar is a member of the Carmelite Order, Saint Elias Province in North America. We highly recommend his blog and all of his content in social media.

Within the heart love is never isolating. Love unites the lack of love separates. The unifying intent of love within the heart is important. Why? It is from the heart that a person primarily interacts with the world. Within that vision our minds must always …. The post Lent: A Season for the Heart appeared…

via Lent: A Season for the Heart — The Frank Friar

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.

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.

Novena to St. John of the Cross – Day 2

Let me ask you this. What would you do if you had a hundred sheep and one of them wandered off? Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine on the hillside and go look for the one that had wandered away? I am sure that finding it would make you happier than having the ninety-nine that never wandered off. That’s how it is with your Father in heaven.

Matthew 18:12-14

The shepherd says: I pity the one
who draws herself back from my love,
and does not seek the joy of my presence,
though my heart is an open wound with love for her.

Poetry 7

O St. John of the Cross
You were endowed by our Lord with the spirit of self-denial
and a love of the cross.
Obtain for us the grace to follow your example
that we may come to the eternal vision of the glory of God.

O Saint of Christ’s redeeming cross
the road of life is dark and long.
Teach us always to be resigned to God’s holy will
in all the circumstances of our lives
and grant us the special favor
which we now ask of thee
(mention your request).

Above all, obtain for us the grace of final perseverance,
a holy and happy death and everlasting life with you
and all the saints in heaven.



Nothing tells us more about the love in God’s Heart than the Eucharist. This union, this consummation of Him in us and we in Him, is this not heaven on earth? This is Heaven in faith while awaiting the vision face-to-face for which we yearn…

We have the Blessed Sacrament exposed in the oratory: what divine hours are spent in this little corner of Heaven. Here, we possess the vision in substance under the humble Host. Yes, one and the same, He who the blessed contemplate in light and He who we adore in faith…

The Eucharistic Heart of God According to Saint Elizabeth

Abandonment, trust, and joy

We can abandon ourselves to God and totally trust him even without fully comprehending his ways; it’s a source of inexhaustible joy. This is a personal conviction that flows from my heart and from my life in tune with the experience and the message of both Holy Carmelites.

Bishop Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.

Therese and Teresa de los Andes

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