Quote of the day: 11 September

It is impossible to describe what took place between my soul and Jesus. I asked Jesus a thousand times that He would take me, and I experienced His dear voice for the first time. “Oh Jesus I love You, I adore You!” I prayed to Him for everybody. I felt the Virgin near me. Oh, how my heart expanded! For the first time, I experienced a delicious peace.

From that time, the dear Jesus spoke to me, and I spent entire hours conversing with Him.

That is the reason I enjoyed being alone. He went on teaching me how I should suffer and not complain and about intimate union with Him. Then He told me that He wanted me for Himself, that He would like me to become a Carmelite. Ah! Mother, you cannot imagine what Jesus was doing in my soul. At that time, I did not live in myself. It was Jesus who was living in me.

Saint Teresa of the Andes
From her autobiographical writings at age 15

 

Teresa-de-los-Andes-First-Communion
Saint Teresa’s First Communion Portrait, 11 September 1910

 

Explore our blog posts concerning Saint Teresa of the Andes here.

 

of the Andes, T 2003, The Writings of Saint Teresa of Jesus of the Andes: An Abridgement, translated from the Spanish by Father Michael D. Griffin, OCD, New Life Publishing Company,

 

Quote of the day: 13 July

The First Holy Communion of St. Teresa of the Andes

 

It is impossible to describe what took place between my soul and Jesus.

I asked Jesus a thousand times that He would take me, and I experienced His dear voice for the first time. “Oh Jesus I love You, I adore You!” I prayed to Him for everybody. I felt the Virgin near me. Oh, how my heart expanded! For the first time, I experienced a delicious peace.

After making our thanksgiving, we went to the patio to share things with the poor, and each girl went to embrace her family. My Daddy kept kissing me. Being so happy, he lifted me up in his arms. Many little girls came to the house that day. What can I say of the gifts that were given to me? The bureau and my bed were filled.

Shortly after that time, we moved from that house (at 475 Ejercito Street). Since that first embrace, Jesus did not let me go but took me for Himself. Every day I went to Communion and talked with Jesus for a long time. My special devotion was to the Virgin. I told her everything. The earth no longer held any attraction for me.

Every year, I used to become sick on December 8, the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Once when I was sick, I was looking at a picture of the Sacred Heart, and I heard a very sweet voice say to me: “I am alone on the altar for your love, and you can’t even suffer for a moment?”

From that time, the dear Jesus spoke to me, and I spent entire hours conversing with Him. That is the reason I enjoyed being alone. He went on teaching me how I should suffer and not complain and about intimate union with Him. Then He told me that He wanted me for Himself, that He would like me to become a Carmelite. Ah! Mother, you cannot imagine what Jesus was doing in my soul. At that time, I did not live in myself. It was Jesus who was living in me.

Saint Teresa of the Andes
From her autobiographical writings at age 15

 

Teresa-de-los-Andes-First-Communion
St. Teresa’s First Communion Portrait

 

Explore our blog posts concerning Saint Teresa of the Andes here.

 

The Writings of Saint Teresa of Jesus of the Andes: An Abridgement, Edited by Barbara Haight Garcia, OCDS
Translated by Father Michael D. Griffin, OCD. New Life Publishing Company, 2003

14 June: Blessed Maria Candida of the Eucharist

June 14
BLESSED MARIA CANDIDA OF THE EUCHARIST
Virgin

Optional Memorial

Blessed Maria Candida of the Eucharist was born on 16 January 1884 in Catanzano. Her parents, Pietro Barba and Giovanna Florona, returned to Palermo, Sicily, where she received First Holy Communion 3rd April 1894. In 1919 she entered the Discalced Carmelite Monastery, Ragusa, making solemn profession 23rd April 1924. She was Prioress and Mistress of Novices many times, radiating a sense of Carmelite holiness both within and outside of the community, influencing others with her love for the Eucharist, as well as by her numerous writings. She died on 12th June 1949, the solemnity of the Holy Trinity, and was beatified 21st March 2004.

From the common of virgins; psalms from the current weekday

Office of Readings

Second Reading
From the writings of M. Maria Candida of the Eucharist
(L’Eucharistia, Edizioni OCD-Feeria, 1999, pp. 105-108)

From contemplation of the presence to Eucharistic communion

To contemplate with deep faith our Beloved in the Sacrament, to live with Him Who comes to us every day, to remain with Him in the depths of our hearts, this is our life!

The more intense this intimate life is, the more we will be Carmelites and make progress in perfection. This contact, this union with Jesus is everything: what fruits of virtue will come from it! You must have this experience. To live with Jesus and to live by His virtues, is to listen to His beautiful voice, to His most loving wish and immediately obey it, to please quickly Him. Our eyes close, longing to find Him again, to contemplate Him in the depths of our hearts: is this not the reason why He gives us Holy Communion in the morning? Is it not the attraction for Him that remains in the Blessed Sacrament, where He lives? I do not know how to separate the ciborium in the sacred Tabernacle from the ciborium in our hearts! Oh, how many times, even though we are in the choir, before His sacred Presence, at times exposed, we experience the great need to go deeply into ourselves, and there rediscover and remain with our Jesus!

What mystery of love is this intimacy with our Beloved! I reflect on this, sometimes with emotion, and give praise to Him Who is Love! And with tears, I contemplate this intimacy. Everything here on this earth is nothing for us, withdrawn as we are, far from Him Who loved us so much; our eyes no longer see anything: and even though we close them again to lose ourselves from the same sacred environment, we close them anxious to find Him again, to see Jesus! The most delightful Mystery of Love! He allows Himself to be found by the heart that searches for Him, by the soul that knows how to do without many things for love of Him.

To be close to our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, like the Saints in Heaven, who contemplate the supreme Good, is what we must do, according to our Holy Mother Teresa. Seven times a day, we come together around the throne (of our Good God), the sacred Tabernacle, reciting the divine praises: oh how much faith merits such lofty activity, what dying to self! May adoration and love accompany and beautify everything!

Responsory

R/. I am the living bread which has come down from heaven and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world.
* Anyone who eats this bread will live forever.
R/. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in them.
* Anyone who eats this bread will live forever.

Prayer

All powerful and ever-living God,
who, by the breath of the Spirit,
inspired Blessed Maria Candida, virgin,
to contemplate the riches of the Eucharist,
by her intercession, grant we beseech you,
that gratefully offering the sacrifice
of the Body and Blood of Christ,
in union with the Blessed Virgin Mary,
we may always glorify You in this Sacrament,

Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, forever and ever.

 

Maria-Candida-of-the-Eucharist_headshot
Blessed Maria Candida of the Eucharist (1884-1949)

Quote of the day: 3 June

Pocock, Nicholas, 1740-1821; The Frigate 'Triton'
The Frigate ‘Triton’
Nicholas Pocock (British, 1740–1821)
Oil on canvas, 1797
National Maritime Museum, London
Photo credit: National Maritime Museum / ArtUK

 

we had the happiness of going to com[muni]on, the Same hour as before. mr neale receiv’d it from mr P. after having given it to us. the weather fine wind fair, some part of the day was almost a calm. I was dressed in a fine Silk petticoat and a chince jacket th[a]t had been given me in alms w[hi]ch was So becoming & made me look So Extraordinarily fine th[a]t all my companions were jealous of me.

Mother Clare Joseph of the Sacred Heart, O.C.D.
(Frances Dickinson, 1755-1830)
Journal of a Trip to America, 3rd June 1790

 

Mother-Frances-Dickinson_Port-Tobacco
Mother Clare Joseph of the Sacred Heart, O.C.D.
(Frances Dickinson, 1755-1830)

 

Mother Clare Joseph of the Sacred Heart, O.C.D. was one of four foundresses of the Teresian Carmel in the United States of America in the summer of 1790. To her fell the task of keeping a daily journal of their ocean voyage aboard the three-masted, square-sailed, merchant frigate Brothers from Texel, Netherlands — departing 25 April — to New York, where they arrived on “friday Morning the 2d of July”. Although she makes no mention of it in her diary entry on the third of June, Mother Clare Joseph was quietly celebrating the anniversary of her profession in the Carmel of Antwerp on 3 June 1773. As for the mention of the petticoat and jacket: the nuns traveled in civilian attire.

 

The Carmelite Adventure: Clare Joseph Dickinson's Journal of a Trip to America and Other Documents 
Edited by Constance FitzGerald, O.C.D.
© 1990 Constance FitzGerald and the Carmelite Sisters of Baltimore

Quote of the day: 8 May

Alone at the feet of my Crucified Lord, I looked at him for a long time, and in that gaze, I saw that He was my whole life.

Blessed Elia of Saint Clement

Elia-di-San-Clemente_PrimaCommunione
Blessed Elia of Saint Clement (Teodora Fracasso, 1901-1927) on the day of her first Holy Communion, 8 May 1911. After she fell asleep on Sunday night 7 May, St. Therese of Lisieux appeared to her in a dream and said, “you will be a nun like me.” | Discalced Carmelites / Santidad Carmelitana

 

Marie du jour: 8 May

 

Why I Love You, O Mary!

O beloved Mother, despite my littleness,
Like you, I possess The All-Powerful within me.
But I don’t tremble in seeing my weakness:
The treasures of a mother belong to her child,
And I am your child, O my dearest Mother.
Aren’t your virtues and your love mine too?
So when the white Host comes into my heart,
Jesus, your Sweet Lamb, thinks he is resting in you!…

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
Why I Love You, O Mary!
PN 54, Stanza 5

The Last Supper Preston-on-Stour
The Last Supper, detail from a window in Preston-on-Stour | Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P. / Flickr

On 8 May 1884, Saint Thérèse of Lisieux made her First Holy Communion; on that same day, her sister Pauline professed her Carmelite vows in the hands of the saintly foundress of the Carmel of Lisieux, Mother Geneviève of St Teresa.

Of that day Saint Thérèse wrote, “Ah! how sweet was that first kiss of Jesus! It was a kiss of love; I felt that I was loved, and I said: “I love You, and I give myself to You forever!” There were no demands made, no struggles, no sacrifices; for a long time now Jesus and poor little Thérèse looked at and understood each other. That day, it was no longer simply a look, it was a fusion; they were no longer two, Thérèse had vanished as a drop of water is lost in the immensity of the ocean. Jesus alone remained; He was the Master, the King.” (Ms A, 35r)

Later, Pauline (her religious name was Mother Agnès of Jesus) recalled: “At the end of the afternoon,” she says, “I saw my little Thérèse in the parlor, with her veil as white as my own. She gazed at me with so profound and gentle a look. What a moment for us both! I went out quite comforted, a little like the apostles when they descended from Mount Tabor: a heavenly atmosphere surrounded me. Oh, my God, if the sight of an earthly angel could so fortify me, what will it be to see in eternity the very fountain-head of goodness, from whence proceeds all the beauty of the saints!” (Circular letter, Carmelite death notice for Mother Agnès of Jesus)

Mutter_Agnes_von_Jesus
Mother Agnes of Jesus (Pauline Martin), photo circa 1900 | Photo: Carmel of Lisieux / Wikimedia Commons
Learn more about
Mother Agnès of Jesus here

Quote of the day: 19 April

“I will never forget the emotions of 19 April: I saw my child so recollected, so earnest, her tears did not cease to flow and I understood that God had taken possession of that heart so pure, so loving, which no longer would beat except for him.”

Madame Catez
St. Elizabeth of the Trinity’s mother recalls her daughter’s first Holy Communion, 1891
Rien moins que Dieu : sainte Elisabeth de la Trinité

19 April 1891 taken on communion day sepia large
19 April 1891 St. Elizabeth of the Trinity First Holy Communion, St. Michael Parish, Dijon | Photo: Discalced Carmelite Order

On Palm Sunday

On Palm Sunday after Communion, my faculties remained in such deep suspension that I couldn’t even swallow the host; and, holding it in my mouth, after I returned a little to myself, it truly seemed to me that my entire mouth was filled with blood. I felt that my face and all the rest of me was also covered with this blood, as though the Lord had just then finished shedding it. It seemed to me warm, and the sweetness I then experienced was extraordinary. The Lord said to me: “Daughter, I want my blood to be beneficial to you, and don’t be afraid that My mercy will fail you. I shed it with many sufferings, and you enjoy it with the great delight you are aware of; I repay you well for the banquet you prepare me this day.”

Saint Teresa of Avila
Spiritual Testimonies: 22 Eucharistic experience
(Probably Avila, March 30, 1572)

Entry into Jerusalem_NESTEROV_1900
Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem
Mikhail Vasilevich Nesterov, (Russian, 1862 – 1942)
Painting – gouache, 1900
The State Russian Museum – Saint Petersburg

 

Spiritual Testimonies: Number 22
The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila
Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D.
ICS Publications Copyright © 1976 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.

 

 

Quote of the day: 19 February

These last two days our dear invalid has grown considerably weaker, and this morning she wasn’t able to get up to take Holy Communion. Our beloved Sister is in a state of weakness, oppression, and anxiety which leads us to think that the end cannot be far off.

She was most touched by your parcel, but she eats so little now that she only tasted it. She has asked us to convey her gratitude for this kind gesture which moved her deeply.

Letter from Sister Marie-Louise de Gonzague Vétillart, V.H.M. to Saint Zélie Martin
(excerpt)
19 February 1877


I’m enclosing a letter I just received a moment ago which doesn’t leave us any more hope, as you can see. Last week I sent some roasted goose to my sister since she’d wanted to eat some cooked in our house. I also sent her a pound of gumdrops and a dozen cakes, but Pauline wrote Marie that she gave almost all of them to her.

Finally, I think her death is imminent, and it makes me very sad. But on the other hand, I want my poor sister to be freed as soon as possible.

Letter from Saint Zélie Martin to her sister-in-law Céline Fournet Guérin
(excerpt)
20 February 1877

Garden of the Visitandines Rouen, edhal on flickr
Garden of the former Visitation monastery, Rouen | Edhral / Flickr 

Advent 5: Banquet

On Palm Sunday after Communion, my faculties remained in such deep suspension that I couldn’t even swallow the host; and, holding it in my mouth, after I returned a little to myself, it truly seemed to me that my entire mouth was filled with blood. I felt that my face and all the rest of me was also covered with this blood, as though the Lord had just then finished shedding it. It seemed to me warm, and the sweetness I then experienced was extraordinary. The Lord said to me: “Daughter, I want my blood to be beneficial to you, and don’t be afraid that My mercy will fail you. I shed it with many sufferings, and you enjoy it with the great delight you are aware of; I repay you well for the banquet you prepare me this day.”

He said this because for more than thirty years I have received Communion on this day when possible and have striven to prepare my soul to give hospitality to the Lord.

Saint Teresa of Avila

 

10677084456_988cef543b_o.jpg
Detail of the Last Supper from the Passion Window, Strasbourg Cathedral | damian entwistle

 

El día de Ramos, acabando de comulgar, quedé con gran suspensión, de manera que aun no podía pasar la Forma, y teniéndomela en la boca verdaderamente me pareció, cuando torné un poco en mí, que toda la boca se me había henchido de sangre; y parecíame estar también el rostro y toda yo cubierta de ella, como que entonces acabara de derramarla el Señor. Me parece estaba caliente, y era excesiva la suavidad que entonces sentía, y díjome el Señor: “Hija, yo quiero que mi sangre te aproveche, y no hayas miedo que te falte mi misericordia; Yo la derramé con muchos dolores, y gózasla tú con tan gran deleite como ves; bien te pago el convite que me hacías este día”.

Esto dijo porque ha más de treinta años que yo comulgaba este día, si podía, y procuraba aparejar mi alma para hospedar al Señor.

Santa Teresa de Jesús

Excerpt from Spiritual Testimonies: 22 Eucharistic experience; The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila 
Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D. (unless otherwise noted)
Published by ICS Publications, Washington DC 
Copyright © 1976 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.

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