Quote of the day: 2 August

“We went to Mass, and she didnt come back.”

Madame Catez

 

Dijon_Monastere_Carmel_de_Dijon
The former Carmel of Dijon | Photo: Discalced Carmelites

 

On 2 August 1901, the cloister door of the Discalced Carmelite monastery in Dijon opened wide to admit 21-year-old Elizabeth Catez as a postulant. Mother Marie of Jesus, the prioress of Dijon who was also the foundress of the new Carmel of Paray-le-Monial, had desired to take the young postulant with her to the new foundation. Mother Marie had discussed it with Madame Catez toward the end of June, who promised the prioress that she would make the supreme sacrifice and permit her daughter to enter a Carmel in another diocese. Elizabeth, in an attitude of total abandonment to the will of God, was ready to accept all.

Biographer Conrad de Meester, O.C.D. notes that at the beginning of July, Mother Marie of Jesus began to prepare for the new postulant in Paray-le-Monial. Elizabeth would enter on the First Friday in August—August 2nd. The entire month of July was spent with a sense of certitude in the Catez household that Sabeth would be over 100 kilometers from home, not a mere stone’s throw away, not even within earshot as the nuns would sing the Sanctus after Madame Catez would take a brisk walk to morning Mass at the Carmelite monastery.

The postulant’s trousseau was already prepared in Paray-le-Monial when Madame Catez was overcome with regret. She confided in a friend. The friend advised her that she should take up the matter with someone of authority. God writes straight with crooked lines, they say; in this case, the line of authority ran directly from the Sister who was the monastery Portress and an old friend of the Catez family: Sr. Marie of the Trinity.

When Sister Marie learned how distraught Madame Catez had become at the prospect of losing her daughter to the Carmel of Paray-le-Monial, Sister had an idea: to have her own spiritual director, the esteemed Dominican friar Père Vallée, intervene with Mother Marie of Jesus. But first, Sister Marie needed to ascertain Elizabeths own sentiments in the matter. That was simple.

During the Diocesan Inquiry for the process of beatification, Sister Marie of the Trinity explained under oath that when Elizabeth next stopped by the monastery, Sister Marie quizzed her concerning her upcoming postulancy in the Carmel of Paray-le-Monial.

Do you have a special attraction for the city of the Sacred Heart?

No.

Does a foundation there attract you?

I rather doubt it. The peace and silence of an established monastery like Dijon would attract me much more. And the distance would cost my mother. 

Have you talked to Père Vallée about this?

No, I prefer to abandon myself and let the good God guide everything according to his good wishes.

Would you permit me to talk to Father about it?

Oh, yes!

Father de Meester writes that without the intervention of Sister Marie of the Trinity, the portress of Dijon, we would not even be speaking of Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity from the Carmel of Dijon; she would be known as Elizabeth from the Carmel of Paray-le-Monial.

De Meester also indicates that when the Dominican Père Vallée learned of the great emotional toll it would take upon Elizabeth’s mother, he urged Madame Catez to speak honestly with Mother Marie about her misgivings and her sincere desire to remain near her beloved daughter. That distance of 140 kilometers between Dijon and Paray-le-Monial could make visits to the monastery difficult and rare.

 

Paray-le-Monial basilique
The 12th c. basilica of Paray-le-Monial. Photo taken from a glass plate negative | Gilles Péris y Saborit / Flickr

 

It was all a last-minute decision. On the 28th or the 29th of July, Madame Catez wrote to Mother Marie of Jesus, who was away at Paray-le-Monial. Father De Meester indicates that the prioress responded immediately and “with humanity and serenity.”

 

Dear Madame,

May the good God give you peace and joy in your great sacrifice. As far as I am concerned, I am happy to be able to contribute by leaving our dear child to [the Carmel of] Dijon and you can consider it as having taken place. I am writing to Dijon that they should prepare her little cell for the 2nd of Augustif I am not there to receive her, our dear Mother sub-prioress Germaine of Jesus and Sister Marie of the Trinityher guardian angelwill be there and I will find her when I return; I am really held back here. So console yourself right now, as well as my dear little Marguerite, Elizabeth will stay in Dijon. I really love Elizabeth because I feel that she loves Our Lord very much and that she will make a true daughter of Saint Teresa; if it is a sacrifice for me to lose her, it is a joy to give her to Dijon, of which I am still a mother and of which I will always be a daughter, the two convents will never be but one. I would like to write to Elizabeth, but I cannot do it tonight and I want to reassure you right away because it is painful for me to sense that you are in such anguish. Fear no moreI believe, dear Madame, that we are doing God’s will, and that’s all there is in this world.

 

MEESTER, Conrad de. Rien moins que Dieu : sainte Elisabeth de la Trinité (French Edition) . edi8. Kindle Edition.
Translations from the French are the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission.
Dedicated to Cristhian, sine qua non.

 

Quote of the day: 29 July

The Lord walks among
the pots and pans
+
Saint Teresa of Avila

 

First, I want to treat, according to my poor understanding, of the substance of perfect prayer. For I have run into some for whom it seems the whole business lies in thinking. If they can keep their minds much occupied in God, even though great effort is exerted, they at once think they are spiritual. If, on the contrary, without being able to avoid it, they become distracted, even if for the sake of good things, they then become disconsolate and think they are lost….

And so I am not treating of this now. But I should like to explain that the soul is not the mind, nor is the will directed by thinking, for this would be very unfortunate.

Hence, the soul’s progress does not lie in thinking much but in loving much.

How does one acquire this love? By being determined to work and to suffer, and to do so when the occasion arises.

It is indeed true that by thinking of what we owe the Lord, of who He is, and what we are, a soul’s determination grows, and that this thinking is very meritorious and appropriate for beginners. But it must be understood that this is true provided that nothing interferes with obedience or benefit to one’s neighbor.

 

boy wearing black hat sitting on case near flowers
Thinking | Photo by Victoria Borodinova on Pexels.com

 

When either of these two things presents itself, time is demanded, and also the abandonment of what we so much desire to give God, which, in our opinion, is to be alone thinking of Him and delighting in the delights that He gives us.

To leave aside these delights for either of these other two things is to give delight to Him and do the work for Him, as He Himself said: What you did for one of these little ones you did for Me (Matt 25:45). And in matters touching on obedience, He doesn’t want the soul who truly loves Him to take any other path than the one He did: obediens usque ad mortem (Phil 2:8).

 

The crucified Christ appears to Saint Teresa of Avila_Alonso Cano_Museo del Prado
And in matters touching on obedience, He doesn’t want the soul who truly loves Him to take any other path than the one He did: obediens usque ad mortem (Phil 2:8).

 

There was a person to whom I spoke a few days ago who for about fifteen years was kept so busy through obedience with work in occupations and government that in all those years he didn’t remember having had one day for himself, although he tried the best he could to keep a pure conscience and have some periods each day for prayer. His soul in its inclination is one of the most obedient I have seen, and so he communicates this spirit of obedience to all those with whom he deals.

The Lord has repaid him well; for he has found that he has, without knowing how, that same precious and desirable liberty of spirit that the perfect have. In it, they find all the happiness that could be wanted in this life, for in desiring nothing they possess all.

Nothing on earth do they fear or desire, neither do trials disturb them, nor do consolations move them. In sum, nothing can take away their peace because these souls depend only on God.

And since no one can take Him away from them, only the fear of losing Him can cause them pain. Everything else in this world, in their opinion, is as though it were not; it neither contributes anything nor removes anything from their happiness. Oh, happy obedience and happy the resulting distraction that could obtain so much!

This is not the only person, for I have known others of the same sort, whom I had not seen for some, or many, years. In asking them about how they had spent these years, I learned that the years were all spent in the fulfillment of the duties of obedience and charity. On the other hand, I saw such improvement in spiritual things that I was amazed.

Well, come now, my daughters, don’t be sad when obedience draws you to involvement in exterior matters. Know that if it is in the kitchen, the Lord walks among the pots and pans helping you both interiorly and exteriorly.

 

child washing dishes ukraine Alexey Novitsky Flickr
Alina plays at washing the dishes; just give her a basin, a sponge, and some soap and water. | Alexey Novitsky / Flickr

 

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: 5 July

On Saturday, 4 July 1942, the Chapter nuns of Le Pâquier were assembled for a meeting at which the Reverend Mother Prioress proposed to them that Sister Teresia Benedicta of the Cross, in the world Edith Stein, a professed Sister of the Cologne Carmel who is at present in the Carmel of Echt in Holland, be received as a member of the community, either permanently or temporarily according to circumstances.

In 1938, because of her Jewishness, Sr. Benedicta was forced to leave the Carmel where she had made her profession. The German authorities who have conquered Holland are now compelling her to leave that country. The Sister in question has obtained the necessary permission for her transfer from the Most Reverend Father Provincial in Holland; our Most Reverend Bishop has agreed to her reception into our Carmel, and a petition has been made to our Most Reverend Father General for the Indult.

On the fifth of the same month, a Sunday, the nuns were assembled once again and the Reverend Mother Prioress made the same proposal, after which it was unanimously resolved by a secret vote to receive Sister Teresa Benedicta into the community for an unlimited time.

We, the undersigned, testify that the above account is exact,
Sr. Marie Agnès of the Immaculate Conception, Prioress;
Sr. Marie-Françoise of the Most Sacred Heart, 1st Key-Bearer

Executed on 5 July 1942, at Le Pâquier


Record of the vote by the Chapter nuns of the Carmel of Le Pâquier in Switzerland to receive Saint Edith Stein as a member of their community. Their prioress shared the news of their unanimous approval in a 17 July letter to Mother Antonia, the prioress of the Carmel of Echt, Holland. Read an excerpt from Edith’s thank-you letter here. Explore the website of the Carmel du Pâquier here (French and German) and their Facebook page here (French).

 

Carmel du Paquier
Tucked away in the mountains of Fribourg, the Carmel du Pâquier was the first community of Discalced Carmelite nuns in Switzerland, founded in Lully in 1921. In 1936, Mother Marie Agnès de Wolf oversaw the construction of a new monastery in Le Pâquier, to which the growing community transferred. | Photo credit: Discalced Carmelites

 

Posselt, Teresia Renata. Edith Stein: The Life of a Philosopher and Carmelite (pp. 200-201).
ICS Publications, Washington DC. © Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites, Inc.

Quote of the day: 5 June

They could not sufficiently admire the genius of Madame Acarie

 

The people came in crowds to Notre Dame des Champs to see the Carmelites take possession of their monastery; distinguished persons also assisted in great numbers at this touching ceremony. All praised God for the new Order of religious that had been established, returned thanks to Spain for the present she had made to France in giving Saints for foundresses. After the Spanish religious had taken possession of the [priory], they examined the interior arrangements. They could not sufficiently admire the genius of Mme. Acarie, who had known how, in so small a space, to make all the proper arrangements, together with all that was necessary for a community. They then visited the new buildings which were on the other side of the church, and the way in which this intelligent woman had grouped them seemed to them equally admirable.

Marcel Bouix, S.J., editor (1806-1889)
Autobiography of the Blessed Mother Anne of Saint Bartholomew

 

Eglise_NDDC_XVIIè_siècle
Priory of Notre-Dame-des-Champs in Paris, c. 1650
Jean Marot (1619-1679)
Institut National d’Histoire de l’Art

25 May: St. Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi

May 25
SAINT MARY MAGDALEN DE’ PAZZI
Virgin

Memorial

In 1566 Saint Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi was born in Florence where she received a good religious upbringing, and eventually became a Carmelite nun. In Carmel she led a hidden life of prayer and self-denial, praying fervently for the reform of the Church and helping her sisters in their quest for perfection. After receiving many graces from God, she died in 1607.

From the common of virgins

Office of Readings

Hymn

Fair Star, your rays fall from above
To fill all Carmel with delight;
With humble pride, we sing of you
And praise in you the Lord of might.

All things that are light in the hand
Christ placed in yours, bride of his heart
The God by highest heav’n adored
Espoused you in a place apart.

This Spouse taught you the mystery
of life no death has power to hold;
To seal your life of sacrifice
Placed on your hand a ring of gold.

True bride, apparelled in his blood
Upon the cross with Christ you died,
His passion sharing, shared his life
And rose with Jesus glorified.

L.M.
Margarita of Jesus, O.C.D.

Psalmody

Ant. 1 She rejoices like a champion about to run her course (alleluia).

Psalms from the Common of Virgins

Ant. 2 My tongue is as ready as the pen of a scribe (alleluia).

Ant. 3 Forget your father’s house, for the king desires your beauty (alleluia).

V/. You have shown me the path of life (alleluia).
R/. You will fill me with joy in your presence (alleluia).

The second reading and its responsory are from The Liturgy of the Hours

Prayer

Father,
you love those who give themselves completely to your service,
and you filled Saint Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi
with heavenly gifts and the fire of your love.
As we honor her today,
may we follow her example of purity and charity.

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

Morning Prayer

Hymn

We sing a hymn of holy love
God’s marriage with an earthly bride;
You lead, Mary, in our song:
In Carmel God is glorified.

God’s loving touch upon your soul,
And all earth’s pleasures round you died
No flowers for you but those that spring
Where Love has passed, the Crucified.

He stole your heart, you gave consent,
And now his own throbs in its place
His voice is speaking through your voice,
His features graven in your face.

Love-wounded, by the Spirit drawn,
With Christ you reach the Father’s side
No secret but he shares with you,
No longer servant — perfect bride!

Like precious nard, your life poured out
Is holy, pure, example still;
Throughout the Church, throughout the world
This holy fragrance you distill.

L.M.
Margarita of Jesus, O.C.D.
(origin of first verse unknown)

Psalmody

Ant. 1 In a dry and desert land I prepared my heart for you, that I might see your strength and your glory (alleluia).

Psalms of Sunday, Week I

Ant. 2 Christ I freely confess, Christ I ardently long for, with Christ alone I desire to be (alleluia).

Ant. 3 With timbrel and dance, with strings and pipes, let everything that breathes praise the Lord (alleluia).

Scripture Reading

Phil 3:8, 10-11

I reckon everything as complete loss for the sake of what is so much more valuable, the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. All I want is to know Christ and experience the power of his resurrection; to share in his sufferings and become like him in his death, in the hope that I myself will be raised from death to life.

Responsory

Easter season
R/. Of you my heart has spoken; I seek your face *
Alleluia, alleluia. Repeat R/.
V/. Lord, I long to see your face. R/. Alleluia, alleluia
Glory . . . R/.

Ordinary time
R/.
Of you my heart has spoken; * I seek your face. Repeat R/.
V/.
Lord, I long to see your face. * I seek your face.
Glory . . . R/.

Canticle of Zechariah
Ant. The love of God has been poured into our hearts, through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us (alleluia).

Intercessions

The Father and the Son are eternally celebrating the joy of their love in the Holy Spirit, and we, by their grace, are called to share their life. Let us pray:

R/. We thank you, Father, for choosing us in Christ to praise your glory.

Christ, eternal Word, in your coming to earth you have spread joy like the morning dew; gladden our hearts by the grace of your continued presence R/.

Christ, in the blood you poured out on the cross you intercede for us with the Father; bring us, pure and without sin, into the presence of the undivided Trinity. R/.

Christ, with the Father you have given us the Holy Spirit, the source of all mercy, to guide our thoughts aright, may his abiding presence turn us from anything that would hinder his reign within us R/.

Christ, you gave birth to the Church as you hung on the cross and you nourish it with your precious blood; may your Church, free from every blemish, be joined at last with the Holy Trinity in eternal joy. R/.

Christ, you restored our mortal flesh by living in our midst; give us a full share in the joy of eternal life. R/.

Our Father . . .

Prayer

Father,
you love those who give themselves completely to your service,
and you filled Saint Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi
with heavenly gifts and the fire of your love.
As we honor her today,
may we follow her example of purity and charity.

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

Prayer During the Day

Weekday prayer from the psalter

Evening Prayer

Hymn

Virgin illustrious through the Spirit’s bounty,
Sharing Christ’s passion, close with him united
God’s Mother also gave you her maternal
Pledge of affection.

Teach all earth’s people how the Cross brings wisdom,
Gives Christ new members, on his Body nourished,
Like fruitful gardens, quick with rain from heaven,
His blood renews us.

Bid Christ’s own flock be undefiled and spotless;
Magdalen, tell them how immense his longing
Since here in exile this is all you worked for,
Prayed for with weeping.

Sister and teacher, may the field of Carmel
Through your example and your brethren’s labor
Shine with rich harvest, fruit of constant giving,
As you have taught us.

Praise to the blessed Trinity eternal
Whom you have worshipped with such yearning ardor;
May we be granted through your intercession
Joys everlasting.

11.11.11.5.
Margarita of Jesus, O.C.D.
(origin of verses 3-4 unknown)

Psalmody

Ant. 1 My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the living God (alleluia)

Psalm 112

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

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

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

Ant. My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the living God (alleluia).

Ant. 2 In the house of the Mother of my Lord I would speak of purity and peace (alleluia).

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. In the house of the Mother of my Lord I would speak of purity and peace (alleluia).

Ant. 3 Redeemed by the blood of Christ and sealed with the Holy Spirit, we live to praise the Father’s glory (alleluia).

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. Redeemed by the blood of Christ and sealed with the Holy Spirit, we live to praise the Father’s glory (alleluia).

Scripture Reading

Eph 3:8-11

To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all men see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, that through the Church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known. This was according to the eternal purpose which he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Responsory

Easter season
R/.
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ fill us with the knowledge of the love of Christ. Alleluia, alleluia. Repeat R/.
V/.
So that we may be filled with the fullness of God. R/. Alleluia, alleluia. Glory . . . R/.

Ordinary time
R/. May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ fill us with the knowledge of the love of Christ. Repeat R/.
V/.
So that we may be filled with the fullness of God, fill us with the knowledge of the love of Christ. Glory   . . . R/.

Canticle of Mary 
Ant. The Word of God became man and lived among us, that he might draw all of us to himself (alleluia).

Intercessions

With the intercession of St Mary Magdalen, let this be our prayer to the Lord: that he will deepen the spirit of love in us and help us to serve him with all our hearts:

R/. Lord, fill us with your spirit of holiness and unite us in your love.

Christ our Savior, be with your Spouse, the Church, to the end of time, as your Holy Spirit leads us to unity, love and truth; may all men come to know the Father, the source of all life. R/.

Christ our Savior, may priests, the ministers of your Blood, be true witnesses of the gospel; may all our brethren be joined with us in one sheepfold, may your blood purify sinners; may your love and light shine on all mankind. R/.

Christ our Savior, lead our Carmelite family, enriched by God’s gifts, to a truly fraternal way of life; may we live the values of the gospel in the Church for the life of the world. R/.

Christ our Savior, may we who share at the table of your love, grow in love for all people, for whom you shed your precious blood; join us to yourself forever by the bond of the Spirit. R/.

Christ our Savior, you descended into hell and opened its gates; bring our deceased brothers and sisters to your kingdom in heaven and give them joy with you forever. R/.

Our Father . . .

Prayer

Father,
you love those who give themselves completely to your service,
and you filled Saint Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi
with heavenly gifts and the fire of your love.
As we honor her today,
may we follow her example of purity and charity.

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

 

Mary Magdalene-de-Pazzi_Pedro_de_Moya_-_Vision_of_St_Maria_Magdalena_di_Pazzi_-_WGA16308
Visión de Santa María Magdalena de Pazzi
Pedro de Moya (Spanish, 1610-1674)
Oil on canvas, c. 1640-1674
Museo de Bellas Artes de Granada

Marie du jour: 21 May

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

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

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

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

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

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


Latin text

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

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

Pro quíbus vírgo máter te órat.

English translation

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

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

For us, the virgin mother entreats you.

Marie du jour: 7 May

Ask the Virgin Mary to be your guide – to be your star, the lantern that shines for you amid the darkness of your life.

Saint Teresa of the Andes 

Chile_-_Estampa_de_la_Virgen_del_Carmen
Our Lady of Mount Carmel is the patroness of Chile. Her image is used as the patron of the armies of Argentina and Chile.

Learn more about the Virgen del Carmen

 

Quote of the day: 7 May

Centenary Year

Saint Teresa of Los Andes

Let us praise the Lord and give Him thanks for the great favor He has bestowed on your little daughter. I have permission, and with God’s help, I will fly to the dear little dovecote on May 7.

My father gave me his permission last Sunday. Saint Joseph was the one who wrought this miracle. Yesterday, I went to Communion for the first time since receiving his permission. I assure you that I could not keep from weeping in the face of such a great favor from my dear Jesus. I am at the peak of happiness and pain. When I consider the favor Our Lord granted me and on the other hand, when I see my misery and unworthiness, I am filled with confusion. Then, I throw myself into the arms of the One who is all mercy and, casting myself there, remain completely surrendered to my celestial Bridegroom.

He does everything in me. All I do is love Him and this so imperfectly. I love Him and for Him I am going to give up everything. That everything, however, is such a small thing in comparison with the everything of His love.

Saint Teresa of Jesus of the Andes
Letter 80

Teresa-de-los-Andes_teenager-formal-portrait_headshot-sepia
Juana Enriqueta Josefina of the Sacred Hearts Fernandez Solar entered the Carmel of the Holy Spirit in the township of Los Andes, some 90 kilometers from her home in Santiago de Chile on 7 May 1919 | Photo: Discalced Carmelites

Read the Vatican biography of 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

Quote of the day: 14 April

If we see faults in monasteries of poor women, it is because they are poor against their will, and for no longer being able to, and no longer following the counsels of Christ; I simply do not praise poverty, but suffering with patience for the love of Christ Our Lord…

Saint Peter of Alcántara

Letter to Saint Teresa of Avila
14 April 1562

Peter of Alcantara shows Teresa d'Avila the way to paradise - Francesco Fontebasso - Cappella Giustinian dei Vescovi - San Francesco della Vigna, Venice
Peter of Alcantara shows Teresa of Avila the way to paradise
Francesco Fontebasso
Cappella Giustinian dei Vescovi of San Francesco della Vigna (Venice)

Quote of the day: 25 February

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Today! — Jesus!

Céline Martin
Sr. Geneviève of the Holy Face, OCD

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

Quote of the day: 20 February

I have taken advantage of this opportunity to share with you the experience of one of our friars concerning the admirable effects and continual help he receives from the practice of the presence of God; we can both benefit from it.

He often complains of our blindness and cries out ceaselessly that we deserve sympathy for settling for so little. “God,” he says, “has infinite treasures to give us, yet we are satisfied with a bit of perceptible devotion that passes in an instant.” He complains that “we are blind since we bind God’s hands in this way and halt the abundant flow of his graces; yet when God finds a soul penetrated by an intense faith he pours out his graces in abundance. This torrent of his grace, impeded from running its ordinary course, expands impetuously and abundantly once it has found an outlet.”

Yes, sometimes we stop this torrent by our lack of appreciation for it. We must not stop it any longer, dear Mother; we must turn inward, break through the dam, let grace come forth, and make up for lost time. We have so little time left to live. Death is at our heels, so be on guard: death comes only once!

Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection, O.C.D.
The Practice of the Presence of God, Letter 1


Father Conrad De Meester, O.C.D. who was the editor of the French critical edition of Writings and Conversations on the Practice of the Presence of God notes these biographic details concerning the uncle whose own Discalced Carmelite vocation inspired Brother Lawrence to enter religious life after military service:

His uncle Jean, his mother’s brother, a native of Hériménil, Jean Majeur entered the Discalced Carmelites as a lay brother at the beginning of October 1633. He took the name “Brother Nicolas of the Conception.” He was professed in Paris on December 9, 1635, and died on February 20, 1652, in his nephew’s monastery in Paris.

 

Resurrection of the Dead BODLEIAN
Detail from Book of Hours, Use of Rome 
Folio 98/254
Meister des Gijsbrecht van Brederode [illustrator]
Netherlands, 1440 – 1460
Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford
See the entire folio and the complete Book of Hours here
Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection
Writings and Conversations on the Practice of the Presence of God
(Biographic note, p. 27; Letter 1, p. 53)
Copyright © 1994, 2015 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.
Published by ICS Publications, Washington DC

 

 

Quote of the day: 15 February

Edith’s six months of probation passed quickly. On 15 February 1934, following the custom of the Order, she knelt before the assembled community and asked to receive the habit of Our Blessed Lady of Mount Carmel. She was granted her request on 15 April. During the two months that she was preparing for her clothing, she grew in love and gratitude toward her superiors and her sisters. It was not easy for her to grasp that, as the “bride-to-be,” she should be the object of so much attention and solicitude on the part of her Sisters. Everyone was busy helping her to prepare for her clothing as it drew nearer. Besides the bridal dress, all the clothes she would need in the convent had to be made – a long white tunic of wool, a pair of rope sandals, a rosary with big beads and a coarse brown handkerchief. She had to go from one workroom to another to try on first one thing and then another; and though nothing more was done for her than for anyone else, she accepted each service as though it were a special token of love for herself.

Mother Teresia Renata of the Holy Spirit, O.C.D.
Edith Stein: The Life of a Philosopher and Carmelite

Edith-Stein_clothing-bridal-
On 15 April 1934, Good Shepherd Sunday, Edith Stein was clothed in the habit of Our Blessed Lady of Mount Carmel and received a name that she herself had suggested, Teresia Benedicta a Cruce

Quote of the day: 5 February

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

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

 

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

Quote of the Day: 17 January

For a long while now I have hardly been able to do any work. From the beginning of September until the middle of December, I took care of our good, eldest lay sister, Sr. Clara (cancer of the liver, as far as the doctors can tell). Then I got the office of turn-sister [portress], which means being a contact between the cloister and the outside world. You can imagine that for this one needs a serviceable walking apparatus. I hope to be allowed to make my perpetual profession on April 21. Soon thereafter follows the Veiling Ceremony. That is, again, a big public celebration that the beloved baptismal sponsor [Hedwig Conrad-Martius] should not miss. Hopefully the League of Academics will again cover the cost of travel. We celebrated the 300th Jubilee Year of the Cologne Carmel for four days at the end of September/beginning of October. Our dear Mother <Teresa Renata> wrote a beautiful commemorative booklet for the occasion. I believe you will receive it as a gift when you next visit us.

Do you know that Husserl’s health is very poor? This summer he suffered a severe recurrence of pleurisy and is not recovering well from it. Would you write to him sometime perhaps? They now live in Freiburg-Herdern, at Schöneck 6.

Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein
Letter 257 to Hedwig Conrad-Martius, 17 January 1938

Love for the Divine Office

The Divine Office is so good; I love it with a passion.

St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

Aachen Carmel
A Discalced Carmelite nun prays the Divine Office in the Carmel of Aachen, Germany
Letter 235 to her Rolland aunts, 1 August 1905 (excerpt)
The Complete Works of Elizabeth of the Trinity volume 2: Letters from Carmel (p. 226)
ICS Publications, Washington DC
© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites, Inc.

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