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

 

B14504.jpg
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: 13 November

Dear brothers and sisters, the beatification of Sister Mary of Jesus Crucified, which has gathered you here in Rome from all the countries of the Near East, has surely been for all of you a great moment of joy, a source of comfort, and an invitation to courage.

It’s not a moment of joy that comes and goes: it’s an open-ended source of grace. The Church in Rome has participated in this joy and, I dare say, the universal Church, looking with emotion at this little flower of the Holy Land, who has reached holiness in such a short time, which is the full flowering of mysticism.

I am happy to be with you once again this morning, to greet you again with all my affection, to converse with you like family, while still meditating on the meaning of this beatification, to gather its fruit. The life and virtues of Mariam Baouardy are now well known to you and I mentioned them in yesterday’s solemn liturgy.

But it is good to tell you again this morning how this “little Arab” has been a privileged witness of Jesus, of the love of the Church, and of action for peace. And you will understand even better the price that the Church attaches to the life of your Christian communities in the Holy Land and around the Holy Land.

Mariam is the fruit of this Holy Land. In her, everything speaks to us of Jesus. And first of all, the places where she lived: Nazareth, near which she was born; Bethlehem, where she consumed her sacrifice; and Mount Carmel, a symbol of the solitary prayer life that provided the setting for her religious life.

But above all, she brings us close to Calvary, since she has not ceased to carry in her life the cross of Jesus, in choosing her [religious] name “of Jesus Crucified”. The beatitudes find in her their fulfillment.

To see her, we believe that we’re hearing Jesus say to us: Blessed are the poor, Blessed are the humble, Blessed are those who seek only to serve, Blessed are the meek, Blessed are the peacemakers, Blessed are those who are persecuted. All her life expresses an unheard of familiarity with God, the fraternal love of others, and joy, which are evangelical indicators par excellence.

Saint John Paul II

Speech to Pilgrims for the Beatification
Sr. Mary of Jesus Crucified, Mariam Baouardy
13-14 November 1983

 

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Photo credit: Discalced Carmelites

 

November 8: St. Elizabeth of the Trinity

November 8
SAINT ELIZABETH OF THE TRINITY
Virgin

Optional Memorial

Elizabeth Catez of the Trinity was born in 1880 in the diocese of Bourges. In 1901 she entered the Discalced Carmelite monastery of Dijon. There she made her profession of vows in 1903 and from there she was called “to light, to love, and to life” by the Divine Spouse in 1906. A faithful adorer in spirit and in truth, her life was a “praise of glory” of the Most Blessed Trinity, present in her soul and loved amidst interior darkness and excruciating illness. In the mystery of divine inhabitation, she found her “heaven on earth,” her special charism, and her mission for the church.

From the common of virgins or of holy women (religious)

Office of Readings

Second Reading
From the writings of Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity, Virgin
(Oeuvres completes I (Paris, 1980), p. 200)

The indwelling Trinity

O my God, Trinity Whom I adore, help me to forget myself entirely that I may be established in You as still and as peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity. May nothing trouble my peace or make me leave You, O my Unchanging One, but may each minute carry me further into the depths of your Mystery. Give peace to my soul; make it Your heaven, Your beloved dwelling, and Your resting place. May I never leave You there alone but be wholly present, my faith wholly vigilant, wholly adoring, and wholly surrendered to your creative action.

O my beloved Christ, crucified by love, I wish to be a bride for Your Heart; I wish to cover You with glory; I wish to love You even until I die of love! But I feel my weakness, and I ask You to clothe me with Yourself, to identify my soul with all the movements of Your Soul, to overwhelm me, to possess me, to substitute Yourself for me that my life may be but a radiance of Your life. Come into me as Adorer, as Restorer, as Savior. O Eternal Word, Word of my God, I want to spend my life in listening to You, to become wholly teachable that I may learn all from You. Then, through all nights, all voids, all helplessness, I want to gaze on You always and remain in Your great light. O my beloved Star, so fascinate me that I may not withdraw from Your radiance.

O Consuming Fire, Spirit of Love, come upon me, and create in my soul a kind of incarnation of the Word: that I may be another humanity for Him in which He can renew His whole Mystery. And you, O Father, bend lovingly over Your poor little creature: cover her with Your shadow, seeing in her only the Beloved in whom You are well pleased.

O my Three, my All, my Beatitude, infinite Solitude, Immensity in which I lose myself, I surrender myself to You as Your prey. Bury Yourself in me that I may bury myself in You until I depart to contemplate in Your light the abyss of Your greatness.

Responsory

You are God’s temple and the Spirit of God lives in you.
Glorify God in your body.
To the praise of his glory,
glorify God in your body.

Prayer

O God of bountiful mercy,
you revealed to Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity
the mystery of your secret presence
in the hearts of those who love you,
and you chose her to adore you in spirit and in truth.
Through her intercession
may we also abide in the love of Christ,
that we may merit to be transformed
into temples of your life-giving Spirit
to the praise of your glory.

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.

 

 

404
Elizabeth Catez, the prize-winning pianist | Photo credit: Discalced Carmelites

Quote of the day: 28 October

Our God is a consuming Fire.

J.M. + J.T.

 

Before flying away to Heaven, dear little Sister Marie-Odile, I want to send you a little note from my soul, for I am anxious for you to know that in the Father’s House I will pray especially for you.

I am keeping a rendez-vous with you in the Furnace of love; my eternity will be spent there, and you can begin it already here on earth.

Dear Sister, I will be jealous for the beauty of your soul, for, as you know, my little heart loves you very much, and when one loves, one desires the best for the beloved.

I think that in Heaven my mission will be to draw souls by helping them go out of themselves to cling to God by a wholly simple and loving movement, and to keep them in this great silence within that will allow God to communicate Himself to them and transform them into Himself.

Dear little sister of my soul, it seems to me I now see everything in God’s light, and if I started my life over again, oh, I would wish not to waste one instant! He does not allow us, His brides in Carmel, to devote ourselves to anything but love, but the divine, and if by chance, in the radiance of His Light, I see you leave that sole occupation, I will come very quickly to call you to order; you would want that, wouldn’t you?

Pray for me, help me prepare for the wedding feast of the Lamb. Death entails a great deal of suffering, and I am counting on you to help me. In return, I will come to help you at your death.

My Master urges me on, He speaks to me of nothing but the eternity of love. It is so grave, so serious; I wish to live each moment fully.

A Dieu, I don’t have the strength or the permission to write at length, but you know Saint Paul’s words: “Our conversation is in Heaven” [Phil. 3:20].

Beloved little sister, let us live by love so we may die of love and glorify the God Who is all Love.

“Laudem gloriae,”
28 October 1906

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity

Letter 335 to Sister Marie-Odile
Carmel of Paray-le-Monial

 

person holding out hand to the sky
I think that in Heaven my mission will be to draw souls by helping them go out of themselves to cling to God by a wholly simple and loving movement |Photo by Raphael Brasileiro on Pexels.com

 

 

Elizabeth of the Trinity, St 2014, I have found God, Complete Works II - Letters from Carmel, translated from the French by Nash, A, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

Struggle for holiness

What merit is there in being a prefabricated saint?
It’s good to have to struggle for holiness.

Sr. Jeanne-Marie-Ange of the Child Jesus, OCD
Carmel of Haifa (1895-1921)

 

person rock climbing
Photo by Анна Рыжкова on Pexels.com

Quote of the day: 24 October

O my God, my All, O Christ whom I adore! My life, my all! Come, quench my hunger, my thirst, yet unfulfilled. O my Christ, my hunger for light and truth, I hunger… I hunger for souls for the Beloved… and I hunger for his glory… Souls for Christ, the Son of God! Oh! Souls! My Christ! How I would like for each beat of my heart to tell you of my tenderness… and for each beat of my heart to work for your glory… Oh! Souls! We need saints! Saints to cast souls into God… My God! I cannot go on any longer… My entire being fails me at times. You, who know… yes, to keep suffering, always suffering if the glory of my God is attached to it. Always suffering and of these sufferings for which no one knows the remedy. Oh! To suffer, my Christ! Yes, Victim of love!

To suffer if your Divine Majesty finds me worthy of it, my God, to suffer! My God, beloved Father, with my Christ, I place my soul in your hands when it will please you. Fiat! But have pity. Look not upon my misery, see only Jesus and make all his merits mine for your glory alone.

Oh! Yes, for me to live is Christ! (Written Sunday 1 August 1920) Fiat voluntas tua.

Sr. Jeanne-Marie-Ange of the Child Jesus, OCD

Discalced Carmelite nun from the Carmel of Haifa
13 January 1895 – 24 October 1921

 

Carmelite monastery,  Haifa
The original Carmel of Haifa, now part of the RAMBAM Hospital campus | rndms / 123RF

 

Quote of the day: 16 October

Edith Stein was a Carmelite even while she was in the world.

In all actuality, for Edith Stein entrance into Carmel was a descent from the height of a distinguished career to the depth of insignificance. Maybe she herself did not perceive this as we see it.

But when she left behind the world at her crossing the threshold of Carmel, did not everything that gave her prominence in that world sink with it and lower her to the level of the humanly commonplace?

She was received into the Cologne Carmel as just another postulant.

Most of the Sisters had not even heard of her before. None of them was aware of her public activities; very few would have been able to follow her if she had tried to introduce them into her own intellectual world.

But no one thought about this—least of all Edith herself. Everyone assumed, quite naturally, that she should undertake the thousand and one little tasks that a postulant has to get used to from the first day. And it was moving to watch the childlike way in which Edith struggled to fall in with the regulations of the house at every point, promptly responding to all requests and trying to accustom herself to this new mode of life.

Sister Teresia Renata Posselt, O.C.D.

Edith Stein: The Life of a Philosopher and Carmelite, Chap. 14

 

Flemish Emblems Humility British Museum AN01132143_001_l
Humility (ootmoedigeyt)
Anonymous Flemish, 17th c.
Engraving on paper, 1685-1686
British Museum
From the Flemish Emblems series, the emblem of humility is exemplified by a nun standing in a room near a bed, holding a ball in her hand and stepping on a crown with her foot.
Photo credit: British Museum Online Collection (Creative Commons)

 

 

Posselt, T 2005, Edith Stein: The Life of a Philosopher and Carmelite, translated from the German by Batzdorff S, Koeppel J, and Sullivan J, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

 

12 September: Blessed Mary of Jesus

September 12
BLESSED MARY OF JESUS
Virgin

Memorial

Born in 1560 at Tartanedo (Spain) Maria Lopez de Rivas took the Discalced Carmelite habit at Toledo in 1577 and made her profession the following year. She spent the rest of her life serving God in that Carmel, except for a brief period in 1585 when she helped with a foundation at Cuerva. She died at Toledo on September 13, 1640. Saint Teresa of Jesus thought extremely highly of her. She was a great contemplative, intensely devoted to our Lord, and often drawing inspiration from the liturgy.

From the common of virgins

Office of Readings

Second Reading
From the Interior Castle of Saint Teresa of Avila

(Dwell. VI, 7, 10-15; II, 1, 11)

No one comes to the Father except through me

What I mean by meditation is to busy one’s understanding in the following way. We begin to think about God’s goodness to us in giving us his only Son, but we don’t stop there: we go on to all the other mysteries of his glorious life. Or we begin with his prayer in the garden, and our understanding doesn’t stop until we picture him nailed to the cross. Or we take a single scene from the passion, and go on thinking about that one mystery, working out in detail everything that can be thought or felt about it. It is a very admirable and meritorious kind of prayer.

No soul that has received so much from God, such precious proofs of his love, can forget them. They are live sparks that can only intensify what we feel for our Lord. Anyone who says he can’t dwell on these mysteries is quite mistaken. He will often have them in mind, especially when they are being celebrated by the Catholic Church.

The company of our beloved Jesus, and his blessed Mother, is far too good to be given up. For my own part I could not wish for any blessing that had not been won for us by him, through whom every good thing comes to us.

Our Lord said himself, No one can come to the Father except through me, and Whoever sees me, sees my Father. So if we never look at him, or think about what we owe him and the death he underwent for our sake, I don’t see how we can hope to know him or do anything to serve him. (Without such good works, what good is faith? And what good are works unless they are joined to the merits of Jesus Christ, our only good, which alone have any worth?) And how can anyone persuade us to love our Lord?

Responsory

Let your hearts be comforted in the knowledge of Christ, God’s mystery:
in him lies hidden every treasure of wisdom and knowledge.

You must live in him, be rooted in him, built upon him;
in him lies hidden every treasure of wisdom and knowledge.

Morning Prayer

Canticle of Zechariah

Ant. Blessed be God, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing.

Prayer

Lord,
you enabled Blessed Mary of Jesus
to contemplate the mysteries of your Son
and become a living image of his love.
Give us through her prayers
the burning faith to seek Jesus in all things
and the love to prove by our actions
the presence within us of him
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

Evening Prayer

Canticle of Mary

Ant. If you gladly share Christ’s sufferings, you will have far greater joy when his glory is revealed.

 

Maria-de-Jesus-Lopez-de-Rivas_Missori-1976
Image of Blessed Mary commissioned by the church of Tartanedo after her beatification | Source: santosocd.blogspot.com

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,

 

August 16: Blessed Maria Sagrario

August 16
BLESSED MARIA SAGRARIO
OF SAINT ALOYSIUS GONZAGA
Virgin and Martyr

Optional Memorial

Maria Sagrario was born at Lillo (Toledo) on 8th January 1881. A pharmacist by trade, she was one of the first women in Spain to be admitted to this qualification. In 1915 she entered the Carmel of St. Anne and St. Joseph in Madrid. Through her spirit of prayer and her love for the Eucharist, she was a perfect embodiment of the contemplative and ecclesial ideal of the Teresian Carmel. She was Prioress of her community when she was martyred on 15th August 1936. It was a grace she longed for and accepted in perfection of faith and ardent love for Christ.

From the common of martyrs or of virgins

THE SECOND READING

From the letters and writings of Blessed Maria Sagrario

Following Christ by way of humility and the cross

May Jesus reign always in my heart! The Lord asks me to be humble, to weep over my sins, to love him much, to love my sisters much, to mortify them in nothing, not to mortify myself uselessly, to live recollected in him wanting nothing for myself, completely surrendered to his divine will.

In this vale of tears, suffering will not be lacking, and we should be content to have something to offer to our most beloved Jesus who wanted so much to suffer for love of us. The most direct way to unite ourselves to God is that of the cross, so we should always desire it. May the Lord not permit that I be separated from his divine will.

Blessed be God who gives us these ways of offering ourselves up to his love! The day will arrive when we will rejoice for having suffered in this way. Meanwhile, let us be generous, suffering everything, if not with happiness, at least in close conformity to the divine will of him who suffered so much out of love for us. However great are our sufferings, they come nowhere near his. If you wish to be perfect, seek first of all to be quite humble in thought, word, deed and desire; learn well what this means and work tenaciously to carry it out. Keep your gaze always on our most beloved Jesus, asking him in the depths of his heart what he desires for you, and never deny him anything, even if it means going strongly against the grain for you.

Blessed be he who arranges everything for our good! In possessing him, we possess everything.

RESPONSORY

I have fought the good fight to the end;
I have run the race to the finish. I have kept the faith;
all there is to come for me now is the crown of righteousness.

Because of the supreme advantage
of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,
I count everything else as loss,
that I may partake of his sufferings
by being molded to the pattern of his death.
All there is to come for me now is the crown of righteousness.

PRAYER

O God,
who by a spirit of prayer and devotion to the Eucharist
prepared Blessed Maria Sagrario to suffer martyrdom,
grant that we, through her example,
may freely spend our lives for you
by faithfully and constantly fulfilling your will.

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.

Maria-Sagrario_cadaver
“The most direct way to unite ourselves to God is that of the cross, so we should always desire it.”

Quote of the day: 13 August

I was fond of everything about religious life, but I didn’t like to suffer anything that seemed to be scorn. I enjoy being esteemed. I was meticulous about everything I did. It all seemed to me virtue, although this will be no reason for pardon, because I knew in everything, what seeking my own happiness was, and thus ignorance is no excuse. The only real excuse could be that the convent was not founded on a strict observance. I, miserable creature that I was, followed after what I saw wrong and left aside the good.

There was a nun at that time afflicted with the most serious and painful illness because there were some holes in her abdomen which caused obstructions in such a way that she had to eject through them what she ate. She soon died from this. I observed that all feared that affliction. As for myself, I envied her patience. I asked God that, dealing with me in like manner, He would give me the illness by which He would be served. It seemed to me that I feared nothing, for I was so set on gaining eternal goods that I determined to gain them by any means whatever. And I am amazed because I had not yet, in my opinion, any love of God as I did afterward, it seems to me, when I began to practice prayer. But I had the light that made everything coming to an end seem of little value to me, and it made those goods that can be gained by the love of God seem of great value since they are eternal.

So well did His Majesty hear my prayer that within two years I was so sick that, although this sickness was not the same as the nun’s, I don’t think it was any less painful or laborious during the three year period that it lasted, as I shall now tell . . .

Saint Teresa of Avila
The Book of Her Life, Chapter 5

To be continued 14 August . . .

 

Concha Velasco dying in fathers house
The great Spanish actress Concha Velasco appeared in the starring role in Spain’s 1984 RTE television miniseries drama, Teresa de Jesús. In Episode 2 “Cuentas de Consciencia” (Accounts of Conscience), broadcast Monday night 19 March 1984, the episode begins with the grave illness of St. Teresa and her near-death experience in her father’s house in Avila. Learn more about this episode from IMDb or watch the episode for free in Spanish on the RTE website.

 

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

9 August: St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

August 9
SAINT TERESA BENEDICTA OF THE CROSS
Virgin and Martyr

Memorial

Edith Stein was born to a Jewish family at Breslau on October 12, 1891. Through her passionate study of philosophy, she searched after truth and found it in reading the autobiography of Saint Teresa of Jesus. In 1922 she was baptized a Catholic and in 1933 she entered the Carmel of Cologne, where she took the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. She was gassed and cremated at Auschwitz on August 9, 1942, during the Nazi persecution, and died a martyr for the Christian faith after having offered her holocaust for the people of Israel. A woman of singular intelligence and learning, she left behind a body of writing notable for its doctrinal richness and profound spirituality. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II at Cologne on May 1, 1987.

From the common of martyrs or of virgins

THE SECOND READING

(Edith Stein Werke (Freiburg, 1987), 11:124-126)

From the spiritual writings of Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

Ave Crux, spes unica!

We greet you, Holy Cross, our only hope! The church puts these words on our lips during the time of the passion, which is dedicated to the contemplation of the bitter sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ. The world is in flames. The struggle between Christ and antichrist rages openly, and so if you decide for Christ you can even be asked to sacrifice your life.

Contemplate the Lord who hangs before you on the wood, because he was obedient even to the death of the cross. He came into the world not to do his own will but that of the Father. And if you wish to be the spouse of the Crucified, you must renounce completely your own will and have no other aspiration than to do the will of God.

Before you, the Redeemer hangs on the cross stripped and naked, because he chose poverty. Those who would follow him must renounce every earthly possession.

Stand before the Lord who hangs from the cross with his heart torn open. He poured out the blood of his heart in order to win your heart. In order to follow him in holy chastity, your heart must be free from every earthly aspiration. Jesus Crucified must be the object of your every longing, of your every desire, of your every thought.

The world is in flames: the fire can spread even to our house, but above all the flames the cross stands on high, and it cannot be burnt. The cross is the way which leads from earth to heaven. Those who embrace it with faith, love, and hope are taken up, right into the heart of the Trinity.

The world is in flames: do you wish to put them out? Contemplate the cross: from his open heart, the blood of the Redeemer pours, blood which can put out even the flames of hell. Through the faithful observance of the vows, you make your heart open; and then the floods of that divine love will be able to flow into it, making it overflow and bear fruit to the furthest reaches of the earth.

Through the power of the cross, you can be present wherever there is pain, carried there by your compassionate charity, by that very charity which you draw from the divine heart. That charity enables you to spread everywhere the most precious blood in order to ease pain, save and redeem.

The eyes of the Crucified gaze upon you. They question you and appeal to you. Do you wish seriously to renew your alliance with him? What will your response be? Lord, where shall I go? You alone have the words of life. Ave Crux, spes unica!

RESPONSORY

We preach Christ Crucified, a scandal to the Jews
and foolishness to the pagans,
but for those who are called, whether they be Jews or Greeks,
we preach Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God.

The desire of my heart and my prayer
rises to God for their salvation;
but for those who are called, whether they be Jews or Greeks,
we preach Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God.

PRAYER

Lord, God of our fathers,
you brought Saint Teresa Benedicta
to the fullness of the science of the cross
at the hour of her martyrdom.
Fill us with that same knowledge;
and, through her intercession,
allow us always to seek after you, the supreme truth,
and to remain faithful until death
to the covenant of love ratified in the blood of your Son
for the salvation of all men and women.

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

 

Auschwitz_main-gate
On the main gate for visitors to Auschwitz, the Nazis affixed this motto: WORK SETS YOU FREE. But for the millions who passed through the railway entrance, there was no freedom to be found and no truth in the motto.
As St. Teresa Benedicta wrote of the Nazis in a letter dated July 10, 1940:
“one must, after all, tell those poor people the real truth for once.”

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

13 July: Saint Teresa of Jesus “Of Los Andes”

July 13
SAINT TERESA OF JESUS “OF LOS ANDES”
Virgin

Memorial

Juanita Fernandez Solar was born at Santiago, Chile, on July 13, 1900. From her adolescence she was devoted to Christ. She entered the monastery of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns at Los Andes on May 7, 1919, where she was given the name of Teresa of Jesus. She died on April 12 of the following year after having made her religious profession. She was beatified on April 3, 1987, at Santiago, Chile, and canonized on March 21, 1993, by Saint John Paul II and proposed as a model for young people. She is the first Chilean and the first member of the Teresian Carmel in Latin America to be canonized.

From the Common of Virgins, except the following:

Office of Readings

Second Reading
Diario y cartas (Los Andes, 1983), 373, 359, 376

From the Spiritual writings of Saint Teresa of Jesus

Jesus alone is beautiful; He is my only joy. I call for Him, I cry after Him, I search for Him within my heart. I long for Jesus to grind me interiorly so that I may become a pure host where He can find His rest. I want to be athirst with love so that other souls may possess this love. I would die to creatures and to myself, so that He may live in me.

Is there anything good, beautiful or true that we can think of that would not be in Jesus? Wisdom, from which nothing would be secret. Power, for which nothing would be impossible. Justice, which made Him take on flesh in order to make satisfaction for sin. Providence, which always watches over and sustains us. Mercy, which never ceases to pardon. Goodness, which forgets the offenses of His creatures. Love, which unites all the tendernesses of a mother, of a brother, of a spouse, and which, drawing Him out of the abyss of His greatness, binds Him closely to His creatures. Beauty which enraptures… what can you think of that would not be found in this Man-God?

Are you perhaps afraid that the abyss of the greatness of God and that of your nothingness cannot be united? There is love in Him. His passionate love made Him take flesh in order that by seeing a Man-God, we would not be afraid to draw near Him. This passionate love made Him become bread in order to assimilate our nothingness and make it disappear into His infinite being. This passionate love made Him give His life by dying on the cross.

Are you perhaps afraid to draw near Him? Look at Him, surrounded by little children. He caresses them, He presses them to His heart. Look at Him in the midst of His faithful flock, bearing the faithless lamb on His shoulders. Look at Him at the tomb of Lazarus. And listen to what He says of the Magdalene: “Much has been forgiven her, because she has loved much.” What do you discover in these flashes from the Gospel except a heart that is good, gentle, tender, compassionate; in other words, the heart of a God?

He is my unending wealth, my bliss, my heaven.

Responsory

R/. I have come to rate all as loss in the light of the surpassing knowledge
of my Lord Jesus Christ: I am racing to grasp the prize
* since I have been grasped by Christ Jesus.
V/. I give no thought to what lies behind but push on to what lies ahead
as I run toward the prize to which God calls me on high
* since I have been grasped by Christ Jesus.

Prayer

God of mercy, joy of the saints,
you set the young heart of Saint Teresa ablaze
with the fire of virginal love for Christ and for His Church;
and even in suffering made her a cheerful witness to charity.
Through her intercession,
fill us with the delights of your Spirit,
so that we may proclaim by word and deed
the joyful message of your love to the world.

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

 

Teresa-de-los-Andes_teenager-formal-portrait_headshot-sepia
Juanita Fernández del Solar

Quote of the day: 10 July

I believe love does not allow us to pause for long here on earth, and besides Saint John of the Cross says so definitively; he has a wonderful chapter in which he describes the death of souls who are victims of love, the last assaults He gives them, then all the rivers of the soul, which are so immense they already resemble seas, go to lose themselves in the Ocean of divine love. Little sister, Saint Paul says that “our God is a consuming Fire.” If we remain always united to Him by a simple, loving gaze of faith; if, like our adored Master, we can say at the end of every day: “Because I love my Father, I always do what pleases Him,” He will really be able to consume us, and like two little sparks we will lose ourselves in the immense Furnace, free to burn there for all eternity.

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity
Letter 293 to Clémence Blanc (excerpt)
Beginning of July, 1906

 

ash blaze bonfire burn
Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

 

Excerpt from Letter 293, The Complete Works of Elizabeth of the Trinity volume 2: Letters from Carmel 
Copyright © 2003 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.
Published by ICS Publications, Washington DC

Quote of the day: 9 July

Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, thou who hast been rightly proclaimed the Patroness of Catholic missions throughout the world, remember the burning desire which thou didst manifest here on earth to plant the Cross of Christ on every shore and to preach the Gospel even to the consummation of the world; we implore thee, according to thy promise, to assist all priests and missionaries and the whole Church of God.

 

Therese-patroness-missions (DETAIL)
Thérèse patroness of the missions (detail)
Sr. Marie of the Holy Spirit, O.C.D.
Oil on canvas or panel, 1928; 85 x 132 cm.
Carmel of Lisieux
Painting executed by Sr. Marie of the Holy Spirit, Discalced Carmelite nun of Lisieux  (1892-1982), to illustrate the nomination of Thérèse as Patroness of the Missions by Pope Pius XI on 14 December 1927. Sister Marie followed a pencil on paper sketch by artist Charles Jouvenot

 

Pope Pius XI through an Apostolic Brief issued 9 July 1928 accorded a partial indulgence of 300 days once a day and a plenary indulgence, on the usual conditions, if this prayer is devoutly said every day for a month.

Sources: Efemerides Carmelitana, Raccolta

Quote of the day: 8 July

The Blessed Virgin will never be hidden from me, for I love her too much.

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
The Yellow Notebook
8 July 1897

 

14-nd-des-victoires-infirmerie-37cm (3)
Our Lady of Victories kept in the Infirmary of the Carmel of Lisieux (detail). See a photo of the entire statue here.

 

On 8 July 1897 Saint Thérèse “was so sick there was talk of giving her Extreme Unction. That day, she was taken down from her cell to the infirmary; she was no longer able to stand up, and she had to be carried down.” Read more entries from Mother Agnès’ Yellow Notebook for the month of July here.

Quote of the day: 7 July

When I get to Heaven and I see Jesus busy talking with someone, I’ll quickly go open the water taps and all the earth will have water, and as soon as Jesus turns around I’ll turn the water off right away, I’ll leave, and he won’t know that anyone turned on the water…

Saint Mary of Jesus Crucified
Cahiers Réservés, CR10

 

Water tap in Kaski Nepal
A villager of Kaski shows how well the water tap works 
Water tap in Kaski Nepal. Photo: © Simone D. McCourtie / World Bank

 

This English translation is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission.

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: 1 July

Selfishness won’t get you anywhere.
Love will.

Chiquitunga
Blessed Maria Felicia

 

Chiquitunga_clothing
Blessed Maria Felicia of Jesus of the Blessed Sacrament on the day of her clothing, 14 August 1955, in the Carmel of Asunción, Paraguay

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