Quote of the day: 25 February

Let us climb the mountain of Love singing, knowing that pain or joy, everything that happens to us can only increase the love of Jesus in our hearts and the peace which surpasses all understanding.

Mother Agnès de Jésus, O.C.D.
Pauline Martin

Little Counsels of
Mother Agnes of Jesus, OCD
Published by the
Carmel of Ada, Michigan
(excerpt)

Quote of the day: 15 February

Edith’s six months of probation passed quickly. On 15 February 1934, she knelt before the assembled community and asked to receive the habit of Our Blessed Lady of Mount Carmel.

Teresia Renata Posselt, O.C.D.

Edith Stein: The Life of a Philosopher and Carmelite
Chapter 14: In the School of Humility (excerpts)

JOSE-MARIA MORENO GARCIA
José-María Moreno García / Flickr CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Very Reverend and dear Mother,
Many sincere thanks for your new gifts of love. Our dear Mother [Maria Josefa of the Blessed Sacrament] had to spend a long time yesterday going through all these treasures with me. They will be shown to the [sisters in the] novitiate—who are currently living in joyful anticipation—on Sunday, since at recreation on weekdays we do manual work, according to the wise direction of our Holy Mother [Teresa of Avila] (for which I am very grateful. You have no idea how little it takes to make Carmel’s children happy, and how munificent your package is for us. I would feel deeply embarrassed by such great love and goodness did I not know that it counts less for my person than for the holy vocation for which I have been chosen without deserving any of it, and which you appreciate so deeply. Therefore, every new token of love is a stimulus to collect all my powers in order to be a less unworthy vas electionis [chosen vessel].
I know well that all I have written to you is colorless. But in comparison with the fullness of grace that each day brings, a poor miserable human soul is so tiny. Yet, compared to what that soul can nevertheless comprehend, all words are inadequate. And when one has to write about this to so many people, one is afraid of making the sacred into something banal.
It would make me so very happy if you were able to come sometime. In the first place because I could then learn a bit more about your concerns that it is possible to put into writing, for you have not ceased to be mea res [my care]. And the more concrete a picture one has, the more one is impelled to come to the aid of our Sisters out there. I think, too, that it would do you good to spend some time with us. Of course, we have nothing great to offer you—no beautiful liturgy at all, or the like. Only our joyful poverty and our peace. These are so much more easily maintained by us than by those who have to go into battle daily and hourly. Therefore I am always glad when someone is able to derive some strength from it for the [ongoing] struggle…
The Feast of the Purification was my Confirmation Day, so it still has particular significance for me. I will be happy if you remember me especially that day. But I ask urgently for prayers in the coming weeks, for I know I will have to earn the holy habit with some severe trials. They have already started in that my mother has begun with renewed vigor to oppose the forthcoming decision. It is so hard to witness the pain and the pangs of conscience of such a mother and to be unable to help with any human means.
In faithful remembrance, your grateful

Edith Stein

Letter 165 to Mother Petra Brüning, OSU
26 January 1934
Excerpts from Edith’s last letter before her petition to receive the habit

Continue reading “Quote of the day: 15 February”

Quote of the day: 12 February

As St. Paul says: love is patient, it triumphs over all difficulties, and it suffers everything for the sake of the beloved. Therefore we cannot doubt Brother Lawrence’s patience in his infirmities, he who loved God so perfectly. In fact, in keeping with the thought of the same apostle, patience has this fine rapport with love… we will see that he practiced these two virtues during the [three] very painful illnesses with which it pleased God to afflict him.

In the first case, he gave evidence of a desire for death, for when speaking with the physician after his fever went down, he told him, “Ah, Doctor, your remedies have worked too well for me, you only delay my happiness!”

In the second, he seemed to have no preference whatsoever. He remained completely indifferent regarding life and death, perfectly resigned to God’s orders.

I can testify that he gave signs of altogether extraordinary constancy, resignation, and joy during the third illness, the one that separated his soul from his body, uniting it with his Beloved in heaven. He received much consolation from this blessed moment when it finally arrived, because he had longed for it for so long. 

The sight of death that frightens and dismays the most hardy did not intimidate him at all. He regarded it with complete confidence, and you could even say he defied it. When he saw the poor bed prepared for him, having overheard one of his friends say, “It’s for you, Brother Lawrence. It’s time to depart,” he replied, “It is true. There is my deathbed, but someone who does not expect it at all will follow me immediately.”

This is exactly what happened, just as he had predicted. Although this friar [Frère Philibert des Anges, a fellow lay brother] was in perfect health, he became ill the next day and died the same day Brother Lawrence was buried, and the following Wednesday he was buried in the same grave. It seems that love united these two fine brothers in life and did not want them separated at death, for there was no other place [for burial] but the common grave.

Father Joseph de Beaufort

Eulogy

 


Father Beaufort leaves us this simple record of the death of Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection: Monday, February 12, 1691, at nine o’clock in the morning, fully conscious, without agony or convulsions, Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection died in the embrace of the Lord and offered his soul to God with the peace and tranquility of one asleep.

 

lily jez-timms-Z0AZuN4pjGE-unsplash
Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash

 

You can explore our blog posts by and about Brother Lawrence here.

 

 

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

Quote of the day: 10 February

How rightly confession is called the sacrament of peace! Could anything make us realize how we should be at peace and in charity with others more than pondering the great condescension of God! Truly, we will never be asked to forgive anyone the great offenses God freely pardons in us.

I have been thinking about the text that was preached on Sunday, the unforgiving servant. We come to the great King of Heaven with empty hands, in debt to Him for everything: life itself, and grace, and all the gifts He lavishes on us. Yet all we can say is, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all I owe,” (Mt 18:26) while all the time we could never pay anything toward the remission of our own debts if God did not put into our hands the means to do so. And then, how often do we go away and refuse pardon for some slight fault in our neighbors, withholding our love, remaining aloof, or even nursing a grievance against them, and building up grudges that cool charity.

Saint Teresa Margaret Redi

God is Love Saint Teresa Margaret: Her Life
Chapter 1: Who Is God? (excerpt)

 

Teresa Margaret-Redi
St. Teresa Margaret of the Sacred Heart | Credit: Discalced Carmelites

 

 

Rowe, M 2003, God is Love Saint Teresa Margaret: Her Life, ICS Publications, Washington, DC.

8 January: St. Peter Thomas

January 8
SAINT PETER THOMAS
Bishop

Optional Memorial

 

Born about 1305 in southern Perigord in France, Peter Thomas entered the Carmelites when he was twenty-one.  He was chosen by the Order as its procurator general to the Papal Court at Avignon in 1345. After being made bishop of Patti and Lipari in 1354, he was entrusted with many papal missions to promote peace and unity with the Eastern Churches.  He was translated to the see of Corone in the Peloponnesus in 1359 and made Papal Legate for the East. In 1363, he was appointed Archbishop of Crete and in 1364 Latin Patriarch of Constantinople. He won a reputation as an apostle of church unity before he died at Famagosta on Cyprus in 1366.

From the Common of Pastors 

Office of Readings

The First Reading

A reading from the First Letter of St. Paul to Timothy

1 Timothy 1:1-7, 15-19, 2:1-8

The calling of a pastor

From Paul, apostle of Christ Jesus appointed by the command of God our savior and of Christ Jesus our hope, to Timothy, true child of mine in the faith; wishing you grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Christ Jesus our Lord.

As I asked you when I was leaving for Macedonia, please stay at Ephesus, to insist that certain people stop teaching strange doctrines and taking notice of myths and endless genealogies; these things are only likely to raise irrelevant doubts instead of furthering the design of God which are revealed in faith. The only purpose of this instruction is that there should be love, coming out of a pure heart, a clear conscience and a sincere faith. There are some people who have gone off the straight course and taken a road that leads to empty speculation; they claim to be doctors of the Law, but they understand neither the arguments they are using nor the opinions they are upholding.

Here is a saying that you can rely on and nobody should doubt: that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. I myself am the greatest of them; and if mercy has been shown to me, it is because Jesus Christ meant to make me the greatest evidence of his inexhaustible patience for all the other people who would later have to trust in him to come to eternal life. To the eternal King, the undying, invisible and only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Timothy, my son, these are the instructions that I am giving you: I ask you to remember the words once spoken over you by the prophets, and taking them to heart to fight like a good soldier with faith and a good conscience for your weapons. Some people have put conscience aside and wrecked their faith in consequence.

My advice is that, first of all, there should be prayers offered for everyone — petitions, intercessions and thanksgiving — and especially for kings and others in authority, so that we may be able to live religious and reverent lives in peace and quiet. To do this is right, and will please God our Savior: he wants everyone to be saved and reach full knowledge of the truth. For there is only one God, and there is only one mediator between God and mankind, himself a man, Christ Jesus, who sacrificed himself as a ransom for them all. He is the evidence of this, sent at the appointed time, and I have been named a herald and apostle of it and — I am telling the truth and no lie — a teacher of the faith and the truth to the pagans.

In every place, then, I want the men to lift their hands up reverently in prayer, with no anger or argument.

Responsory

R/. Bear with one another in love; do all that you can to preserve the unity of the Spirit by the peace that binds you together; there is one body and one Spirit, *
just as you were all called into one and the same hope when you were called.
V/.  A servant of the Lord is to aim for holiness and faith, love, and peace, in union with all those who call on the Lord with pure minds; *
just as you were all called into one and the same hope when you were called.

The Second Reading

A reading from The Book of the Institution of the First Monks

Bk I, Ch 6 

Love your neighbor as yourself

The Lord says, “The man who hears My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me.”  And the first of all commandments is: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. This is the greatest and first commandment.”  This cannot be observed without love of neighbor, because “he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen;” “and the second commandment is like it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” namely, in the things and for the reason that you love yourself.  “His soul hates him who loves violence,” says the Psalmist. Therefore, love your neighbor as yourself in good and not in evil, and “whatever you wish that men would do to you, do so to them” and “what you hate, do not do to anyone.” Thus, you must love your neighbor, and so act that he becomes just if he is wicked, or remains just if he is good.

Again you must love yourself, not because of yourself, but because of God. Whatever is loved because of itself is thus made a source of joy and a happy life, the hope of attaining which is comforting even on earth.  But you must not place the hope of a blessed life in yourself or another man. “Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his arm, whose heart turns away from the Lord.” Therefore, you must make the Lord the source of your joy and the happy life, as the apostle says: “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the return you get is sanctification and its end, eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

If you understand this clearly, you must love God because of Himself, and yourself, not because of yourself, but because of God; and, since you must love your neighbor as yourself, you must love him, not because of himself, nor because of yourself, but because of God, and what else is this but to love God in your neighbor?  “By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey His commandment.” In the preparation of your soul you do all of this if you love God because of Himself and your neighbor as yourself because of God. “On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.”

Responsory

R/. With all our hearts we desired nothing better than to share with you our own lives, as well as God’s gospel, *
so greatly had we learned to love you.
V/.  My little children, I am in travail over you afresh, until I can see Christ’s image formed in you, *
so greatly had we learned to love you.

Prayer

Lord,
You inspired in Your bishop St. Peter Thomas
an intense desire to promote peace and Christian unity.
Following His example
may we live steadfast in the faith
and work perseveringly for peace.

We ask this through Our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. 

Canticle of Zechariah

I am the good shepherd; I lay down my life for my sheep; and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.

Canticle of Mary

May the peace of Christ fill your hearts with joy, that peace to which all of you are called as one body.

 

Peter Thomas Museum of Fine Arts Boston SC188989
Saint Peter Thomas
Francisco de Zurbarán (Spanish, 1598–1664)
Oil on canvas, after 1634
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

 

Mary, Mother of God: Her face speaks peace — Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.

Homily

The Solemnity of the
Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of God
Silvio José Báez, O.C.D.
Auxiliary Bishop of Managua

Saint Agatha Catholic Church
Archdiocese of Miami
1 January 2020


Gospel
Numbers 6:22-27

The LORD said to Moses:
“Speak to Aaron and his sons and tell them:
This is how you shall bless the Israelites.
Say to them:
The LORD bless you and keep you!
The LORD let his face shine upon
you, and be gracious to you!
The LORD look upon you kindly and
give you peace!
So shall they invoke my name upon the Israelites,
and I will bless them.

 


 

Dear brothers and sisters:

On the first day of the new year, we have the joy and grace of celebrating the Virgin Mary, Mother of God, and at the same time the World Day of Peace. Gathered as a Church to celebrate the Eucharist around Christ, the Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary and our true peace, we welcome with emotion the words of the ancient blessing that the priests imparted on the people of Israel: The LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace! (cf. Nm 6:26).

We have heard, both in the first reading—taken from the Book of Numbers—and in the responsorial Psalm, some expressions that contain the metaphor of the face in reference to God: “The LORD let his face shine upon you, and be gracious to you!” (Nm 6:25); “May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, that thy way may be known upon earth, thy saving power among all nations” (Ps 67:1-2, NRSVCE). The face is the expression par excellence of the person, which makes him recognizable; through it, the feelings, thoughts, and intentions of the heart are shown. God, by his nature, is invisible; however, the Bible also applies this image to him. Showing his face is an expression of his benevolence while hiding it indicates his anger and indignation. The Psalms present believers as those who seek the face of God (cf. Ps 27:9; 102:2, NRSVCE) and who aspire to see it in worship: “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?” (Ps 42:2, NRSVCE).

We begin this year with the deep conviction of our faith that the Lord wants to show us his face and that this is a reason for trust and hope. We trust that this year the Lord will look upon us as we journey and that he’ll gaze upon us with infinite kindness. We know that he’ll never turn his face away from us because he is the faithful one and he loves us dearly. We do not know what will happen in this new year, but we’re sure that the Lord will continue to show us his gentle, loving, welcoming face, assuring us that he is with us. The face of the Lord who is looking upon us will overcome our loneliness.

Biblical history as a whole can be read as a progressive revelation of the face of God, until it reaches its full manifestation in Jesus Christ. “When the fullness of time had come,” the Apostle Paul reminded us today, “God sent his Son” (Gal 4:4). And immediately he adds, “born of a woman, born under the law.” The face of God took on a human face, allowing Himself to be seen and recognized in the son of the Virgin Mary, whom we, therefore, venerate as “Mother of God.” She, who kept in her heart the secret of divine motherhood, was the first to see the face of God made man in the tiny fruit of her womb. The mother has a very special, unique and in some ways exclusive relationship with her newborn child. The first face the child sees is that of the mother, and this look is decisive for his relationship with life, with himself, with others, and with God.

Through her face, Mary “gave Jesus the beautiful experience of knowing what it is to be a Son (…) and sensing “the maternal tenderness of God”. At the same time, in contemplating the face of Mary, “the God-Child learned to listen to the yearnings, the troubles, the joys and the hopes of the people of the promise” (Pope Francis, Homily 1 January 2017). Seeing his mother’s face, Jesus recognized himself to be a son and a brother, as the Son of God and as the brother of all people. The mother’s serene gaze communicates security and peace, giving an awareness of being a person and strengthening the ability to relate to others and to God with maturity and generosity. Today too, the face of the Virgin, Mother of God and our Mother, makes us feel like children of God and brothers and sisters to one another.

The face of Our Lady, whose heart was always full of God’s loving presence, allows us to feel that God is close to us and loves us, it instills in us the certainty that God never leaves our side, and that he cares for us and always forgives us. Our Lady’s face also helps us to look at each other as sisters and brothers. It teaches us to see as she does, and it enables us to have a caring vision that seeks to welcome, to accompany, and to protect. Let’s learn to look at each other under the maternal gaze of Mary. May she help us this year to show a kind and welcoming face to all. Let’s not be afraid to go out and look at our brothers and sisters with Our Lady’s eyes, to let her face be seen in our faces. Her face speaks peace to us and makes us capable of being peacemakers.

Peace has much to do with the face, with our own face and the faces of others. Peace begins with a respectful look that recognizes a real person in the face of the other individual, whatever the color of their skin, their nationality, their language, and their religion may be. In this New Year, may people who see our face have no fear, neither let them feel ignored or rejected, because “mistrust and fear weaken relationships and increase the risk of violence, creating a vicious circle that can never lead to a relationship of peace” (Pope Francis, World Day of Peace 2020).

Peace is destroyed when we live in faceless, anonymous societies where the law that seems to dominate our coexistence is “every man for himself,” all of us being submerged in the sea of selfishness and indifference. We contribute to peace when we fill our lives and our hearts with faces—with faces that have names and stories, with faces that make our hearts beat with charity and solidarity, that move us with tenderness and goodness.

In many of our countries, injustice and violent repression continue to sow terror and death because we have not learned to recognize human beings who deserve dignity and respect in the faces of others, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. Peace will be possible for our people only through “a patient effort to seek truth and justice, to honor the memory of victims and to open the way, step by step, to a shared hope stronger than the desire for vengeance” (World Day of Peace 2020).

The ancient priestly blessing of Israel concludes with these words: “The LORD look upon you kindly and give you peace” (Nm 6:26). The human face of God who imparts his peace to us is Jesus, born of the Virgin Mary. Therefore, at the beginning of this New Year, to prepare ourselves to receive God’s blessing in Christ and to be peacemakers, let us run back to the manger like the shepherds (cf. Lk 2:15-26) and confidently turn our faces to the face of the Mother who carries God in her arms. May she, whose face reflects God’s maternal tenderness, preserve our hearts in peace and help the whole of humanity to walk in the pathways of peace.

 

Theotokos BAEZ fave
Credit: Desde dentro…

 

 


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

 

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

 

Surrounded by martyrs

the Crib of the Child is surrounded by martyrs

There are the innocent children, the babes of Bethlehem and Juda, who were cruelly slaughtered by the hands of brutal hangmen. What does this mean? Where is now the rejoicing of the heavenly hosts, the silent bliss of the Holy Night? Where is the peace on earth? Peace on earth to those of goodwill. But not all are of goodwill. For the Son of the eternal Father descended from the glory of heaven, because the mystery of iniquity had shrouded the earth in the darkness of night.

Saint Edith Stein

The Mystery of Christmas

 

Holy Innocents_COGNIET_MBA Rennes
Scène du Massacre des Innocents
Léon Cogniet (French, 1794 – 1880)
Oil on canvas, 1824
Musée des Beaux Arts, Rennes

 

Quote of the day: 15 December

Edith Stein was at home in the conventual family from the beginning. She used to laugh and joke like a child with the other Sisters until the tears ran down her cheeks. She used to declare that she had never laughed so much in all her life as during recreation in Carmel.

Everyone was at their ease with her. Soon after she herself had entered the Cologne Carmel she was given the wonderful experience of bringing in one of her young friends through her own example. This is what she wrote about it.

When we now stand facing each other in choir or walk together in procession I am struck more than ever by the wonderful ways of God. Naturally, in our seclusion we have a beautiful and silent Advent. How much one longs to send some of it to very many of those in the world… I believe that it would do them untold good to learn more of the peace of Carmel.

Teresia Renata Posselt, O.C.D.

Edith Stein: The Life of a Philosopher and Carmelite
Chapter 14: In the School of Humility

 

 

Gaudete vestment IGsize
Rose vestments for Gaudete Sunday

 

 

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.

St. Elizabeth of the Trinity Novena – Day 8

Quite gently, with patience and God’s help, we get there in the end

Intention

For an increase in the fruit of gentleness

St. Paul speaks

I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:1-3)

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity speaks

Be at peace. I don’t believe you’re crazy yet, just nervous and overexcited, and when you’re like that, you make others suffer too. Ah, if I could teach you the secret of happiness as God has taught it to me. You say I don’t have any worries or sufferings; it’s true that I’m very happy, but if you only knew that a person can be just as happy even when she is crossed. We must always keep our eyes on God. In the beginning it’s necessary to make an effort when we’re just boiling inside, but quite gently, with patience and God’s help, we get there in the end. (Letter 123 to Françoise de Sourdon, 19 June 1902)

Meditation 

During the diocesan investigation process into Saint Elizabeth’s holiness, her sisters in the Carmel of Dijon consistently mentioned Elizabeth’s douceur, her spirit of gentleness. This is a quality that we have seen in her correspondence, such as today’s letter to young Françoise. When Elizabeth tells her friend ‘Framboise’ “I don’t believe you’re crazy yet, just nervous and overexcited”, there is a calm, gentle, maternal voice that seems to resound. Isn’t the fruit of gentleness seen not only in how we treat others but also in how we treat ourselves? How can we take Elizabeth’s advice and put it into practice today?

NOVENA PRAYER 

O Saint Elizabeth!
In your great love of God,
You were always so close
to your friends’ needs.
Now, in Heaven,
Face to face with the Lord,
Do intervene near Him
for the needs we recommend to you.

(Make your request)

Teach us how to abide,
in Love and Faith,
with the Holy Trinity
in the utmost of our heart.
Teach us how to radiate God’s Love
amongst men, in our everyday life
just as you did yourself,
so that we may be a praise of God’s glory.

Our Father… (pray slowly, contemplating the meaning of the prayer)

Glory be… (three times, in praise of the indwelling Trinity)

 

gentle 15mar18
David Bohnsack, mccj / Facebook (Used by permission)

 

Elizabeth of the Trinity, S 2003, The Complete Works of Elizabeth of the Trinity volume 2: Letters from Carmel, translated from the French by Nash, A, ICS Publications, Washington DC

St. Elizabeth of the Trinity Novena – Day 3

He wants to be my peace so that nothing can distract me or draw me out of “the invincible fortress of holy recollection.”

Intention

For an increase in the fruit of peace

St. Paul speaks

For he is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. (Eph 2:14-18)

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity speaks

Here I am in the presence “of a mystery hidden from ages and generations,” the mystery “which is Christ”: “your hope of glory,” says St. Paul! And he adds that “the understanding of this mystery” was given to him. So it is from the great Apostle that I am going to learn how I may possess this knowledge which, in his expression, “surpasses all other knowledge: the knowledge of the love of Christ Jesus.”

First of all he tells me that He is “my peace,” that it is “through Him that I have access to the Father,” for it has pleased this “father of lights” that “in Him all fullness should dwell, and that through Him He should reconcile to Himself all things, whether on the earth or in the heavens, making peace through the Blood of His Cross….

He wants to be my peace so that nothing can distract me or draw me out of “the invincible fortress of holy recollection.” It is there that He will give me “access to the Father” and will keep me as still and as peaceful in His presence as if my soul were already in eternity. It is by the Blood of His Cross that He will make peace in my little heaven, so that it may truly be the repose of the Three. (Last Retreat, Twelfth Day)

Meditation 

Just imagine more than two weeks on retreat! From 14-31 August 1906, St. Elizabeth of the Trinity spends each day in prayer as if it is her “novitiate for Heaven.” Those days are not totally peaceful, though—there are doctors and infirmarians coming and going, trips to the monastery terrace to enjoy the good weather, another aged nun in the infirmary with her, and a visit with her mother in the parlor. So the peace that Elizabeth seeks is definitely the peace of which St. Paul writes: it surpasses all other knowledge. It is a peace rooted in the knowledge of Christ’s love. He is our peace! So even without two weeks on retreat, how can we seek him and know his love?

NOVENA PRAYER 

O Saint Elisabeth!
In your great love of God,
You were always so close
to your friends’ needs.
Now, in Heaven,
Face to face with the Lord,
Do intervene near Him
for the needs we recommend to you.

(Make your request)

Teach us how to abide,
in Love and Faith,
with the Holy Trinity
in the utmost of our heart.
Teach us how to radiate God’s Love
amongst men, in our everyday life
just as you did yourself,
so that we may be a praise of God’s glory.

Our Father… (pray slowly, contemplating the meaning of the prayer)

Glory be… (three times, in praise of the indwelling Trinity)

 

leaf peace Martin Gommel Flickr 403867182_562fe4a0ae_o
Martin Gommel / Flickr

 

 

of the Trinity, E 2014, The Complete Works of Elizabeth of the Trinity volume 1: General Introduction Major Spiritual Writings, translated from the French by Kane, A, ICS Publications, Washington DC

St. Elizabeth of the Trinity Novena – Day 2

What delightful peace we experience when we place our joy in suffering!

Intention

For an increase in the fruit of joy

St. Paul speaks

I am now rejoicing in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am completing what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church. I became its servant according to God’s commission that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery that has been hidden throughout the ages and generations but has now been revealed to his saints. (Colossians 1:24-26)

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity speaks

It seems to me that the happy ones of this world are those who have enough contempt and forgetfulness of self to choose the Cross as their lot! What delightful peace we experience when we place our joy in suffering!

“In my own flesh I fill up what is lacking in the passion of Christ for the sake of His body, which is the Church” (Col. 1:24). The apostle finds his happiness in this! The thought pursues me and I confess that I experience a profound inner joy in thinking that God has chosen to associate me in the passion of His Christ. This way of Calvary I climb each day seems to me more like the path of Beatitude! (The Greatness of Our Vocation, 6-7)

Meditation 

St. Elizabeth’s penned these lines to her young friend Françoise de Sourdon around the 9th of September, 1906. It is a testament to her Carmelite ascetic spirit, knowing that, as St. John of the Cross taught, “in suffering, strength is given to the soul by God” (Dark Night II, 16:9). St. Elizabeth of the Trinity makes this 12-page letter—she called it a “journal”—a precious piece of spiritual direction for a nineteen-year-old aspiring to holiness. If this is St. Elizabeth’s advice to a young adult Catholic, what can we learn from her words of wisdom? Is joy in suffering a thing of the past?

NOVENA PRAYER 

O Saint Elisabeth!
In your great love of God,
You were always so close
to your friends’ needs.
Now, in Heaven,
Face to face with the Lord,
Do intervene near Him
for the needs we recommend to you.

(Make your request)

Teach us how to abide,
in Love and Faith,
with the Holy Trinity
in the utmost of our heart.
Teach us how to radiate God’s Love
amongst men, in our everyday life
just as you did yourself,
so that we may be a praise of God’s glory.

Our Father… (pray slowly, contemplating the meaning of the prayer)

Glory be… (three times, in praise of the indwelling Trinity)

 

find ecstasy in life 5aug2016
From the Facebook album ‘Portraits of Chad’ by Comboni Missionary Father David Bohnsack, mccj (Used by permission)

 

 

of the Trinity, E 2014, The Complete Works of Elizabeth of the Trinity volume 1: General Introduction Major Spiritual Writings, translated from the French by Kane, A, ICS Publications, Washington DC

Quote of the day: 30 October

A true Carmelite of the Divine Heart of Jesus must descend to suffering humanity from the height of Carmel as an angel of comfort and peace.

Blessed Maria Teresa Tauscher

Foundress, Carmelites of the Divine Heart of Jesus

 

SWEERTS Michiel_Clothing the naked_MetMuseum hb_1984.459.1
Clothing the Naked
Michiel Sweerts (Flemish, 1618–1664)
Oil on canvas, ca. 1661
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Clothing the naked is one of the Seven Acts of Mercy traditionally promoted in Catholicism. Sweerts, a Catholic artist from the Spanish Netherlands, reduces the theme to a fraught confrontation between two individuals, one opulently dressed, the other nude and seemingly wary of the garments offered to him. He painted this image, most likely for a Catholic patron, while living in Amsterdam and engaged in regular fasting and other acts of devotion. In 1662 the artist joined the Société des Missions Etrangères bound for Persia, although he was later dismissed from their company for his erratic behavior.

 

Ste. Thérèse Novena IX

O Queen of martyrs, till the evening of your life
That sorrowful sword will pierce your heart,
Already you must leave your native land
To flee a king’s jealous fury.
Jesus sleeps in peace under the folds of your veil.
Joseph comes begging you to leave at once,
And at once your obedience is revealed.
You leave without delay or reasoning.

Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, remember your promise to do good on earth; send your shower of roses in abundance on those who call upon you, and obtain for us from God the graces we are waiting to receive from His infinite goodness.

 

saint-therese-of-lisieux46_1oct97infirmary TWsize
1 Oct 1897 | Photo credit: © Office Central de Lisieux / archives-carmel-lisieux.fr

 

¡Oh, Reina de los mártires, hasta el fin de tu vida
la espada dolorosa traspasará tu pecho !
Habrás de abandonar el suelo de tu patria,
para evitar de un rey el furor traicionero.
En paz duerme Jesús, a quien tu mano abriga,
cuando José te avisa que habéis de partir luego.
Tu obediencia es puntual y enseguida se apresta
y partís sin demora y sin razonamientos.

Santa “Teresita”, recuerda tu promesa de “hacer bien en la tierra” y que enviarías “lluvia de rosas” sobre quienes te invoquen. Obtenme de Dios las gracias que quiero de su infinita bondad. 

 


This text is an excerpt from the poem, Why I Love You, O Mary Read more

Este texto es un extracto del poema Por qué te amo, María Leer más 

Ste. Thérèse Novena VIII

There is on this earth
A marvelous Tree.
Its root, O mystery!
Is in Heaven….

In its shade
Never could anything cause pain.
One can rest there
Without fearing the storm.

Love is the name
Of this ineffable Tree,
And its delectable fruit
Is called Abandonment.

It gives me in this world
An ocean of peace.
In this deep peace
I rest forever…

Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, remember your promise to do good on earth; send your shower of roses in abundance on those who call upon you, and obtain for us from God the graces we are waiting to receive from His infinite goodness.

 

saint-therese-of-lisieux43_7jun97 TWsize
1897 | Photo credit: © Office Central de Lisieux / archives-carmel-lisieux.fr

 

Hay en la tierra un árbol,
árbol maravilloso,
cuya raíz se encuentra,
¡oh misterio!, en el cielo.

Acogido a su sombra,
nada ni nadie te podrá alcanzar;
sin miedo a la tormenta,
bajo él puedes descansar.

El árbol inefable
lleva por nombre «amor».
Su fruto deleitable
se llama «el abandono».

Un mar de paz me da ya en este mundo,
un océano de paz,
y en esta paz profunda
descanso para siempre.

Santa “Teresita”, recuerda tu promesa de “hacer bien en la tierra” y que enviarías “lluvia de rosas” sobre quienes te invoquen. Obtenme de Dios las gracias que quiero de su infinita bondad. 

 


This text is an excerpt from the poem, Abandonment is the Sweet Fruit of Love Read more

Este texto es un extracto del poema El abandono es el fruto delicioso del amor Leer más 

Ste. Thérèse Novena VII

For you the Kingdom and the Glory,
The Riches of the King of kings.
For me the ciborium’s humble Host.
For me the Cross’s treasure.
With the Cross, with the Host,
With your celestial aid,
In peace I await the other life,
The joys that will last forever.

Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, remember your promise to do good on earth; send your shower of roses in abundance on those who call upon you, and obtain for us from God the graces we are waiting to receive from His infinite goodness.

 

saint-therese-of-lisieux38_July 1896 Blogfeatimage
1896 | Photo credit: © Office Central de Lisieux / archives-carmel-lisieux.fr

 

Para ti la gloria, el reino,
las riquezas del que es Rey,
Rey de los reyes del mundo.
Para mí el Pan del sagrario
y el tesoro de la cruz.
Con la cruz y con la hostia,
y con tu celeste ayuda,
espero en paz la otra vida,
la felicidad del cielo,
que nunca terminará.

Santa “Teresita”, recuerda tu promesa de “hacer bien en la tierra” y que enviarías “lluvia de rosas” sobre quienes te invoquen. Obtenme de Dios las gracias que quiero de su infinita bondad. 

 


This text is an excerpt from the poem, To My Guardian Angel Read more

Este texto es un extracto del poema A mi ángel de la guarda Leer más 

Ste. Thérèse Novena VI

My burning heart wants to give itself unceasingly.
It needs to prove its tenderness.
Ah! who will be able to understand my love?
What heart will want to pay me in return?
But I crave this return in vain.
Jesus, you alone can satisfy my soul.
Nothing can charm me here below.
True happiness cannot be found here
My only peace, my only happiness,
My only love is you, Lord!…

Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, remember your promise to do good on earth; send your shower of roses in abundance on those who call upon you, and obtain for us from God the graces we are waiting to receive from His infinite goodness.

 

saint-therese-of-lisieux29_3July1896 (2)
1896 | Photo credit: © Office Central de Lisieux / archives-carmel-lisieux.fr

 

Mi corazón ardiente quiere darse sin tregua,
siente necesidad de mostrar su ternura.
Mas ¿quién comprenderá mi amor,
qué corazón 
querrá corresponderme?
En vano espero y pido que nadie pague con amor mi amor.
Sólo tú, mi Jesús, eres capaz de contentar mi alma.
Nada puede encantarme aquí en la tierra,
no se halla aquí la verdadera dicha.
¡Mi única paz, mi amor, mi sola dicha
eres tú, mi Señor!

Santa “Teresita”, recuerda tu promesa de “hacer bien en la tierra” y que enviarías “lluvia de rosas” sobre quienes te invoquen. Obtenme de Dios las gracias que quiero de su infinita bondad. 

 


This text is an excerpt from the poem, Jesus Alone Read more

Este texto es un extracto del poema Sólo Jesús Leer más 

Ste. Thérèse Novena V

Later I loved the creature
Who seemed pure to me.
Seeking the God of nature everywhere,
In Him I found peace
Forever!…

Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, remember your promise to do good on earth; send your shower of roses in abundance on those who call upon you, and obtain for us from God the graces we are waiting to receive from His infinite goodness.

 

sainte-Therese-de-Lisieux_20 (3)
1895 | Photo credit: © Office Central de Lisieux / archives-carmel-lisieux.fr

 

Y más tarde amé a la criatura
que yo veía más pura,
a Dios buscando en su creación.
Y en El, sólo en él hallé
la paz…

Santa “Teresita”, recuerda tu promesa de “hacer bien en la tierra” y que enviarías “lluvia de rosas” sobre quienes te invoquen. Obtenme de Dios las gracias que quiero de su infinita bondad. 

 


This text is an excerpt from the poem, The Canticle of Céline Read more

Este texto es un extracto del poema El Cántico de Celina Leer más 

Ste. Thérèse Novena IV

On the evening of Love, speaking without parable,
Jesus said: “If anyone wishes to love me
All his life, let him keep my Word.
My Father and I will come to visit him.
And we will make his heart our dwelling.
Coming to him, we shall love him always.
We want him to remain, filled with peace,
In our Love!…”

Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, remember your promise to do good on earth; send your shower of roses in abundance on those who call upon you, and obtain for us from God the graces we are waiting to receive from His infinite goodness.

 

sainte-Therese-de-Lisieux_13 (2)
1895

 

«La noche del Amor, ya sin parábolas,
Jesús decía :»si alguien quiere amarme,
toda su vida guarde mi palabra ;
y le visitaremos yo ¡y mi Padre !
Viniendo a él, por siempre lo amaremos,
¡su corazón será nuestra mansión… !
¡Queremos que él esté, lleno de paz,
en nuestro Amor…» !

Santa “Teresita”, recuerda tu promesa de “hacer bien en la tierra” y que enviarías “lluvia de rosas” sobre quienes te invoquen. Obtenme de Dios las gracias que quiero de su infinita bondad. 

 


This text is an excerpt from the poem, Living on LoveRead more

Este texto es un extracto del poema Vivir de Amor Leer más 

Ste. Thérèse Novena III

Joseph, your admirable life
Took place in poverty,
But you contemplated the beauty
Of Jesus and Mary.

 Joseph, O tender Father,
Protect Carmel.
May your children on earth
Always savor the peace of Heaven!

Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, remember your promise to do good on earth; send your shower of roses in abundance on those who call upon you, and obtain for us from God the graces we are waiting to receive from His infinite goodness.

 

sainte-Therese-de-Lisieux_06_janvier1889 (2)
1889

 

Vuestra admirable vida
en la sombra, José, se deslizó
humilde y escondida,
¡pero fue augusto privilegio vuestro
contemplar muy de cerca la belleza
de Jesús y María!

José, tierno Padre,
protege al Carmelo.
¡Que en la tierra tus hijos
gocen ya la paz del cielo!

Santa “Teresita”, recuerda tu promesa de “hacer bien en la tierra” y que enviarías “lluvia de rosas” sobre quienes te invoquen. Obtenme de Dios las gracias que quiero de su infinita bondad. 

 


This text is an excerpt from the poem, To Our Father Saint JosephRead more

Este texto es un extracto del poema A San JoséLeer más 

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