Quote of the day: 25 January

We have the Savior not only in the form of reports of witnesses to his life. He is present to us in the Most Blessed Sacrament. The hours of adoration before the Highest Good, and listening for the voice of the eucharistic God, are simultaneously “meditation on the Law of the Lord” and “watching in prayer.” But the highest level is reached “when the Law is deep within our hearts” (Ps 40:8), when we are so united with the triune God, whose temple we are, that his Spirit rules all we do or omit. Then it does not mean we are forsaking the Lord when we do the work that obedience requires of us. Work is unavoidable as long as we are subject to nature’s laws and to the necessities of life. And, following the word and example of the apostle Paul, our holy Rule commands us to earn our bread by the work of our hands. But for us this work is always merely a means and must never be an end in itself. To stand before the face of God continues to be the real content of our lives.

Saint Edith Stein

On the History and Spirit of Carmel (excerpt)

 

40 hours oxford lawrenceop flickr 1642599120
Fr Lawrence Lew, O.P. / Flickr

 

 

Stein, E 2014, The Hidden Life: Essays, Meditations, Spiritual Texts, translated from the German by Stein W, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

Prayer for the beatification of Father Augustine-Mary of the Blessed Sacrament (Hermann Cohen)

Mary, Immaculate Virgin Mother,

who at the grotto at Lourdes restored to health Fr Augustine-Mary of the Blessed Sacrament that he might serve you faithfully in your Order of Carmel, obtain, we pray, from the Blessed Trinity the grace…

mention your request here

through the intercession and merits of your devoted servant “whose joy was to suffer for Jesus” and to whom it was granted, in answer to his heartfelt prayer, “to consecrate his life in its entirety to God’s will, service and glory”.

Mary, Mother of God, glorify, we beseech you, your servant who, through the redeeming power of Christ present in the Holy Eucharist, was brought to the knowledge of the Truth.

Make known, we pray, this apostle who was fired with devotion to the Sacrament of your Son’s love. May he bestow upon us, priests and laity alike, his burning zeal that the Divine Presence in the Eucharist might be adored, the Mass celebrated with reverence and sincerity, and Holy Communion received frequently and with devotion.

Grant that forthwith throughout the world and especially among your chosen people, Israel, there may be established the Eucharistic Kingship of the Son of David, the Living Bread, who came down from heaven in the womb of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary.

Amen.

With ecclesiastical approval

 

Report favors received to the Vice-Postulator

Postulation de la cause du Père Hermann
Monastère du Broussey
33410 RIONS
France

causeduperehermann@gmail.com

Quote of the day: 17 January

You must cross out the word discouragement from your dictionary of love.

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity

Letter 298 to her sister Guite
16 July 1906

 

Dictionary-of-love crossed out
Learn more about DISCOURAGEMENT

 

 

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

Quote of the day: 15 January

Now let us speak about the type of soul that enters the second dwelling places and what such a soul does in them. I’d like to say only a little, for I have spoken at length on this subject elsewhere. And it would be impossible to avoid repeating much of it, for I don’t remember a thing of what I said. If I could present the matter for you in a variety of ways I know well that you wouldn’t be annoyed since we never tire of booksas many as there arethat deal with it.

This stage pertains to those who have already begun to practice prayer and have understood how important it is not to stay in the first dwelling places. But they still don’t have the determination to remain in this second stage without turning back, for they don’t avoid the occasion of sin. This failure to avoid these occasions is quite dangerous…

These rooms, in part, involve much more effort then do the first, even though there is not as much danger, for it now seems that souls in them recognize the dangers, and there is great hope they will enter further into the castle. I say that these rooms involve more effort because those who are in the first dwelling places are like deaf-mutes and thus the difficulty of not speaking is more easily endured by them than it is by those who hear but cannot speak. Yet, not for this reason does one have greater desire to be deaf, for after all it is a wonderful thing to hear what is being said to us. So these persons are able to hear the Lord when He calls. Since they are getting closer to where His Majesty dwells, He is a very good neighbor. His mercy and goodness are so bountiful; whereas we are occupied in our pastimes, business affairs, pleasures, and worldly buying and selling, and still falling into sin and rising again. These beasts are so poisonous and their presence so dangerous and noisy that it would be a wonder if we kept from stumbling and falling over them. Yet this Lord desires intensely that we love Him and seek His company, so much so that from time to time He calls us to draw near Him. And His voice is so sweet the poor soul dissolves at not doing immediately what He commands. Thus, as I say, hearing His voice is a greater trial than not hearing it.

Saint Teresa of Jesus

The Interior Castle
The Second Dwelling Place

 

Listening astrid Flickr 11200954926
Astrid Westvang / Flickr

 

 

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

Quote of the day: 14 January

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.

Saint Teresa of Jesus

The Book of the Foundations
Chapter 5

 

pans and pots notarim flickr 7830408838
mark notari / Flickr

 

 

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

Quote of the day: 8 January

Recall our founding father, Elijah! Did he spiritually stir up Palestine or did he sluggishly seek only his own peace and quiet? When God spoke to him at prayer, telling him of the distress of the people of Israel and the sins of their royal rulers, he listened attentively and went off immediately, despite the personal consequences. He trudged across the country, proclaiming truth to those who needed to hear it. He sometimes sparked bitter opposition. He risked his life but did not waver. He offered his time, his life, his very self, without calculating the cost.

Père Jacques de Jésus, O.C.D.

Listen to the Silence: A retreat with Père Jacques
Conference 13: The Apostolate
Carmel de Pontoise, 11 September 1943

 

Elijah being fed by the raven Mirat al quds Cleveland Museum
A raven brings food to Elijah, from a Mirror of Holiness (Mir’at al-quds) of Father Jerome Xavier
Mughal India, Allahabad, made for Prince Salim
(1569–1627)
Opaque watercolor, ink, color and gold on paper, 1602-1604
The Cleveland Museum of Art, licensed under CC0 1.0

 

 

Jacques, P 2005, Listen to the silence: a retreat with Père Jacques, translated from the French and edited by Murphy F, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

Quote of the day: 4 January

September 8, 1890

O Jesus, my divine spouse! May I never lose the sec­ond robe of my Baptism! Take me before I can commit the slightest voluntary fault. May I never seek nor find anything but yourself alone. May creatures be nothing for me and may I be nothing for them, but may you, Jesus, be every­thing!. .. May the things of earth never be able to trouble my soul, and may nothing disturb my peace. Jesus, I ask you for nothing but peace, and also love, infinite love without any limits other than yourself; love that is no longer I but you, my Jesus. Jesus, may I die a martyr for you. Give me martyrdom of heart or of body, or rather give me both

Give me the grace to fulfill my vows in all their perfection, and make me understand what a real spouse of yours should be. Never let me be a burden to the community, let nobody be occupied with me, let me be looked on as one to be trampled underfoot, forgotten like your little grain of sand, Jesus.

May your will be done in me perfectly, and may I ar­rive at the place that you have gone ahead to prepare for me.

Jesus, allow me to save very many souls; let no soul be lost today; let all the souls in purgatory be saved… Jesus, pardon me if I say anything I should not say. I want only to give you joy and to console you.

Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus

Prayer Pri 2


Marie Françoise Thérèse Martin was baptized on 4 January 1873 in Notre‑Dame Church of Alençon, France by Father Dumaine. You can view the birth certificate and baptismal record here. In her manuscripts that together form the autobiography that we know as Story of a Soul,  Thérèse lists the “days of grace” on page 86 that the Lord “granted to his little spouse.” The first day of grace was her birth on 2 January; the second was her baptism on 4 January 1873.

 

MsA86r

Advent IV — Listen

SCRIPTURE

Once again Yahweh spoke to Ahaz and said, “Ask Yahweh your God for a sign for yourself coming either from the depths of Sheol or from the heights above.” “No,” Ahaz answered, “I will not put Yahweh to the test.” Then he said:

Listen now, House of David:
are you not satisfied with trying the patience of men
without trying the patience of my God, too?
The Lord himself, therefore,
will give you a sign.
It is this: the maiden is with child
and will soon give birth to a son
whom she will call Emmanuel.

Isaiah 7:10-14


READING

The holy time of Advent is here; it seems to me that it is very especially the season of interior souls, those who live unceasingly and through everything wholly “hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3) at the center of themselves.

In expectation of the great mystery, I love to go deeply into that beautiful psalm XVIII, which we often say at Matins, and particularly these verses:

There he has placed his tent in the sun, and this star comes forth like a bridegroom coming from his bed, rejoices like a champion to run its course. At the end of the sky is the rising of the sun; to the furthest end of the sky is its course; nothing is concealed from its burning heat (Ps. 19:4-7).

Let us empty our soul so He can come forth in it and communicate the eternal life (cf. Jn. 17:2) that is its own; the Father has given Him “power over all flesh” (Jn. 17:2) for that purpose, as we are told in the Gospel.

And then, in the silence of prayer, let us listen to Him, for He is the “Source” (Jn. 8:25) who speaks within us and who has said: “He who sent me is true, and I tell all I have heard from Him” (Jn. 8:26).

Let us ask Him to make us true in our love, to make us sacrificial beings, for it seems to me that sacrifice is only love put into action: “He loved me, He gave Himself for me” (Gal. 2:20).

I love this thought, that the life of the priest (and of the Carmelite) is an Advent that prepares for the Incarnation in souls.

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity

Letter 250 to Abbé Chevignard
Around 29 November 1905

 


Scripture reference provided by St. John’s Catholic Church, Mullumbimby, NSW, Australia

 

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

Quote of the day: 19 December

The work of salvation takes place in obscurity and stillness. In the heart’s quiet dialogue with God the living building blocks out of which the kingdom of God grows are prepared, the chosen instruments for the construction forged. The mystical stream that flows through all centuries is no spurious tributary that has strayed from the prayer life of the Church—it is its deepest life.

When this mystical stream breaks through traditional forms, it does so because the Spirit that blows where it will is living in it, this Spirit that has created all traditional forms and must ever create new ones. Without him, there would be no liturgy and no Church. Was not the soul of the royal psalmist a harp whose strings resounded under the gentle breath of the Holy Spirit?

From the overflowing heart of the Virgin Mary blessed by God streamed the exultant hymn of the Magnificat. When the angel’s mysterious word became visible reality, the prophetic Benedictus hymn unsealed the lips of the old priest Zechariah, who had been struck dumb.

Whatever arose from spirit-filled hearts found expression in words and melodies and continues to be communicated from mouth to mouth. The “Divine Office” is to see that it continues to resound from generation to generation. So the mystical stream forms the many-voiced, continually swelling hymn of praise to the triune God, the Creator, the Redeemer, and the Perfecter.

Therefore, it is not a question of placing the inner prayer free of all traditional forms as “subjective” piety in contrast to the liturgy as the “objective” prayer of the Church. All authentic prayer is prayer of the Church.

Saint Edith Stein

The Prayer of the Church (excerpt)

 

_MG_2639
Alex Proimos / Flickr

 

 

Stein, E 2014, The Hidden Life: Essays, Meditations, Spiritual Texts, translated from the German by Stein W, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

Quote of the day: 8 November

You must build a little cell within your soul as I do. Remember that God is there and enter it from time to time; when you feel nervous or you’re unhappy, quickly seek refuge there and tell the Master all about it.

Ah, if you got to know Him a little, prayer wouldn’t bore you anymore; to me it seems to be rest, relaxation. We come quite simply to the One we love, stay close to Him like a little child in the arms of its mother, and we let our heart go.

You used to love sitting very close to me and telling me your secrets; that is just how you must go [to] Him; if only you knew how well He understands…. You wouldn’t suffer any more if you understood that.

It is the secret of life in Carmel: the life of a Carmelite is a communion with God from morning to evening, and from evening to morning. If He did not fill our cells and our cloisters, ah! How empty they would be! But through everything, [we] see Him, for we bear Him within us, and our life is an anticipated Heaven.

I ask God to teach you all these secrets, and I am keeping you in my little cell; for your part, keep me in yours, and that way we will never be parted.

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity

Letter 123 to Françoise de Sourdon
Thursday, 19 June 1902

 

Valladolid-adoration
Ángel Cantero, archivalladolid / Flickr 

 

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 9

O my Three, my All, my Beatitude, infinite Solitude, Immensity in which I lose myself, I surrender myself to You as Your prey

Intention

For an increase in the fruit of self-control

St. Paul speaks

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity speaks

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 unto death!  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.

Meditation 

St. Elizabeth’s biographer, Fr. Conrad de Meester, OCD, writes that her self-control during the last two years before she entered the Carmel of Dijon was quite evident and permitted the depth and richness of her heart to become visible to others around her. Even in her famous prayer to the Holy Trinity, that sense of self-mastery shines through as she writes these self-effacing lines: “to forget myself entirely… as still and as peaceful… may nothing trouble my peace… wholly present… wholly surrendered.” Like a radiology technician who instructs a patient, “don’t breathe, don’t move”, it seems as if St. Elizabeth is choosing not to breathe, not to move, but rather to remain transfixed as she gazes on her beloved Star.

And what about us? We may recognize that we need to grow in self-control, but have no clue where or how to begin. Why not begin with our prayer lives, our spiritual habits? If we can devote 5 minutes daily to devotion, scripture, meditation, even to silence, that 5 minutes of self-discipline can enable us to grow in self-mastery in other areas of our lives, as well. Is it worth a try? If we answer, “yes,” then St. Elizabeth probably would say this novena was worth the effort.

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)

 

8x10.ai
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / Flickr

 

Scripture passages for the novena provided by Bible Gateway

Prayer to the Holy Trinity translated by the Discalced Carmelite nuns of Boston Carmel

Novena Prayer translated by the nuns of the Carmel of Dijon

References to Fr. Conrad de Meester’s biography of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity are drawn from Rien Moins Que Dieu: Sainte Élisabeth de la Trinité (Presses de la Renaissance, Paris, 2017)

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: 7 November

Christ prayed throughout His entire life, whereas He spent only three years preaching. Since God does not distribute His graces to men except through prayer, because He wishes us to recognize Him as the source from which all good things flow; in like manner, He does not wish to save us from danger, or cure our wounds, or console us in affliction, except by means of this same exercise of prayer.

Blessed Francis Palau y Quer

From his spiritual writings
Office of Readings, 7 November

 

closed eyed man holding his face using both of his hands
Photo by Ric Rodrigues on Pexels.com

Quote of the day: 29 October

Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation
of the Holy Father John Paul II

VITA CONSECRATA

On the consecrated life and its mission in the Church and in the world


The prophetic character of the consecrated life

 

84. The prophetic character of the consecrated life was strongly emphasized by the Synod Fathers. It takes the shape of a special form of sharing in Christ’s prophetic office, which the Holy Spirit communicates to the whole People of God. There is a prophetic dimension which belongs to the consecrated life as such, resulting from the radical nature of the following of Christ and of the subsequent dedication to the mission characteristic of the consecrated life.

The sign value, which the Second Vatican Council acknowledges in the consecrated life, is expressed in prophetic witness to the primacy which God and the truths of the Gospel have in the Christian life. Because of this pre-eminence, nothing can come before personal love of Christ and of the poor in whom he lives.

The Patristic tradition has seen a model of monastic religious life in Elijah, courageous prophet and friend of God. He lived in God’s presence and contemplated his passing by in silence; he interceded for the people and boldly announced God’s will; he defended God’s sovereignty and came to the defense of the poor against the powerful of the world (cf. 1 Kg 18-19).

In the history of the Church, alongside other Christians, there have been men and women consecrated to God who, through a special gift of the Holy Spirit, have carried out a genuinely prophetic ministry, speaking in the name of God to all, even to the Pastors of the Church.

True prophecy is born of God, from friendship with him, from attentive listening to his word in the different circumstances of history. Prophets feel in their hearts a burning desire for the holiness of God and, having heard his word in the dialogue of prayer, they proclaim that word with their lives, with their lips and with their actions, becoming people who speak for God against evil and sin.

Prophetic witness requires the constant and passionate search for God’s will, for self-giving, for unfailing communion in the Church, for the practice of spiritual discernment and love of the truth. It is also expressed through the denunciation of all that is contrary to the divine will and through the exploration of new ways to apply the Gospel in history, in expectation of the coming of God’s Kingdom.

 

Extraordinary Definitory India February 2015
Discalced Carmelite Friars from Spain, Lebanon, and India gather at the Extraordinary Definitory Meeting in India, February 2019 | Photo credit: Discalced Carmelite General Curia (Used by permission)

 


Father Jesús Castellano Cervera, O.C.D. was one of the group of religious who served as experts and auditors at the 1994 Ninth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops that convened in Rome from 2 – 29 October 1994. The topic of discussion among the synod members was “The Consecrated Life and Its Role in the Church and in the World”.

In 1995 at the international Encuentro for the Familia Teresiana of Saint Enrique de Ossó, Father Jesús Castellano shared a few of his impressions of the 1994 Synod from the Carmelite perspective. We are grateful to Father Iván de Jesús Mora Pernía, O.C.D. for transcribing Father Castellano’s remarks so that we might share them with our readers. The Spanish translation is our own.

We were able to note from within the Synod the presence of Carmel in the Church through the resonance of our figures who frequently were called exemplary witnesses and models of consecrated life in history. Thérèse of Lisieux was in first place among our most remembered saints. There were those who officially requested in the synod hall that she should be declared a Doctor of the Church. Teresa of Jesus and John of the Cross and other saints of ours were named very frequently. From the patriarchs of the Eastern Churches came a word of thanks for the history of Carmel in their Churches and for the patient presence that is still alive in the regions of the Middle East such as Iraq, Lebanon,  and Egypt. The Secretary-General of the Synod at the end had a very special memory for St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, “that woman who has been an excellent witness of consecrated life in the mission of the Church” and made her famous texts resonate in the Synod hall: “In the heart of the Church I will be love”. John Paul II in the final homily of the Synod wanted to remember how our three best-known saints are present in the history of the holiness of the Church written by the religious: Teresa of Jesus and John of the Cross at the time of the Protestant Reformation, and Thérèse of Lisieux, closest to us.

St. Teresa Novena 2019 — Day 8

From her writings

I repeat, it is necessary that your foundation consist of more than prayer and contemplation. If you do not strive for the virtues and practice them, you will always be dwarfs. And, please God, it will be only a matter of not growing, for you already know that whoever does not increase decreases. I hold that love, where present, cannot possibly be content with remaining always the same.

The Interior Castle: VII:4, No. 9

 

Reflection by Fr. Emiel Albalahin, O.Carm.

Teresa writes these words toward the end of her description of the interior journey, when the soul arrives at union. Fundamental to spiritual progress is the development of a life of virtue, as virtues and prayer shape one another. In the context of Teresa’s definition of prayer as the intimate sharing between friends, virtues are all that we do and suffer for the love of God our great friend. Therefore, engagement in recollection helps us to cultivate practices to enhance our relationship with God, while the continued exercise of these virtues helps us to be gradually more receptive to interacting with Him.

In our prayer today, let us ask for the grace to develop and grow in lives of virtue, that God’s love for us may be expressed and nurtured in our love for Him.

 

We pray together

Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be.

V. Holy Mother St. Teresa, pray for us:

R. That we may become worthy of the promises of Jesus Christ.

Let us pray:

Father,
by your Spirit, you raised up
our Mother Saint Teresa of Jesus
to show your Church the way to perfection.
May her inspired teaching
awaken in us a longing for true holiness.

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

 


Fr. Emiel Albalahin, O.Carm. is a friar of the Saint Elias Province and the pastor of Transfiguration Parish in Tarrytown, New York, U.S.A.

View the entire novena on the website of the General Curia of the Carmelite Order.

Quote of the day: 8 October

Whoever has not begun the practice of prayer, I beg for the love of the Lord not to go without so great a good. There is nothing here to fear but only something to desire…

For mental prayer, in my opinion, is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us.

Saint Teresa of Avila

The Book of Her Life, Chapter 8, No. 5

 

prayer market fruit colombia Cindy Muñoz Flickr 8518107982
A vendor pauses to pray in the market in Cali, Colombia | Cindy Muñoz / Flickr

 

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

St. Teresa Novena 2019 — Day 2

From her writings

Whoever has not begun the practice of prayer, I beg for the love of the Lord not to go without so great a good. There is nothing here to fear but only something to desire. Even if there be no great progress, or much effort in reaching such perfection as to deserve the favors and mercies God bestows on the more generous, at least a person will come to understand the road leading to heaven. And if one perseveres, I trust then in the mercy of God, who never fails to repay anyone who has taken Him for a friend. For mental prayer, in my opinion, is nothing else than an intimate sharing between friends; it means taking time frequently to be alone with Him who we know loves us. In order that love be true and the friendship endure, the wills of the friends must be in accord. The will of the Lord, it is already known, cannot be at fault; our will is vicious, sensual, and ungrateful. And if you do not yet love Him as He loves you because you have not reached the degree of conformity with His will, you will endure this pain of spending a long while with one who is so different from you when you see how much it benefits you to possess His friendship and how much He loves you.

The Book of Her Life, Chapter 8, No. 5

 

Reflection by Fr. Emiel Albalahin, O.Carm.

On September 27, 1970, Pope Paul VI proclaimed Teresa a doctor of the Church. In his address, the Pope celebrated Teresa’s gift of spiritual doctrine, a fact underlined by the title written on her statue in the basilica in Ávila: Mater Spiritualium. She certainly merits this title.

Her writings are not theoretical abstracts, but concrete lessons drawn from her own experience and interaction with the Divine. In entering the struggle of spiritual growth, she came to discover some very important truths about the process of prayer, the truth of God and the realization of self in this context. She realized in a very real and personal way Jesus’ words: “I call you friends.”

Learning from Teresa, let us make ample space for prayer, taking time and having the courage to open ourselves to all of the possibilities that lie open to us when we enter this deep and profound relationship, including our own transformation in God and His love.

 

We pray together

Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory be.

V. Holy Mother St. Teresa, pray for us:

R. That we may become worthy of the promises of Jesus Christ.

Let us pray:

Father,
by your Spirit you raised up
our Mother Saint Teresa of Jesus
to show your Church the way to perfection.
May her inspired teaching
awaken in us a longing for true holiness.

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

 


Fr. Emiel Albalahin, O.Carm. is a friar of the Saint Elias Province and the pastor of Transfiguration Parish in Tarrytown, New York, U.S.A.

View the entire novena on the website of the General Curia of the Carmelite Order

Quote of the day: 6 September

The works of God are marked with silence. It is in the silence of prayer and retreat, in the silence of the desert and the forest, that great souls receive their message from God. Recall how Saint Bernard enriched the whole of Europe with silent monasteries. These were stricter still than [the Discalced Carmelites]. Their religious did not have the right to speak or to recreate; they kept total silence. In order to describe the beauty of silence, he used to say: “The oak trees of the forest have been my masters of prayer.” Silence is the great master. It speaks to the human heart. Silence is not an empty void; God dwells therein.

Père Jacques of Jesus, O.C.D.
Conference 8: Silence
Listen to the Silence – A Retreat with Pere Jacques

 

evening fog autanex flickr 2085542465_a7df17acaa_o
Evening fog | autanex / Flickr

 

Bunel, J 2004, Listen to the Silence - A Retreat with Pere Jacques, translated and edited by Murphy F, ICS Publications, Washington DC.

 

Quote of the day: 29 August

Without doubt, I am not distracted, but I cannot finish my brief prayer. I start to say the Our Father and I stop at these two words without being able to continue. I think: “Oh my God, You who are so great and so powerful, You are our Father. You in heaven and we are such small worms, ash, dust on earth! Today we are in this world and maybe tomorrow we are dead. And during this quick time of our existence, we dare to offend you. Oh my God, have mercy on us!” And then I lose myself, and I fall asleep.

Even if I want to say the Hail Mary, I stop at the first words: “I salute you Mary”. And I say to the Blessed Virgin: “You are so good, so good, oh my Mother! You, Mother of God, Mother of all men! And we are but poor sinners!” And I lose myself and I fall asleep. It is impossible to continue.

I really need to confess the fault that I cannot pray!

Saint Mary of Jesus Crucified
Life and Thoughts of Mariam Baouardy (excerpt)

 

silhouette of person holding glass mason jar
Photo by Rakicevic Nenad on Pexels.com

 

 

Nota Bene: Carmelite Quotes and the Elijah’s Breeze blog have been given exclusive rights to reprint and distribute the English translation of Francesco Zampini’s self-published biography, Life and Thoughts of Mariam Baouardy (2018). We are grateful to the Discalced Carmelite nuns of the Holy Land for extending to us the privilege of publishing and disseminating this excellent study of the life spiritual doctrine of St. Mary of Jesus Crucified, as well as the fine translation from the original Italian text by Cristina Leontini.

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