Quote of the day: 15 September

Mary, at the top of Calvary standing beside the Cross
To me you seem like a priest at the altar,
Offering your beloved Jesus, the sweet Emmanuel,
To appease the Father’s justice…
A prophet said, O afflicted Mother,
« There is no sorrow like your sorrow ! _ »
O Queen of Martyrs, while remaining in exile
You lavish on us all the blood of your heart !

Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus
Why I Love You, O Mary (PN 54, excerpt)

 

Calvaire_Rochefort-en-Terre_Bretagne (2)
This detail from a streetside Calvary shrine in the village of Rochefort-en-Terre is typical of many found scattered throughout Bretagne, France | Source: Flickr creative commons

Quote of the day: 20 August

I sacrifice my days of suffering for my parish and for those who are dear to me.

Blessed Georg Häfner
Letter from the Dachau concentration camp

 

Blessed Georg Häfner was a priest of the Diocese of Würzburg and a member of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites (OCDS). While he was the pastor of the parish at Oberschwarzach he came into conflict with Hitler’s agents, since he would never use the typical Hitler salute and always defended the doctrine and rights of the Church. He was arrested on 31 October 1941 and taken to the Dachau concentration camp on 12 December the same year. There, as a faithful priest he was exposed to all types of torture and injustice, yet always bearing up with a heroic attitude before each humiliation and maltreatment. His letters from Dachau show his deep faith and his capacity to pardon his executioners.

Learn more about Blessed Georg Häfner here and here.

 

Georg Häfner Stolpersteine_Würzburg_(Kollegiatstift_Neumünster)
The stolperstein (memorial cobblestone) marking the 31 October 1942 arrest of Blessed Georg Häfner in Oberschwarzach, Germany and his death in the Dachau concentration camp, 20 August 1942 | 1971markus / Wikimedia Commons

7 August: Saint Albert of Trápani

August 7
SAINT ALBERT OF TRAPANI
Priest

Memorial

Albert degli Abbati was born at Trápani, Sicily, in the thirteenth century, and entered the Carmelite Order as a youth. He became renowned as a fervent preacher of the Gospel and a worker of miracles. He was Provincial of Sicily in 1296, and died at Messina, probably in 1307, with a reputation for purity and prayer.

From the common of holy men

Office of Readings

HYMN

The Feasts of August sound their glad refrain,
To Albert riseth soft, melodious strain;
Carmel echo with the songs of love
Raised to our Blessed Father throned above.

At seven years the parent roof he flies,
And, like the Baptist, all the world denies,
To seek the holy Virgin’s sacred shrine,
And live a life of holiness divine.

Clad in the flowing mantle white as snow,
He welcomes choicest gifts the Heavens bestow,
With power granted him to govern here
The lesser kingdoms of this earthly sphere.

The altar flame is by a crystal glassed,
A spectre breaketh it with pebble cast;
But Albert poureth tears before the Lord,
And lo! the sacred lamp is quick restored.

His youth, so prompt to vengeance, he subdues,
No fantasies of Hell his mind confuse
Supporting calmly fortune good or ill,
He scorneth honors with a steadfast will.

Unto one God most high be endless praise,
And to the blessed Son for equal days.
The Holy Spirit let us now adore,
And praise the Three in One forevermore.

10.10.10.10.
Mensis augusti redeuent honores

THE SECOND READING
(L. 1, c. 2: ed. AnOC 3 [1914-1916], pp. 348-49)

From the Book of the Institution of the First Monks

Hide yourself by the brook Cherith

The word of the Lord came to Elijah saying: Depart from here and go eastward, and hide yourself by the brook Cherith near the Jordan, and there you will drink from the brook. Now these salutary commands which the Holy Spirit prompted Elijah to obey, and this promise of good things which he was moved to desire, ought to be weighed word by word with the greatest care by us, monks and solitaries, and this in a mystical sense, for they contain the full meaning of our vocation. Indeed they point the way to prophetic perfection, which is the goal of our religious, eremitical life.

It will be seen that this type of life has two aims. One of them we can, with the help of God’s grace, achieve by our own efforts and the practice of virtue. This aim is to offer God a heart holy and pure from all actual stain of sin, and we achieve it when we become perfect and hidden in Cherith—that is, in charity, of which the Wise Man says: Charity covers all offenses. It was to bring Elijah to this state that God said to him: Hide yourself by the brook Cherith.

The other aim of this kind of life is something that can be bestowed on us only by God’s generosity: namely, to taste in our hearts and experience in our minds, not only after death but even during this mortal life, something of the power of the divine presence and the bliss of heavenly glory. And this is to drink from the brook of the enjoyment of God—the reward God promised Elijah when he said: There you will drink from the brook.

The prophetic, eremitical life must be undertaken by the monk with both these aims in view, as the Psalmist makes clear when he says to God: In a desert land where there is no road and no water I have come before you in the sanctuary to see your power and your glory. By choosing to live in a desert land where there is no road and no water as the means of coming before God in the sanctuary—with a heart, that is, free from sin—he demonstrates the first aim of the solitary life he has chosen, which is to offer God a heart that is holy, or pure from all actual sin. By adding the words to see your power and your glory he declares the second aim, which is in some measure to experience or see the power of the divine presence mystically in one’s heart and to taste the bliss of heavenly glory here already in this life.

The first aim, purity of heart, can be achieved with the help of God’s grace by effort and the practice of virtue. The second aim, experimental knowledge of divine power and heavenly glory, can be realized through purity of heart and perfect love; for our Lord said: Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him.

RESPONSORY

I have called you friends, for I have made known to you
all I have heard from my Father.
Remain in my love.
I have chosen you to go out and bear fruit,
fruit that shall last.
Remain in my love.

Morning Prayer

HYMN

The feast-day of Saint Albert dawns
A day of pure resplendent light;
Our brethren high in heav’n rejoice
As we our praise with theirs unite.

He realized that earthly joys
Were all too small to fill his heart;
All, all he had he gave to God,
In Carmel chose the better part.

Determined conqueror of self
He mortified each wrong desire
Until God saw reflected there
His image purified by fire.

For one so set on heavenly things
The lying foe laid many a snare,
But he resisted manfully,
And persevered in constant prayer.

Remember Carmel’s Order now,
Made glorious by your sojourn here;
O strengthen us in love of Christ
That we may likewise persevere.

All praise be to the Trinity,
The Father with his only Son
And ever-blessed Paraclete,
While never-ending ages run.

L.M.
Adest natalis gloriae

CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH

Ant. The just will speak wisdom, and truth will come from their lips, because God’s law is in their hearts.

PRAYER

Lord God,
you made Saint Albert of Trapani
a model of purity and prayer,
and a devoted servant of Our Lady.
May we practice these same virtues
and so be worthy always
to share the banquet of your grace.

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

Evening Prayer

HYMN

The river floweth swiftly on its course,
Dry shod the Blessed Albert speeds across.
His chastened piety sustains no loss
When combated.

He kisseth tenderly the leprous face,
Nor shrinks in horror from the hideous trace;
Behold, it shineth now with former grace,
Disease hath fled.

When his glad spirit sought its heavenward flight,
The bells were pealing from the belfry height,
Nor did they sound by any human might
In mournful toll.

Two Messengers from Heaven high in air
Chant funeral praises of this man of prayer,
Before a mighty concourse gathered there
To bless his soul.

The odor sweet arising from his bier
Cured pain and suffering when the sick drew near,
And all diseases fled his tomb in fear
Of heavenly power.

O God most high, forever praise to Thee,
To Son and Spirit equal honor be;
Let us adore the Blessed One in Three
At every hour.

10.10.10.4.
Passibus siccis rapidum

CANTICLE OF MARY

Ant. Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God.

 

Albert-of-Trapani_icon-paris

Quote of the day: 23 June

With the Virgin, you can sing your “Magnificat” and leap with joy in God your Savior, for the Almighty is doing great things in you, and His mercy is eternal. . . . Then, like Mary, “keep all that in your heart,” draw your heart very close to hers, for this priestly Virgin is also the “Mother of Divine Grace,” and in her love she wants to prepare you to become “that faithful priest who is entirely according to God’s heart” of whom He speaks in Holy Scripture.

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity
Letter 232 to Abbé Chevignard (excerpt)
Around 25 June 1905

 

ND de Palestine Holy Land Franciscans Wash DC monastery
Notre-Dame de Palestine | paullew / Flickr

 

Excerpt from Letter 232, 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

27 July: Blessed Titus Brandsma

July 27
BLESSED TITUS BRANDSMA
Priest and Martyr

Optional Memorial

Born in Bolsward (The Netherlands) in 1881, Blessed Titus Brandsma joined the Carmelite Order as a young man. Ordained a priest in 1905, he earned a doctorate in philosophy in Rome. He then taught in various schools in Holland and was named professor of philosophy as Rector Magnificus. He was noted for his constant availability to everyone. He was a professional journalist, and in 1935 he was appointed the ecclesiastical advisor to Catholic journalists. Both before and during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands he fought, faithful to the Gospel, against the spread of Nazi ideology and for the freedom of Catholic education and of the Catholic press. For this, he was arrested and sent to a succession of prisons and concentration camps where he brought comfort and peace to his fellow prisoners and did good even to his tormentors. In 1942, after much suffering and humiliation, he was killed at Dachau. He was beatified by Saint John Paul II on Nov. 3, 1985.

From the Common of One Martyr, except the following:

Office of Readings

The Second Reading (Alternative 1)

Introduction to Het lijden vergoddelijkt

From the writings of Blessed Titus Brandsma

The mysticism of the Passion

Jesus called Himself the head of the Mystical Body, of which we are the members. He is the vine, we are the branches. He laid Himself in the winepress and Himself trod it. He handed us the wine so that, drinking it, we might lead His life, might share His suffering. Whoever wishes to do My Will, let him daily take up his cross. Whoever follows me has the light of life. I am the way, He said. I have given you an example, so that as I have done so you may do also. And when His disciples did not understand that His way would be a way of suffering, He explained this to them and said, “Should not the Christ so suffer, in order to enter into His glory?”

Then the hearts of the disciples burned within them. God’s word had set them on fire. And when the Holy Spirit had descended on them to fan that divine fire into flame, then they were glad to suffer scorn and persecution, whereby they resembled Him Who had preceded them on the way of suffering.

The prophets had already marked His way of suffering; the disciples now understood that He had not avoided that way. From the crib to the cross, suffering, poverty and lack of appreciation were His lot. He had directed His whole life to teaching people how different is God’s view of suffering, poverty and lack of human appreciation from the foolish wisdom of the world. After sin, suffering had to follow so that, through the cross, man’s lost glory and life with God might be regained. Suffering is the way to heaven. In the cross is salvation, in the cross is victory. God willed it so. He Himself assumed the obligation of suffering in view of the glory of redemption. St. Paul makes it clear to us how all the disasters of this earthly life are insignificant, how they must be considered as nothing and passing, in comparison with the glory that will be revealed to us when the time of suffering is past, and we come to share in God’s glory.

Mary, who kept all God’s words in her heart, in the fullness of grace granted her, understood the great value of suffering. While the apostles fled, she went out to meet the Savior on the way to Calvary and stood beneath the cross, in order to share His grief and shame to the end. And she carried Him to the grave, firmly trusting that He would rise.

We object when He hands us the chalice of His suffering. It is so difficult for us to resign ourselves to suffering. To rejoice in it strikes us as heroic. What is the value of our offering of self if we unite ourselves each morning only in word and gesture, rather than in thought and will, to that offering which we, together with the Church, make of Him with whom we are in the one body?

Jesus once wept over Jerusalem.

Oh, that this day you had known the gift of God!

Oh, that this day we might realize the value God has placed on the suffering He sends: He, the All-Good.

Responsory

R/. God forbid that I glory except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, * by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
V/. We preach Christ crucified, to others a stumbling block and a folly, but to us the power and the wisdom of God, * by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Prayer

Lord our God, source and giver of life,
you gave to Blessed Titus the Spirit of courage
to proclaim human dignity and the freedom of the Church,
even in the throes of degrading persecution and death.
Grant us that same Spirit
so that in the coming of your kingdom of justice and peace
we might never be ashamed of the Gospel
but be enabled to recognize your loving-kindness
in all the events of our lives.

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.

 

Titus-Brandsma_Rector-Magnificus
Blessed Titus Brandsma, Rector Magnificus of the Catholic University of Nijmegen

 

Titus Brandsma_Word has been received_Wichita Cath Advance 11sept42
Wichita Catholic Advance, 11 September 1942

Quote of the day: 21 June

You can’t be sort of a saint,
you have to be a total saint
or not at all.

 

LT-247_2 (3)

 

This quote comes from St. Thérèse’s letter to seminarian Maurice Bellière, written 21 June 1897. Thérèse had been corresponding with the seminarian since October 1896.

Thérèse’s remark falls within the context of Bellière’s comments to Mother Agnès in his initial letter of 15 October 1895 that he had aspirations of sanctity as a seminarian, but in the awareness of his weakness, he requested that one of the nuns should pray for him.

Thérèse describes Bellière’s letter in Manuscript C and makes mention of that letter when she writes to him on 21 June:

Sometimes Jesus likes “to reveal his secrets to infants“; the proof is that after having read your first letter from 15 Oct 95, I thought the same thing as your Director: you can’t be sort of a saint, you have to be a total saint or not at all.

Mother Agnès responded to Bellière’s initial letter of 15 October with words of encouragement for his spiritual life and tells him that she has assigned Thérèse to accompany him in prayer and sacrifice.

On 23 October 1895, the young seminarian — bursting with hope and renewed spiritual energy —  replied to Mother Agnès:

Now, I’m not afraid anymore, and I feel in my heart a new passion that will prevail. I will be a saint, I want to be a saint — besides that, a priest, a missionary, especially a Saint — and if I say saint, why not say martyr. What an ideal, Mother — priest, apostle, and martyr!  

To cast the words of Thérèse in the 21st-century context, the translator researches the use of the modifier à demi in the previous centuries. How did André Gide and Georges Bernanos use the expression? In the examples given in the University of Lorraine’s online masterpiece, the 16-volume dictionary Trésor de la Langue Française, Gide and Bernanos evoke concepts such as somewhat, partial, tentative, and incomplete. The TLF couldn’t be any clearer when it states that the antonym is tout à fait (which was the choice of Thérèse), i.e., completely or totally.

Our desire as a translator is always to preserve fidelity to the original text by thoroughly researching the context, the setting, and the historical record of the language. Today’s tools, such as ATILF and the invaluable online Archives of the Carmel of Lisieux, offer many expanded options to achieve these goals. We are grateful to our Discalced Carmelite predecessors who labored long and hard over the past century to bring the words of Thérèse to English-speaking readers. From time to time, we will continue to add our small contributions to their monumental work.

As St. Thérèse herself noted in her letter, “I sensed that you might have an energetic soul and it’s for that reason that I was happy to become your sister.” Translators need energetic souls to undertake and persevere in their work, too. Thanks for being our sister, Thérèse!


Here is the original paragraph from LT 247, the letter from St. Thérèse to Abbé Bellière dated 21 June 1897, which also was the feast day of Mother Marie de Gonzague.

LT-247
LT 247 – A l’abbé Bellière – 21 Juin 1897

Quelquefois Jésus se plaît «à révéler ses secrets aux plus petits», la preuve, c’est qu’après avoir lu votre première lettre du 15 oct. 95, j’ai pensé la même chose que votre Directeur: Vous ne pourrez être un saint à demi, il vous faudra l’être tout à fait ou pas du tout. J’ai senti que vous deviez avoir une âme énergique et c’est pour cela que je fus heureuse de devenir votre soeur.

You can read the complete text of Letter 247 here in French and the English translation by Fr. John Clarke, OCD here. The complete text of Abbé Bellière’s 23 October 1895 letter to Mother Agnès is found here in French. Studies on the 15 October correspondence and the subsequent reply were published in the scholarly journal Vie Thérèsienne, nos. 12, 13, 14, October 1963 — April 1964; and nos. 66-69, October 1963 — April 1964.

 

Translation from the French is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission. This blog post is dedicated in honor of Père François-Marie Léthel, O.C.D.  sine qua non

 

Quote of the day: 19 June

Totus Tuus

These words in Latin, continually prayed and recopied by John Paul II at the top of the first four pages of his manuscripts, are found at the end of the Treatise on True Devotion to the Blessed Virgin by Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, when the Saint invites the faithful to live the Eucharistic communion with Mary and in Mary (Treatise, no. 266)…

We should underline that this Totus Tuus becomes, from 1940 to 2005, the enduring guideline for the entire life of  Karol Wojtyła, as a seminarian and priest, and then as a bishop and pope.

When he was nominated as Auxiliary Bishop of Krakow in 1958 by Pius XII, it was then that he chose Totus Tuus as his episcopal motto, together with the emblem that symbolizes Christ the Redeemer and Mary close to him, the same coat of arms that he will maintain as pope.

TotusTuus Autograph
Totus Tuus: the guideline of the life of John Paul II | Screenshot of the gift to Camerino, 3 March 1991 

And especially, he will live this right up to the end, in the great suffering of the final months. After the tracheostomy, when he will no longer be able to speak, one last time he will write the words, Totus Tuus.

Further, I can add my own personal testimony, having been invited to lunch with John Paul II along with Cardinal Ratzinger and a small group of theologians, in 1987. We had spoken about the Treatise of Louis-Marie with the Holy Father. I was seated at the table next to Bishop Stanisław Dziwisz, who told me: “The Holy Father opens this book every day!”

François-Marie Léthel, O.C.D.
La Lumière du Christ dans le Coeur de l’Église
Meditation 3

2011 Benedict XVI Léthel Vatican Retreat
Pope Benedict XVI and François-Marie Léthel, O.C.D. (2011) | Photo source: Discalced Carmelites

 

Lethel, François-Marie. (2011) La Lumière du Christ dans le Coeur de l'Église: Jean-Paul II et la théologie des saints. 
© 2011, Librairie Éditrice Vaticane. Pour la langue française: © Éditions Parole et Silence, 2011.
Translation from the French is the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission.

 

12 June: Blessed Alphonsus Mary Mazurek and Companions

June 12
BLESSED ALPHONSUS MARY MAZUREK,
Priest of Our Order

AND COMPANIONS, Martyrs

Optional Memorial

He was born in 1891 at Baranowka, near Lubartow, Poland. He entered the Order of Discalced Carmelites in 1908, taking the religious name Alphonsus Mary of the Holy Spirit. He was ordained a priest and appointed as a professor while dedicating himself to the education of youth. Afterward, he served in his Order as prior and bursar. In 1944, after having been arrested by the troops that had invaded his country, he was shot on 28 August at Nawojowa Gora, near Krzeszowice. He was beatified by John Paul II on 13 June 1999, together with many other Polish martyrs.

From the common of several martyrs; psalms from the current weekday

Office of Readings

Second Reading
From the addresses of Pope John Paul II
(OR 7-8 June 1999 p. 11; 18/6/1999, p. 4)

Blessed are those who are persecuted in the cause of uprightness

Blessed are those who are persecuted in the cause of uprightness: the kingdom of Heaven is theirs. In a particular way, this beatitude places the events of Good Friday before our eyes. Christ was condemned to death as a criminal and then crucified. On Calvary, it seemed he had been abandoned by God and left at the mercy of people’s derision.

The Gospel proclaimed by Christ was put to a radical test: those who were present at the event cried out, He is the king of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. Christ does not descend from the cross since he is faithful to his Gospel. He suffers human injustice. Only in this way, in fact, is he able to accomplish the justification of mankind.

Above all, he wanted the words of the sermon on the mount to be verified in himself: Blessed are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven; this is how they persecuted the prophets before you. To whom do these words still apply? To many, many people throughout humanity’s history, to whom it was given to suffer persecution for the sake of justice. We know that the first three centuries after Christ were marked by persecutions, at times terrible, particularly under some Roman emperors from Nero to Diocletian. Even though these ceased from the time of the Edict of Milan, nevertheless they broke out again in various historical eras, in numerous places throughout the world.

Even our century has written a great martyrology. I myself, over the twenty years of my pontificate, have elevated to the glory of the altar numerous groups of martyrs: Japanese, French, Vietnamese, Spanish, Mexican. How many there were during the period of the Second World War and under the communist totalitarian system! They suffered and gave their lives in the Hitlerian or Soviet extermination camps.

The time has now come to remember all these victims and to render due honor to them. These are often Nameless, “unknown soldiers” as it were, of God’s great cause, as I wrote in the Apostolic Letter Tertio Millennio Adveniente. It is also good to speak of them on Polish land since here there was a particular sharing in this contemporary martyrology. They are an example for us to follow. From their blood, we should draw strength for the sacrifice of our life, which we ought to offer to God every day. They are an example for us to give a courageous witness of fidelity to the Cross of Christ, as they did.

I am happy that I was able to beatify, among the one hundred and eight martyrs, Blessed Father Alphonsus Mary Mazurek, a pupil, and much later, a well-deserving educator in the minor seminary connected to the Discalced Carmelite monastery. I had an occasion of meeting personally with this witness to Christ, who in 1944, as Prior of the Czerna monastery, sealed his faithfulness to God with death through martyrdom. I kneel in veneration before his relics which rest in the church of Saint Joseph and I thank God for the gift of the life, the martyrdom, and sanctity of this great religious.

Responsory
Cf Mt 5:11-12; Jn 15:20

R/. Blessed are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you falsely on my account.
* Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven (alleluia).
R/. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.
* Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven (alleluia).

Prayer

May the prayers of your martyrs
Blessed Alphonsus Mary and companions,
prevail with you, Lord, on our behalf:
Let them strengthen us in our witness to your truth.

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

 

Alphonsus Maria Mazurek_564x389
Blessed Alphonsus Mary Mazurek (1891-1944) | Photo credit: Discalced Carmelite Order

Quote of the day: 2 June

God is eternal silence

 

nature water flowers lake
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

God dwells in silence

 


Père Jacques of Jesus, O.C.D.
Silence
Retreat for the Carmel of Pontoise, Conference Eight 
Thursday evening, 9 September 1943


The Servant of God Jacques de Jésus, O.C.D., who was a professed friar of the Province of Paris-Avon, an ordained priest, and the headmaster of the Discalced Carmelite friars’ boys’ preparatory school at Avon, the Petit Collège Sainte-Thérèse de l’Enfant-Jésusdied on this date, 2 June 1945 in St. Elizabeth Hospital in Linz, Austria following 70 weeks in Nazi prison camps. Père Jacques was weakened by a year of hard labor and harsh conditions at Mauthausen and Gusen concentration camps in Austria; when the Allied Forces liberated the camps on 5 May 1945, he summoned the strength to help restore order and organize relief efforts. But 15 days later the Allied camp commanders transferred him to St. Elizabeth Hospital so that he could be close to the community of the Discalced Carmelite friars at Linz. It was there that he succumbed to illness and exhaustion at 45 years of age.

The diocesan process of his cause for beatification was opened in 1990. You can find the prayer for his beatification here and the website for his cause here.

The World Holocaust Remembrance Center Yad Vashem has a featured story dedicated to Père Jacques. It includes a description of his heroic acts to shelter Jewish students at the preparatory school, for which he was arrested. It also quotes the testimony of witnesses to his arrest and imprisonment and provides links to read full accounts of witnesses’ testimonies. On 17 January 1985 Yad Vashem recognized Père Jacques as Righteous Among the Nations. You can read the Yad Vashem featured story, find the links, and see the Yad Vashem photos here.

Listen to the Silence – A Retreat with Père Jacques, is available for purchase from the publisher, ICS Publications.

 

Listen to the Silence - A Retreat with Père Jacques 
Translated and edited by Francis J. Murphy
ICS Publications © Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites, Inc.

Quote of the day: 28 May

We have the duty to assist the pope

 

In the Church, the Holy Father is infallible in matters of faith and morals. The Holy Father appoints bishops who ordain priests, and approves and establishes religious congregations. Through the pastors of the Church, all of us receive the truth of the faith, and thus there is created a unity between us here present and the Holy Father. And if we obey the pope, we obey the Lord Jesus, according to his own words addressed to Peter and the other apostles: “Whoever hears you, hears me” [Lk 10:16].

Therefore, we have the duty to assist the pope, and if we are unable to do it in other ways, let us help with prayers and good works.

Saint Raphael Kalinowski
The Church is Our Home
Conference to the Discalced Carmelite Secular Order in Wadowice
Wednesday, 29 March 1893

 

Paten_of_Płock
Chalice and paten of Konrad of Masovia | Maksymilian Fajans / Wikimedia Commons

 

Saint Raphael Kalinowski: An Introduction to his Life and Spirituality (p. 41)
Szczepan T. Praskiewicz: translated by Thomas Coonan, Michael Griffin, and Lawrence Sullivan.
ICS Publications © Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites, Inc. 1998, 2016

Quote of the day: 1 March

“Munire digneris me, Domine Iesu Christe…, signo sacratissimae Crucis tuae: ac concedere digneris mihi… ut, sicut hanc Crucem, Sanctorum tuorum reliquiis refertam, ante pectus meum teneo, sic semper mente retineam et memoriam passionis, et sanctorum victorias Martyrum: this is the prayer recited by the Bishop as he puts on the pectoral cross. Today I make of this invocation the prayer of the entire Church in Poland which, bearing for a thousand years the marks of the Passion of Christ, is constantly regenerated by the seed of the blood of the martyrs and draws life from the memory of their victory on earth.

Saint John Paul II
Homily for the Beatification of the 108 Polish Martyrs
Warsaw, Sunday, 13 June 1999

Alphonsus Maria Mazurek_564x389
Blessed Alphonsus Maria Mazurek was born in 1891 at Baranowka, near Lubartow, Poland. He entered the Order of Discalced Carmelites in 1908, taking the religious name Alphonsus Mary of the Holy Spirit. He was ordained a priest and appointed as a professor, while dedicating himself to the education of youth. Afterwards he served in his Order as prior and bursar. In 1944, after having been arrested by the troops that had invaded his country, he was shot by the Gestapo on 28th August at Nawojowa Gora, near Krzeszowice. He was beatified by John Paul II on 13th June 1999, among the 108 Blessed Polish martyrs. | Photo credit: Discalced Carmelite Order

 

“Deign Thou, O Lord Jesus Christ, to guard me from all the snares of every enemy, by the sign of Thy most holy Cross: and deign Thou to grant to me, Thy unworthy servant, that as I hold before my breast this Cross with the relics of Thy Saints within it, so may I ever keep in mind the memory of the Passion, and the holy victorious Martyrs.”

BRANDSMA - I am quite alright in my solitude Blogfeatimage

Very best greetings from cell 577 Scheveningen.

I am alone here. Two by four (meters) and the height is also four. A cell dwelt in becomes sweet, says Thomas à Kempis. I already feel at home here. I pray, read and write, the days are too short. From eight till seven it is night.

I am quite all right in my solitude, although I miss the church, Mass, communion, and although no priest comes here. Yet God is near to me, now that I cannot go to people any more, nor people to me. I am very calm, happy and content, and I adapt myself. I will hold out very well.

Your Fr. Titus, Carmelite

Blessed Titus Brandsma
Letter to confreres and family from Scheveningen German Police Prison (excerpts)
February 12, 1942

Titus Brandsma was born in the Frisian city of Bolsward, Holland, 23 February 1881

This video gives details about Brandsma’s imprisonment in Scheveningen

therese - i came to save souls spanish
Sí, el sufrimiento me tendió los brazos, y yo me arrojé en ellos con amor…
A los pies de Jesús-Hostia, en el interrogatorio que precedió a mi
profesión, declaré lo que venía a hacer en el Carmelo: «He venido para
salvar almas, y, sobre todo, para orar por los sacerdotes».  (Ms A, 69v)
BAEZ - The priesthood is not IGsize
“The priesthood is a mission received from God; it isn’t a job, it’s a loving surrender to others in the name of God. This means being ministers – not performing functions, but serving with joy – without depending on things that happen and without relying on worldly powers.”
(Bishop Silvio Báez, Homily for the Ordination of Oscar Martínez, C.Ss.R., 29 December 2018)

A Carmelite witness: “My first year as a priest”

Father Nicholas Blackwell shares his reflection on silence, prayer, community, and the Virgin Mary, and the ways that they have informed his life as he observes the first anniversary of his priestly ordination. He writes:

The gift of the priesthood and my consecrated life are sources of great joy to me and I hope to others. During this year many extraordinary things have occurred to help me appreciate the simple moments with my Carmelite brothers and sisters, parishioners, and fellow clergy, but I have learned one important thing from my community: namely, that events in one’s life need to be celebrated. It is in this light that I feel called to offer a reflection about my first year as a priest.

Discover more of Father Nicholas’ reflections in his latest article for The Catholic Stand 

The Marie du jour – May 2

Monsieur l’Abbé,

I had asked our Reverend Mother for permission to write and tell you how completely one my soul was with yours during these last days before your ordination; but now that I draw near you, before the great mystery that is being prepared, I can only be silent . . . and adore the exceeding love of our God!

With the Virgin, you can sing your “Magnificat” and leap with joy in God your Savior, for the Almighty is doing great things in you, and His mercy is eternal. . . . Then, like Mary, “keep all that in your heart,” draw your heart very close to hers, for this priestly Virgin is also the “Mother of Divine Grace,” and in her love she wants to prepare you to become “that faithful priest who is entirely according to God’s heart” of whom He speaks in Holy Scripture….

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity
Excerpt from Letter 232 to Abbé Chevignard
Around 25 June 1905

The Complete Works of Elizabeth of the Trinity volume 2: Letters from Carmel (p. 204)
ICS Publications, Washington DC

 

Immaculate Conception chasuble embroidery
Cope hood, ca. 1850 – Dominican Sisters of St Catherine of Siena, Staffordshire, England (Photo credit: Fr. Lawrence Lew, OP)

 

 

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