St. Titus Brandsma’s commitment to the vow of poverty in solidarity with the poor was unshakeable. He wrote, “Without poverty, a religious is a Pharisee, a gentleman of ease pretending to be a poor man.” And in his conferences he taught, “Giving alms is our way of life.”
Monsignor Joseph de Beaufort was the first biographer of Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection. In 1692 he published a Eulogy testifying to the virtues of the humble Carmelite. One example: "He had singular affection for the Blessed Virgin Mary and was especially devoted to her..."
Today St. Edith Stein shares with a close friend that Edith realized religious life isn't a matter of naval-gazing but rather an imperative "to carry the divine life" into the world. And the "the deeper one is drawn into God", the greater is this mandate.
Carmelite scholar Father François de Sainte-Marie shares several gems of wisdom from Blessed John Soreth concerning the Carmelite Rule. Here's one example" "Do you want to get to heaven? Embrace the baseness of poverty and it will be yours..."
We recall the anniversary of St. Elizabeth of the Trinity's Confirmation on 8 June 1891 in the Church of Notre-Dame of Dijon, with eyewitness testimony provided by her biographer, Father Conrad de Meester, O.C.D.
Titus Brandsma writes to a formator many years later, "You came to my bedside [as a second-year philosophy student] and would not allow me to think about my studies, you wouldn’t even allow me to talk about philosophy... More than a professor, for me you were a father."
On the feast day of the male religious who died in the Spanish Revolution in the 1930s, we recall St Teresa's counsel from the Way of Perfection: "It is clear that if someone is a true religious or a true person of prayer and aims to enjoy the delights of God, he must not turn his back upon the desire to die for God and suffer martyrdom."
On this day in 1888, young Thérèse Martin entered the Carmel of Lisieux. Her sister Marie wrote that day to their father, St. Louis Martin: "O best of fathers, how accountable we would be if we didn’t become saints, and if we didn’t follow in the footsteps of your generosity… "
On Holy Thursday, 1 April 1920, St Teresa of the Andes began to experience the first signs of her terminal illness, typhus. One year earlier she wrote to a friend, "Religious life, my little sister, is nothing but a life of sacrifice. The soul has given itself to God and must give itself entirely, for love leaves nothing for itself; it consumes everything so that from these ashes, one single person may rise: Christ."
At the foot of your Cross, Beloved… Jesus, my crucified Love I just told you again to take My heart without ever giving it back to me...
I made a covenant with my eyes not to be watching to see what beauty might come down to me. Christ is my beauty; Him alone I see.
Formerly, little Mother, I used to like to think that in heaven I would know all the marvels of nature, all the beauty of the stars and their immensity. Now, all that holds little interest for me, and I desire only one thing — to lose myself in Him Who has done so many wonderful things....
St. Zélie Martin confides in her sister-in-law that she is worried about Léonie's future. "If it only took the sacrifice of my life for her to become a saint, I would give it willingly."
Pauline Martin explains that Thérèse "could have legitimately taken the Habit... before the end of October, but she in fact didn’t take the Habit until 10th January 1889."
On 10 August 1591 Saint John of the Cross transferred from the friars’ convent in Segovia to the solitude of La Peñuela
God wishes religious to be religious — in such a way that they be done with all and that all be done with them
By opening the door of our heart to love for God, this love dissolves all self-love in us. But we must open the door!