Quote of the day: 7 January

The Doctorate of St. Teresa:

The historical development of an idea

(excerpts)

Fr. Valentino Macca, O.C.D.

Ephemerides Carmeliticae
Vol. 21 (1970/1-2) pp. 35-113


 

The Positio, concluded by this favorable judgment of the Promoter General of Faith, was distributed to all the Cardinals and Prelates of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, to whom the matter was submitted:

An, attentis insigni vitae sanctitate et eminenti doctrina eiusque benefico in vita Ecclesiae pondere, procedi posse arbitrarentur ad Sanctam Teresiam a Iesu Ecclesiae Doctorem declarandam.

The matter was then dealt with directly in the meeting that the Sacred Congregation held at the Vatican on 15 July 1969, the eve of the solemn Commemoration of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel. After the learned and widespread report of Card. Arcadio M. Larraona, Promoter of the Cause, Cardinals and Official Prelates of the Sacred Congregation unanimously decided that St. Teresa of Avila was worthy of being inscribed by the Supreme Pontiff in the catalog of the Doctors of the Church.

The following 21 July, Paul VI, informed of the favorable judgment of the Sacred Congregation, approved the decision and ordered that St. Teresa of Jesus be numbered among the Doctors of the Church, reserving for himself the determination of the day of proclamation, and giving the order that the corresponding Apostolic Brief should be prepared. 

All of this is reflected in the Decree Urbis et Orbis of 21 July of the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of the Saints.

According to this decree, therefore, St. Teresa of Avila has already been declared a Doctor of the Church. However, the solemn proclamation that the Holy Father, as was later announced, will make during a solemn ceremony in St. Peter’s on 27 September 1970, has not yet taken place.

We have presented the historical development of the idea of the Doctorate of St. Teresa of Avila from its humble and at the same time already powerful origins immediately after the Saint’s death until the happy official goal that now is approaching. It is an idea that immediately emerged with extraordinary clarity, even if not in strictly canonical terms, given the extraordinary value of Our Holy Mother Teresa’s doctrine and the widespread diffusion and influence that her books and her Magisterium soon had, praised by Popes and Bishops, exalted by the liturgy, used by Doctors and mystical writers, which became more and more an unquestionable authority in the field of mystical theology. While many believed that with Teresa of Jesus we were faced with a typical case of the Church declaring a Doctor equipollenter, from 1882 onwards, however, with ever greater insistence the voices were heard of those who implored a formal declaration. In 1923, an appeal was made to the Holy See to achieve this intention; it failed. The time was not ripe.

Providence arranged that in the climate of grace created by Vatican II, Paul VI, so supernaturally open to the signs of the times, should have the inspiration to give for the first time to a female Saint, distinguished for a marvelous doctrine that made her the teacher and mother of spiritual life in the Church, the title of Doctor.

The Pope, chosen by God for this act, had already in 1965 practically called her Doctor; in 1967 he greeted her as “great teacher of Catholic mysticism” and “extraordinary interpreter of the things of God”; while on 10 September 1965, he declared her principal patroness of all Catholic writers in Spain, affirming that she was the “luminary of Spain and of the whole Church” through her books, filled with heavenly wisdom, and even today she remains “praestantissima magistra” [exceptional teacher].

The solemn act of 27 September 1970—crowning all of this—will give the title, full rights, and honors of “Doctor of the Church” to the one who loved to call herself “daughter of the Church”.

Fr. Valentino di Santa Maria, o.c.d.

17 February 1924 – 7 January 1988

 

Teresa Doctor Valladolid portrait red background
Convento de la Concepción del Carmen de Valladolid | Ángel Cantero, Iglesia en Valladolid / Flickr

 

 


Father Valentino Macca, O.C.D. was a native of Brescia, Italy whose decades of service to the Discalced Carmelite Order left an indelible impression. He entered the Order at age 16 in the convent at Brescia, professing his solemn vows in 1945. When he completed his theological studies at the Teresianum in Rome, Cardinal Adeodato Piazza ordained him to the priesthood in 1950. Not long after, Father Valentino began to serve the Order at the General Curia in Rome. First, he served as a member of the communications team, the Centro Informativo; next, he labored as General Archivist, eventually assuming the direction of the Analecta O.D.C. as well.

Father Valentino distinguished himself for many years as the professor of Marian Spirituality and Mariology at the Marianum in Rome; to this day, Mariologists cite his published works. He served as a consultor to various dicasteries of the Holy See; his final curial assignment before his death was as a Relator for the Congregation of the Causes of the Saints. The library of the Teresianum in Rome lists 40 titles in its catalog where Father Macca is either the author, editor, or even the subject. We are pleased to bring an excerpt from his writings on Carmelite history to our readers. For a more complete biography of Father Valentino in Italian, we direct our readers to the Enciclopedia Bresciana article here.

 

Translations from the Italian are the blogger’s own work product and may not be reproduced without permission.

4 January: St. Kuriakos Elias Chavara

January 4
SAINT KURIAKOS ELIAS CHAVARA
Priest

Optional Memorial
In the provinces of India, Memorial

 

Saint Kuriakos Elias Chavara, co-founder and first prior general of the congregation of the Carmelites of Mary Immaculate, was born at Kainakary in Kerala, India, February 10, 1805. He entered the seminary in 1818, and was ordained priest in 1829. He made his religious profession in 1855, in the congregation he founded. In 1861, he was named vicar general for the Syro-Malabar church; in this capacity he defended ecclesial unity threatened by schism when mar Tomas Rochos was sent from Mesopotamia to consecrate Nestorian bishops. Throughout his life he worked for the renovation of the church in Malabar. He was also co-founder in 1866 of the congregation of the Sisters of the Mother of Carmel. Above all, he was a man of prayer, zealous for the Eucharistic Lord, and devoted to the Immaculate Virgin Mary. He died at Koonammavu in 1871. His body was transferred to Mannanam in 1889.

From the Common of Pastors or of Holy Men (Religious)

Office of Readings

The Second Reading

From a note written on the day of his death, by his spiritual director Fr. Leopold Beccaro

Day and night he fought to arrest the spread of schism

Today, Tuesday, January 3, 1871, at 7:15 in the morning, Fr. Cyriac (Kuriakos) Elias of the Holy Family, the first Prior, died after a life of great innocence. He could declare before his death he had never lost his baptismal innocence. He was exercising himself in the practice of virtues, especially in simplicity of heart, living faith, tender obedience, and devotion to the Most Blessed Sacrament, to the Blessed Virgin Mary and to St. Joseph. He has undergone immense hardships for the good of the Christians of Malabar, especially during the time of the schism of Rochos, when he, having been appointed vicar general of the Syrians, showed his extraordinary devotion to the Holy See. He fought day and night to arrest the spread of schism from which he would save no less than forty parishes. On this account the Holy Father Pope Pius IX sent him a letter expressing his great satisfaction. He was the founder and the first Prior of the Carmelites of Malabar. He founded also the convent of nuns after undergoing many hardships. On account of his endearing virtues, learning and profound knowledge of the Syriac language he enjoyed great influence on the Syrians of Malabar. He was always greatly loved by the Vicars Apostolic of Malabar, and even more by the people of Malabar, the gentiles and Nestorians not excluded. He endured his last illness for two years in a spirit of great resignation, nay with joy. He was detached from all disorderly affections for earthly things, which was all the more true in the last days of his life. Having received the last sacraments with extraordinary piety and devotion, in a heavenly joy, and amidst the tears of all who knew him, especially my own, who knew him even as myself, he breathed his last at the age of sixty-five and was buried in the church of St. Philomena at Koonammavu. O holy and beautiful soul, pray for me.

Responsory

R/. You adorned my soul with all graces *
so that the angels too may find joy in that.
V/. You took care, besides, that my name might be inscribed in the book of life *
so that the angels too may find joy in that.

Prayer

Lord God,
You raised up Saint Kuriakos Elias your priest
to strengthen the unity of the Church.
Grant that through his intercession
we may be enlightened by the Holy Spirit
to read the signs of the times with wisdom
and spread the news of the Gospel
by both word and example.

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.

 

 

Kuriakose Elias Chavara 011 T
Credit: rejijoseph.com (used by permission)

Quote of the day: 14 November

Let us remember this one thing. Throughout his life, Christ was unsparing of himself in his zeal to save souls. Our saints have likewise been zealous to save souls. Consider Saint Thérèse, as she offered her walk in the garden for a missionary. All our saints have been passionate apostles. So, too, must we be. This morning, we are going to make an examination of conscience in this regard. Are we other Christs and other Apostles? Are we true Carmelites? Or, are we not merely living smugly? Are we completely committed to the apostolate and eager to give our all to the souls who await our help?

Do we live in such a way that Christ is not deeply disappointed in us? We want to take care not to shy away from suffering, not to speak impulsively, and not to seek a life of comfort. We want to take care to follow our Rule in its demanding details and not just in its broad outline. In a word, we want to avoid pretending to be Carmelites, and instead to be genuine Carmelites. A pseudo-Carmelite is a pseudo-apostle. In ten, fifteen or thirty more years, you will come before God to render an account of your life. Then, Christ will show you all the souls you should have saved. You will have no valid excuse and will have to reply: “I could not spare my sleep or I was tired…”

True Carmelites are committed to saving the world. Day by day they grow in prayerfulness and year-by-year they become living embodiments of our Rule and Constitutions. Admittedly, we may be far from perfect at the beginning of our religious life. However, once we have completed our apprenticeship, we must be the living embodiment of our Rule and Constitutions for no other reason than to work with Christ for the salvation of the world. Pray to our saints and to the Virgin Mary to help you to attain that goal. Amen.

Père Jacques of Jesus

Excerpt from a retreat conference
Saturday evening 11 September 1943

 

Père-Jacques-de-Jèsus_portrait-headshot
Servant of God Père Jacques of Jesus, OCD (Lucien Bunel) | Photo credit: Discalced Carmelites
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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.

 

 

14 November: All Carmelite Saints

November 14
ALL CARMELITE SAINTS

Feast

The whole family of Carmel in the homeland, with Mary its Mother at its head, is the reason for our joy and praise to the Father on this day. We recall our brothers and sisters who once dedicated their lives to continual prayer on earth and now share in the worship of heaven. We unite ourselves spiritually to their glory, all the while journeying along the paths they traveled with courage, as they lived in obedience to Christ and followed in the footsteps of Our Lady.

Invitatory

Ant. Jesus, Son of Mary, is the source of all holiness; come, let us worship him.

Invitatory psalm, as in the Ordinary

Office of Readings

Hymn

Come, let us praise the Virgin Queen
Who called her sons from earthly strife
To Carmel, ever since the scene
Of silent eremitic life.

The special call of Christ they heard,
As Mary’s liegemen they lived there,
With her to ponder on God’s word
Absorbed in solitary prayer.

Our prophets flourished, faithful, strong;
Our martyrs stained the ground with blood,
While in their wake the virgin throng
Brought pure and spotless hearts to God.

Hail, flowers from Carmel’s mountainside
And from its vales the lilies white,
With mystic roses opened wide
Of equal fragrance and delight!

You followed Christ your King and Lord
As Mary’s faithful servants there
And pondered on God’s sacred word
In lives of solitude and prayer.

Grant that, on Carmel’s mount of prayer,
We may, from this all-hallowed place,
Spread Jesu’s fragrance everywhere
As we, too, blossom forth in grace.

Praise to the Father evermore
And to the Spirit who indwells,
To Jesus whom that Virgin bore
From whom all Carmel’s beauty wells.

L.M.
Laudemus omnes Virginem

Psalmody

Ant. 1 Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.

Psalm 1

Happy indeed is the man *
who follows not the counsel of the wicked;
nor lingers in the way of sinners *
nor sits in the company of scorners,
but whose delight is the law of the Lord *
and who ponders his law day and night.

He is like a tree that is planted *
beside the flowing waters,
that yields its fruit in due season †
and whose leaves shall never fade; *
and all that he does shall prosper.

Not so are the wicked, not so! †
For they like winnowed chaff *
shall be driven away by the wind.
When the wicked are judged they shall not stand, *
nor find room among those who are just;
for the Lord guards the way of the just *
but the way of the wicked leads to doom.

Ant. Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.

Ant. 2 The Lord has given his heritage to those who fear his name.

Psalm 61

O God, hear my cry! *
Listen to my prayer!
From the end of the earth I call; *
my heart is faint.

On the rock too high for me to reach *
set me on high,
O you who have been my refuge. *
my tower against the foe.

Let me dwell in your tent for ever *
and hide in the shelter of your wings.
For you, O God, hear my prayer, *
grant me the heritage of those who fear you.

May you lengthen the life of the king: *
may his years cover many generations.
May he ever sit enthroned before God: *
bid love and truth be his protection.

So I will always praise your name *
and day after day fulfill my vows.

Ant. The Lord has given his heritage to those who fear his name.

Ant. 3 I will bring them to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer.

Psalm 84

How lovely is your dwelling place, *
Lord, God of hosts.

My soul is longing and yearning, *
is yearning for the courts of the Lord.
My heart and my soul ring out their joy *
to God, the living God.

The sparrow herself finds a home *
and the swallow a nest for her brood;
she lays her young by your altars, *
Lord of hosts, my king and my God.

They are happy, who dwell in your house, *
forever singing your praise.
They are happy, whose strength is in you, *
in whose hearts are the roads to Zion.

As they go through the Bitter Valley †
they make it a place of springs, *
the autumn rain covers it with blessings.
They walk with ever growing strength, *
they will see the God of gods in Zion.

O Lord, God of hosts, hear my prayer, *
give ear, O God of Jacob.
Turn your eyes, O God, our shield, *
look on the face of your anointed.

One day within your courts *
is better than a thousand elsewhere.
The threshold of the house of God *
I prefer to the dwellings of the wicked.

For the Lord God is a rampart, a shield; *
he will give us his favor and glory.
The Lord will not refuse any good *
to those who walk without blame.

Lord, God of hosts, *
happy the man who trusts in you!

Ant. I will bring them to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer.

Everlasting light will shine upon your saints, Lord.
And they will live forever.

First Reading
From the book of Revelation
19:1-10; 21:1-7

The glory of the saints in the new Jerusalem

I, John, heard what sounded like the loud song of a great assembly in heaven. They were singing:

“Alleluia!
Salvation, glory and might belong to our God,
for his judgments are true and just!
He has condemned the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her harlotry.
He has avenged the blood of his servants which was shed by her hand.”

Once more they sang “Alleluia!” And as the smoke began to rise from her forever and ever, the four and twenty elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God seated on the throne and sang, “Amen! Alleluia!” A voice coming from the throne cried out:

“Praise our God, all you his servants,
the small and the great, who revere him!”

Then I heard what sounded like the shouts of a great crowd, or the roaring of the deep, or mighty peals of thunder, as they cried:

“Alleluia!
The Lord is king,
our God, the Almighty!
Let us rejoice and be glad, and give him glory!
For this is the wedding day of the Lamb;
his bride has prepared herself for the wedding.
She has been given a dress to wear made of finest linen, brilliant white”

(The linen dress is the virtuous deeds of God’s saints.)

The angel then said to me: “Write this down: Happy are they who have been invited to the wedding feast of the Lamb.” The angel continued, “These words are true; they come from God.” I fell at his feet to worship him, but he said to me, “No, get up! I am merely a fellow servant with you and your brothers who give witness to Jesus. Worship God alone. The prophetic spirit proves itself by witnessing to Jesus.”

Then I saw new heavens and a new earth. The former heavens and the former earth had passed away, and the sea was no longer. I also saw a new Jerusalem, the holy city, coming down out of heaven from God, beautiful as a bride prepared to meet her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne cry out: “This is God’s dwelling among men. He shall dwell with them and they shall be his people, and he shall be their God, who is always with them. He shall wipe every tear from their eyes, and there shall be no more death or mourning, crying out or pain, for the former world has passed away.

The One who sat on the throne said to me, “See, I make all things new!” Then he said, “Write these matters down, for the words are trustworthy and true!” He went on to say: “These words are already fulfilled! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To anyone who thirsts I will give to drink without cost from the spring of life-giving water. He who wins the victory shall inherit these gifts; I will be his God and he shall be my son.”

Responsory

All who are victorious shall be clothed in white garments,
and I will not blot their names out of the book of life.
To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the fountain of life,
and I will not blot their names out of the book of life.

Second Reading
From the works of Saint Teresa of Jesus

Int. Cast., V, 1:2; Way, 11:4;
Found., 14:4; 4:6, 7; 29:33

We belong to a race of saints

All of us who wear this holy habit of Carmel are called to prayer and contemplation. This explains our origin; we are the descendants of those who felt this call, of those holy fathers on Mount Carmel who in such great solitude and contempt for the world sought this treasure, this precious pearl of contemplation that we are speaking about.

Let us remember our holy forebears of the past, those hermits whose lives we aim to imitate. We must remember our real founders, those holy fathers whose descendants we are. It was by way of poverty and humility, we know, that they came to the enjoyment of God.

On the subject of the beginnings of Orders, I sometimes hear it said that the Lord gave greater graces to those saints who went before us because they were the foundations. Quite so, but we too must always bear in mind what it means to be foundations for those who will come later. For if those of us who are alive now have not fallen away from what they did in the past, and those who come after us do the same, the building will always stand firm. What use is it to me for the saints of the past to have been what they were, if I come along after them and behave so badly that I leave the building in ruins because of my bad habits? For obviously those who come later don’t remember those who have died years before as clearly as they do the people they see around them. A fine state of affairs it is if I insist that I am not one of the first, and do not realize what a difference there is between my life and virtues, and the lives of those God has endowed with such graces!

Any of you who sees your Order falling away in any respect, must try to be the kind of stone the building can be rebuilt with—the Lord will help to rebuild it.

For love of our Lord I beg them to remember how quickly everything comes to an end, and what a favor our Lord has done us in bringing us to this Order, and what a punishment anyone who starts any kind of relaxation will deserve. They must always look at the race we are descended from—that race of holy prophets. What numbers of saints we have in heaven who have worn this habit of ours! We must have the holy audacity to aspire, with God’s help, to be like them. The struggle will not last long, but the outcome will be eternal.

Responsory

I will make my home with them and walk among them;
I will be their God and they shall be my people.
I will set up my dwelling among them.
I will be their God and they shall be my people.

Where the Vigil Office is celebrated:

Ant. The beauty of Carmel has been given to them; they will see the glory of the Lord and the splendor of our God.

Canticle I

Wisdom 3:1-6

The souls of the just are in the hands of God

Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord. Now … let them rest from their labors (Revelation 14:13).

The souls of the just are in the hand of God, *
and no torment shall touch them.

They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead; *
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction. *
But they are in peace.

For if to others, indeed, they seem punished,
yet is their hope full of immortality; *
Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them *
and found them worthy of himself.

As gold in the furnace, he proved them, *
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.

Canticle II

Wisdom 3:7-9

The future glory of the just

The just shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father (Matthew 13:43)

In the time of their visitation they shall shine *
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
They shall judge nations and rule over peoples, *
and the LORD shall be their King forever.

Those who trust in him shall understand truth, *
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones, *
and his care is with the elect.

Canticle III

Wisdom 10:17-21

God leads his people to deliverance

Those who had overcome the beast sang the canticle of Moses, the servant of God, and the canticle of the Lamb (Revelation 15:2, 3).

God gave the holy ones the recompense of their labors, *
conducted them by a wondrous road,
and became a shelter for them by day *
and a starry flame by night.

He took them across the Red Sea *
and brought them through the deep waters
but their enemies he overwhelmed, *
and cast them up from the bottom of the depths.

Therefore the righteous despoiled the wicked;
and they sang, O Lord, your holy name *
a
nd praised in unison your conquering hand
because Wisdom opened the mouths of the dumb, *
and gave ready speech to infants

Gospel
Mt 25:34-46

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew

In so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me 

Jesus said to his disciples: “The King will say to those on his right hand, ‘Come, you whom my Father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.’ Then the virtuous will say to him in reply, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you; or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome; naked and clothe you; sick or in prison and go to see you?’ And the King will answer, ‘I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me.’ Next he will say to those on his left hand, ‘Go away from me, with your curse upon you, to the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you never gave me food; I was thirsty and you never gave me anything to drink; I was a stranger and you never made me welcome, naked and you never clothed me, sick and in prison and you never visited me.’ Then it will be their turn to ask, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty, a stranger or naked, sick or in prison, and did not come to your help?’ Then he will answer, ‘I tell you solemnly, in so far as you neglected to do this to one of the least of these, you neglected to do it to me.’ And they will go away to eternal punishment, and the virtuous to eternal life.”

Hymn, Te Deum.

Prayer

Lord,
may the patronage
of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother,
and the prayers of all the saints of Carmel
help us to walk steadfastly in their footsteps,
and by our prayers and good works
ever further the cause of your Church.

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.

 

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Morning Prayer

Hymn

O Jesus, source of endless life
Be near to help us and defend;
O Mary, Mother of our Lord,
Lead us to heaven in the end.

You angel hosts suffused with life,
You Patriarchs who heard God’s call,
You Prophets, knowing mysteries,
Obtain forgiveness for us all.

O Saints of Carmel, throned above
In Mary’s court, obtain this grace
That where you are in glory now
We too may find a resting place.

May hosts of martyrs intercede
For us on earth, confessors pray
And choirs of holy virgins plead
That God may wash our sins away.

O blessed saints of solitude,
And all the heavenly company,
Obtain for us that life in God
Which lasts for all eternity.

Praise to the Father evermore
And to the Spirit he bestows,
To Jesus whom that Virgin bore
From whom all Carmel’s beauty flows.

L.M.
Jesu, Salvator saeculi

Psalmody

Ant. 1 Your saints, Lord, as they watched in prayer, saw your strength and your glory.

Psalms and canticle from Sunday, Week I

Ant. 2 All you men and women, saints of God, O bless the Lord forever.

Ant. 3 Eye has not seen nor ear heard what God has prepared for those who love him.

Reading
1 Peter 2:9-10

You, however, are a “chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people he claims for his own to proclaim the glorious works” of the One who called you from darkness into his marvelous light. Once you were no people, but now you are God’s people; once there was no mercy for you, but now you have found mercy.

Responsory

Let the just rejoice and sing for joy in the Lord.
Let the just rejoice and sing for joy in the Lord.
Delight in his love, you pure of heart.
And sing for joy in the Lord.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Let the just rejoice and sing for joy in the Lord.

Canticle of Zecharian

Ant. With such a cloud of witnesses around us, let us steadfastly run the race that lies before us, our eyes fixed on Jesus who inspires and perfects our faith.

Intercessions

Let us give thanks to God our Father, who gives us the joy of honoring our brothers and sisters, the saints of Carmel. United with them and with the Virgin Mary, our Mother, let us say:
We glorify you, Lord.

Lord, you called your people into the desert to make with them a covenant of love,
renew your covenant with us in Jesus Christ.

You have made us brothers and sisters of Mary, to keep your word and treasure it in our hearts;
help us to be like her, serving Christ and sharing in his work of salvation.

You called us to follow Elijah in intimacy with you,
may we live continually in your presence, and burn with zeal for your glory.

You raised up our Order in the Church to live in dedication to you and to seek union with you in prayer and contemplation,
may we ever seek your face, and so teach others how to live as your friends.

You gave our saints such apostolic zeal and charity that they did not hesitate to lay down their lives for their brothers and sisters,
may we bear the death of Christ continually in our bodies, and so share his work of redemption, even at the cost of our lives.

Our Father…

Prayer

Lord,
may the patronage
of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother,
and the prayers of all the saints of Carmel
help us to walk steadfastly in their footsteps,
and by our prayers and good works
ever further the cause of your Church.

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.

 

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Daytime Prayer

Antiphons and psalms from the current weekday.

Midmorning

Reading
Ephesians 6:17-18

Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, the word of God. At every opportunity pray in the Spirit, using prayers and petitions of every sort. Pray constantly and attentively for all in the holy company.

Your word is a lamp for my feet.
And a light on my path.

Midday

Reading
Ephesians 5:18b-20

Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and inspired songs. Sing praise to the Lord with all your hearts. Give thanks to God the Father always and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

All your creatures praise you, Lord.
Your saints shall bless your name.

Midafternoon

Reading
2 Corinthians 4:17-18

The present burden of our trial is light enough, and earns for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison. We do not fix our gaze on what is seen but on what is unseen. What is seen is transitory; what is unseen lasts forever.

My chosen ones shall not labor in vain.
They are the offspring of those the Lord has blessed.

Prayer

Lord,
may the patronage
of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother,
and the prayers of all the saints of Carmel
help us to walk steadfastly in their footsteps,
and by our prayers and good works
ever further the cause of your Church.

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.

 

11126863714_d0090a4f48_z

Evening Prayer

Hymn

On Carmel’s mount Our Lady tends
A living garden rich in flowers;
God’s Word has sown the seed of grace,
That grows in silent, prayer-filled hours.

In heaven’s glory Carmel’s saints
With Christ their King for ever reign;
The firstborn Son enfolds in joy
His brethren, born of Mary’s pain.

Dark night gives way to purest light,
The mystic sees with light unsealed;
The saints who bore Christ’s wounds of love
Now see Christ’s wounds in love revealed.

The white-robed martyrs sing the praise
Of Christ, the martyrs’ glorious Lord;
The lowly now are lifted high,
To gain at last their great reward.

Give thanks to God, the fount of grace,
Give thanks to God, our victim-priest,
Give thanks to God, the breath of life,
For Carmel’s saints on their great feast.

L.M.
James Quinn, S.J.

Psalmody

Ant. 1 In my Father’s house there are many mansions, says the Lord.

Psalm 15

Lord, who shall be admitted to your tent *
and dwell on your holy mountain?

He who walks without fault; *
he who acts with justice
and speaks the truth from his heart; *
he who does not slander with his tongue;

he who does no wrong to his brother, *
who casts no slur on his neighbor,
who holds the godless in disdain, *
but honors those who fear the Lord;

he who keeps his pledge, come what may; †
who takes no interest on a loan *
and accepts no bribes against the innocent.
Such a man will stand firm forever.

Ant. In my Father’s house there are many mansions, says the Lord.

Ant. 2 I no longer call you servants, but my friends, for I have shared with you everything I have heard from my Father.

Psalm 112

Happy the man who fears the Lord, *
who takes delight in all his commands.
His sons will be powerful on earth; *
the children of the upright are blessed.

Riches and wealth are in his house; *
his justice stands firm forever.
He is a light in the darkness for the upright: *
he is generous, merciful and just.

The good man takes pity and lends, *
he conducts his affairs with honor.
The just man will never waver: *
he will be remembered forever.

He has no fear of evil news; *
with a firm heart he trusts in the Lord.
With a steadfast heart he will not fear, *
he will see the downfall of his foes.

Open-handed, he gives to the poor; †
his justice stands firm forever. *
His head will be raised in glory.

The wicked man sees and is angry, †
grinds his teeth and fades away; *
the desire of the wicked leads to doom.

Ant. I no longer call you servants, but my friends, for I have shared with you everything I have heard from my Father.

Ant. 3 I heard what seemed to be the mighty voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying: “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God!”

Canticle: Rev 4:11; 5:9, 10, 12

O Lord our God, you are worthy *
to receive glory and honor and power.
For you have created all things; *
by your will they came to be and were made.

Worthy are you, O Lord, *
to receive the scroll and break open its seals.
For you were slain; †
with your blood you purchased for God *
men of every race and tongue, of every people and nation.

You made of them a kingdom and priests to serve our God, *
and they shall reign on the earth.

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, *
to receive power and riches,
wisdom and strength, *
honor and glory and praise.

Ant. I heard what seemed to be the mighty voice of a great multitude in heaven, crying: “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God!”

Reading
Rom 8:28-30

We know that God makes all things work together for the good of those who have been called according to his decree. Those whom he foreknew he predestined to share the image of his Son, that the Son might be the first-born of many brothers. Those he predestined he likewise called; those he called he also justified; and those he justified he in turn glorified.

Responsory

Let the just rejoice and exult at the sight of God.
Let the just rejoice and exult at the sight of God.
They shall delight in holiness,
at the sight of God.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
Let the just rejoice and exult at the sight of God.

Canticle of Mary

Ant. You have left all things and have followed me; you will be repaid a hundred times over, and gain eternal life.

Intercessions

Safe in the protection of Mary, our Mother, let us call upon Jesus, our Lord and Savior, through the intercession of the Saints of Carmel:
Lord, make us holy in the truth.

You have called your faithful ones to Carmel, so that they might follow you more closely in the ways of love;
in love, may we perform the works of truth in your Church.

You have granted everlasting mutual love to those of our family who are with you in heaven;
grant your peace to our communities, and make us one in heart and mind.

It was your will that our saints, pledged to the service of the Blessed Virgin Mary, should reflect her virtues in their lives,
as we go forward each day in newness of life, may we be faithful to the spirit of our Order, endowed with your Mother’s name and patronage.

You raised up the Order of Carmel in your Church to seek union with you in prayer and self-denial, and to share the treasures of contemplation with others;
may we be attentive to the voice of your Spirit within us crying, “Abba, Father,” and ever invite the faithful to the life of prayer.

You are the crown and everlasting reward of our saints;
bring our departed brothers and sisters to share eternal joy with you in heaven.

Our Father…

Prayer

Lord,
may the patronage
of the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Mother,
and the prayers of all the saints of Carmel
help us to walk steadfastly in their footsteps,
and by our prayers and good works
ever further the cause of your Church.

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.

 

All Carmelite Saints Ravenna icon
Iconography from the Carmel of Ravenna, Italy | Photo credit: the Carmelites

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.

12 September: Blessed Mary of Jesus

September 12
BLESSED MARY OF JESUS
Virgin

Memorial

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

From the common of virgins

Office of Readings

Second Reading
From the Interior Castle of Saint Teresa of Avila

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

No one comes to the Father except through me

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

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

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

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

Responsory

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

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

Morning Prayer

Canticle of Zechariah

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

Prayer

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

Evening Prayer

Canticle of Mary

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

 

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

Quote of the day: 5 September

We will be saints, with holiness like that of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Saint John of the Cross, Saint Teresa of Avila and the Little Flower, when God comes to us no longer in divine radiance, but in the form of a crushing threat to our life. Such was the experience of Christ in his Passion.

Even if our human nature recoils in fear and trembling, we will be able to commune with God within the recesses of our soul through abandonment. There lies the key to God’s love and peace.

Père Jacques of Jesus, O.C.D.
Conference 11: Hope and Abandonment
Listen to the Silence – A Retreat with Pere Jacques

 

Day 45 and I'm going to run away Cosmic_Bandita Flickr 1377064986_225536cb6d_o
Day 45…and I’m going to run away | cosmic_bandita / 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: 26 July

While reading a book on the life of St. Anne, the child, when a little more than twelve years old, became very devoted to the saints of Carmel. For the author of the book says that St. Anne’s mother — I believe her name is Merenciana — often went to speak to those saints. The effect this reading had on the girl was one of great devotion to the order of our Lady, for she then promised to become a nun in that order and also made a promise of chastity.

Saint Teresa of Avila
The Book of Her Foundations, Chap. 26
Commenting on the vocation of Beatriz de la Madre de Dios

 

Joachim and Anne, Cuzco artist, Convento de Sta Teresa, Arequipa Peru
The young Virgin with Saints Joachim and Anne
Unidentified Cuzco Artist (Peru, 18th c.), 
Oil on canvas, 18th c.
Convento de Santa Teresa, Arequipa, Peru

 

Jacob did not become less a saint for tending his flock, nor Abraham, nor St. Joachim. When we try to avoid work, everything tires us. That’s the way it goes for me, and for this reason God wills that I be always loaded down with many things to do.

Saint Teresa of Avila
Letter 172 to her brother, Don Lorenzo de Cepeda
2 January 1577

 

The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila
Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D.
ICS Publications Copyright © 1976 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.

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: 15 June

Let us live with God as with a friend, let us make our faith a living faith in order to be in communion with Him through everything, for that is what makes saints.

We possess our Heaven within us

Since He who satisfies the hunger of the glorified in the light of vision gives Himself to us in faith and mystery, it is the Same One! It seems to me that I have found my Heaven on earth since Heaven is God and God is in my soul.

The day I understood that,
everything became clear to me.

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity
Letter 122 to Madame de Sourdon (excerpt)
Shortly after 15 June 1902

 

Sabeth and Guite
Marguerite and Elisabeth Catez (c. 1899) | Photo: Discalced Carmelites

 

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

Quote of the day: 1 June

I ardently desire to live in God’s will, I know that this is this way saints are made, and I want to become a saint to give glory to God.

Blessed Maria Giuseppina of Jesus Crucified (Giuseppina Catanea)
From her diary


Maria Giuseppina of Jesus Crucified, a professed nun of the Discalced Carmelite monastery of Saints Teresa and Joseph at Ponti Rossi in Naples, Italy, was beatified 1 June 2008 in the Cathedral of Naples, Italy. Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe presided at the Eucharist and Rite of Beatification, to whom Cardinal José Saraiva Martins, Prefect of the Sacred Congregation of the Causes of the Saints, sent a message as the representative of Pope Benedict XVI.

 

black and white silhouette of christ the redeemer
Photo by Pedro Sandrini on Pexels.com

Marie du jour: 24 May

True Carmelites are committed to saving the world

 

Day by day they grow in prayerfulness and year-by-year they become living embodiments of our Rule and Constitutions. Admittedly, we may be far from perfect at the beginning of our religious life. However, once we have completed our apprenticeship, we must be the living embodiment of our Rule and Constitutions for no other reason than to work with Christ for the salvation of the world. Pray to our saints and to the Virgin Mary to help you to attain that goal. Amen.

Père Jacques of Jesus, O.C.D.
The Apostolate
Retreat for the Carmel of Pontoise, Conference Thirteen 
Saturday evening, 11 September 1943

Holy Hill main church Erik Aldrich Flickr
A moment of personal reflection and prayer is captured by photographer Erik Aldrich inside the National Shrine of Mary, Help of Christians in Holy Hill, the Discalced Carmelite church and retreat center in Hubertus, Wisconsin | pureimaginations / Flickr

 

Listen to the Silence - A Retreat with Père Jacques (pp. 104) Translated and edited by Francis J. Murphy ICS Publications © Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites, Inc.

22 May: St. Joachina de Vedruna de Mas

May 22
SAINT JOACHINA DE VEDRUNA DE MAS
Religious

Optional Memorial

Joachina was born in Barcelona in 1783. She married Theodore de Mas in 1799 and bore him nine children before being widowed in 1816. Then in 1826, she was prompted by God’s Spirit to found the Congregation of Carmelite Sisters of Charity, which spread throughout Catalonia, establishing houses for the care of the sick and the education of children, especially the poor. She was greatly drawn to contemplating the mystery of the Holy Trinity. Her spiritual life was marked by prayer, mortification, detachment, humility, and love. She died at Vich in 1854.

From the Common of Holy Women (Religious)

Office of Readings

Second Reading

From the Letters of St. Joachina
Epist. pp. 275, 246, 260, 297, 254, 297, 31

Charity above all things

If only we were all on fire with love for God! If we were, we should preach love, proclaim love, and yet more love, until we had set the whole world on fire. We must have great desires: then God will give us whatever is best for us.

We must be careful to free our hearts from everything that might get in the way of the pure love of our beloved Jesus. He is love itself, and wants to give himself to us through love. Jesus is calling us all the time — how long are we going to remain deaf to His voice? No, let us keep our hearts ready, our wills completely for Jesus, our faculties and our senses for our Lord.

There must be no undue attachment in our hearts for created things: they must burn with love alone, love ever more fervent; for love never says ‘enough,’ never rests until it is completely on fire. When our hearts are completely on fire with pure love for Jesus, everything that might hinder love from taking complete possession will be cast out.

We must not give in to weariness: we must spend every minute in loving God.

God alone, the maker of heaven and earth, must be our rest and our consolation. The love of God is the only thing we can possess for ever: everything else will pass away.

Love, love, and yet more love — love that is never satisfied! The more we love God, the more we shall long to love him. And when we have Jesus in our hearts, we shall have everything else in him and with him.

Responsory

R/. Remain in my love.
* Whoever lives in love, lives in God, and God in him (alleluia).

V/. Follow the way of love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us.
* Whoever lives in love, lives in God, and God in him (alleluia).

Morning Prayer

Canticle of Zechariah

Ant. By this all will know that you are my disciples: that you have love for one another (alleluia).

Prayer

Lord God,
you gave St. Joachina de Vedruna to your Church
for the Christian education of youth
and the care of the sick.
May we follow her example,
and lovingly devote our lives
to serving you in our brother and sisters.

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

Evening Prayer

Canticle of Mary

Ant. Whatsoever you do for one of the least of my brethren, you do for me, says the Lord (alleluia).

 

Joaquima_de_V,_Morell,_1903
Saint Joachina de Vedruna de Mas

Quote of the day: 17 May

You know, Mother, I have always wanted to be a saint.

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux
Manuscript C, Folio 02, verso


The desires of Sister Thérèse of the Child Jesus were realized on 17 May 1925 when Pope Pius XI decreed that she “was a Saint and was to be inscribed in the calendar of the Saints.”

Canonization news article St Louis Post Dispatch 18 May 1925
St. Louis Post-Dispatch. St. Louis, Missouri. 18 May 1925, Monday • Page 3 Accessed 17 May 2018, newspapers.com

Quote of the day: 14 May

To have had virtuous and God-fearing parents

To have had virtuous and God-fearing parents along with the graces the Lord granted me should have been enough for me to have led a good life if I had not been so wretched. My father was fond of reading good books, and thus he also had books in Spanish for his children to read. These good books together with the care my mother took to have us pray and be devoted to our Lady and to some of the saints began to awaken me when, I think, six or seven years old, to the practice of virtue. It was a help to me to see that my parents favored nothing but virtue. And they themselves possessed many.

Saint Teresa of Avila
The Book of Her Life, Chapter 1



The parents of Saint Teresa, Don Alonso Sánchez de Cepeda (1480?-1543), a widower and Doña Beatriz de Ahumada (1495?-1529) were married in Gotarrendura, Avila on 14 May 1509. 

Garcia_miranda
The Education of Saint Theresa
Juan García de Miranda (Spanish, 1677-1749)
Oil on canvas, 1735
Museo del Prado
A young Theresa of Ávila reads a book in a characteristic sixteenth-century room surrounded by her mother and sisters, who are sewing, and her brother Rodrigo, who listens attentively as he is a keen enthusiast of the lives of saints. The work belonged to a series devoted to the life of Saint Theresa most likely in some Carmelite institution.

 

The Book of Her Life: Chapter 1; The Collected Works of St. Teresa of Avila 
Translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, O.C.D. and Otilio Rodriguez, O.C.D. (unless otherwise noted)
Published by ICS Publications, Washington DC 
Copyright © 1976 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc.

 

Can a mother have any greater honor?

Louis-Zelie_b&w
Saints Zélie and Louis Martin

Like my father, my mother was very detached from earthly things. She was highly intelligent and had extraordinary energy: difficulties were nothing to her. Her spirit of faith was remarkable and helped her to endure life’s many hardships. When she lost her children, she knew immediately where they would be and overcame her immense grief. She wrote, “I wanted to have many children in order to bring them up for heaven”.

Sr. Geneviève of Saint Teresa, O.C.D. (Céline Martin)
Witness 8 for the Diocesan Process

Vierge-du-Sourire_Martin-home
The Virgin of the Smile

My father and mother had a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin. That’s why they gave the name Mary to all their children, both boys and girls. Before he married, my father placed a statue of the Blessed Virgin on a path in his garden, and later it would become very dear to the whole family. It was this very statue that was in Thérèse’s childhood bedroom and which came to life and smiled at her when she was very sick. Praying at the foot of the same statue, my mother was granted very great favors. My parents were very helpful to the poor. When a servant happened to fall ill with rheumatoid arthritis, my mother treated her herself, day and night, for several weeks, not wishing to send her back to her parents because they were poor.

Sr. Marie of the Sacred Heart, O.C.D. (Marie Martin)
Witness 7 for the Diocesan Process

Lace-making pattern used by Saint Zélie Martin

My mother was abnegation personified; she was gifted with extraordinary energy. The lace-making business that she established alone, and which she looked after tirelessly to assure her children’s future, made her life very meritorious. When my little brothers and sisters died, her submission to God’s will, despite her deep grief, was so great that people less Christian than herself were almost shocked, to the point of saying that she did not love her children.

It was my parents’ wish that all of us be consecrated to God; they would have liked to give Him priests and missionaries. My mother had been struck by the life of Madame Acarie, and many times I heard her say, “To think that all her daughters became Carmelites! Can a mother have any greater honor?”

Sr. Agnes of Jesus, O.C.D. (Pauline Martin)
Witness 6 for the Apostolic Process

canonization_banner
Canonization banner for Saints Zélie and Louis

View more lace-making patterns from Saint Zélie’s workshop here

Learn more about Saint Louis and Zélie’s life together here

Read Saint Zélie’s letters here

Read letters addressed to Saint Zélie Martin here


The blogger is grateful to all of the members of the Archives team at the Carmel of Lisieux for their tireless efforts to make the treasures of the Martin Family accessible to the public.

 

Marie du jour: 10 May

Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum Madonna_DavidOhmer
Cincinnati – Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum | David Ohmer / Flickr

“No one has seen the Father,” St. John tells us, “except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.” It seems to me that we can also say, “No one has penetrated the depths of the mystery of Christ except the Blessed Virgin.” John and Mary Magdalene penetrated deeply this mystery; St. Paul often speaks of “the understanding of it which was given to him”; and yet, how all the saints remain in the shadows when we look at the Blessed Virgin’s light!

This is the unspeakable “secret” that she kept in mind and pondered in her heart which no tongue can tell or pen describe! This Mother of grace will form my soul so that her little child will be a living, “striking” image of her first-born,  the Son of the Eternal, He who was the perfect praise of His Father’s glory.

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity
The Last Retreat, First Day

The Complete Works of Elizabeth of the Trinity volume 1: I Have Found God, General Introduction and Major Spiritual Writings (p.111)
ICS Publications, Washington DC
© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites, Inc.

Quote of the day: 9 April

Monday, 9 April 1888

Feast of the Annunciation of the Lord

Thérèse enters the Carmel of Lisieux

From Marie Martin (Marie of the Sacred Heart) to her father, Saint Louis Martin 
9th April 1888

Incomparable Father,

What Céline tells us is worthy of you! Ah! What a remarkable father we have! He truly is unique… Also, I’m not surprised that God is taking all the children away from this incomparable father! He is too dear to his Heart for Him not to look upon him and his family with a very special love. How our dear mother must be smiling down upon you, she must be rejoicing to see her darling boat being so well directed by you towards Heaven.

 

Entrée aqua-entree-1
St. Thérèse crosses the threshold of the cloister, a later watercolor | Photo: Archives of the Carmel of Lisieux | Visit the Archives site to see the annotated sketch for this watercolor and all of the artworks associated with the life of St. Thérèse, her “Life in Pictures

 

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… Ah! How Jesus will have to repay you a hundredfold for the lily barely in bloom, the lily, filled with freshness, that you are offering him today. Oh, your crown in heaven! Darling Father, how radiant and beautiful it will be. Ah! Pray that your diamond may not be too pale beside so many beauties.

I can’t continue any longer, my heart is too full of affection for you and is all yours.

Our Mother couldn’t help crying as she read Céline’s account. Ah! What a remarkable father you are!!

M. of the S. H.

O best of fathers, how accountable we would be if we didn’t become saints

N.B. — St. Thérèse entered the Carmel of Lisieux on the Feast of the Annunciation, which was deferred to Monday, April 9 in the year 1888 because March 25 was Palm Sunday of the Passion of the Lord. “Our Mother” refers to the prioress, Mother Marie de Gonzague. You can read a brief biographical sketch of Mother Marie here; as Sr. Geneviève (Céline) remarked at the end of her life to another younger member of the community, “But we loved her! But you would have loved her! Only…” she continued with an appropriate facial expression “she was feared as a storm is feared when you have no umbrella … “

Read an outstanding essay concerning Thérèse’s entry to the Carmel of Lisieux on April 9, written by St. Thérèse expert Maureen O’Riordan and illustrated with 19th-century photos, published on her blog Saint Therese of Lisieux: A Gateway.

 

The letter from Marie of the Sacred Heart to her father, Saint Louis Martin, all correspondence by family and friends, and other texts and sources concerning St. Thérèse are found on the official website of the Archives of the Carmel of Lisieux

Quote of the day: 20 March

In order that God might give His grace to those who do not or cannot ask it, or who do not wish to ask it, He enjoined us to pray for one another, so that we might be saved (Jas 5:16f). If God gave the grace of conversion to St. Augustine, it was due to the prayers of St. Monica; nor would the church have St. Paul, according to one of the fathers, were it not for the prayers of St. Stephen.

Blessed Francis Palau y Quer
(29 December 1811 20 March 1872)
From the spiritual writings of Blessed Francis Palau

Blessed-francisco-palau-y-quer
Portrait of Blessed Francis Palau y Quer based on a photograph from the period | Wikipedia

Read more from the spiritual writings of Blessed Francis Palau y Quer here

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