25 May: St. Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi

May 25
SAINT MARY MAGDALEN DE’ PAZZI
Virgin

Memorial

In 1566 Saint Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi was born in Florence where she received a good religious upbringing, and eventually became a Carmelite nun. In Carmel she led a hidden life of prayer and self-denial, praying fervently for the reform of the Church and helping her sisters in their quest for perfection. After receiving many graces from God, she died in 1607.

From the common of virgins

Office of Readings

Hymn

Fair Star, your rays fall from above
To fill all Carmel with delight;
With humble pride, we sing of you
And praise in you the Lord of might.

All things that are light in the hand
Christ placed in yours, bride of his heart
The God by highest heav’n adored
Espoused you in a place apart.

This Spouse taught you the mystery
of life no death has power to hold;
To seal your life of sacrifice
Placed on your hand a ring of gold.

True bride, apparelled in his blood
Upon the cross with Christ you died,
His passion sharing, shared his life
And rose with Jesus glorified.

L.M.
Margarita of Jesus, O.C.D.

Psalmody

Ant. 1 She rejoices like a champion about to run her course (alleluia).

Psalms from the Common of Virgins

Ant. 2 My tongue is as ready as the pen of a scribe (alleluia).

Ant. 3 Forget your father’s house, for the king desires your beauty (alleluia).

V/. You have shown me the path of life (alleluia).
R/. You will fill me with joy in your presence (alleluia).

The second reading and its responsory are from The Liturgy of the Hours

Prayer

Father,
you love those who give themselves completely to your service,
and you filled Saint Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi
with heavenly gifts and the fire of your love.
As we honor her today,
may we follow her example of purity and charity.

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

Morning Prayer

Hymn

We sing a hymn of holy love
God’s marriage with an earthly bride;
You lead, Mary, in our song:
In Carmel God is glorified.

God’s loving touch upon your soul,
And all earth’s pleasures round you died
No flowers for you but those that spring
Where Love has passed, the Crucified.

He stole your heart, you gave consent,
And now his own throbs in its place
His voice is speaking through your voice,
His features graven in your face.

Love-wounded, by the Spirit drawn,
With Christ you reach the Father’s side
No secret but he shares with you,
No longer servant — perfect bride!

Like precious nard, your life poured out
Is holy, pure, example still;
Throughout the Church, throughout the world
This holy fragrance you distill.

L.M.
Margarita of Jesus, O.C.D.
(origin of first verse unknown)

Psalmody

Ant. 1 In a dry and desert land I prepared my heart for you, that I might see your strength and your glory (alleluia).

Psalms of Sunday, Week I

Ant. 2 Christ I freely confess, Christ I ardently long for, with Christ alone I desire to be (alleluia).

Ant. 3 With timbrel and dance, with strings and pipes, let everything that breathes praise the Lord (alleluia).

Scripture Reading

Phil 3:8, 10-11

I reckon everything as complete loss for the sake of what is so much more valuable, the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. All I want is to know Christ and experience the power of his resurrection; to share in his sufferings and become like him in his death, in the hope that I myself will be raised from death to life.

Responsory

Easter season
R/. Of you my heart has spoken; I seek your face *
Alleluia, alleluia. Repeat R/.
V/. Lord, I long to see your face. R/. Alleluia, alleluia
Glory . . . R/.

Ordinary time
R/.
Of you my heart has spoken; * I seek your face. Repeat R/.
V/.
Lord, I long to see your face. * I seek your face.
Glory . . . R/.

Canticle of Zechariah
Ant. The love of God has been poured into our hearts, through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us (alleluia).

Intercessions

The Father and the Son are eternally celebrating the joy of their love in the Holy Spirit, and we, by their grace, are called to share their life. Let us pray:

R/. We thank you, Father, for choosing us in Christ to praise your glory.

Christ, eternal Word, in your coming to earth you have spread joy like the morning dew; gladden our hearts by the grace of your continued presence R/.

Christ, in the blood you poured out on the cross you intercede for us with the Father; bring us, pure and without sin, into the presence of the undivided Trinity. R/.

Christ, with the Father you have given us the Holy Spirit, the source of all mercy, to guide our thoughts aright, may his abiding presence turn us from anything that would hinder his reign within us R/.

Christ, you gave birth to the Church as you hung on the cross and you nourish it with your precious blood; may your Church, free from every blemish, be joined at last with the Holy Trinity in eternal joy. R/.

Christ, you restored our mortal flesh by living in our midst; give us a full share in the joy of eternal life. R/.

Our Father . . .

Prayer

Father,
you love those who give themselves completely to your service,
and you filled Saint Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi
with heavenly gifts and the fire of your love.
As we honor her today,
may we follow her example of purity and charity.

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

Prayer During the Day

Weekday prayer from the psalter

Evening Prayer

Hymn

Virgin illustrious through the Spirit’s bounty,
Sharing Christ’s passion, close with him united
God’s Mother also gave you her maternal
Pledge of affection.

Teach all earth’s people how the Cross brings wisdom,
Gives Christ new members, on his Body nourished,
Like fruitful gardens, quick with rain from heaven,
His blood renews us.

Bid Christ’s own flock be undefiled and spotless;
Magdalen, tell them how immense his longing
Since here in exile this is all you worked for,
Prayed for with weeping.

Sister and teacher, may the field of Carmel
Through your example and your brethren’s labor
Shine with rich harvest, fruit of constant giving,
As you have taught us.

Praise to the blessed Trinity eternal
Whom you have worshipped with such yearning ardor;
May we be granted through your intercession
Joys everlasting.

11.11.11.5.
Margarita of Jesus, O.C.D.
(origin of verses 3-4 unknown)

Psalmody

Ant. 1 My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the living God (alleluia)

Psalm 112

Praise, O servants of the Lord, *
praise the name of the Lord!
May the name of the Lord be blessed *
both now and forevermore.
From the rising of the sun to its setting *
praised be the name of the Lord!

High above all nations is the Lord, *
above the heavens his glory.
Who is like the Lord, our God, *
who has risen on high to his throne
yet stoops from the heights to look down, *
to look down upon heaven and earth?

From the dust he lifts up the lowly, *
from his misery he raises the poor
to set him in the company of princes, *
yes, with the princes of his people.
To the childless wife he gives a home *
and gladdens her heart with children.

Ant. My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the living God (alleluia).

Ant. 2 In the house of the Mother of my Lord I would speak of purity and peace (alleluia).

I rejoiced when I heard them say: *
“Let us go to God’s house.”
And now our feet are standing *
within your gates, O Jerusalem.

Jerusalem is built as a city *
strongly compact.
It is there that the tribes go up, *
the tribes of the Lord.

For Israel’s law it is, *
there to praise the Lord’s name.
There were set the thrones of judgment *
of the house of David.

For the peace of Jerusalem pray: *
“Peace be to your homes!
May peace reign in your walls, *
in your palaces, peace!”

For love of my brethren and friends *
I say: “Peace upon you.”
For love of the house of the Lord *
I will ask for your good.

Ant. In the house of the Mother of my Lord I would speak of purity and peace (alleluia).

Ant. 3 Redeemed by the blood of Christ and sealed with the Holy Spirit, we live to praise the Father’s glory (alleluia).

Canticle: Eph 1:3-10

Blessed be the God and Father *
of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who has blessed us in Christ *
with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.

He chose us in him *
before the foundation of the world,
that we should be holy *
and blameless before him.

He destined us in love *
to be his sons through Jesus Christ,
according to the purpose of his will, †
to the praise of his glorious grace *
which he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

In him we have redemption through his Blood, *
the forgiveness of our trespasses,
according to the riches of his grace *
which he lavished upon us.

He has made known to us †
in all wisdom and insight *
the mystery of his will,
according to his purpose *
which he set forth in Christ.

His purpose he set forth in Christ, *
as a plan for the fullness of time,
to unite all things in him, *
things in heaven and things on earth.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, *
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, *
and will be for ever. Amen.

Ant. Redeemed by the blood of Christ and sealed with the Holy Spirit, we live to praise the Father’s glory (alleluia).

Scripture Reading

Eph 3:8-11

To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to make all men see what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God, that through the Church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known. This was according to the eternal purpose which he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Responsory

Easter season
R/.
May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ fill us with the knowledge of the love of Christ. Alleluia, alleluia. Repeat R/.
V/.
So that we may be filled with the fullness of God. R/. Alleluia, alleluia. Glory . . . R/.

Ordinary time
R/. May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ fill us with the knowledge of the love of Christ. Repeat R/.
V/.
So that we may be filled with the fullness of God, fill us with the knowledge of the love of Christ. Glory   . . . R/.

Canticle of Mary 
Ant. The Word of God became man and lived among us, that he might draw all of us to himself (alleluia).

Intercessions

With the intercession of St Mary Magdalen, let this be our prayer to the Lord: that he will deepen the spirit of love in us and help us to serve him with all our hearts:

R/. Lord, fill us with your spirit of holiness and unite us in your love.

Christ our Savior, be with your Spouse, the Church, to the end of time, as your Holy Spirit leads us to unity, love and truth; may all men come to know the Father, the source of all life. R/.

Christ our Savior, may priests, the ministers of your Blood, be true witnesses of the gospel; may all our brethren be joined with us in one sheepfold, may your blood purify sinners; may your love and light shine on all mankind. R/.

Christ our Savior, lead our Carmelite family, enriched by God’s gifts, to a truly fraternal way of life; may we live the values of the gospel in the Church for the life of the world. R/.

Christ our Savior, may we who share at the table of your love, grow in love for all people, for whom you shed your precious blood; join us to yourself forever by the bond of the Spirit. R/.

Christ our Savior, you descended into hell and opened its gates; bring our deceased brothers and sisters to your kingdom in heaven and give them joy with you forever. R/.

Our Father . . .

Prayer

Father,
you love those who give themselves completely to your service,
and you filled Saint Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi
with heavenly gifts and the fire of your love.
As we honor her today,
may we follow her example of purity and charity.

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

 

Mary Magdalene-de-Pazzi_Pedro_de_Moya_-_Vision_of_St_Maria_Magdalena_di_Pazzi_-_WGA16308
Visión de Santa María Magdalena de Pazzi
Pedro de Moya (Spanish, 1610-1674)
Oil on canvas, c. 1640-1674
Museo de Bellas Artes de Granada

Quote of the day: 30 March

Should we strive for perfect love, you ask? Absolutely. For this we were created.

“Pure love” for our Holy Father John of the Cross means loving God for his own sake, with a heart that is free from all attachment to anything created: to itself and to other creatures, but also to all consolations and the like which God can grant the soul, to all particular forms of devotion, etc.; with a heart that wants nothing more than that God’s will be done, that allows itself to be led by God without any resistance. What one can do oneself to attain this goal is treated in detail in the Ascent of Mount Carmel. How God purifies the soul, in the Dark Night. The result, in the Living Flame and the Spiritual Canticle. (Basically, the whole way is to be found in each of the volumes, but each time one or other of the stages is predominant.)

He will not fail to give grace if we faithfully do the little we can do

Should we strive for perfect love, you ask? Absolutely. For this, we were created. [Perfect love] will be our eternal life, and here we have to seek to come as close to it as possible. Jesus became incarnate in order to be our way. What can we do? Try with all our might to be empty: the senses mortified; the memory as free as possible from all images of this world and, through hope, directed toward heaven; the understanding stripped of natural seeking and ruminating, directed to God in the straightforward gaze of faith; the will (as I have already said) surrendered to God in love.

The little — taken absolutely, is for us a great deal

This can be said very simply, but the work of an entire life would not attain the goal were God not to do the most essential. In the meantime, we may be confident that he will not fail to give grace if we faithfully do the little we can do. The little—taken absolutely, is for us a great deal. And while we are about it, we have to be careful not to wish to judge for ourselves how far we have come. Only God knows that. That brings me to Psalm 18 (so simple, as I understand the phrase). What we recognize of ourselves, and of our faults and behavior, is only the illuminated surface. The depth they come out of is to a large extent hidden from ourselves. God knows that depth and can purify it. The ab alienis can probably be understood in different ways. I think of it principally as what burdens us through unknown faults. But one could also think of that in which we are implicated by others. Delictum maximum probably is not to be understood as anything definite. To me it seems to point far more to Divine Mercy’s immensity and Salvation’s almighty power, for to them nothing is too great.

Saint Edith Stein

Letter 311 to Sister Agnella Stadtmüller, O.P. (Excerpts)
Written from the Carmel of Echt, 30 March 1940

Edith bust candle 21 july 18
Edith Stein shrine, St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church, Louisville, Kentucky

 

Excerpt from Edith Stein's Self-Portrait in Letters, 1916-1942, Sister Teresa
Benedicta of the Cross, Discalced Carmelite, translated by Josephine Koeppel
(The Collected Works of Edith Stein, vol. 5)
Copyright © 1993 by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelite Friars, Inc. 
Published by ICS Publications, Washington DC

Quote of the day: 8 January

With the greatest zeal, therefore, seek those things which draw you to the ardor of my love, such as the precepts of my law, and those things which I urged on you above, namely poverty and the crucifixion of bodily desires, obedience and the renunciation of your own will, continence and the solitude of the desert.

St Peter Thomas
The Ten Books on the Way of Life and Great Deeds of the Carmelites, I:7

Advent 15: Elijah

Elijah, our Father, leads,
In our self-denying we follow him
Strongly and zealously,
Nuns of Carmel.

9903473755_386b7cfa95_o
Carmel of Valladolid, 21 September 2013 | Ángel Cantero

Al Padre Elías siguiendo
nos vamos contradiciendo
con su fortaleza y celo,
monjas del Carmelo.

Poetry: 10. On the Way to Heaven; 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.

Novena to St. John of the Cross – Day 9

Lord, I have given up my pride
and turned away from my arrogance.
I am not concerned with great matters
or with subjects too difficult for me.
Instead, I am content and at peace.
As a child lies quietly in its mother’s arms,
so my heart is quiet within me.
Israel, trust in the Lord
now and forever!
(Psalm 131)

The soul is incapable of truly acquiring control of the passions and restriction of the inordinate appetites without forgetting and withdrawing from the sources of these emotions. Disturbances never arise in a soul unless through the apprehensions of the memory. When all things are forgotten, nothing disturbs the peace or stirs the appetites. As the saying goes: What the eye doesn’t see, the heart doesn’t want.

The Ascent of Mount Carmel: Book Three, Chapter 5

O St. John of the Cross
You were endowed by our Lord with the spirit of self-denial
and a love of the cross.
Obtain for us the grace to follow your example
that we may come to the eternal vision of the glory of God.

O Saint of Christ’s redeeming cross
the road of life is dark and long.
Teach us always to be resigned to God’s holy will
in all the circumstances of our lives
and grant us the special favor
which we now ask of thee
(mention your request).

Above all, obtain for us the grace of final perseverance,
a holy and happy death and everlasting life with you
and all the saints in heaven.
Amen.

Vision of Segovia - unidentified Quito artist - Carmelo Carmen Alto
Vision of Segovia
Unidentified Quito Artist (Ecuador, 18th c.)
Oil on canvas, 18th c.
Monasterio del Carmen Alto, Quito, Ecuador
More detail here | More images of St. John of the Cross from PESSCA here

Nota bene: We are grateful to Professor Michael Ogunu, O.C.D.S., of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites in Nigeria for sharing this novena.

St. Elizabeth of the Trinity Novena – Day 5

Here is the secret: forget self, give up self, ignore self, look at the Master

Intention

To share in the self-giving love of Christ: “Be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind,” St. Paul wrote to the Philippians. [Phil 2:2] The union of believers in the Church was Paul’s one, great goal. How to achieve it? “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself…” [Phil 2:5-7] For the Carmelite, union with God is the one, great goal, and the means to achieve it are similar: the self-emptying, self-giving love of Christ. Saint Elizabeth said that to achieve this self-emptying, we must study Christ and concentrate on His devotion to accomplishing the will of the Father.  With Christ, we must learn to say “Here we are, O Father, we come to do your will.”

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity Speaks

“Here is the secret: forget self, give up self, ignore self, look at the Master, look only at Him, accept as coming directly from His love both joy and suffering; this places the soul on such serene heights!”

Meditation

Use St. Elizabeth’s quote to make a spiritual checklist for yourself. Resolve to practice one point on the checklist for one day, or one week, or one month. Review your progress with your confessor or spiritual director.

NOVENA PRAYER

O God of bountiful mercy,
you revealed to Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity
the mystery of your secret presence
in the hearts of those who love you,
and you chose her to adore you in spirit and in truth.
Through her intercession
may we also abide in the love of Christ,
that we may see what you see
and love in the way that you love
and thus merit to be transformed
into temples of your life-giving Spirit
to the praise of your glory.

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

“雲屯霧集” / 寧 Serenity / 山東省泰山 Mount Tai, S
“雲屯霧集” / 寧 Serenity / 山東省泰山 Mount Tai, Shandong Province | See-ming Lee
Excerpt from Letter 333, 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

St. Edith Stein Novena – Day 6

SCRIPTURE READING
Mark 8:31-38

31 Then Jesus began to teach his disciples: “The Son of Man must suffer much and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the teachers of the Law. He will be put to death, but three days later he will rise to life.” 32 He made this very clear to them. So Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But Jesus turned around, looked at his disciples, and rebuked Peter. “Get away from me, Satan,” he said. “Your thoughts don’t come from God but from human nature!”

34 Then Jesus called the crowd and his disciples to him. “If any of you want to come with me,” he told them, “you must forget yourself, carry your cross, and follow me. 35 For if you want to save your own life, you will lose it; but if you lose your life for me and for the gospel, you will save it. 36 Do you gain anything if you win the whole world but lose your life? Of course not! 37 There is nothing you can give to regain your life. 38 If you are ashamed of me and of my teaching in this godless and wicked day, then the Son of Man will be ashamed of you when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

MEDITATION
The Science of the Cross 1.I.(6)

Content of the Message of the Cross

We have considered by what ways John penetrated the message of the cross. The following sections wish to show how this message was incorporated into the doctrine and life of the saint. To do so, it is necessary to set the content of the message before our eyes—for the time being, in a brief outline. We set it down here exactly as we find it expressed by the master of the science of the cross: “‘How narrow is the gate and constricting the way that leads to life! And few there are who find it’ (Mt 7:14). We should particularly note the exaggeration and hyperbole conveyed by the word how in this passage. This is like saying: Indeed the gate is very narrow, narrower than you think. . . . This path on the high mount of perfection is narrow and steep, it can only be trodden by wanderers who carry no burden that could drag them downwards. . . .  Since in this, God alone is the goal that one should seek and gain, then only God ought to be sought and gained. . . . Our Lord, for our instruction and guidance along this road, imparted to us that wonderful teaching—I think it is possible to affirm that the more necessary the doctrine the less it is practiced by spiritual persons—. . . . ‘If anyone wishes to be my disciple let him deny himself, take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life, will lose it but whoever loses it for my sake, will save it’ [Mk 8:34-35]. Oh, who can make this counsel of our Savior on self-denial understandable, practicable, and attractive! . . . Annihilation of all sweetness in God . . . dryness, distaste, and trial. . . . the pure spiritual cross and the nakedness of Christ’s poverty of spirit. . . . A genuine spirit seeks rather the distasteful in God than the delectable, leans more toward suffering than toward consolation, more toward going without everything for God than toward possession, and toward dryness and affliction than toward sweet consolation, for it knows that in this consists the following of Christ and self-denial, while the other is nothing further than seeking oneself in God . . . Seeking God in God [sic] means. . . for love of Christ, to choose all that is distasteful whether in God or in the world.”

PRAYER

Lord, God of our fathers,
you brought Saint Teresa Benedicta
to the fullness of the science of the cross
at the hour of her martyrdom.
Fill us with that same knowledge;
and, through her intercession,
allow us always to seek after you, the supreme truth,
and to remain faithful until death
to the covenant of love ratified in the blood of your Son
for the salvation of all men and women.

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

EDITH - Annihilation of all sweetness in God

 

The Science of the Cross 
The Collected Works of Edith Stein, Vol. 6 
ICS Publications, Washington DC 
© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites, Inc.
EDITH - Seeking God in God
Jesus said, “If any of you want to come with me, you must forget yourself, carry your cross, and follow me.”

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