Quote of the day, 21 September: St. John of the Cross

St. John of the Cross is fond of quoting from St. Matthew's gospel, with over 50 citations in John's collected works. Today we see him quote “my yoke is sweet and my burden light” in the all-important Chapter 7, Book II of the Ascent of Mount Carmel: "Indeed the gate is very narrow, more so than you think."

Quote of the day, 19 August: St. John of the Cross

In August 1591, roughly four months before his death, St. John of the Cross writes to a benefactor about his experience in the Desert of La Peñuela, where he had just arrived about nine days earlier from Segovia. The Desert of La Peñuela was a Discalced Carmelite monastery for the friars that was more secluded and eremitic than any of their other convents. Thus, St. John of the Cross could give himself totally to prayer. "God grant that I may stay here," he writes.

St. Edith Stein Novena 2022: Day Three

Writing to a former student from St. Magdalena teachers college in Speyer, St. Edith Stein assumes the role of spiritual director. In this letter from 1936, she counsels the young woman not to seek changes that are "apt to disturb one's inner peace" because whenever we attempt to get rid of one cross, we usually get a heavier cross, instead. Two years later, this student would become a Discalced Carmelite postulant in the Carmel of Kordel.

Quote of the day, 29 July: Ruth Burrows

Well-known Carmelite author Ruth Burrows (Sr. Rachel Gregory, OCD) uses the story of Martha and Mary to explain who is really doing the serving and feeding during prayer. When Jesus enters our home, he serves and nourishes us, not the other way around.

Quote of the day, 25 July: St. Teresa of Avila

Practical and prudent St. Teresa reminds us of the example of the sons of Zebedee, James and John, whose mother asked Jesus to declare that her sons should sit at his side in the kingdom. The Gospel tells us, "But Jesus answered, 'You do not know what you are asking'." St. Teresa reminds her Sisters of this many times in her writings, as she reminds us all in today's quote from the Interior Castle: we may think we are prepared to face trials in our spiritual life, but God knows what is best for us. "There's no need for us to be advising Him about what He should give us, for He can rightly tell us that we don't know what we're asking for."

Quote of the day, 9 July: St. Teresa of the Andes

Within the first days of her postulancy, St. Teresa of the Andes made her confession to the spiritual director for the Carmel of Los Andes, Fray Avertano of the Most Blessed Sacrament, OCD. She writes: "I went to Confession to Father Avertano. I give thanks to God for having given me a director so learned and holy."

Quote of the day, 7 June: Blessed Anne of St. Bartholomew

Blessed Anne of St. Bartholomew describes her experiences as Prioress in Paris in the year 1605. She tells us that four professed religious and two novices left Paris to found a new Discalced Carmelite monastery in Amiens on Pentecost. There was a Pontifical Mass and the Bishop had the head of St. John the Baptist carried in procession!

Quote of the day, 5 June: St. John of the Cross

"The soul must practice the following instructions if it wishes to attain in a short time holy recollection and spiritual silence, nakedness, and poverty of spirit, where one enjoys the peaceful comfort of the Holy Spirit," writes St John of the Cross in the introduction to The Precautions.

Quote of the day, 26 March: Père Jacques de Jésus

Those who aim to amass great fortunes are responding to that basic instinct of wanting something noteworthy and enduring. However, they are clearly mistaken in thinking that material possessions will satisfy their souls. Ultimately, the only source of inner peace and the actual attainment of the heart’s deepest desires is increased participation in God’s infinity.

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