17 September: St. Albert of Jerusalem

September 17
SAINT ALBERT OF JERUSALEM
Bishop and Lawgiver of Carmel

Feast

Albert Avogadro was born about the middle of the twelfth century in Castel Gualtieri in Italy. He became a Canon Regular of the Holy Cross at Mortara and was elected their prior in 1180. Named Bishop of Bobbio in 1184, and of Vercelli in 1185, he was made Patriarch of Jerusalem in 1205. There, in word and example, he was the model of a good pastor and peace-maker. While he was Patriarch (1206-1214) he formed the hermit brothers of Mount Carmel into a collegium and wrote a Rule for them. He was murdered at Acre on September 14, 1214, by the Master of the Hospital of the Holy Spirit, whom he had rebuked and deposed for immorality.

Invitatory

Ant. Come let us worship the Lord, the source of all just law.

Invitatory psalm, as in the Ordinary

Office of Readings

Hymn

Albert, as you shine before us
Legislator, Shepherd true,
Hear in love the hymns of homage
Which your children sing to you.

Messenger of peace and concord,
Careful to foresee all need,
You instructed all your faithful
Zealously by word and deed.

From your virtues this whole country
Shines with many a precious gem;
Most of all your mem’ry’s fragrance
Clings about Jerusalem.

So renowned that Church, so honored
When you worked as pastor there,
Carmel’s hermits asked for precepts
To define a life of prayer.

We are grateful to you, Father,
For the Rule which we profess,
Apt to guide each one in Carmel
To the heights of holiness.

With your Rule to give us increase,
Fruit abundant may we see
When with you we praise in heaven
God eternal, One in Three.

87.87.
Sr. Margarita of Jesus, O.C.D.

Psalmody

Ant. 1 The righteous one delights in the law of the Lord and ponders it day and night.

Psalm 21:2-8, 14

O Lord, your strength gives joy to the King; *
how your saving help makes him glad!
You have granted him his heart’s desire; *
you have not refused the prayer of his lips.

You came to meet him with the blessings of success, *
you have set on his head a crown of pure gold.
He asked you for life and this you have given, *
days that will last from age to age.

Your saving help has given him glory. *
You have laid upon him majesty and splendor,
you have granted your blessings to him forever. *
You have made him rejoice with the joy of your presence.

The king has put his trust in the Lord: *
through the mercy of the Most High he shall stand firm.
O Lord, arise in your strength; *
we shall sing and praise your power.

Ant. The righteous one delights in the law of the Lord and ponders it day and night.

Ant. 2 Let the law of the Lord be ever on your lips.

Psalm 92 – I

It is good to give thanks to the Lord, *
to make music to your name, O Most High,
to proclaim your love in the morning *
and your truth in the watches of the night,
on the ten-stringed lyre and the lute, *
with the murmuring sound of the harp.

Your deeds, O Lord, have made me glad; *
for the work of your hands I shout with joy.
O Lord, how great are your works! *
How deep are your designs!
The foolish man cannot know this *
and the fool cannot understand.

Though the wicked spring up like grass *
and all who do evil thrive,
they are doomed to be eternally destroyed. *
But you, Lord, are eternally on high.

Ant. Let the law of the Lord be ever on your lips.

Ant. 3 All who ponder the law of the Lord will yield fruit in due season.

Psalm 92 – II

See how your enemies perish; *
all doers of evil are scattered.

To me you give the wild ox’s strength; *
you anoint me with the purest oil.
My eyes looked in triumph on my foes; *
my ears heard gladly of their fall.
The just will flourish like the palm tree *
and grow like a Lebanon cedar.

Planted in the house of the Lord *
they will flourish in the courts of our God,
still bearing fruit when they are old, *
still full of sap, still green,
to proclaim that the Lord is just. *
In him, my rock, there is no wrong.

Ant. All who ponder the law of the Lord will yield fruit in due season.

Receive instruction from his mouth.
And lay up his words in your heart.

First Reading

Eph. 6:5-8, 10-18, 23-24

From the letter of the apostle Paul to the Ephesians

Put on all the armor that God gives you

Slaves, obey your human masters with the reverence, the awe, and the sincerity you owe to Christ. Do not render service for appearance only and to please men, but do God’s will with your whole heart as slaves of Christ. Give your service willingly, doing it for the Lord rather than men. You know that each one, whether slave or free, will be repaid by the Lord for whatever good he does.

Finally, draw your strength from the Lord and his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. Our battle is not against human forces but against the principalities and powers, the rulers of this world of darkness, the evil spirits in regions above. You must put on the armor of God if you are to resist on the evil day; do all that your duty requires, and hold your ground. Stand fast, with the truth as the belt around your waist, justice as your breastplate, and zeal to propagate the gospel of peace as your footgear. In all circumstances hold faith up before you as your shield; it will help you extinguish the fiery darts of the evil one. 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.

May God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ grant the brothers peace and love and faith. Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with unfailing love.

Responsory

Lead a life worthy of your vocation,
living in allegiance to Jesus Christ.

Ponder the Lord’s law day and night, and keep watch at your prayers,
living in allegiance to Jesus Christ.

Second Reading

(Chs. 14, 16; ed. Edwards-Clarke 1973, 1973, pp 87-89, 91-93)

From the rule delivered to the Brothers of Mount Carmel by Saint Albert of Jerusalem

Spiritual exhortations

Since man’s life on earth is a time of trial, and all who would live devotedly in Christ must undergo persecution, and the devil, your foe, is on the prowl like a roaring lion looking for prey to devour, you must use every care to clothe yourselves in God’s armor, so that you may be ready to withstand the enemy’s ambush.

Your loins are to be girt with chastity, your breast fortified by holy meditations, for, as Scripture has it, holy meditation will save you. Put on holiness as your breastplate, and it will enable you to love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and strength, and your neighbor as yourself. Faith must be your shield on all occasions, and with it you will be able to quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked one. There can be no pleasing God without faith. On your head, set the helmet of salvation, and so be sure of deliverance by our only Savior, who sets his own free from their sins. The sword of the spirit, the word of God, must abound in your mouths and hearts. Let all you do have the Lord’s word for accompaniment.

The Apostle would have us keep silence, for in silence he tells us to work. As the Prophet also makes known to us, silence is the way to foster holiness. Elsewhere he says, your strength will lie in silence and hope. Be careful not to indulge in a great deal of talk, for as Scripture has it—and experience teaches us no less—sin will not be wanting where there is much talk, and he who is careless in speech will come to harm, and elsewhere, the use of many words brings harm to the speaker’s soul. And Our Lord says in the Gospel, every rash word uttered will have to be accounted for on Judgment Day. Make a balance, then, each of you, to weigh your words in, keep a tight rein on your mouths lest you should stumble and fail in speech, and your fall be irreparable and prove mortal. Like the Prophet, watch your step lest your tongue give offense, and employ every care in keeping silent, which is the way to foster holiness.

Responsory

My children, be courageous and grow strong in the law,
for it is your way to glory.

The Lord’s law is perfect and strengthens the soul; it gives wisdom to the humble
for it is your way to glory.

Where the Vigil Office is celebrated:

Canticles

Ant. Let your belts be fastened round your waists, and have your lamps burning ready.

Canticle I

Jer 17:7-8

Blessed are those who hope in the Lord

Blessed are they who hear the word of God and keep it (Lk 11:28)

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, *
whose hope is the Lord.

He is like a tree planted by water, *
that sends out its roots by the stream:
and does not fear when heat comes, *
for its leaves remain green,
and is not anxious in the year of drought, *
for it does not cease to bear fruit.

Canticle II

Sir 14:20; 15:3-5a, 6b

The happiness of the wise

Wisdom has been proved right by all her children (Lk 7:35)

Happy the man who meditates on wisdom, *
and reason with good sense.
She will give him the bread of understanding to eat, *
and the water of wisdom to drink.

He will lean on her and will not fall, *
he will rely on her and not be put to shame.
She will raise him high above his neighbors, *
and he will inherit an everlasting name.

Canticle III

Sir 31:8-11

Happy are those who do not go chasing after riches

Get yourselves treasure that will not fail you in heaven (Lk 12:33)

Blessed is the rich man who is found blameless, *
and who does not go after gold.

Who is he? And we will call him blessed, *
for he has done wonderful things among his people.
Who has been tested by it and been found perfect? *
Let it be for him a ground for boasting.

Who has had the power to transgress and did not transgress, *
and to do evil and did not do it?
His prosperity will be established, *
and the assembly will relate his acts of charity.

Ant. Let your belts be fastened round your waists, and have your lamps burning ready.

Gospel

Mt 20:25-28

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew

Anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave

Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “You know that among the pagans the rulers lord it over them, and their great men make their authority felt. This is not to happen among you. No; anyone who wants to be great among you must be your servant, and anyone who wants to be first among you must be your slave, just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Te Deum

You are God: we praise you; *
You are the Lord: we acclaim you;
You are the eternal Father: *
All creation worships you.

To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, *
Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord, God of power and might, *
heaven and earth are full of your glory.

The glorious company of apostles praise you. †
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. *
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.

Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you: *
Father, of majesty unbounded,
your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, *
and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the King of glory, *
the eternal Son of the Father.

When you became man to set us free *
you did not spurn the Virgin’s womb.

You overcame the sting of death, *
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. *
We believe that you will come, and be our judge.

Come then, Lord, and help your people, *
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints*
to glory everlasting.

Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance.
— Govern and uphold them now and always.

Day by day we bless you.
— We praise your name for ever.

Keep us today, Lord, from all sin.
— Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.

Lord, show us your love and mercy,
— for we have put our trust in you.

In you, Lord, is our hope:
— And we shall never hope in vain.

Prayer as at Morning Prayer

 

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Morning Prayer

Hymn

Glorious Saint Albert, we would hymn your praises,
Splendid in virtue, victor in the combat,
All hearts and voices joyously united
Here to acclaim you.

High-priest devoted, lover of the people,
Watchman unwearied; though your death was bloodstained;
Stainless your honor, when for God and duty
You fell a victim.

True to the wisdom of our ancient Fathers,
Your Rule for Carmel still preserves among us
Solitude, silence, spirit of the desert
Timeless, unfading.

Get us the courage needed in these last days,
Faithful transmitter of the Spirit’s message;
Make Carmel’s garden fruitful for God’s glory
Yielding new increase.

Splendor and empire to our Lord God only
Who willed to give us such a Friend and Father,
Praying at all times that we may in safety
Gain heaven’s kingdom.

11.11.11.5.
Sr. Mary Paula, O.C.D.

Psalmody

Ant. 1 You are the light of the world; a city set on a hill cannot be hidden.

Psalms and canticle from Sunday, Week I

Ant. 2 Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father.

Ant. 3 God’s word is alive; it strikes to the heart. It pierces more surely than a two-edged sword.

Reading

Hebrews 13:7-9a

Remember your leaders who spoke the word of God to you; consider how their lives ended, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Do not be carried away by all kinds of strange teaching.

Responsory

On your walls, Jerusalem, I have set my sentinels to guard you.
On your walls, Jerusalem, I have set my sentinels to guard you.

Day or night, they will not cease to proclaim the name of the Lord.
I have set my sentinels to guard you.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
On your walls, Jerusalem, I have set my sentinels to guard you.

Canticle of Zechariah

Ant. Let everyone who is zealous for the law follow me: then many who were seeking righteousness and justice went out into the desert.

Intercessions

Let us worship Christ, the Shepherd and Guardian of our souls, who loves his people; full of hope in him let us pray:

R/. Lord, protect your people.

Lord, accept our vows and intentions, as the first-fruits of this day. R/.

Lord, may we be inspired by our Rule, and so proclaim your love to all. R/.

May we so love you, who are Love itself, that we may come to possess you; and so live that our lives may be a continual hymn of praise to you. R/.

Help us, who are your servants, to keep your word faithfully; and to seek it with all our hearts. R/.

Lord, be our teacher and guide, leading the way for us to the height of Carmel; may we be bound to your service with a pure heart and a clean conscience. R/.

Our Father…

Prayer

Lord God,
through Saint Albert of Jerusalem
you have given us a Rule of life according to your Gospel,
to help us attain perfect love.
Through his prayers may we always live
in allegiance to Jesus Christ,
and serve faithfully until death
him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

 

Angel_British Library_small

Daytime Prayer

Antiphons and psalms from the current weekday.

Before Noon

Reading

Leviticus 20:7-8

Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy; for I am the Lord your God. Keep my statutes, and do them; I am the Lord who sanctify you.

Let all that you do
have the Lord’s word for accompaniment.

Midday

Reading

Cf. 2 Timothy 3:12, 14-15

You are well aware that anyone who tries to live in devotion to Christ is certain to be attacked. You must keep to what you have been taught and know to be true; remember who your teachers were, and how, ever since you were a child, you have known the holy scripturesfrom these you can learn the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

Follow the sound advice you have heard from me,
in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.

Afternoon

Reading

Philippians 4:8-9

And now, my friends, all that is true, all that is noble, all that is just and pure, all that is lovable and gracious, whatever is excellent and admirable—fill all your thoughts with these things. The lessons I taught you, the tradition I have passed on, all that you heard me say or saw me do, put into practice; and the God of peace will be with you.

Blessed are the peacemakers.
They shall be called God’s children.

 

WhitefriarsLondonBookplate_BritishLibrary_small

Evening Prayer

Hymn, as at Morning Prayer

Psalmody

Ant. 1 My life is at the service of the Gospel; God has given me this gift of his grace.

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 for ever.

Ant. My life is at the service of the Gospel; God has given me this gift of his grace.

Ant. 2 This servant proved himself faithful and wise; the Lord entrusted the care of his household to him.

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 for ever.
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 for ever.

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 for ever. *
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. This servant proved himself faithful and wise; the Lord entrusted the care of his household to him.

Ant. 3 My sheep will hear my voice; and there shall be one fold and one shepherd.

Canticle: Rev 15:3-4

Great and wonderful are your deeds, *
O Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are your ways, *
O King of the ages!

Who shall not fear and glorify your name, O Lord? *
For you alone are holy.
All nations shall come and worship you, *
for your judgments have been revealed.

Ant. My sheep will hear my voice; and there shall be one fold and one shepherd

Reading

James 1:22-25

Act on this word. If all you do is listen to it, you are deceiving yourselves. A man who listens to God’s word but does not put it into practice is like a man who looks into a mirror at the face he was born with: he looks at himself, then goes off and promptly forgets what he looked like. There is, on the other hand, the man who peers into freedom’s ideal law and abides by it. He is no forgetful listener, but one who carries out the law in practice. Blessed will this man be in whatever he does.

Responsory

This is a man who loved his brethren and ever prayed for them.
This is a man who loved his brethren and ever prayed for them.

He spent himself in their service,
and ever prayed for them.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
This is a man who loved his brethren and ever prayed for them.

Canticle of Mary

Ant. Let the word of Christ in its richness live within you; sing gratefully in your hearts to God.

Intercessions

Praise and honor to Christ, who has reconciled the world to God. It was as his representative that Albert came among us, and God was encouraging us through him. Filled with faith, let us implore Christ:

R/. Remember your family, Lord.

Lord, it is in your service that we have embraced the religious life; may we serve you faithfully with a pure heart and a clean conscience. R/.

To some of us you give special authority so that they may be at the service of the community; may we hear your voice in their word and example. R/.

You call us to ponder your law day and night; come and dwell with us: be on our lips and in our hearts. R/.

You commend to us that silence which is filled with your presence; convince us that our strength is found in silence and in hope. R/.

You have said that our life on earth is a time of trial; strengthen the faint-hearted, lift the fallen, and fill us all with your Holy Spirit. R/.

We commend to you all those who were our companions while they lived; may they rejoice with you forever in the heavenly kingdom. R/.

Our Father…

Prayer

Lord God,
through Saint Albert of Jerusalem
you have given us a Rule of life according to your Gospel,
to help us attain perfect love.
Through his prayers may we always live
in allegiance to Jesus Christ,
and serve faithfully until death
him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, forever and ever.

 

Albert-of-Jerusalem-gives-the-Rule_Haifa-Carmel
St. Albert of Jerusalem gives the Rule of the Order of Carmel to B. and the hermits with him who sought the guidance of the Patriarch of Jerusalem at the beginning of the 13th c. (marble tableau in the cloister of the Discalced Carmelite nuns, Haifa, Israel)

 

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

1 September: St. Teresa Margaret Redi

September 1
SAINT TERESA MARGARET REDI OF THE SACRED HEART
Virgin

Memorial

Teresa Margaret belonged to the noble family of Redi, and was born in the Tuscan city of Arezzo in 1747. She entered the Discalced Carmelite monastery at Florence on September 1, 1764. She was granted a special grace of contemplative insight based on Saint John’s phrase God is love, through which she felt called to a hidden life of love and self-sacrifice. She progressed rapidly, fulfilling her vocation through heroic charity toward others. She died in Florence in 1770, aged twenty-three.

From the common of virgins

Office of Readings

Hymn

Come, happy Saint, and teach us all
The boundless love of Christ,
His gifts to you, that for the height
Of sanctity sufficed.

You made Teresa’s teaching yours,
Together with her name,
Determined to become with her
A spirit of pure flame.

Drawn by your Spouse, you lived with Him
A hidden life apart.
Teach us to drink the healing springs
That well up from his heart.

Praise to You, Eternal Father
And to Your Only Son
Who with the Holy Spirit pure
Forever reign as One.

C.M.
Unknown

Second Reading
From the Acts of Canonization of Saint Teresa Margaret

(Decr. “Super tuto” AAS 26 [1934], pp 105-06)

The love of Christ impels us

Brief as it was, Teresa Margaret’s whole life may be regarded as one continual raising up of her guiltless soul to God.

In its innocence, her soul turned spontaneously to God, and seemed able to find rest in him alone. In her, utter purity was joined to profound humility and she genuinely loved to be disregarded and despised. She did not simply bear humiliations, she rejoiced in them. Her purity of heart and her lowliness of spirit earned for her a high degree of charity, and this rapidly increased until her ardor became truly seraphic and she could hardly speak of God without her face becoming suffused with joy. Her love of God went hand in hand with a deep love for her neighbor and especially for sinners, on whose behalf she offered herself unreservedly to God as a victim. Her unassuming kindness and complete self-denial for the sake of her sisters in religion, especially the sick, were such that she was regarded as an angel of charity.

The fires of her love were fed principally by the Eucharist, and she looked forward with longing to her communions. She was also especially devoted to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a devotion which did much to curb the advances of Jansenism at that time in Tuscany. She was utterly devoted to Our Lady, whom she regarded as the model and protectress of her own virginal purity. She was endowed to a high degree with the gift of contemplative prayer, and daily grew closer to God, as though reflecting the glories of the eternity she was fast approaching.

As her life neared its end this true daughter of the holy Mother Teresa and faithful disciple of Saint John of the Cross was called upon through a mystical martyrdom of the spirit, to resemble her crucified Spouse yet more closely. It was the very intensity of her love which caused this martyrdom; for the more fervent love becomes the more unrelentingly it spurs the soul on to further love, and since no love of ours can match God’s infinite lovableness, such a soul suffers exquisite torments from its insatiable thirst for greater love, and seems to itself to be wrapped in impenetrable darkness and to be totally lacking in love for God. In fact the greater love is, the less it seems to itself to be. It is the soul that is truly nailed to the cross with Christ by this supreme martyrdom of the heart that wins for itself and for others the choicest fruits of redemption.

Such souls by their silent apostolate of suffering, love and prayer, are foremost in the benefits they obtain for mankind and are the purest and most exalted in the whole Church.

Responsory

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul, and with all your strength.

The Lord your God is a consuming fire; a jealous God.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul and with all your strength.

Morning Prayer

Hymn

The life that flowered in Carmel’s shade,
Yielding a fragrant-scented grace,
Is crowned in heaven, a bud of light
Washed in the radiance from God’s face.

Margaret, you blaze with charity
Among those weaving virgin choirs
Who, for reward, follow the Lamb
Singing the love his name inspires.

Help us to catch that same love’s fire
That, lit with the interior flame,
We find our life, our peace, our joy,
All things in Christ and in his name.

Help us deserve the Father’s gifts,
Tasting eternity and heaven
On the unclouded source of joy
From whom alone all gifts are given.

Open our hearts to take the life
Which his renewing Spirit pours,
Life that returns the Father’s love
With the same freedom it restores.

So even on earth we come to know
God’s Trinity by God’s own grace,
Happy, like you, for evermore
To sing his glory and his praise.

L.M.
Text: Bro. John Leonard Davies, O.C.D.

Canticle of Zechariah

Ant. I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me.

Prayer

Father,
you enabled Saint Teresa Margaret Redi
to draw untold resources of humility and charity
from the fountainhead, our Savior.
Through her prayers
may we never be separated from the love of Christ.

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

Evening Prayer

Hymn

Jesu, the Virgins’ Crown, do thou
Accept us, as in prayer we bow;
Born of that woman, whom alone
Virgin and Mother we do own.

Amongst the lilies thou dost feed,
With virgin choirs accompanied;
With glory deck’d, the spotless brides
Whose bridal gifts thy love provides.

They, wheresoe’er thy footsteps bend,
With hymns and praises still attend;
In blessed troops they follow thee,
With dance, and song, and melody.

We pray thee therefore to bestow
Upon our senses here below
Thy grace, that so we may endure
From taint of all corruption pure.

To God the Father, God the Son,
And God the Spirit, Three in One,
Laud, honor, might, and glory be,
From age to age eternally. Amen.

88.88.
Jesu, coróna Vírginum

Canticle of Mary

Ant. As the Father has loved me, I have loved you; remain in my love.

 

Teresa Margaret-Redi
All things count for nothing when it is a matter of acquiring true love of God

 

26 August: St. Teresa of Jesus’ Transverberation

August 26
SAINT TERESA OF JESUS’ TRANSVERBERATION

Memorial for the Discalced Carmelite Nuns
Optional Memorial for all others

“The chief among Teresa’s virtues was the love of God, which our Lord Jesus Christ increased by means of many visions and revelations. He made her his Spouse on one occasion. At other times she saw an angel with a flaming dart piercing her heart. Through these heavenly gifts the flame of divine love in her heart became so strong that, inspired by God, she made the extremely difficult vow of always doing what seemed to her most perfect and most conducive to God’s glory” (Gregory XV in the Bull of Canonization).

Invitatory

Ant. Come let us worship the Lord, Source of all wisdom.

Invitatory psalm, as in the Ordinary

Office of Readings

HYMN

Noonday blaze of virtues rare;
Highest gifts of grace and prayer;
You have lived, in deep repose,
All that faith on us bestows.

Wedded to the Father’s Word,
Word of light, in silence heard
Leaning on the Savior’s breast,
Guided by the Spirit blest.

Blest the mind refined by fire
To receive divine desire,
Wisdom’s secrets in your heart,
Opened by the heavenly dart.

Christ drew you to his embrace
By the fragrance of his grace;
In your teaching we confide,
Trusting you, our heav’n-sent guide.

Truth eternal, One and Three,
May Teresa constantly
Lead us up the mountain’s ways
To the realms of joy and praise.

77.77.
Sr. Margarita of Jesus, O.C.D.

THE SECOND READING

(Red. B, st. 2, no. 2-4, 9,, 12, 8: ed. Kavanaugh-Rodriguez 1979, pp. 596-99)

From the Living Flame of Love by Saint John of the Cross

You have wounded my heart

Moses declares in Deuteronomy, Our Lord God is a consuming fire, that is, a fire of love, which being of infinite power, can inestimably consume and transform into itself the soul it touches. Yet he burns each soul according to its preparation: he will burn one more, another less, and this he does insofar as he desires, and how and when he desires. When he wills to touch somewhat vehemently, the soul’s burning reaches such a high degree of love that it seems to surpass that of all the fires of the world, for he is an infinite fire of love. Because the soul in this case is entirely transformed by the divine flame, it not only feels a cautery, but has become a cautery of blazing fire.

It is a wonderful thing and worth relating that, since this fire of God is so mighty it would consume a thousand worlds more easily than the fire of this earth would burn up a straw, it does not consume and destroy the soul in which it so burns. And it does not afflict it, rather, commensurate with the strength of the love, it divinizes and delights it, burning gently. Since God’s purpose in granting these communications is to exalt the soul, he does not weary and restrict it, but enlarges and delights it, brightens and enriches it. The happy soul that by great fortune reaches this cautery knows all things, tastes all things, does all it wishes, and prospers; no one prevails before it and nothing touches it. This is the soul of which the Apostle speaks: The spiritual one judges all things and he is judged by no one. And again: The spirit searches out all things, unto the deep things of God.

It will happen that while the soul is inflamed with the love of God, it will feel that a seraphim is assailing it by means of an arrow or dart which is all afire with love. And the seraphim pierces and cauterizes this soul which, like a red-hot coal, or better, a flame, is already enkindled. For the soul is converted into the immense fire of love.

Few persons have reached these heights. Some have, however, especially those whose virtue and spirit was to be diffused among their children. For God accords to founders, with respect to the first fruits of the spirit, wealth and value commensurate with the greater or lesser following they will have in their doctrine and spirituality.

O happy wound, wrought by one who knows only how to heal! O fortunate and choicest wound; you were made only for delight, and the quality of your affliction is delight and gratification for the wounded soul! You are great, O delightful wound, because he who caused you is great! And your delight is great, because the fire of love is infinite and makes you delightful according to your capacity and greatness. O, then, delightful wound, so much more sublimely delightful the more the cautery touched the intimate center of the substance of the soul, burning all that was burnable in order to give delight to all that could be delighted!

RESPONSORY

The Lord our God is one Lord.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul, and with all your strength.

The Lord your God is a consuming fire.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
and with all your soul, and with all your strength.

 

Flowery border_British Library_medium

 

Morning Prayer

HYMN

The day is dawning with delight,
When, spotless as the dove,
Theresa winged her spirit flight
Afar, to realms of love and light,
In heavenly courts above.

Her ear hath caught the mystic sound,
Oh, come, my sister, spouse!
From Carmel’s summit come, be crowned,
Bride of the Lamb, in bliss profound,
Come plight thy nuptial vows!

O Jesus! Spouse of Virgin choice,
Thy holy name we praise!
While heavenly choirs, too, rejoice,
Their bridal canticle to voice,
And hymn their endless lays.

86.88.6.
Felix dies, qua candidae

Antiphons and psalms of the current weekday.

READING

2 Corinthians 4:5-7

It is not ourselves we preach but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts, that we in turn might make known the glory of God shining on the face of Christ. This treasure we possess in earthen vessels, to make it clear that its surpassing power comes from God and not from us.

RESPONSORY

My heart is ever pleading, show me your face.
My heart is ever pleading, show me your face.

I long to gaze upon you, Lord.
Show me your face.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
My heart is ever pleading, show me your face.
CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH

Ant. In my heart, imprisoned in my bones, was the likeness of a burning fire, and I was scarcely able to bear it.

Intercessions

The Lord of glory, Crown of all the Saints, gives us the joy of honoring our Mother, Saint Teresa. Let us praise him, saying:
Glory to you, Lord!

Source of life and holiness, in your saints you show us the infinite marvels of your grace;
in company with Saint Teresa may we sing of your mercies forever.

You want your love to blaze like fire throughout the world;
with Saint Teresa, make us zealous in spreading your charity.

You make friends of your saints, and reveal to them the mysteries of your heart;
bind us to yourself in friendship so close that we may taste the secrets of your love, proclaim your wonders, and draw others to you.

You pronounced blessed the pure of heart, and promised that they should see you;
purify our sight, so that we may see you in everyone and be faithful to you in all things.

You resist the proud and give wisdom to little ones;
make us humble of heart, so that we may receive your wisdom for the sake of the whole Church.

Our Father …

PRAYER

Almighty God,
you filled the heart of Saint Teresa of Avila, our Mother,
with the fire of your love
and gave her strength to undertake difficult tasks
for the honor of your name.
Through her prayers
may the power of your love fill our hearts also
and stir us to ever more generous efforts in your service.

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.

 

Ivy border media

 

Evening Prayer

HYMN

As messenger of the Most high,
Theresa from her home would fly,
Good tidings of the Heavenly King
To heathen lands afar to bring,
Or yield for Christ her gentle life,
In ruddy streams of martyr strife.

But death with sweeter aspect came,
Awaiting her with rapturous claim.
Ecstatic pangs delight her soul,
And, conquered by their strong control,
She falleth, wounded from above
By piercing lance of heavenly love.

Oh, flaming victim! may thy dart
Enkindle every frozen heart,
That upward mounting, one with thine,
They rise, consumed with fire divine.
And may thy pleading safely keep
Thy nations from the burning deep.

All praise unto the Father be,
And to the Son eternally,
With joyful harmony repeat
All praise unto the Paraclete,
The Blessed Trinity adore
With reverent homage evermore.

88.88.88.
Regis superni nuntia

Antiphons and psalms of the current weekday.

READING

Jude 20-21

Beloved, grow strong in your holy faith through prayer in the Holy Spirit. Persevere in God’s love, and welcome the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ which leads to life eternal.

RESPONSORY

You are the temple of the living God.
You are the temple of the living God.

And the Spirit of God dwells in you,
the temple of the living God.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
You are the temple of the living God.

CANTICLE OF MARY

Ant. My heart will rejoice in your salvation; I will sing to the Lord for his goodness to me.

INTERCESSIONS

Christ loved his Church and gave his life for her that she might be holy: let us pray to Christ that his Church may be holy and spotless in all her members:
Lord Jesus, be with your Church.

You are the Head of the Church and the source of all her grace;
keep us all close to you in faith and love, as living members of your Body.

You founded the Church on Peter and the apostles, and through them you teach us the truth and lead us in green pastures;
enlighten and guide those you have placed over your Church, and confirm our faith so that in them we may hear your voice leading us to life.

You choose some to announce the Good News by teaching, baptizing, calling to repentance, and offering in your memory the Eucharistic Sacrifice;
as the harvest is great, and the laborers few, send laborers into your harvest.

You choose some of your friends to follow you more closely in your poverty, your chastity and your obedience, for the building up of the Church;
with Mary as their Mother and teacher, may all religious cling to you and show forth your life within them as they serve the Church.

You made your people one body and one spirit in the unity of faith and baptism;
may all whom you have redeemed preserve the unity of the Spirit through the bonds of peace.

You died for our redemption and rose so that we could have life;
may all who have died in your love and await the revelation of your glory rejoice at the eternal banquet in the company of your saints.

Our Father …
PRAYER

Almighty God,
you filled the heart of Saint Teresa of Avila, our Mother,
with the fire of your love
and gave her strength to undertake difficult tasks
for the honor of your name.
Through her prayers
may the power of your love fill our hearts also
and stir us to ever more generous efforts in your service.

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.

 

Bernini_ocd-curia-photo
Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Ecstasy of Saint Teresa, 1647-52
Church of Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome (Discalced Carmelite Fathers)
Photo: Curia Generalizia Carmelitani Scalzi

 

 

Learn more about Bernini’s masterpiece on the Khan Academy website

 

Photos of artworks from Quito provided by the Project on the Engraved Sources of Spanish Colonial Art (PESSCA)

9 August: St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

August 9
SAINT TERESA BENEDICTA OF THE CROSS
Virgin and Martyr

Memorial

Edith Stein was born to a Jewish family at Breslau on October 12, 1891. Through her passionate study of philosophy, she searched after truth and found it in reading the autobiography of Saint Teresa of Jesus. In 1922 she was baptized a Catholic and in 1933 she entered the Carmel of Cologne, where she took the name Teresa Benedicta of the Cross. She was gassed and cremated at Auschwitz on August 9, 1942, during the Nazi persecution, and died a martyr for the Christian faith after having offered her holocaust for the people of Israel. A woman of singular intelligence and learning, she left behind a body of writing notable for its doctrinal richness and profound spirituality. She was beatified by Pope John Paul II at Cologne on May 1, 1987.

From the common of martyrs or of virgins

THE SECOND READING

(Edith Stein Werke (Freiburg, 1987), 11:124-126)

From the spiritual writings of Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross

Ave Crux, spes unica!

We greet you, Holy Cross, our only hope! The church puts these words on our lips during the time of the passion, which is dedicated to the contemplation of the bitter sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ. The world is in flames. The struggle between Christ and antichrist rages openly, and so if you decide for Christ you can even be asked to sacrifice your life.

Contemplate the Lord who hangs before you on the wood, because he was obedient even to the death of the cross. He came into the world not to do his own will but that of the Father. And if you wish to be the spouse of the Crucified, you must renounce completely your own will and have no other aspiration than to do the will of God.

Before you, the Redeemer hangs on the cross stripped and naked, because he chose poverty. Those who would follow him must renounce every earthly possession.

Stand before the Lord who hangs from the cross with his heart torn open. He poured out the blood of his heart in order to win your heart. In order to follow him in holy chastity, your heart must be free from every earthly aspiration. Jesus Crucified must be the object of your every longing, of your every desire, of your every thought.

The world is in flames: the fire can spread even to our house, but above all the flames the cross stands on high, and it cannot be burnt. The cross is the way which leads from earth to heaven. Those who embrace it with faith, love, and hope are taken up, right into the heart of the Trinity.

The world is in flames: do you wish to put them out? Contemplate the cross: from his open heart, the blood of the Redeemer pours, blood which can put out even the flames of hell. Through the faithful observance of the vows, you make your heart open; and then the floods of that divine love will be able to flow into it, making it overflow and bear fruit to the furthest reaches of the earth.

Through the power of the cross, you can be present wherever there is pain, carried there by your compassionate charity, by that very charity which you draw from the divine heart. That charity enables you to spread everywhere the most precious blood in order to ease pain, save and redeem.

The eyes of the Crucified gaze upon you. They question you and appeal to you. Do you wish seriously to renew your alliance with him? What will your response be? Lord, where shall I go? You alone have the words of life. Ave Crux, spes unica!

RESPONSORY

We preach Christ Crucified, a scandal to the Jews
and foolishness to the pagans,
but for those who are called, whether they be Jews or Greeks,
we preach Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God.

The desire of my heart and my prayer
rises to God for their salvation;
but for those who are called, whether they be Jews or Greeks,
we preach Christ, the power of God and the wisdom of God.

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.

 

Auschwitz_main-gate
On the main gate for visitors to Auschwitz, the Nazis affixed this motto: WORK SETS YOU FREE. But for the millions who passed through the railway entrance, there was no freedom to be found and no truth in the motto.
As St. Teresa Benedicta wrote of the Nazis in a letter dated July 10, 1940:
“one must, after all, tell those poor people the real truth for once.”

7 August: Saint Albert of Trápani

August 7
SAINT ALBERT OF TRAPANI
Priest

Memorial

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

From the common of holy men

Office of Readings

HYMN

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

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

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

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

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

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

10.10.10.10.
Mensis augusti redeuent honores

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

From the Book of the Institution of the First Monks

Hide yourself by the brook Cherith

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

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

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

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

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

RESPONSORY

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

Morning Prayer

HYMN

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

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

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

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

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

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

L.M.
Adest natalis gloriae

CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH

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

PRAYER

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

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

Evening Prayer

HYMN

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

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

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

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

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

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

10.10.10.4.
Passibus siccis rapidum

CANTICLE OF MARY

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

 

Albert-of-Trapani_icon-paris

28 July: Blessed John Soreth

July 28
BLESSED JOHN SORETH
Priest

Optional Memorial

John Soreth was born at Caen in Normandy and entered Carmel as a young man. He took a doctorate of theology in Paris and served as regent of studies and provincial of his province. He was prior general from 1451 until his death at Angers in 1471. He restored observance within the Order and promoted its reform, wrote a famous commentary on the Rule, issued new Constitutions in 1462, and promoted the growth of the nuns and the Third Order.

From the Common of Men Saints (Religious), except the following:

Office of Readings

The Second Reading
Ch 4

From the Exhortation on the Carmelite Rule by Blessed John Soreth

Learn from Christ how you should love him

It is from Christ Himself, brother, that you will learn how to love Him. Learn to love Him tenderly, with all your heart; prudently, with all your soul; fervently, with all your strength. Love Him tenderly, so that you will not be seduced away from Him; prudently, so that you will not be open to deception; and fervently, so that downheartedness will not draw you away from God’s love. May the wisdom of Christ seem sweet to you, so that you are not led away by the glory of the world and the pleasures of the flesh. May Christ, Who is the Truth, enlighten you, so that you do not fall prey to the spirit of error and falsehood. May Christ, Who is the Strength of God, fortify you when hardships wear you out.

St. Basil says that we are bound to our benefactors by bonds of affection and duty. But what greater gift or favor could we receive than God Himself? For, He continues, I experience the ineffable love of God–a love more easily felt than described. Since God has planted the seeds of goodness in us, we can be certain that He is awaiting their fruits.

So let the love of Christ kindle your enthusiasm; let His knowledge be your teacher, and His constancy your strength. May your enthusiasm be fervent, balanced in judgment and invincible, and neither lukewarm nor lacking in discretion. Love the Lord your God with all the affection of which your heart is capable; love Him with all the attentiveness and balance of judgement of your soul and reason; love Him with such strength that you will not be afraid to die for love of Him. May the Lord Jesus seem so sweet and tender to your affections that the sweet enticements of the world hold no attraction for you; may His sweetness conquer their sweetness.

May He also be the guiding light of your intellect and the ruler of your reason: then you will not only avoid the deceptions of heresy and save your faith from their ambushes, but you will also avoid too great and indiscreet an enthusiasm in your behavior. God is Wisdom, and He wants to be loved not only fervently, but also wisely; otherwise the spirit of error will easily take advantage of your enthusiasm. If you neglect this advice, that cunning enemy thereby has a most effective means of taking the love of God from your heart by making you progress carelessly and without discretion. Therefore, may your love be strong and persevering, neither giving in to fears nor being worn out by labors.

Not to be led astray by allurements, that’s what it means to love with all one’s heart; not to be deceived by false arguments, that’s the meaning of loving with all one’s soul; not to let your spirit be broken by difficulties, that is to love with all one’s strength.

The Rule goes on to say that you should love your neighbor as yourself. For he who loves God, loves his neighbor too; “for he who does not love his brother whom he sees, how can he love God whom he does not see?”

Responsory

R/. This is the love of God: that we keep His commandments; * and His commandments are not burdensome.
V/. Those who keep His commandments abide in God, and God abides in them; * and His commandments are not burdensome.

Morning Prayer

Canticle of Zechariah

Ant. Be faithful ’til death, and I will give you the crown of life.

Prayer

Lord God,
you willed that Blessed John Soreth
should renew religious life
and establish communities for women
in the Order of Carmel.
May his prayers and merits
help us to be ever more faithful
in following Christ and His Mother.

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.

Evening Prayer

Canticle of Mary

Ant. This faithful man made his city strong and renewed the faith of sinners.

 

Maurice d'Angers
Saint Maurice (detail)
André Robin (French, 15th c.)
Stained glass
Cathedral of Saint-Maurice, Angers
André Robin was the painter in charge of the stained glass windows at the Angers Cathedral, beginning in 1434. The artist’s great attention to detail in his work is clearly seen in the window dedicated to Saint Maurice. The photographer notes that the patron saint “wears a beautiful Italianate French armour of the early 1450s. Note how all the details in its construction have been carefully depicted.”
View the complete photo by Roel Renmans here

 

23 July: Our Lady of Divine Grace

July 23
(In Europe: July 19)
OUR LADY, MOTHER OF DIVINE GRACE

Memorial

‘The Blessed Virgin Mary was eternally predestined, in the context of the Incarnation of the divine Word, to be the Mother of God. As decreed by divine Providence, she served on earth as the loving Mother of the divine Redeemer, His associate, uniquely generous, and the Lord’s humble servant. She conceived, bore, and nourished Christ; presented Him to the Father in the Temple; and was united with Him in His suffering as He died on the cross. In a completely unparalleled way she cooperated, by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity, with our Savior’s work of restoring supernatural life to souls. For this reason, she is Mother to us all in the order of grace’ (Lumen Gentium, the Constitution on the Church, 61).

From the Common of the Blessed Virgin Mary, except the following:

Office of Readings

The Second Reading

Hom. 4

From the homily of St. Cyril of Alexandria preached at the Council of Ephesus

Our access to the fountainhead of grace is through Mary

Hail Mary, Mother of God, august treasury of the whole world, unquenchable torch, crown of virginity, scepter of orthodoxy, temple indestructible, and place of the uncontainable, mother and virgin. Through you is named blessed in the holy gospel He who comes in the name of the Lord. Hail Mary! You contained the uncontainable in your holy virginal womb. Through you the Trinity is glorified; through you is the cross named precious, and adored throughout the whole world; through you heaven exults; through you angels and archangels rejoice; through you demons are put to flight; through you the devil, the tempter, fell from heaven; through you the fallen creature is taken up to heaven; through you the whole created world, gripped in the madness of idolatry, come to a recognition of the truth; through you comes about holy baptism for believers; through you the oil of gladness; through you churches have been founded through the whole world; through you nations are led to repentance.

What need is there to speak at length? Through you the only Son of God shone His light for those who sat in darkness and in the shadow of death; through you prophets foretold what was to come; through you apostles preach salvation to the nations; through you the dead are raised to life; through you kings reign, through the Holy Trinity.

What man can sing adequately the praise of Mary? She is both virgin and mother! The wonder astounds me. Shall the Builder be forbidden to inhabit the temple He has built? Shall He be despised who chose His handmaid for His mother?

See then, all things rejoice. May it be ours to fear and bow before the unity of the Trinity, to worship and tremble in awe before the indivisible Trinity, as we sing praises of the ever-virgin Mary, that is the holy Church, and of her Son and immaculate spouse; for to Him is glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Responsory

R/. With confidence let us draw near to the throne of grace, * so that we may receive mercy, and find grace when we are in need of help.
V/. To you do we cry, blessed Virgin, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears, * so that we may receive mercy, and find grace when we are in need of help.

Morning Prayer

Canticle of Zechariah

Ant. It is I who give birth to all noble loving and the holy gift of hope. From me comes every grace of faithful observance; from me all promise of life and vigor.

Prayer

God of eternal wisdom,
in your providence, you willed that the Blessed Virgin Mary
should bring forth the Author of Grace,
and take part with him
in the mystery of man’s redemption.
May she obtain for us grace in abundance
and bring us to the haven of everlasting salvation.

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.

Evening Prayer

Canticle of Mary

Ant. Our salvation is in your hands, O Mother; smile upon us, and we shall be happy in our service of the Lord our King.

 

Mater-Divinae-Gratiae_sepia
“She is Mother to us all in the order of grace” (LG 61)

16 July: Solemn Commemoration of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

July 16
SOLEMN COMMEMORATION OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

Solemnity

The sacred scriptures speak of the beauty of Mount Carmel where the prophet Elijah defended the faith of Israel in the living God. There, at the beginning of the thirteenth century, under the title of “Saint Mary of Mount Carmel,” the Order of Carmelites had its formal beginning. From the fourteenth century this title, recalling the countless blessings of its patroness, began to be celebrated solemnly, first in England and then gradually throughout the whole Order. It attained its supreme place from the beginning of the seventeenth century, when the General Chapter declared it to be the principal feast of the Order, and Paul V recognized it as the feast of the Scapular Confraternity.

Evening Prayer I

Hymn

Flower of Carmel,
Tall vine blossom laden;
Splendor of heaven,
Child-bearing yet maiden.
None equals thee.

Mother so tender,
Who no man didst know,
On Carmel’s children
Thy favors bestow.
Star of the Sea.

Strong stem of Jesse,
Who bore one bright flower,
Be ever near us
And guard us each hour,
who serve thee here.

Purest of lilies,
That flowers among thorns,
Bring help to the true heart
That in weakness turns
and trusts in thee.

Strongest of armor,
We trust in thy might:
Under thy mantle,
Hard press’d in the fight,
we call to thee.

Our way uncertain,
Surrounded by foes,
Unfailing counsel
You give to those
who turn to thee.

O gentle Mother
Who in Carmel reigns,
Share with your servants
That gladness you gained
and now enjoy.

Hail, Gate of Heaven,
With glory now crowned,
Bring us to safety
Where thy Son is found,
true joy to see.

Flos Carmeli
Tr. unknown

Psalmody

Ant. 1 The glory of Lebanon is given to her, the beauty of Carmel and Sharon.

Psalm 113

Praise, O servants of the Lord, *
praise the name of the Lord!
May the name of the Lord be blessed *
both now and for evermore!
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.

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. The glory of Lebanon is given to her, the beauty of Carmel and Sharon.

Ant. 2 You are the glory of Jerusalem, the joy of Israel, the highest honor of our race.

Psalm 147

O praise the Lord, Jerusalem! *
Sion, praise your God!

He has strengthened the bars of your gates, *
he has blessed the children within you.
He has established peace on your borders, *
he feeds you with finest wheat.

He sends out his word to the earth *
and swiftly runs his command.
He showers down snow white as wool, *
he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.

He hurls down hailstones like crumbs. *
The waters are frozen at his touch;
he sends forth his word and it melts them: *
at the breath of his mouth the waters flow.

He makes his word known to Jacob, *
to Israel his laws and decrees.
He has not dealt thus with other nations; *
he has not taught them his decrees.

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. You are the glory of Jerusalem, the joy of Israel, the highest honor of our race.

Ant. 3 You will rejoice in your children, for they will be blessed through you and gathered together by the Lord.

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. You will rejoice in your children, for they will be blessed through you and gathered together by the Lord.

Scripture Reading

Rev 11:19; 12:1

God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.

Short Responsory

R/. How fair you are, * O Virgin Mary. Repeat R/.
V/. Your face is resplendent with grace, * O Virgin Mary.
Glory . . . R/.

Canticle of Mary

Ant. Bounteous Mother of God, glory of Mount Carmel, we are your children and your people, endow us with your own virtues; have pity, and protect us from every danger.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, *
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant, *
and from this day all generations will call me blessed.

The Almighty has done great things for me: *
holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him *
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm, *
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,*
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things, *
and has sent the rich away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel*
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

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. Bounteous Mother of God, glory of Mount Carmel, we are your children and your people, endow us with your own virtues; have pity, and protect us from every danger.

Intercessions

Let us praise our heavenly Father, who gives us the joy of celebrating this solemn feast of the Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, as we pray:

R/. May Mary, Mother and Beauty of Carmel, intercede for us.

Lord, in your plan the Daughter of Sion was foreshadowed by the prophets and made the heir of all your promises; by imitating Mary, who is the image of the Church, may your Church on earth be more and more the sacrament of the world’s salvation. R/.

You have honored the family of Carmel with the title and patronage of the Virgin Mary; may all Carmelites live with her in unswerving allegiance to Jesus Christ. R/.

You have entrusted the whole of mankind, the brothers and sisters of your Son, to the care of Mary’s maternal heart; may the world see her image in us as we strive to live in your presence and to give ourselves for the salvation of all. R/.

You call the humble family of Carmel, living in the cloister and in the world, to be especially dedicated to the Virgin Mary; may all who are called to Carmel be of one mind and one heart as they join together in prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus. R/.

You promise a crown of glory to those who persevere in your love till the end; may our departed brothers and sisters, who shared Mary’s love for you, rejoice with you forever in heaven. R/.

Our Father …

Prayer

Lord God,
you willed that the Order of Carmel
should be named in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of your Son.
Through her prayers, as we honor her today,
bring us to your holy Mountain,
Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Or:

Father,
may the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother and Queen of Carmel,
protect us, and bring us to your holy Mountain,
Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever.

Angel_British Library_small

INVITATORY

Lord, open my lips.
 And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Ant. Come, ring out our joy to the Lord, as we thank him for the favors we have received through Mary, the Virgin Mother of Carmel.

Psalm 95

Come, let us sing to the Lord *
and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us.
Let us approach him with praise and thanksgiving *
and sing joyful songs to the Lord.

Ant. Come, ring out our joy to the Lord, as we thank him for the favors we have received through Mary, the Virgin Mother of Carmel.

The Lord is God, the mighty God, *
the great king over all the gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth *
and the highest mountains as well
He made the sea; it belongs to him, *
the dry land, too, for it was formed by his hands.

Ant. Come, ring out our joy to the Lord, as we thank him for the favors we have received through Mary, the Virgin Mother of Carmel.

Come, then, let us bow down and worship, *
bending the knee before the Lord, our maker,
For he is our God and we are his people, *
the flock he shepherds.

Ant. Come, ring out our joy to the Lord, as we thank him for the favors we have received through Mary, the Virgin Mother of Carmel.

Today, listen to the voice of the Lord:*
Do not grow stubborn, as your fathers did in the wilderness,
when at Meriba and Massah they challenged me and provoked me, *
Although they had seen all of my works.

Ant. Come, ring out our joy to the Lord, as we thank him for the favors we have received through Mary, the Virgin Mother of Carmel.

Forty years I endured that generation. 
I said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray *
and they do not know my ways.”
So I swore in my anger, *
“They shall not enter into my rest.”

Ant. Come, ring out our joy to the Lord, as we thank him for the favors we have received through Mary, the Virgin Mother of Carmel.

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. Come, ring out our joy to the Lord, as we thank him for the favors we have received through Mary, the Virgin Mother of Carmel.

Office of Readings

Hymn

1. Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel whom in ancient prophecy
God revealed to Saint Elijah by an Oriental sea.
Rise again on God’s creation bring to bloom this arid place
with the white cloud of your beauty and the rainfall of your grace.

2. Blessed cloud of God’s protection and His luminous abode,
light the pathways of your pilgrims to the promised land of God.
On the mount of contemplation be our surety and stay.
In the night a pillar glowing and a cloud of love by day.

3. Mother fair above all mothers, by the scapular we wear
be your own sign of salvation, which our willing shoulders bear.
Shield us from the foes of darkness, we are prey they seek to win.
us as your loving children from the tragedy of sin.

4. Virgin of the Incarnation, in the mysteries of grace,
God has made His habitation in our soul’s most secret place.
Toward that bright and inner kingdom, all our words and ways compel.
For the Father, Son and Spirit in its sacred silence dwell.

5. Lady of the mystic mountain, where the Lord has set His throne,
up its steep way to the Spirit, none can walk save love alone.
Grant us grace to climb Mount Carmel and to learn that love is loss.
Guide us still our ways outdistance all earth’s treasures save the cross.

6. Queen and Beauty of Mount Carmel, Virgin of the solitude,
in the wilderness of Carmel lies the world’s eternal good.
Draw us to its deep seclusion and make God alone our goal.
In the mystical Mount Carmel that lies hidden in the soul.

87.87.D.
Sr. Miriam of the Holy Spirit, OCD

Psalmody

Ant. 1 Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord, and who shall stand in his holy place? The one with clean hands and pure heart.

When the following psalm has been used at the Invitatory, Ps 94 is said here in place of it.

Psalm 24

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness, *
the world and all its peoples.
It is he who set in on the seas; *
on the waters he made it firm.

Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord? *
Who shall stand in his holy place?
The man with clean hands and pure heart, †
who desires not worthless things, *
who has not sworn so as to deceive his neighbor.

He shall receive blessings from the Lord *
and reward from the God who saves him.
Such are the men who seek him, *
seek the face of the God of Jacob.

O gates, lift high your heads; †
grow higher, ancient doors. *
Let him enter, the king of glory!

Who is the king of glory? †
The Lord, the mighty, the valiant, *
the Lord, the valiant in war.

O gates, lift high your heads; †
grow higher, ancient doors. *
Let him enter, the king of glory!

Who is he, the king of glory? †
He, the Lord of armies, *
he is the king of glory.

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. Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord, and who shall stand in his holy place? The one with clean hands and pure heart.

Ant. 2 I will lead them to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer.

Psalm 46

God is for us a refuge and strength *
a helper close at hand, in time of distress:
so we shall not fear though the earth should rock, *
though the mountains fall into the depths of the sea,
even though its waters rage and foam, *
even though the mountains be shaken by its waves.

The Lord of hosts is with us: *
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

The waters of a river give joy to God’s city, *
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within, it cannot be shaken; *
God will help it at the dawning of the day.
Nations are in tumult, kingdoms are shaken: *
he lifts his voice, the earth shrinks away.

The Lord of hosts is with us: *
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

Come, consider the works of the Lord *
the redoubtable deeds he has done on the earth.
He puts an end to wars over all the earth; †
the bow he breaks, the spear he snaps. *
He burns the shields with fire.
“Be still and know that I am God, *
supreme among the nations, supreme on the earth!”

The Lord of hosts is with us: *
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

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. I will lead them to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer.

Ant. 3 Glorious things are told of you, O city of God; the Lord founded you on his holy mountain!

Psalm 87

On the holy mountain is his city *
cherished by the Lord.
The Lord prefers the gates of Sion *
to all Jacob’s dwellings.
Of you are told glorious things, *
O city of God.

Babylon and Egypt I will count *
among those who know me;
Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia, *
these will be her children
and Sion shall be called “Mother” *
for all shall be her children.

It is he, the Lord Most High, *
who gives each his place.
In his register of peoples he writes: *
‘These are her children’
and while they dance they will sing: *
‘In you all find their home.’

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. Glorious things are told of you, O city of God; the Lord founded you on his holy mountain!

V/. I have brought you into the land of Carmel.
R/. To enjoy the fruits and blessings of it.

The First Reading

1 Kings 18:36-39, 41-45a

A reading from the First Book of Kings

Elijah prayed on the summit of Carmel, and heaven granted rain

And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.” Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt offering, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said “The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God.”

And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink for there is a sound of the rushing of rain.” So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he bowed himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees. And he said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” And he went up and looked, and said, “There is nothing.” And he said, “Go again seven times.” And at the seventh time he said, “Behold, a little cloud like a man’s hand is rising out of the sea.” And he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down, lest the rain stop you.’” And in a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain.

Responsory

R/. You care for the earth, give it water; you fill it with riches; * you bless its growth.
V/. The pastures of the wilderness flow with abundance, and the hills are girded with joy; * you bless its growth.
R/. You care for the earth, give it water; You fill it with riches; * you bless its growth.
V/. The pastures of the wilderness flow with abundance, and the hills are girded with joy; * you bless its growth.

The Second Reading  (Alternative 2)

May 10 and June 22, 1967

From the Allocutions of Pope Paul VI

Blessed are all who have believed

We can readily see that the Blessed Virgin Mary was endowed in high measure with a remarkable interior enlightenment, such as might have been anticipated in view of her sinlessness and the nature of her task in the world. The Gospels make abundantly clear that her soul was gifted with an extraordinary insight into the ways of God and a prophetic intuition. Yet above all else it was faith that most characterized the Mother of God — the kind of faith that does not need proof, but accepts a thing as true because God has spoken. The Second Vatican Council declares that “the Blessed Virgin went forward in her pilgrimage of faith,” and the Gospel records how generous and meritorious that pilgrimage was when it cites Elizabeth’s high tribute, which tells us so much about Mary’s psychology and holiness: “Blessed are you, for you have believed.”

We find confirmation of this faith, Our Lady’s foremost virtue, wherever the gospel tells of what she was, or what she said or what she did. Faced with the attitudes that characterize the incomparable figure of Mary in relation to the mystery of Christ realized in herself, we feel compelled to follow her example, and discover patterns for those who have, in conformity with God’s plan for our salvation chosen the religious life. She teaches us how to listen, how to explore, to accept, to make sacrifices; she teaches us how to meditate, to wait, to examine; she teaches us self-possession, and calm, absolute assurance in judgment and action; she teaches us, in short, the fullness of prayer and communion with God. And all these things, though we see them in Mary uniquely realized by that one soul which was full of grace and completely under the sway of the Holy Spirit, are yet all forms of faith, and therefore close to us and available not only for our admiration but for our imitation.

You have chosen the narrow, austere, arduous way of the ascetic life. You are in such a way committed to the pursuit of the supreme art of prayer and an intense spiritual life that you are branded as true searchers after the only fullness, the only peace, the only love: the union of the soul with God.

May the most holy Virgin Mary confirm you in your Carmelite vocation. May she safeguard your love for the things of the spirit. May she obtain for you the graces you need in your holy, laborious ascent towards the knowledge of the divine realm and the ineffable experiences of its dark nights and light-filled days. May she give you the desire for sanctity, the desire to bear eschatological witness to the kingdom of heaven. May she make you models for all the members of God’s Church, and bind you to them in brotherhood. And may she one day lead you into that possession of Christ and His glory which, even now, is the goal towards which your whole life is directed.

Responsory

R/. In faith receive the word of God which is able to save your souls. * Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.
V/. Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. * Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.

Where the Vigil Office is celebrated:

Canticles

Ant. Bring us, O Mary, to the summit of Carmel, to Christ our heavenly life.

Canticle I

Is 2:2-3

All the peoples will come to the house of the Lord

The mountain where God has chosen to dwell (Ps 67:17)

It shall come to pass in the latter days *
that the mountain of the house of the Lord
shall be established as the highest of the mountains, †
and shall be raised above the hills, *
and all the nations shall flow to it.

And many people shall come, and say †
‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, *
to the house of the God of Jacob,
that he may teach us his ways *
and that we may walk in his paths.’
For out of Sion shall go forth the law, *
and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.

Canticle II

Is 61:10-62:3

The prophet rejoices in the new Jerusalem

I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, as beautiful as a bride prepared to meet her husband (Rev 21:2)

I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, *
my soul shall exult in my God;
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation, *
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,
as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, *
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

For as the earth brings forth its shoots, *
and as a garden causes what is sown in it to spring up,
so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise *
to spring forth before all the nations.

For Sion’s sake I will not keep silent, *
and for Jerusalem’s sake, I will not rest
until her vindication goes forth as brightness, *
and her salvation as a burning torch.

The nations shall see your vindication, *
and all the kings your glory;
and you shall be called by a new name *
which the mouth of the Lord will give.

You shall be a crown of beauty *
in the hand of the Lord,
and a royal diadem *
in the hand of your God.

Canticle III

Is 62:4-7

The glory of the new Jerusalem

Here God lives among men. He will make his home among them (Rev 21:3)

No longer are you to be named ‘Forsaken,’ *
nor your land ‘Abandoned,’
but you shall be called ‘My Delight,’ *
and your land, ‘The Wedded;’
for the Lord takes delight in you *
and your land will have its wedding.

Like a young man marrying a virgin, *
so will the one who built you wed you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices in his bride, *
so will your God rejoice in you.

On your walls, Jerusalem, *
I set watchmen.
Day or night *
they must never be silent.

You who keep the Lord mindful *
must take no rest.
Nor let him take rest †
till he has restored Jerusalem, *
and made her the boast of the earth.

Ant. Bring us, O Mary, to the summit of Carmel, to Christ our heavenly life.

Gospel

Lk 1:39-56

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Luke

Why should I be honored with a visit from the mother of my Lord?

Mary set out at that time and went as quickly as she could to a town in the hill country of Judah. She went into Zechariah’s house and greeted Elizabeth. Now as soon as Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the child leaped in her womb and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. She gave a loud cry and said, “Of all women you are the most blessed, and blessed is the fruit of your womb. Why should I be honored with a visit from the mother of my Lord? For the moment your greeting reached my ears, the child in my womb leaped for joy. Yes, blessed is she who believed that the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled.”

And Mary said:

“My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord
and my spirit exults in God my savior;
because he has looked upon his lowly handmaid.
Yes, from this day forward all generations will call me blessed,
for the Almighty has done great things for me.
Holy is his name,
and his mercy reaches from age to age for those who fear him.
He has shown the power of his arm,
he has routed the proud of heart.
He has pulled down princes from their thrones and exalted the lowly.
The hungry he has filled with good things, the rich sent empty away.
He has come to the help of Israel his servant, mindful of his mercy
—according to the promise he made to our ancestors of
his mercy to Abraham and to his descendants for ever.”

Mary stayed with Elizabeth about three months and then went back home.

Te Deum

You are God: we praise you; *
You are the Lord: we acclaim you;
You are the eternal Father: *
All creation worships you.

To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, *
Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord, God of power and might, *
heaven and earth are full of your glory.

The glorious company of apostles praise you. 
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. *
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.

Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you: *
Father, of majesty unbounded,
your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, *
and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the King of glory, *
the eternal Son of the Father.

When you became man to set us free *
you did not spurn the Virgin’s womb.

You overcame the sting of death, *
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. *
We believe that you will come, and be our judge.

Come then, Lord, and help your people, *
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints*
to glory everlasting.

Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance.
 Govern and uphold them now and always.

Day by day we bless you.
 We praise your name for ever.

Keep us today, Lord, from all sin.
 Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.

Lord, show us your love and mercy,
 for we have put our trust in you.

In you, Lord, is our hope:
 And we shall never hope in vain.

Prayer

Lord God,
you willed that the Order of Carmel
should be named in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of your Son.
Through her prayers, as we honor her today,
bring us to your holy Mountain,
Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Flowery border_British Library_medium

 

Morning Prayer

Hymn

Let us in spirit make our way
to Carmel’s mountain height;
our Virgin Mother calls us there
to gather flowers of light.

This is indeed a holy place
where God has ever reigned;
here hearts are healed in silent prayer,
and strength of mind attained.

This is where living water flowed
to save the thirsting land,
to clothe the desert with fresh grass,
with trees the burning sand.

Cradle of our religious life
is Carmel’s height austere;
wherever Mary turns her gaze
flow waters springing clear.

Let us adore the Trinity
the Father honors her,
the Son embraces her with love,
the Spirit reigns in her!

C.M.
Carmeli ad altos vertices
Tr. unknown

Psalmody

Ant. 1 Fragrant is the scent of your perfume, Immaculate Virgin. Let us follow in your footsteps.

Psalm 63

O God, you are my God, for you I long; *
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you *
like a dry, weary land without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary *
to see your strength and your glory.

For your love is better than life, *
my lips will speak your praise.
So I will bless you all my life, *
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet, *
my mouth shall praise you with joy.

On my bed I remember you. *
On you I muse through the night
for you have been my help; *
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you; *
your right hand holds me fast.

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. Fragrant is the scent of your perfume, Immaculate Virgin. Let us follow in your footsteps.

Ant. 2 Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you; you are the most blessed of all women.

Canticle – Daniel 3:57-88, 56

Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord. *
You heavens, bless the Lord,
All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord. *
All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Sun and moon, bless the Lord. *
Stars of heaven, bless the Lord.

Every shower and dew, bless the Lord. *
All you winds, bless the Lord.
Fire and heat, bless the Lord. *
Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord. *
Frost and chill, bless the Lord.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord. *
Nights and days, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord. *
Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord.

Let the earth bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Mountains and hills, bless the Lord. *
Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord.
You springs, bless the Lord. *
Seas and rivers, bless the Lord.
You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord. *
All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.
All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord. *
You sons of men, bless the Lord.

O Israel, bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord. *
Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord. *
Holy men of humble heart, bless the Lord.
Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael, bless the Lord. *
Praise and exalt him above all forever.

Let us bless the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. *
Let us praise and exalt him above all for ever.
Blessed are you, Lord, in the firmament of heaven. *
Praiseworthy and glorious and exalted above all for ever.

Ant. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you; you are the most blessed of all women.

Ant. 3 Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary: you gave birth to him who made you, yet remain a virgin forever.

Psalm 149

Sing a new song to the Lord, *
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in its maker, *
let Zion’s sons exult in their king.
Let them praise his name with dancing *
and make music with timbrel and harp.

For the Lord takes delight in his people. *
He crowns the poor with salvation.
Let the faithful rejoice in their glory, *
shout for joy and take their rest.
Let the praise of God be on their lips *
and a two-edged sword in their hand,

to deal out vengeance to the nations *
and punishment on all the peoples;
to bind their kings in chains *
and their nobles in fetters of iron;
to carry out the sentence pre-ordained; *
this honor is for all his faithful.

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. Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary: you gave birth to him who made you, yet remain a virgin forever.

Reading

Is 35:1-2

Let the wilderness and the dry-lands exult,
let the wasteland rejoice and bloom,
let it bring forth flowers like the jonquil,
let it rejoice and sing for joy.
The glory of Lebanon is bestowed on it
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they shall see the glory of the Lord,
the splendor of our God.

Short Responsory

R/. Under your protection we take refuge, * Mother of God most holy. Repeat R/.
V/. Do not turn away from the prayers that spring from our need, * Mother of God most holy.
Glory . . . R/.

Canticle of Zechariah

Ant. Jesus said to His Mother, “Woman, this is your son,” and to the disciple He said, “This is your Mother;” and from that hour the disciple took her as his own.

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; *
he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior, *
born of the house of his servant David.

Through his holy prophets he promised of old †
that he would save us from our enemies, *
from the hands of all who hate us.

He promised to show mercy to our fathers*
and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: *
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear, *
holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.

You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High; *
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation *
by the forgiveness of their sins.

In the tender compassion of our God *
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, *
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

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. Jesus said to His Mother, “Woman, this is your son,” and to the disciple He said, “This is your Mother;” and from that hour the disciple took her as his own.

Intercessions

Christ our Savior, the first-born of many brothers, gave us his Mother as our own. On this sacred day let us come to him with thankful hearts and say:

R/. For the gift of your Mother, we give glory to you, Lord.

Christ our Redeemer, you prepared a worthy dwelling place for yourself in the sinless Virgin Mary; may we work today in your service and hers, poor in spirit and pure in heart. R/.

Only Word of the Father, uttered in eternal silence and lovingly received in the womb of the Virgin, may our Carmelite vocation lead us, like Mary, to hear the Word of God and put it into practice. R/.

Christ our Teacher, you offer the Virgin Mary as the model of every virtue to those who seek you; may we, her children, mirror her life, especially in our charity towards all. R/.

Jesus, Son of Mary, you gave your Mother to the apostle John to take into his own keeping; in our familiarity with Mary may we experience your ineffable love. R/.

Christ, Spouse of the Church, you sent the fire of the Holy Spirit upon Mary when she was joined with the apostles in prayer; may the whole family of Carmel remain faithful in prayer with Mary, and so be continually renewed by the Holy Spirit. R/.

Our Father …

Prayer

Lord God,
you willed that the Order of Carmel
should be named in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of your Son.
Through her prayers, as we honor her today,
bring us to your holy Mountain,
Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

WhitefriarsLondonBookplate_BritishLibrary_small

 

Daytime Prayer

The complementary psalms are used.

Midmorning

Ant. O Mary, you are a mother beyond compare, worthy to be remembered by your children forever.

Psalm 120

To the Lord in the hour of my distress *
I call and he answers me.
“O Lord, save my soul from lying lips, *
from the tongue of the deceitful.”

What shall he repay you in return, *
O treacherous tongue?
The warriors arrows sharpened *
and coals, red-hot, blazing.

(Alas, that I abide a stranger in Meshech, *
dwell among the tents of Kedar!)

Long enough have I been dwelling *
with those who hate peace.
I am for peace, but when I speak, *
they are for fighting.

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.

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the mountains; *
from where shall come my help?
My help shall come from the Lord *
who made heaven and earth.

May he never allow you to stumble! *
Let him sleep not, your guard.
No, he sleeps not nor slumbers, *
Israel’s guard.

The Lord is your guard and your shade; *
at your right side he stands.
By day the sun shall not smite you *
nor the moon in the night.

The Lord will guard you from evil, *
he will guard you soul.
The Lord will guard your going and coming *
both now and for ever.

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.

Psalm 129

“They have pressed me hard from my youth,” *
this is Israel’s song.
“They have pressed me hard from my youth *
but could never destroy me.

They plowed my back like plowmen, *
drawing long furrows.
But the Lord who is just, has destroyed *
the yoke of the wicked.”

Let them be shamed and routed, *
those who hate Zion!
Let them be like grass on the roof *
that withers before it flowers.

With that no reaper fill his arms, *
no binder makes his sheaves
and those passing by will not say:
“On you the Lord’s blessing!” *
“We bless you in the name of the Lord.”

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.

Scripture Reading

Prov 8:32-34

And now, my sons, listen to me:
happy are those who keep my ways.
Hear instruction and be wise,
and do not neglect it.
Happy is the man who listens to me,
watching daily at my gates,
waiting beside my doors.

V/. Whoever finds me finds life.
R/. And will receive salvation from the Lord.

Midday

Ant. Your souls will rejoice in her mercy, and her praise will not bring you to shame.

Psalm 123

To you have I lifted up my eyes, *
you who dwell in the heavens;
my eyes, like the eyes of slaves *
on the hand of their lords.

Like the eyes of a servant *
on the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes are on the Lord our God *
till he show us his mercy.

Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy. *
We are filled with contempt.
Indeed all too full is our soul
with the scorn of the rich, *
with the proud man’s disdain.

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.

Psalm 124

“If the Lord had not been on our side,” *
this is Israel’s song.
“If the Lord had not been on our side *
when men rose up against us,
then would they have swallowed us alive *
when their anger was kindled.

Then would the waters have engulfed us, *
the torrent gone over us;
over our head would have swept *
the raging waters.”

Blessed be the Lord who did not give us *
a prey to their teeth!
Our life, like a bird, has escaped *
from the snare of the fowler.

Indeed the snare has been broken *
and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the Lord, *
who made heaven and 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.

Psalm 125

Those who put their trust in the Lord
are like Mount Zion, that cannot be shaken, *
that stands for ever.

Jerusalem! The mountains surround her,
so the Lord surrounds his people *
both now and for ever.

For the scepter of the wicked shall not rest *
over the land of the just
for fear that the hands of the just *
should turn to evil.

Do good, Lord, to those who are good, *
to the upright of heart;
but the crooked and those who do evil, *
drive them away!

On Israel, peace!

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.

Scripture Reading

Sir 24:15-16

I made Sion my stronghold, the holy city my resting-place, Jerusalem my throne. My roots spread out among the people that enjoys his favor, my God has granted me a share in his own domain; where his faithful servants are gathered I love to linger.

V/. My spirit is sweeter than honey.
R/. My inheritance sweeter than the honeycomb.

Midafternoon

Ant. With the fruit of her hands she planted a vineyard; her children stood up and proclaimed her blessed.

Psalm 126

When the Lord delivered Zion from bondage, *
it seemed like a dream.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter, *
on our lips there were songs.

The heathens themselves said: “What marvels *
the Lord worked for them!”
What marvels the Lord worked for us! *
Indeed we were glad.

Deliver us, O Lord, from our bondage *
as streams in dry land.
Those who are sowing in tears *
will sing when they reap.

They go out, they go out, full of tears, *
carrying seed for the sowing:
they come back, they come back, full of song, *
carrying their sheaves.

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.

Psalm 127

If the Lord does not build the house, *
in vain do its builders labor;
if the Lord does not watch over the city, *
in vain does the watchman keep vigil.

In vain is your earlier rising, *
your going later to rest,
you who toil for the bread you eat, *
when he pours gifts on his beloved while they slumber.

Truly sons are a gift from the Lord, *
a blessing, the fruit of the womb.
Indeed the sons of youth *
are like arrows in the hand of a warrior.

O the happiness of the man *
who has filled his quiver with these arrows!
He will have no cause for shame *
when he disputes with his foes in the gateways.

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.

Scripture Reading

Sir 24:23-25

No vine ever yielded fruit so fragrant; the enjoyment of honor and riches is the fruit I bear. It is I that give birth to all noble loving, all reverence, all true knowledge, and the holy gift of hope. From me comes every grace of faithful observance, from me all promise of life and vigor.

V/. Look down from heaven and see, and visit this vine.
R/. The vine your right hand has planted.

Prayer

Lord God,
you willed that the Order of Carmel
should be named in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of your Son.
Through her prayers, as we honor her today,
bring us to your holy Mountain,
Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

 

Mount Carmel Looking toward the sea_British Library_Medium

Evening Prayer II

Hymn

When thirst broke up the ground stricken at God’s command,
and crops lay on the long baked ridges of the soil,
swiftly Elias went where Carmel towered above,
scaling rough rocks with zeal and toil.

Great soul in fervent prayer, lifting his hands on high,
prophet, he pleaded there, turning God’s wrath again.
Hour after hour he strove for those marked down to die
unless the fields were saved with rain.

Then, far off, where the sea stretched in a distant plain,
a cloud fine as a hand lit in the deep blue cope;
and soon thunderclouds came, and after them the rain
drumming the dust with rhythms of hope.

Mary, we are those crops which drought of grace lays low,
you are that mystic cloud, that fruitful womb are you.
Your son, the God you nurse, is new life’s rain to us
who grow once more as hope comes true.

Spare us, great triune God, as we too bend in prayer,
help us scale the high stars, our mother’s worthy sons;
There, raised by her, we praise you everlastingly
and pour forth love’s unending songs.

12.12.12.8.
Bro. John Leonard Davies, O.C.D.

Psalmody

Ant. 1 Behold the handmaid of the Lord: let it be done to me according to your word.

Psalm 122

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. Behold the handmaid of the Lord: let it be done to me according to your word.

Ant. 2 Mary heard the Word of God and kept it, treasuring it in her heart.

Psalm 127

If the Lord does not build the house, *
in vain do its builders labor;
if the Lord does not watch over the city, *
in vain does the watchman keep vigil.

In vain is your earlier rising, *
your going later to rest,
you who toil for the bread you eat: *
when he pours gifts on his beloved while they slumber.

Truly sons are a gift from the Lord, *
a blessing, the fruit of the womb.
Indeed the sons of youth *
are like arrows in the hand of a warrior.

O the happiness of the man *
who has filled his quiver with these arrows!
He will have no cause for shame *
when he disputes with his foes in the gateways.

Ant. Mary heard the Word of God and kept it, treasuring it in her heart.

Ant. 3 The apostles persevered in prayer together with Mary, the Mother of Jesus.

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.

Ant. The apostles persevered in prayer together with Mary, the Mother of Jesus.

Scripture Reading

Gal 4:4-6

When the designated time had come, God sent forth his Son born of a woman, born under the law, to deliver from the law those who were subjected to it, so that we might receive our status as adopted sons. The proof that you are sons is the fact that God has sent forth into our hearts the spirit of his Son, which cries out “Abba, Father!”

Short Responsory

R/. I exult for joy in the Lord, * my soul rejoices in God. Repeat R/.
V/. For he has clothed me in the garments of salvation; he has wrapped me in the cloak of justice. * My soul rejoices in God.
Glory . . . R/.

Canticle of Mary

Ant. Mary, ever Virgin, has been given us as our Mother; she has taken pity on us; today we remember. Today all Carmel sings for joy as we keep a solemn festival in her honor whose name we bear.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, *
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant, *
and from this day all generations will call me blessed.

The Almighty has done great things for me: *
holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him *
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm, *
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,*
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things, *
and has sent the rich away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel*
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

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. Mary, ever Virgin, has been given us as our Mother; she has taken pity on us; today we remember. Today all Carmel sings for joy as we keep a solemn festival in her honor whose name we bear.

Intercessions

As we honor the holy Mother of God, under whose name and patronage we live, let us pray with confidence to Christ our Lord and say:

R/. Through the intercession of the Mother of Carmel, hear us, O Lord.

You said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven;” may we stand with Mary among the poor and humble of the Lord, so that you may be our only wealth. R/.

You said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God;” in following the Immaculate Virgin may we come to love that purity of heart which makes us eager to see the Father’s face. R/.

You said, “Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe;” with Mary at our side, may we never cease to trust in the love you have for us as we journey in this night of faith. R/.

You said, “You ought to pray always and never lose heart;” teach us to pray like Mary, treasuring your word in our hearts and proclaiming it in our lives. R/.

You said, “A new commandment I give you: love one another as I have loved you;” united in heart and mind, may we be ready to spend our lives for our brothers and sisters and share with Mary in your work of redemption. R/.

Dying on the cross, you said to John, and through him to all disciples, “Behold your Mother;” may we always please you by living in the intimate company of the Mother of Grace. R/.

You said, “I want those you have given me to be with me where I am:” may all those who trusted in your everlasting mercy rejoice one day with you and Mary in our Father’s house. R/.

Our Father …

Prayer

Lord God,
you willed that the Order of Carmel
should be named in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of your Son.
Through her prayers, as we honor her today,
bring us to your holy Mountain,
Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

 

NDMC_antique-woodcut
The Banner of Carmel
Mother and Beauty of Carmel
The Moon Beneath Her Feet
Elijah and Elisha, Leaders of Carmel

 

 

12 July: Saint Louis Martin and Zelie Guerin

July 12
SAINT LOUIS MARTIN AND ZELIE GUERIN

Optional Memorial

Louis Martin was born in Bordeaux, on August 22, 1823. While he was master-watchmaker in Alençon, he met Marie Azelie (Zelie) Guerin, a lace maker, born in Gandelain (St-Denis-sur-Sarthon), on December 23, 1831. They were married on July 13, 1858,and had nine children, including the future Saint Therese of the Infant Jesus. Model spouses, devoted parents, workers, attentive to the poor, always nourishing a missionary spirit, they found their strength and hope in regular attendance at Holy Mass and in a deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin. After a long illness Zelie died in Alençon on August 28, 1877. Louis, in retirement, went to Lisieux near his in-laws to ensure a better future for his five children (the other four having died in infancy). This patriarch of the family, after offering all his children to God, knew suffering and illness. He died near Evreux on July 29, 1894.

From the Common of Holy Men, with the psalms of the day.

Office of Readings

The Second Reading
(Zelie et Louis Martin, Correspondance Familiale [1863 – 1885].  Paris, 2004, L1, 72, 130, 81, 110, 147, 179, 204)

From the Letters of St. Zelie Martin

We must be willing to accept generously the will of the good God

My dear friend, I am really worried about you.  Every day my husband makes sad prophecies. He knows Paris and told me that you will be exposed to temptations that, because you are not pious enough, you will not be able to overcome.  He told me that he experienced them himself, and that he needed a lot of courage to come out victoriously from all the battles. If you only knew what trials he had to go through … I beg you, my dear Isidore (Zelie’s brother), to do as I did; pray, and you will not be carried away by the current.  If you succumb once you will be lost. On the road to perdition as on the road to salvation the first step is all important; afterwards you will be carried away by the current.

When I closed the eyes of my dear little children and buried them, I really felt the pain.  It is a pain to which I have always been resigned. I do not regret the pains and the anxieties I have had to endure on their account.  Many people have said to me: “It would have been better if you had never had them.” I cannot tolerate these words.  The pains and anxieties of this life cannot be compared to the eternal happiness of my children.  After all, they have not been lost forever, life is short and full of suffering, we shall find them in heaven.

Little Therese is always well and looks very healthy.  She is very intelligent and we have very amusing conversations.  She already knows how to pray to God. Every Sunday, she goes for some part of Vespers and if, by mistake, the family forgets to bring her there she cries uncontrollably.

My sister has spoken to me a great deal about your business… I told her not to break her neck because of this, that there is only one thing to do, pray to God, because neither she, nor I, can help you in any other way.  However, He, who is never embarrassed, will rescue us from all this when He sees that we have suffered enough, and then, you will recognize that your success is not due either to your ability or to your intelligence, but to God alone, as it happens with my lace making; this conviction is very beneficial, I have experienced it myself.  You know that we are all inclined to be proud and I notice often that those who have made their fortune are, for the most part, unbearably self-important. I am not saying that I would have been like this, nor you either, but we would have been somewhat tainted by pride; it is a fact that constant prosperity leads one away from God. He never led his chosen ones along this path, they had to pass first through the crucible of suffering in order to be purified.  You are going to say that I am preaching, but no matter I don’t wish to. I think of these things very often and I share them with you; now, call that a sermon if you like!

My dear children, I must go to Vespers to pray for the intention of our dear deceased relatives.  The day will come when you will do this for me, but I must make sure that I do not have so great a need of your prayers.  I would like to become a saint but this will not be easy; there is a lot of wood to burn but it is as hard as stone. It would have been better if I had begun earlier, when it was less difficult, but anyhow “it is better late than never.”

Today is then Wednesday, the feast of the Immaculate Conception which is a great feast for me!  On this day, the Blessed Virgin truly gave me many very special graces… This year, I will go again to find the Blessed Virgin early in the morning… my only prayer will be that those that she has given me will all be saints and that I shall not be too far behind, but they must be much better than me.

Doctor Notta is very sorry that they did not operate at the beginning, as by now it is too late.  However, he seems to be saying that I can go on for a very long time like this. But more than that we put ourselves in God’s hands, who knows better than us what we need, “it is He who wounds but also heals.”  I will go to Lourdes on the first pilgrimage, and I hope that the Blessed Virgin will heal me, if that is what is needed. Let’s remain calm while we wait.

Before leaving, I will assist at the first Mass here, arriving in Le Mans at nine o’clock, still in time to attend the High Mass, after that I will come for you… At the beginning, your father was not happy that I took all three of you, but he wishes it now, and says that we cannot make enough sacrifices to obtain so great a miracle.  Even if I do not obtain it, I will never regret taking you there. We must be willing to accept generously the will of God, whatever it is, because it will always be what is best for us.

Responsory

R/.  Be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
* So that you may be able to discover what is God’s will,
what is good, pleasing and perfect.
V/.  You must be renewed in mind and spirit, and put on the new man.
* So that you may be able to discover what is God’s will,
what is good, pleasing and perfect.

Prayer

O God,
who gave to Saint Louis and Marie Zelie
the grace to lead a life of holiness
as Christian spouses and parents,
grant that, through their intercession and example,
we may be able to love and serve you faithfully,
living worthily our own vocation.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

 


Discover more from the letters of Saints Louis Martin and Zélie Guérin on the website of the archives of the Carmel of Lisieux

 

Official-Vatican-Portrait
Saint Louis Martin and Zelie Guerin, banner for their canonization (courtesy Discalced Carmelites)

Novena to Our Lady of Mount Carmel: Day 9 | SOLEMN COMMEMORATION OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL, LITURGY OF THE HOURS

July 16
SOLEMN COMMEMORATION OF OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL
Solemnity

The sacred scriptures speak of the beauty of Mount Carmel where the prophet Elijah defended the faith of Israel in the living God. There, at the beginning of the thirteenth century, under the title of “Saint Mary of Mount Carmel,” the Order of Carmelites had its formal beginning. From the fourteenth century this title, recalling the countless blessings of its patroness, began to be celebrated solemnly, first in England and then gradually throughout the whole Order. It attained its supreme place from the beginning of the seventeenth century, when the General Chapter declared it to be the principal feast of the Order, and Paul V recognized it as the feast of the Scapular Confraternity.

Evening Prayer I

HYMN

Flower of Carmel,
Tall vine blossom laden;
Splendor of heaven,
Child-bearing yet maiden.
None equals thee.

Mother so tender,
Who no man didst know,
On Carmel’s children
Thy favors bestow.
Star of the Sea.

Strong stem of Jesse,
Who bore one bright flower,
Be ever near us
And guard us each hour,
who serve thee here.

Purest of lilies,
That flowers among thorns,
Bring help to the true heart
That in weakness turns
and trusts in thee.

Strongest of armor,
We trust in thy might:
Under thy mantle,
Hard press’d in the fight,
we call to thee.

Our way uncertain,
Surrounded by foes,
Unfailing counsel
You give to those
who turn to thee.

O gentle Mother
Who in Carmel reigns,
Share with your servants
That gladness you gained
and now enjoy.

Hail, Gate of Heaven,
With glory now crowned,
Bring us to safety
Where thy Son is found,
true joy to see.

Flos Carmeli
Tr. unknown

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 The glory of Lebanon is given to her, the beauty of Carmel and Sharon.

Psalm 113

Praise, O servants of the Lord, *
praise the name of the Lord!
May the name of the Lord be blessed *
both now and for evermore!
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.

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. The glory of Lebanon is given to her, the beauty of Carmel and Sharon.

Ant. 2 You are the glory of Jerusalem, the joy of Israel, the highest honor of our race.

Psalm 147

O praise the Lord, Jerusalem! *
Sion, praise your God!

He has strengthened the bars of your gates, *
he has blessed the children within you.
He has established peace on your borders, *
he feeds you with finest wheat.

He sends out his word to the earth *
and swiftly runs his command.
He showers down snow white as wool, *
he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.

He hurls down hailstones like crumbs. *
The waters are frozen at his touch;
he sends forth his word and it melts them: *
at the breath of his mouth the waters flow. *

He makes his word known to Jacob, *
to Israel his laws and decrees.
He has not dealt thus with other nations; *
he has not taught them his decrees.

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. You are the glory of Jerusalem, the joy of Israel, the highest honor of our race.

Ant. 3 You will rejoice in your children, for they will be blessed through you and gathered together by the Lord.

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. You will rejoice in your children, for they will be blessed through you and gathered together by the Lord.

SCRIPTURE READING

Rev 11:19; 12:1

God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.

SHORT RESPONSORY

R/. How fair you are, * O Virgin Mary. Repeat R/.
V/. Your face is resplendent with grace, * O Virgin Mary.
Glory . . . R/.

CANTICLE OF MARY

Ant. Bounteous Mother of God, glory of Mount Carmel, we are your children and your people, endow us with your own virtues; have pity, and protect us from every danger.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, *
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant, *
and from this day all generations will call me blessed.

The Almighty has done great things for me: *
holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him *
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm, *
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,*
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things, *
and has sent the rich away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel*
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

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. Bounteous Mother of God, glory of Mount Carmel, we are your children and your people, endow us with your own virtues; have pity, and protect us from every danger.

INTERCESSIONS

Let us praise our heavenly Father, who gives us the joy of celebrating this solemn feast of the Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, as we pray:

R/. May Mary, Mother and Beauty of Carmel, intercede for us.

Lord, in your plan the Daughter of Sion was foreshadowed by the prophets and made the heir of all your promises; by imitating Mary, who is the image of the Church, may your Church on earth be more and more the sacrament of the world’s salvation. R/.

You have honored the family of Carmel with the title and patronage of the Virgin Mary; may all Carmelites live with her in unswerving allegiance to Jesus Christ. R/.

You have entrusted the whole of mankind, the brothers and sisters of your Son, to the care of Mary’s maternal heart; may the world see her image in us as we strive to live in your presence and to give ourselves for the salvation of all. R/.

You call the humble family of Carmel, living in the cloister and in the world, to be especially dedicated to the Virgin Mary; may all who are called to Carmel be of one mind and one heart as they join together in prayer with Mary, the Mother of Jesus. R/.

You promise a crown of glory to those who persevere in your love till the end; may our departed brothers and sisters, who shared Mary’s love for you, rejoice with you forever in heaven. R/.

Our Father …

PRAYER

Lord God,
you willed that the Order of Carmel
should be named in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of your Son.
Through her prayers, as we honor her today,
bring us to your holy Mountain,
Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Or:

Father,
may the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother and Queen of Carmel,
protect us, and bring us to your holy Mountain,
Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God for ever and ever.

Angel_British Library_small

INVITATORY

Lord, open my lips.
 And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Ant. Come, ring out our joy to the Lord, as we thank him for the favors we have received through Mary, the Virgin Mother of Carmel.

Psalm 95

Come, let us sing to the Lord *
and shout with joy to the Rock who saves us.
Let us approach him with praise and thanksgiving *
and sing joyful songs to the Lord.

Ant. Come, ring out our joy to the Lord, as we thank him for the favors we have received through Mary, the Virgin Mother of Carmel.

The Lord is God, the mighty God, *
the great king over all the gods.
He holds in his hands the depths of the earth *
and the highest mountains as well
He made the sea; it belongs to him, *
the dry land, too, for it was formed by his hands.

Ant. Come, ring out our joy to the Lord, as we thank him for the favors we have received through Mary, the Virgin Mother of Carmel.

Come, then, let us bow down and worship, *
bending the knee before the Lord, our maker,
For he is our God and we are his people, *
the flock he shepherds.

Ant. Come, ring out our joy to the Lord, as we thank him for the favors we have received through Mary, the Virgin Mother of Carmel.

Today, listen to the voice of the Lord:*
Do not grow stubborn, as your fathers did in the wilderness,
when at Meriba and Massah they challenged me and provoked me, *
Although they had seen all of my works.

Ant. Come, ring out our joy to the Lord, as we thank him for the favors we have received through Mary, the Virgin Mother of Carmel.

Forty years I endured that generation. 
I said, “They are a people whose hearts go astray *
and they do not know my ways.”
So I swore in my anger, *
“They shall not enter into my rest.”

Ant. Come, ring out our joy to the Lord, as we thank him for the favors we have received through Mary, the Virgin Mother of Carmel.

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. Come, ring out our joy to the Lord, as we thank him for the favors we have received through Mary, the Virgin Mother of Carmel.

Office of Readings

HYMN

1. Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel whom in ancient prophecy
God revealed to Saint Elijah by an Oriental sea.
Rise again on God’s creation bring to bloom this arid place
with the white cloud of your beauty and the rainfall of your grace.

2. Blessed cloud of God’s protection and His luminous abode,
light the pathways of your pilgrims to the promised land of God.
On the mount of contemplation be our surety and stay.
In the night a pillar glowing and a cloud of love by day.

3. Mother fair above all mothers, by the scapular we wear
be your own sign of salvation, which our willing shoulders bear.
Shield us from the foes of darkness, we are prey they seek to win.
us as your loving children from the tragedy of sin.

4. Virgin of the Incarnation, in the mysteries of grace,
God has made His habitation in our soul’s most secret place.
Toward that bright and inner kingdom, all our words and ways compel.
For the Father, Son and Spirit in its sacred silence dwell.

5. Lady of the mystic mountain, where the Lord has set His throne,
up its steep way to the Spirit, none can walk save love alone.
Grant us grace to climb Mount Carmel and to learn that love is loss.
Guide us still our ways outdistance all earth’s treasures save the cross.

6. Queen and Beauty of Mount Carmel, Virgin of the solitude,
in the wilderness of Carmel lies the world’s eternal good.
Draw us to its deep seclusion and make God alone our goal.
In the mystical Mount Carmel that lies hidden in the soul.

87.87.D.
Sr. Miriam of the Holy Spirit, OCD

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord, and who shall stand in his holy place? The one with clean hands and pure heart.

When the following psalm has been used at the Invitatory, Ps 94 is said here in place of it.

Psalm 24

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness, *
the world and all its peoples.
It is he who set in on the seas; *
on the waters he made it firm.

Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord? *
Who shall stand in his holy place?
The man with clean hands and pure heart, †
who desires not worthless things, *
who has not sworn so as to deceive his neighbor.

He shall receive blessings from the Lord *
and reward from the God who saves him.
Such are the men who seek him, *
seek the face of the God of Jacob.

O gates, lift high your heads; †
grow higher, ancient doors. *
Let him enter, the king of glory!

Who is the king of glory? †
The Lord, the mighty, the valiant, *
the Lord, the valiant in war.

O gates, lift high your heads; †
grow higher, ancient doors. *
Let him enter, the king of glory!

Who is he, the king of glory? †
He, the Lord of armies, *
he is the king of glory.

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. Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord, and who shall stand in his holy place? The one with clean hands and pure heart.

Ant. 2 I will lead them to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer.

Psalm 46

God is for us a refuge and strength *
a helper close at hand, in time of distress:
so we shall not fear though the earth should rock, *
though the mountains fall into the depths of the sea,
even though its waters rage and foam, *
even though the mountains be shaken by its waves.

The Lord of hosts is with us: *
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

The waters of a river give joy to God’s city, *
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within, it cannot be shaken; *
God will help it at the dawning of the day.
Nations are in tumult, kingdoms are shaken: *
he lifts his voice, the earth shrinks away.

The Lord of hosts is with us: *
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

Come, consider the works of the Lord *
the redoubtable deeds he has done on the earth.
He puts an end to wars over all the earth; †
the bow he breaks, the spear he snaps. *
He burns the shields with fire.
“Be still and know that I am God, *
supreme among the nations, supreme on the earth!”

The Lord of hosts is with us: *
the God of Jacob is our stronghold.

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. I will lead them to my holy mountain and make them joyful in my house of prayer.

Ant. 3 Glorious things are told of you, O city of God; the Lord founded you on his holy mountain!

Psalm 87

On the holy mountain is his city *
cherished by the Lord.
The Lord prefers the gates of Sion *
to all Jacob’s dwellings.
Of you are told glorious things, *
O city of God.

Babylon and Egypt I will count *
among those who know me;
Philistia, Tyre, Ethiopia, *
these will be her children
and Sion shall be called “Mother” *
for all shall be her children.

It is he, the Lord Most High, *
who gives each his place.
In his register of peoples he writes: *
‘These are her children’
and while they dance they will sing: *
‘In you all find their home.’

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. Glorious things are told of you, O city of God; the Lord founded you on his holy mountain!

V/. I have brought you into the land of Carmel.
R/. To enjoy the fruits and blessings of it.

THE FIRST READING

1 Kings 18:36-39, 41-45a

A reading from the First Book of Kings

Elijah prayed on the summit of Carmel, and heaven granted rain

And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, “O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back.” Then the fire of the Lord fell, and consumed the burnt offering, and the wood, and the stones, and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces; and they said “The Lord, he is God; the Lord, he is God.”

And Elijah said to Ahab, “Go up, eat and drink for there is a sound of the rushing of rain.” So Ahab went up to eat and to drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he bowed himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees. And he said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” And he went up and looked, and said, “There is nothing.” And he said, “Go again seven times.” And at the seventh time he said, “Behold, a little cloud like a man’s hand is rising out of the sea.” And he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down, lest the rain stop you.’” And in a little while the heavens grew black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain.

RESPONSORY

R/. You care for the earth, give it water; you fill it with riches; * you bless its growth.
V/. The pastures of the wilderness flow with abundance, and the hills are girded with joy; * you bless its growth.
R/. You care for the earth, give it water; You fill it with riches; * you bless its growth.
V/. The pastures of the wilderness flow with abundance, and the hills are girded with joy; * you bless its growth.

THE SECOND READING  (Alternative 2)

May 10 and June 22, 1967

From the Allocutions of Pope Paul VI

Blessed are all who have believed

We can readily see that the Blessed Virgin Mary was endowed in high measure with a remarkable interior enlightenment, such as might have been anticipated in view of her sinlessness and the nature of her task in the world. The Gospels make abundantly clear that her soul was gifted with an extraordinary insight into the ways of God and a prophetic intuition. Yet above all else it was faith that most characterized the Mother of God — the kind of faith that does not need proof, but accepts a thing as true because God has spoken. The Second Vatican Council declares that “the Blessed Virgin went forward in her pilgrimage of faith,” and the Gospel records how generous and meritorious that pilgrimage was when it cites Elizabeth’s high tribute, which tells us so much about Mary’s psychology and holiness: “Blessed are you, for you have believed.”

We find confirmation of this faith, Our Lady’s foremost virtue, wherever the gospel tells of what she was, or what she said or what she did. Faced with the attitudes that characterize the incomparable figure of Mary in relation to the mystery of Christ realized in herself, we feel compelled to follow her example, and discover patterns for those who have, in conformity with God’s plan for our salvation chosen the religious life. She teaches us how to listen, how to explore, to accept, to make sacrifices; she teaches us how to meditate, to wait, to examine; she teaches us self-possession, and calm, absolute assurance in judgement and action; she teaches us, in short, the fullness of prayer and communion with God. And all these things, though we see them in Mary uniquely realized by that one soul which was full of grace and completely under the sway of the Holy Spirit, are yet all forms of faith, and therefore close to us and available not only for our admiration but for our imitation.

You have chosen the narrow, austere, arduous way of the ascetic life. You are in such a way committed to the pursuit of the supreme art of prayer and an intense spiritual life that you are branded as true searchers after the only fullness, the only peace, the only love: the union of the soul with God.

May the most holy Virgin Mary confirm you in your Carmelite vocation. May she safeguard your love for the things of the spirit. May she obtain for you the graces you need in your holy, laborious ascent towards the knowledge of the divine realm and the ineffable experiences of its dark nights and light-filled days. May she give you the desire for sanctity, the desire to bear eschatological witness to the kingdom of heaven. May she make you models for all the members of God’s Church, and bind you to them in brotherhood. And may she one day lead you into that possession of Christ and His glory which, even now, is the goal towards which your whole life is directed.

RESPONSORY

R/. In faith receive the word of God which is able to save your souls. * Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.
V/. Mary treasured all these things, pondering them in her heart. * Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.

HYMN, Te Deum

You are God: we praise you; *
You are the Lord: we acclaim you;
You are the eternal Father: *
All creation worships you.

To you all angels, all the powers of heaven, *
Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise:
Holy, holy, holy, Lord, God of power and might, *
heaven and earth are full of your glory.

The glorious company of apostles praise you. 
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you. *
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.

Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you: *
Father, of majesty unbounded,
your true and only Son, worthy of all worship, *
and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the King of glory, *
the eternal Son of the Father.

When you became man to set us free *
you did not spurn the Virgin’s womb.

You overcame the sting of death, *
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

You are seated at God’s right hand in glory. *
We believe that you will come, and be our judge.

Come then, Lord, and help your people, *
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints*
to glory everlasting.

Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance.
 Govern and uphold them now and always.

Day by day we bless you.
 We praise your name for ever.

Keep us today, Lord, from all sin.
 Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.

Lord, show us your love and mercy,
 for we have put our trust in you.

In you, Lord, is our hope:
 And we shall never hope in vain.

PRAYER

Lord God,
you willed that the Order of Carmel
should be named in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of your Son.
Through her prayers, as we honor her today,
bring us to your holy Mountain,
Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Flowery border_British Library_medium

 

Morning Prayer

HYMN

Let us in spirit make our way
to Carmel’s mountain height;
our Virgin Mother calls us there
to gather flowers of light.

This is indeed a holy place
where God has ever reigned;
here hearts are healed in silent prayer,
and strength of mind attained.

This is where living water flowed
to save the thirsting land,
to clothe the desert with fresh grass,
with trees the burning sand.

Cradle of our religious life
is Carmel’s height austere;
wherever Mary turns her gaze
flow waters springing clear.

Let us adore the Trinity
the Father honors her,
the Son embraces her with love,
the Spirit reigns in her!

C.M.
Carmeli ad altos vertices
Tr. unknown

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Fragrant is the scent of your perfume, Immaculate Virgin. Let us follow in your footsteps.

Psalm 63

O God, you are my God, for you I long;
for you my soul is thirsting.
My body pines for you
like a dry, weary land without water.
So I gaze on you in the sanctuary
to see your strength and your glory.

For your love is better than life,
my lips will speak your praise.
So I will bless you all my life,
in your name I will lift up my hands.
My soul shall be filled as with a banquet,
my mouth shall praise you with joy.

On my bed I remember you.
On you I muse through the night
for you have been my help;
in the shadow of your wings I rejoice.
My soul clings to you;
your right hand holds me fast.

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. Fragrant is the scent of your perfume, Immaculate Virgin. Let us follow in your footsteps.

Ant. 2 Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you; you are the most blessed of all women.

Canticle – Daniel 3:57-88, 56

Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Angels of the Lord, bless the Lord.
You heavens, bless the Lord,
All you waters above the heavens, bless the Lord.
All you hosts of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Sun and moon, bless the Lord.
Stars of heaven, bless the Lord.

Every shower and dew, bless the Lord.
All you winds, bless the Lord.
Fire and heat, bless the Lord.
Cold and chill, bless the Lord.
Dew and rain, bless the Lord.
Frost and chill, bless the Lord.
Ice and snow, bless the Lord.
Nights and days, bless the Lord.
Light and darkness, bless the Lord.
Lightnings and clouds, bless the Lord.

Let the earth bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Mountains and hills, bless the Lord.
Everything growing from the earth, bless the Lord.
You springs, bless the Lord.
Seas and rivers, bless the Lord.
You dolphins and all water creatures, bless the Lord.
All you birds of the air, bless the Lord.
All you beasts, wild and tame, bless the Lord.
You sons of men, bless the Lord.

O Israel, bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.
Priests of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Servants of the Lord, bless the Lord.
Spirits and souls of the just, bless the Lord.
Holy men of humble heart, bless the Lord.
Hananiah, Azariah, Mishael, bless the Lord.
Praise and exalt him above all forever.

Let us bless the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Let us praise and exalt him above all for ever.
Blessed are you, Lord, in the firmament of heaven.
Praiseworthy and glorious and exalted above all for ever.

Ant. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you; you are the most blessed of all women.

Ant. 3 Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary: you gave birth to him who made you, yet remain a virgin forever.

Psalm 149

Sing a new song to the Lord,
his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in its maker,
let Zion’s sons exult in their king.
Let them praise his name with dancing
and make music with timbrel and harp.

For the Lord takes delight in his people.
He crowns the poor with salvation.
Let the faithful rejoice in their glory,
shout for joy and take their rest.
Let the praise of God be on their lips
and a two-edged sword in their hand,

to deal out vengeance to the nations
and punishment on all the peoples;
to bind their kings in chains
and their nobles in fetters of iron;
to carry out the sentence pre-ordained;
this honor is for all his faithful.

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. Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary: you gave birth to him who made you, yet remain a virgin forever.

READING

Is 35:1-2

Let the wilderness and the dry-lands exult,
let the wasteland rejoice and bloom,
let it bring forth flowers like the jonquil,
let it rejoice and sing for joy.
The glory of Lebanon is bestowed on it
the splendor of Carmel and Sharon;
they shall see the glory of the Lord,
the splendor of our God.

SHORT RESPONSORY

R/. Under your protection we take refuge, * Mother of God most holy. Repeat R/.
V/. Do not turn away from the prayers that spring from our need, * Mother of God most holy.
Glory . . . R/.

CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH

Ant. Jesus said to His Mother, “Woman, this is your son,” and to the disciple He said, “This is your Mother;” and from that hour the disciple took her as his own.

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; *
he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior, *
born of the house of his servant David.

Through his holy prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies, *
from the hands of all who hate us.

He promised to show mercy to our fathers*
and to remember his holy covenant.

This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: *
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear, *
holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.

You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High; *
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation *
by the forgiveness of their sins.

In the tender compassion of our God *
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, *
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

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. Jesus said to His Mother, “Woman, this is your son,” and to the disciple He said, “This is your Mother;” and from that hour the disciple took her as his own.

INTERCESSIONS

Christ our Savior, the first-born of many brothers, gave us his Mother as our own. On this sacred day let us come to him with thankful hearts and say:

R/. For the gift of your Mother, we give glory to you, Lord.

Christ our Redeemer, you prepared a worthy dwelling place for yourself in the sinless Virgin Mary; may we work today in your service and hers, poor in spirit and pure in heart. R/.

Only Word of the Father, uttered in eternal silence and lovingly received in the womb of the Virgin, may our Carmelite vocation lead us, like Mary, to hear the Word of God and put it into practice. R/.

Christ our Teacher, you offer the Virgin Mary as the model of every virtue to those who seek you; may we, her children, mirror her life, especially in our charity towards all. R/.

Jesus, Son of Mary, you gave your Mother to the apostle John to take into his own keeping; in our familiarity with Mary may we experience your ineffable love. R/.

Christ, Spouse of the Church, you sent the fire of the Holy Spirit upon Mary when she was joined with the apostles in prayer; may the whole family of Carmel remain faithful in prayer with Mary, and so be continually renewed by the Holy Spirit. R/.

Our Father …

PRAYER

Lord God,
you willed that the Order of Carmel
should be named in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of your Son.
Through her prayers, as we honor her today,
bring us to your holy Mountain,
Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

WhitefriarsLondonBookplate_BritishLibrary_small

 

Daytime Prayer

The complementary psalms are used.

Midmorning

Ant. O Mary, you are a mother beyond compare, worthy to be remembered by your children forever.

Psalm 120

To the Lord in the hour of my distress
I call and he answers me.
“O Lord, save my soul from lying lips,
from the tongue of the deceitful.”

What shall he repay you in return,
O treacherous tongue?
The warriors arrows sharpened
and coals, red-hot, blazing.

(Alas, that I abide a stranger in Meshech,
dwell among the tents of Kedar!)

Long enough have I been dwelling
with those who hate peace.
I am for peace, but when I speak,
they are for fighting.

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.

Psalm 121

I lift up my eyes to the mountains;
from where shall come my help?
My help shall come from the Lord
who made heaven and earth.

May he never allow you to stumble!
Let him sleep not, your guard.
No, he sleeps not nor slumbers,
Israel’s guard.

The Lord is your guard and your shade;
at your right side he stands.
By day the sun shall not smite you
nor the moon in the night.

The Lord will guard you from evil,
he will guard you soul.
The Lord will guard your going and coming
both now and for ever.

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.

Psalm 129

“They have pressed me hard from my youth,”
this is Israel’s song.
“They have pressed me hard from my youth
but could never destroy me.

They plowed my back like plowmen,
drawing long furrows.
But the Lord who is just, has destroyed
the yoke of the wicked.”

Let them be shamed and routed,
those who hate Zion!
Let them be like grass on the roof
that withers before it flowers.

With that no reaper fill his arms,
no binder makes his sheaves
and those passing by will not say:
“On you the Lord’s blessing!”

“We bless you in the name of the Lord.”

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.

SCRIPTURE READING

Prov 8:32-34

And now, my sons, listen to me:
happy are those who keep my ways.
Hear instruction and be wise,
and do not neglect it.
Happy is the man who listens to me,
watching daily at my gates,
waiting beside my doors.

V/. Whoever finds me finds life.
R/. And will receive salvation from the Lord.

Midday

Ant. Your souls will rejoice in her mercy, and her praise will not bring you to shame.

Psalm 123

To you have I lifted up my eyes,
you who dwell in the heavens;
my eyes, like the eyes of slaves
on the hand of their lords.

Like the eyes of a servant
on the hand of her mistress,
so our eyes are on the Lord our God
till he show us his mercy.

Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.
We are filled with contempt.
Indeed all too full is our soul
with the scorn of the rich,
(with the proud man’s disdain).

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.

Psalm 124

“If the Lord had not been on our side,”
this is Israel’s song.
“If the Lord had not been on our side
when men rose up against us,
then would they have swallowed us alive
when their anger was kindled.

Then would the waters have engulfed us,
the torrent gone over us;
over our head would have swept
the raging waters.”

Blessed be the Lord who did not give us
a prey to their teeth!
Our life, like a bird, has escaped
from the snare of the fowler.

Indeed the snare has been broken
and we have escaped.
Our help is in the name of the Lord,
who made heaven and 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.

Psalm 125

Those who put their trust in the Lord
are like Mount Zion, that cannot be shaken,
that stands for ever.

Jerusalem! The mountains surround her,
so the Lord surrounds his people
both now and for ever.

For the scepter of the wicked shall not rest
over the land of the just
for fear that the hands of the just
should turn to evil.

Do good, Lord, to those who are good,
to the upright of heart;
but the crooked and those who do evil,
drive them away!
On Israel, peace!

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.

SCRIPTURE READING

Sir 24:15-16

I made Sion my stronghold, the holy city my resting-place, Jerusalem my throne. My roots spread out among the people that enjoys his favor, my God has granted me a share in his own domain; where his faithful servants are gathered I love to linger.

V/. My spirit is sweeter than honey.
R/. My inheritance sweeter than the honeycomb.

Midafternoon

Ant. With the fruit of her hands she planted a vineyard; her children stood up and proclaimed her blessed.

Psalm 126

When the Lord delivered Zion from bondage,
it seemed like a dream.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter,
on our lips there were songs.

The heathens themselves said: “What marvels
the Lord worked for them!”
What marvels the Lord worked for us!
Indeed we were glad.

Deliver us, O Lord, from our bondage
as streams in dry land.
Those who are sowing in tears
will sing when they reap.

They go out, they go out, full of tears,
carrying seed for the sowing:
they come back, they come back, full of song,
carrying their sheaves.

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.

Psalm 127

If the Lord does not build the house,
in vain do its builders labor;
if the Lord does not watch over the city,
in vain does the watchman keep vigil.

In vain is your earlier rising,
your going later to rest,
you who toil for the bread you eat,
when he pours gifts on his beloved while they slumber.

Truly sons are a gift from the Lord,
a blessing, the fruit of the womb.
Indeed the sons of youth
are like arrows in the hand of a warrior.

O the happiness of the man
who has filled his quiver with these arrows!
He will have no cause for shame
when he disputes with his foes in the gateways.

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.

SCRIPTURE READING

Sir 24:23-25

No vine ever yielded fruit so fragrant; the enjoyment of honor and riches is the fruit I bear. It is I that give birth to all noble loving, all reverence, all true knowledge, and the holy gift of hope. From me comes every grace of faithful observance, from me all promise of life and vigor.

V/. Look down from heaven and see, and visit this vine.
R/. The vine your right hand has planted.

PRAYER

Lord God,
you willed that the Order of Carmel
should be named in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of your Son.
Through her prayers, as we honor her today,
bring us to your holy Mountain,
Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

 

Mount Carmel Looking toward the sea_British Library_Medium

Evening Prayer II

HYMN

When thirst broke up the ground stricken at God’s command,
and crops lay on the long baked ridges of the soil,
swiftly Elias went where Carmel towered above,
scaling rough rocks with zeal and toil.

Great soul in fervent prayer, lifting his hands on high,
prophet, he pleaded there, turning God’s wrath again.
Hour after hour he strove for those marked down to die
unless the fields were saved with rain.

Then, far off, where the sea stretched in a distant plain,
a cloud fine as a hand lit in the deep blue cope;
and soon thunderclouds came, and after them the rain
drumming the dust with rhythms of hope.

Mary, we are those crops which drought of grace lays low,
you are that mystic cloud, that fruitful womb are you.
Your son, the God you nurse, is new life’s rain to us
who grow once more as hope comes true.

Spare us, great triune God, as we too bend in prayer,
help us scale the high stars, our mother’s worthy sons;
There, raised by her, we praise you everlastingly
and pour forth love’s unending songs.

12.12.12.8.
Bro. John Leonard Davies, O.C.D.

PSALMODY

Ant. 1 Behold the handmaid of the Lord: let it be done to me according to your word.

Psalm 122

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. Behold the handmaid of the Lord: let it be done to me according to your word.

Ant. 2 Mary heard the Word of God and kept it, treasuring it in her heart.

Psalm 127

If the Lord does not build the house, *
in vain do its builders labor;
if the Lord does not watch over the city, *
in vain does the watchman keep vigil.

In vain is your earlier rising, *
your going later to rest,
you who toil for the bread you eat: *
when he pours gifts on his beloved while they slumber.

Truly sons are a gift from the Lord, *
a blessing, the fruit of the womb.
Indeed the sons of youth *
are like arrows in the hand of a warrior.

O the happiness of the man *
who has filled his quiver with these arrows!
He will have no cause for shame *
when he disputes with his foes in the gateways.

Ant. Mary heard the Word of God and kept it, treasuring it in her heart.

Ant. 3 The apostles persevered in prayer together with Mary, the Mother of Jesus.

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.

Ant. The apostles persevered in prayer together with Mary, the Mother of Jesus.

SCRIPTURE READING

Gal 4:4-6

When the designated time had come, God sent forth his Son born of a woman, born under the law, to deliver from the law those who were subjected to it, so that we might receive our status as adopted sons. The proof that you are sons is the fact that God has sent forth into our hearts the spirit of his Son, which cries out “Abba, Father!”

SHORT RESPONSORY

R/. I exult for joy in the Lord, * my soul rejoices in God. Repeat R/.
V/. For he has clothed me in the garments of salvation; he has wrapped me in the cloak of justice. * My soul rejoices in God.
Glory . . . R/.

CANTICLE OF MARY

Ant. Mary, ever Virgin, has been given us as our Mother; she has taken pity on us; today we remember. Today all Carmel sings for joy as we keep a solemn festival in her honor whose name we bear.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, *
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior;
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant, *
and from this day all generations will call me blessed.

The Almighty has done great things for me: *
holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him *
in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm, *
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,*
and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things, *
and has sent the rich away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel*
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

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. Mary, ever Virgin, has been given us as our Mother; she has taken pity on us; today we remember. Today all Carmel sings for joy as we keep a solemn festival in her honor whose name we bear.

INTERCESSIONS

As we honor the holy Mother of God, under whose name and patronage we live, let us pray with confidence to Christ our Lord and say:

R/. Through the intercession of the Mother of Carmel, hear us, O Lord.

You said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven;” may we stand with Mary among the poor and humble of the Lord, so that you may be our only wealth. R/.

You said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God;” in following the Immaculate Virgin may we come to love that purity of heart which makes us eager to see the Father’s face. R/.

You said, “Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe;” with Mary at our side, may we never cease to trust in the love you have for us as we journey in this night of faith. R/.

You said, “You ought to pray always and never lose heart;” teach us to pray like Mary, treasuring your word in our hearts and proclaiming it in our lives. R/.

You said, “A new commandment I give you: love one another as I have loved you;” united in heart and mind, may we be ready to spend our lives for our brothers and sisters and share with Mary in your work of redemption. R/.

Dying on the cross, you said to John, and through him to all disciples, “Behold your Mother;” may we always please you by living in the intimate company of the Mother of Grace. R/.

You said, “I want those you have given me to be with me where I am:” may all those who trusted in your everlasting mercy rejoice one day with you and Mary in our Father’s house. R/.

Our Father …

PRAYER

Lord God,
you willed that the Order of Carmel
should be named in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
Mother of your Son.
Through her prayers, as we honor her today,
bring us to your holy Mountain,
Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

 

NDMC_antique-woodcut
The Banner of Carmel
Mother and Beauty of Carmel
The Moon Beneath Her Feet
Elijah and Elisha, Leaders of Carmel

 

Novena to Saints Louis and Zélie Martin – Day 9

July 12
SAINT LOUIS MARTIN AND ZELIE GUERIN

Optional Memorial

Louis Martin was born in Bordeaux, on August 22, 1823. While he was master-watchmaker in Alençon, he met Marie Azelie (Zelie) Guerin, a lace maker, born in Gandelain (St-Denis-sur-Sarthon), on December 23, 1831. They were married on July 13, 1858,and had nine children, including the future Saint Therese of the Infant Jesus. Model spouses, devoted parents, workers, attentive to the poor, always nourishing a missionary spirit, they found their strength and hope in regular attendance at Holy Mass and in a deep devotion to the Blessed Virgin. After a long illness Zelie died in Alençon on August 28, 1877. Louis, in retirement, went to Lisieux near his in-laws to ensure a better future for his five children (the other four having died in infancy). This patriarch of the family, after offering all his children to God, knew suffering and illness. He died near Evreux on July 29, 1894.

From the Common of Holy Men, with the psalms of the day.

Office of Readings

The Second Reading
(Zelie et Louis Martin, Correspondance Familiale [1863 – 1885].  Paris, 2004, L1, 72, 130, 81, 110, 147, 179, 204)

From the Letters of St. Zelie Martin

We must be willing to accept generously the will of the good God

My dear friend, I am really worried about you.  Every day my husband makes sad prophecies. He knows Paris and told me that you will be exposed to temptations that, because you are not pious enough, you will not be able to overcome.  He told me that he experienced them himself, and that he needed a lot of courage to come out victoriously from all the battles. If you only knew what trials he had to go through … I beg you, my dear Isidore (Zelie’s brother), to do as I did; pray, and you will not be carried away by the current.  If you succumb once you will be lost. On the road to perdition as on the road to salvation the first step is all important; afterwards you will be carried away by the current.

When I closed the eyes of my dear little children and buried them, I really felt the pain.  It is a pain to which I have always been resigned. I do not regret the pains and the anxieties I have had to endure on their account.  Many people have said to me: “It would have been better if you had never had them.” I cannot tolerate these words.  The pains and anxieties of this life cannot be compared to the eternal happiness of my children.  After all, they have not been lost forever, life is short and full of suffering, we shall find them in heaven.

Little Therese is always well and looks very healthy.  She is very intelligent and we have very amusing conversations.  She already knows how to pray to God. Every Sunday, she goes for some part of Vespers and if, by mistake, the family forgets to bring her there she cries uncontrollably.

My sister has spoken to me a great deal about your business… I told her not to break her neck because of this, that there is only one thing to do, pray to God, because neither she, nor I, can help you in any other way.  However, He, who is never embarrassed, will rescue us from all this when He sees that we have suffered enough, and then, you will recognize that your success is not due either to your ability or to your intelligence, but to God alone, as it happens with my lace making; this conviction is very beneficial, I have experienced it myself.  You know that we are all inclined to be proud and I notice often that those who have made their fortune are, for the most part, unbearably self-important. I am not saying that I would have been like this, nor you either, but we would have been somewhat tainted by pride; it is a fact that constant prosperity leads one away from God. He never led his chosen ones along this path, they had to pass first through the crucible of suffering in order to be purified.  You are going to say that I am preaching, but no matter I don’t wish to. I think of these things very often and I share them with you; now, call that a sermon if you like!

My dear children, I must go to Vespers to pray for the intention of our dear deceased relatives.  The day will come when you will do this for me, but I must make sure that I do not have so great a need of your prayers.  I would like to become a saint but this will not be easy; there is a lot of wood to burn but it is as hard as stone. It would have been better if I had begun earlier, when it was less difficult, but anyhow “it is better late than never.”

Today is then Wednesday, the feast of the Immaculate Conception which is a great feast for me!  On this day, the Blessed Virgin truly gave me many very special graces… This year, I will go again to find the Blessed Virgin early in the morning… my only prayer will be that those that she has given me will all be saints and that I shall not be too far behind, but they must be much better than me.

Doctor Notta is very sorry that they did not operate at the beginning, as by now it is too late.  However, he seems to be saying that I can go on for a very long time like this. But more than that we put ourselves in God’s hands, who knows better than us what we need, “it is He who wounds but also heals.”  I will go to Lourdes on the first pilgrimage, and I hope that the Blessed Virgin will heal me, if that is what is needed. Let’s remain calm while we wait.

Before leaving, I will assist at the first Mass here, arriving in Le Mans at nine o’clock, still in time to attend the High Mass, after that I will come for you… At the beginning, your father was not happy that I took all three of you, but he wishes it now, and says that we cannot make enough sacrifices to obtain so great a miracle.  Even if I do not obtain it, I will never regret taking you there. We must be willing to accept generously the will of God, whatever it is, because it will always be what is best for us.

Responsory

R/.  Be transformed by the renewal of your mind,
* So that you may be able to discover what is God’s will,
what is good, pleasing and perfect.
V/.  You must be renewed in mind and spirit, and put on the new man.
* So that you may be able to discover what is God’s will,
what is good, pleasing and perfect.

Prayer

O God,
who gave to Saint Louis and Marie Zelie
the grace to lead a life of holiness
as Christian spouses and parents,
grant that, through their intercession and example,
we may be able to love and serve you faithfully,
living worthily our own vocation.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

Discover more from the letters of Saints Louis Martin and Zélie Guérin on the website of the archives of the Carmel of Lisieux

Official-Vatican-Portrait

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