1 October: Saint Therese of the Child Jesus

October 1
SAINT THERESE OF THE CHILD JESUS
Virgin and Doctor of the Church

Feast

Thérèse Martin was born at Alencon in 1873. At the age of fifteen she entered the Carmel at Lisieux. She practiced heroic humility, evangelical simplicity and trust in God, and taught the novices these virtues by word and example. She offered her life for the salvation of souls and the growth of the Church. She died September 30, 1897.

Invitatory

Ant. The Lord reveals himself to little ones; come, let us worship him.

Invitatory psalm, as in the Ordinary.

Office of Readings

Hymn

Let all who lovingly avow
Those gifts the Christ Child came to share
Acclaim Thérèse’s virtues now
And praise her name in song and prayer.

Her patroness and mother chose
The lofty peaks of Carmel’s height
And there Thérèse in fervor goes
To follow Christ, her one delight.

Inspired by Jesus to convey
Amazing secrets of his grace,
She taught the world the simple way
Of childhood that the Gospels trace.

More like an angel than a child
She gathered virtue’s flowers at will
By whose sweet scent was God beguiled,
Whose tender fragrance charms us still.

Yet joy itself could not portray
The surge of her immense desire
Nor cloister walls have strength to stay
A love that swept the world like fire.

All glory, Jesus, be to you
This day revealed to little ones,
To Father and blest Spirit, too,
While age on age forever runs.

L.M.
Nomen decusque concinant

Ant. 1 Your mercy will follow me all the days of my life.

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd, *
there is nothing I shall want.

Fresh and green are the pastures *
where he gives me repose.

Near restful waters he leads me, *
To revive my drooping spirit.

He guides me along the right path; *
he is true to his name.

If I should walk in the valley of darkness *
no evil would I fear.

You are there with your crook and your staff; *
with these you give me comfort.

You have prepared a banquet for me *
in the sight of my foes.

My head you have anointed with oil; *
my cup is overflowing.

Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me *
all the days of my life.

In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell *
forever and ever.

Ant. Your mercy will follow me all the days of my life.

Ant. 2 See what love the Father has shown us, to let us be called children of God; yet that is what we are.

Psalm 103

My soul, give thanks to the Lord, *
all my being, bless his holy name.

My soul, give thanks to the Lord *
and never forget all his blessings.

It is he who forgives all your guilt *
who heals every one of your ills,

who redeems your life from the grave, *
who crowns you with love and compassion,

who fills your life with good things, *
renewing your youth like an eagle’s.

The Lord does deeds of justice, *
gives judgment for all who are oppressed.

He made known his ways to Moses *
and his deeds to Israel’s sons.

The Lord is compassion and love, *
slow to anger and rich in mercy.

His wrath will come to an end; *
he will not be angry forever.

He does not treat us according to our sins *
nor repay us according to our faults.

For as the heavens are high above the earth *
so strong is his love for those who fear him.

Ant. See what love the Father has shown us, to let us be called children of God; yet that is what we are.

Ant. 3 The Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and believed in me.

As far as the east is from the west *
so far does he remove our sins.

As a father has compassion on his sons, *
the Lord has pity on those who fear him;

for he knows of what we are made, *
he remembers that we are dust.

As for man, his days are like grass; *
he flowers like the flower of the field;

the wind blows and he is gone *
and his place never sees him again.

But the love of the Lord is everlasting *
upon those who hold him in fear;

his justice reaches out to children’s children +
when they keep his covenant in truth, *
when they keep his will in their mind.

The Lord has set his sway in heaven *
and his kingdom is ruling over all.

Give thanks to the Lord, all his angels, +
mighty in power, fulfilling his word, *
who heed the voice of his word.

Give thanks to the Lord, all his hosts, *
his servants who do his will.

Give thanks to the Lord, all his works, *
in every place where he rules.

My soul, *
give thanks to the Lord!

Ant. The Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and believed in me.

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

First Reading
From the first letter of the apostle Paul to the Corinthians

I Cor. 12:12, 27-31; 13:1-13

You together are Christ’s body, but each of you is a different part of it

The body is one and has many members, but all the members, many though they are, are one body; and so it is with Christ. You, then, are the body of Christ. Every one of you is a member of it. Furthermore, God has set up in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracle workers, healers, assistants, administrators, and those who speak in tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles or have the gift of healing? Do all speak in tongues, all have the gift of interpretation of tongues? Set your hearts on the greater gifts.

Now I will show you the way which surpasses all the others. If I speak with human tongues and angelic as well, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong, a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and, with full knowledge, comprehend all mysteries, if I have faith great enough to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give everything I have to feed the poor and hand over my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient; love is kind. Love is not jealous; it does not put on airs; it is not snobbish. Love is never rude; it is not self-seeking; it is not prone to anger; neither does it brood over injuries. Love does not rejoice in what is wrong, but rejoices with the truth. There is no limit to love’s forbearance, to its trust, its hope, its power to endure.

Love never fails. Prophecies will cease, tongues will be silent, knowledge will pass away. Our knowledge is imperfect and our prophesying is imperfect. When the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away. When I was a child I used to talk like a child, think like a child, reason like a child. When I became a man I put childish ways aside. Now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. My knowledge is imperfect now; then I shall know even as I am known. There are in the end three things that last: faith, hope, and love, and the greatest of these is love.

Responsory

When I am lifted up from the earth,
I will draw all people to myself.

Fragrant is the scent of your perfume; let us follow in your footsteps.
I will draw all people to myself.

Second Reading
From the autobiography of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus

(MS B, f. 3r-3v: ed. J. Clarke 1975, pp. 193-94)

In the heart of the Church I shall be love

My desires caused me a veritable martyrdom, and I opened the Epistles of Saint Paul to find some kind of answer. Chapters Twelve and Thirteen of the First Epistle to the Corinthians fell under my eyes. I read there, in the first of these chapters, that all cannot be apostles, prophets, doctors, etc., that the Church is composed of different members, and that the eye cannot be the hand at one and the same time. The answer was clear, but it did not fulfill my desires and gave me no peace. Without becoming discouraged, I continued my reading, and this sentence consoled me: Yet strive after the better gifts, and I point out to you a yet more excellent way. And the Apostle explains how all the most perfect gifts are nothing without Love. That Charity is the excellent way that leads most surely to God.

I finally had rest. Considering the mystical body of the Church, I had not recognized myself in any of the members described by Saint Paul, or rather I desired to see myself in them all. Charity gave me the key to my vocation. I understood that if the Church had a body composed of different members, the most necessary and most noble of all could not be lacking to it, and so I understood that the Church had a heart and that this heart was burning with love. I understood it was love alone that made the Church’s members act; that if love ever became extinct, apostles would not preach the Gospel and martyrs would not shed their blood. I understood that love comprised all vocations, that love was everything, that it embraced all times and places… in a word, that it was eternal!

Then, in the excess of my delirious joy, I cried out, “O Jesus, my Love… my vocation, at last I have found it… My vocation is Love!”

Yes, I have found my place in the Church and it is you, O my God, who have given me this place; in the heart of the Church, my Mother, I shall be love. Thus I shall be everything, and thus my dream will be realized.

Responsory

Joy and gladness fill my heart;
the Lord has been merciful to me.

He has looked with favor on his lowly servant and taken account of my soul’s needs.
the Lord has been merciful to me.

Where the Vigil Office is celebrated:

Canticles (Alternative 1)

Ant. The Lord spread his wings like an eagle; he lifted her up and bore her on his shoulders. The Lord alone was her leader.

Canticle I

Dt 32:3-7, 10-12

The deeds of kindness which God wrought for his people

How often have I longed to gather your children as a hen gathers her young under her wings (Mt 23:37)

I shall praise the name of the Lord. *
O give glory to this God of ours!
The Rock – his deeds are perfect, *
and all his ways are just,
a faithful God, without deceit, *
a God who is right and just.

Those whom he begot unblemished *
have become crooked, false, perverse.
Is it thus you repay the Lord, *
O senseless and foolish people?
Is he not your father who created you, *
he who made you, on whom you depend?

Remember the days of old, *
consider the years that are past;
ask your father and he will show you, *
ask your elders and they will tell you.

Israel God found him in a wilderness, *
in fearful, desolate wastes;
he surrounded him, he lifted him up, *
he kept him as the apple of his eye.

Like an eagle that watches its nest, *
that hovers over its young,
so he spread his wings; he took him, *
placed him on his outstretched wings.
The Lord alone was his guide *
and no other god was with him.

Canticle II

Song 1:3-4a; 2:8-10; 3:1b-2, 4bc

The faithful soul finds the beloved

Where have you hidden yourself, my Beloved? (St. John of the Cross)

Your name is oil poured out; *
therefore the maidens love you.
Draw me after you, let us make haste; *
your anointing oils are fragrant.
The king has brought me into his chambers; *
we will exult and rejoice in you.

The voice of my beloved:
Behold, he comes, *
leaping upon the mountains, bounding over the hills.
My beloved is like a gazelle, *
or a young stag.
Behold, there he stands behind our wall, *
gazing in at the windows, looking through the lattice.

My beloved speaks and says to me:
“Arise, my love, my fair one, *
and come away.”

I sought him whom my soul loves; *
I sought him, but found him not.
“I will rise now and go about the city; *
in the streets and in the squares
I will seek him whom my soul loves;” *
I sought him, but found him not.

I found him whom my soul loves. *
I held him, and would not let him go.

Canticle III

Song 4:8ab, 9bc, 12, 15; 5:2; 6:3; 8:6-7a

The strength of love

Love turns labor into rest (St. Teresa of Jesus)

Come with me from Lebanon, my bride; *
come with me from Lebanon.
You have ravished my heart with a glance of your eyes, *
with one jewel of your necklace.

A garden locked is my sister, my bride, *
a garden locked, a fountain sealed.
A garden fountain, a well of living water, *
and flowing streams from Lebanon.

I slept, but my heart was awake. *
Hark! my beloved is knocking.
“Open to me, my sister, my love, *
my dove, my perfect one,
for my head is wet with dew, *
my locks with the drops of the night.”

I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine; *
he pastures his flock among the lilies.
Set me as a seal upon your heart, *
as a seal upon your arm;
for love is strong as death, *
jealousy is cruel as the grave.

Its flashes are flashes of fire,
a most vehement flame. *
Many waters cannot quench love.

Ant. The Lord spread his wings like an eagle; he lifted her up and bore her on his shoulders. The Lord alone was her leader.

Gospel (Alternative 1)

Jn 17:17-26

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John

I have sent them into the world

Jesus raised his eyes to heaven and said:

Holy Father,
consecrate them in the truth;
your word is truth.
As you sent me into the world,
I have sent them into the world,
and for their sake I consecrate myself
so that they too may be consecrated in truth.
I pray not only for these,
but for those also
who through their words will believe in me.
May they all be one.
Father, may they be one in us,
as you are in me and I am in you,
so that the world may believe it was you who sent me.
I have given them the glory you gave to me,
that they may be one as we are one.
With me in them and you in me,
may they be so completely one
that the world will realize that it was you who sent me
and that I have loved them as much as you loved me.

Father,
I want those you have given me
to be with me where I am,
so that they may always see the glory
you have given me
because you loved me
before the foundation of the world.
Father, Righteous One,
the world has not known you,
but I have known you,
and these have known
that you have sent me.
I have made your name known to them
and will continue to make it known
so that the love with which you loved me may be in them,
and so that I may be in them.

Gospel (Alternative 2)

Jn 15:1-13

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John

Whoever remains in me, with me in him, bears fruit in plenty

Jesus said to his disciples:

“I am the true vine,
and my Father is the vinedresser.
Every branch in me that bears no fruit
he cuts away,
and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes
to make it bear even more.
You are pruned already,
by means of the word that I have spoken to you.
Make your home in me, as I make mine in you.
As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself,
but must remain part of the vine,
neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine,
you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me, with me in him,
bears fruit in plenty;
for cut off from me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
is like a branch that has been thrown away
-he withers;
these branches are collected and thrown on the fire,
and they are burned.
If you remain in me
and my words remain in you,
you may ask what you will
and you shall get it.
It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit,
and then you will be my disciples.
As the Father has loved me,
so I have loved you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments
you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love.
I have told you this
so that my own joy may be in you
and your joy be complete.
This is my commandment:
love one another,
as I have loved you.
A man can have no greater love
than to lay down his life for his friends.

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

God our Father,
you have promised your kingdom
to those who are willing to become like little children.
Help us to follow the way of Saint Thérèse with confidence
so that by her prayers
we may come to know your eternal glory.

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

 

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Morning Prayer

Hymn

Her boundless love for Christ her Lord
Impels Thérèse to greater things.
The martyr’s and apostle’s crown
To crown of virgins now she brings.

To be a victim of God’s love
Her heart aglow with mystic fire,
She begs her Spouse by love consume
Her life, a holocaust entire.

When death, the herald of true life,
Brings to its close, her life’s brief race,
She calls, “I love you” as she dies
And hastens to meet Christ’s embrace.

Now savoring all heaven’s joys,
The glories by her virtues won,
May she that shower of roses send
Which once she promised to her own.

O King of meek and gentle heart
Who for the little ones prepare
Your feast, grant us who follow her
In childlike trust, to enter there.

All praise be to the Father now,
Praise also to his only Son,
The Spirit in all virgin souls,
As ages endless through time run.

88.88.
Immensa Christi caritas

Psalmody

Ant. 1 My soul clings to you; with your right hand you have raised me up.

Psalms and canticle from Sunday, Week I

Ant. 2 You holy and humble of heart, bless the Lord.

Ant. 3 The Lord takes delight in his people, and crowns the humble with salvation.

Reading

Romans 8:14-17

All who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. You did not receive a spirit of slavery leading you back into fear, but a spirit of adoption through which we cry out, “Abba!” (that is, “Father”). The Spirit himself gives witness with our spirit that we are children of God. But if we are children, we are heirs as well; heirs of God, heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so as to be glorified with him.

Responsory

See, I will pour out upon her a river of peace.
See, I will pour out upon her a river of peace.

The glory of the nations like an overflowing stream,
a river of peace.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
See, I will pour out upon her a river of peace.

Canticle of Zechariah

Ant. Pray to the Lord of the harvest that he send laborers into his harvest.

Intercessions

Our Lord Jesus Christ has given Saint Thérèse to us as a model of the evangelical life. Let us pray to him and say:

R/. Hear us, O Lord.

Lord, you said, “Whoever is thirsty, let him come to me and drink;”
give us an intense thirst for your love.

Lord, you said, “If you do not become as little children, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven,”
help us to love you in simplicity of heart.

Lord, you told us, “There is joy in heaven over one sinner who repents;”
help us to have a childlike trust in your mercy.

Lord, you said, “Whoever does the will of my Father will enter the kingdom of heaven,”
give us a spirit of faithful obedience to all your commands.

Lord, you said, “Whatsoever you do to one of the least of my brethren you do to me;”
may we see you today in our brothers and sisters, and love you in them.

Lord, you said, “The harvest is great, but the laborers are few; pray therefore to the Lord of the harvest, that he send laborers into the harvest;”
give to all of us the missionary spirit of Saint Thérèse, who longed for the salvation of souls.

Our Father…

Prayer

God our Father,
you have promised your kingdom
to those who are willing to become like little children.
Help us to follow the way of Saint Thérèse with confidence
so that by her prayers
we may come to know your eternal glory.

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

 

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Daytime Prayer

Psalms from the current weekday.

Midmorning

Ant. The Lord chose you for his own, to praise him and give glory to his name.

Reading

2 Corinthians 12:9b-10

I willingly boast of my weakness instead, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I am content with weakness, with mistreatment, with distress, with persecutions and difficulties for the sake of Christ; for when I am powerless, it is then that I am strong.

The Lord is my strength and my song.
In you I trust; I shall not be put to shame.

Midday 

Ant. The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to little ones.

Reading

1 John 4:17-19

Our love is brought to perfection in this,
that we should have confidence on the day of judgment:
for our relation to this world is just like his.
Love has no room for fear;
rather, perfect love casts out all fear.
And since fear has to do with punishment,
love is not yet perfect in one who is afraid.
We, for our part, love
because he first loved us.

You, Lord, are our Father, our Redeemer.
From eternity this is your name.

Midafternoon

Ant. The Lord looks kindly on the prayer of the needy, and his word is addressed to the lowly.

Reading

1 John 3:1-2

See what love the Father has bestowed on us
in letting us be called children of God!
Yet that is what we are.
The reason the world does not recognize us
is that it never recognized the Son.
Dearly beloved,
we are God’s children now;
what we shall later be has not yet come to light.
We know that when it comes to light
we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.

I will run in the way of your commandments.
For you have given greatness to my heart.

Prayer

God our Father,
you have promised your kingdom
to those who are willing to become like little children.
Help us to follow the way of Saint Thérèse with confidence
so that by her prayers
we may come to know your eternal glory.

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

 

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Evening Prayer

Hymn

From clear high mansions of that shining palace
Where you enjoy the light of God’s dear presence,
And plead our causes, mindful of your promise
Show’r down your roses.

Roses of faith to shed its light supernal,
Roses of hope when obstacles surround us,
And for our strengthening in daily living
Roses of pure love.

Through your own childlike confidence and candor
Send us the rose of quietly discerning
Love of a Father, shining in each happening
Both sweet and bitter.

This be our portion, God forever blessed,
Father eternal, Son and Holy Spirit,
Whose is the glory which through all creation
Resounds forever.

11.11.11.5.
Luce divina rutilantis aulae

Psalmody

Ant. 1 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

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 forevermore!
From the rising of the sun to its setting *
praised be the name of the Lord!

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

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

Ant. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Ant. 2 For their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth.

Psalm 131

O Lord, my heart is not proud *
nor haughty my eyes.
I have not gone after things too great *
nor marvels beyond me.

Truly I have set my soul *
in silence and peace.
As a child has rest in its mother’s arms, *
even so my soul.

O Israel, hope in the Lord *
both now and forever.

Ant. For their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be consecrated in truth.

Ant. 3 God chooses those the world considers weak to confound the strong.

Phil. 2:6-11

Though he was in the form of God, +
Jesus did not deem equality with God *
something to be grasped at.

Rather, he emptied himself, +
and took the form of a slave, *
being born in the likeness of men.

He was known to be of human estate *
and it was thus that he humbled himself,
obediently accepting even death, *
death on a cross!

Because of this, *
God highly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name *
above every name,

So that at Jesus’ name +
every knee must bend, *
in the heavens, on the earth,
and under the earth, *
and every tongue proclaim
to the glory of God the Father: *
JESUS CHRIST IS LORD!

Ant. God chooses those the world considers weak to confound the strong.

Reading

1 Timothy 2:1, 3-6a

First of all, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be offered for all men. Prayer of this kind is good, and God our Savior is pleased with it, for he wants all men to be saved and come to know the truth. And the truth is this:
“God is one
One also is the mediator between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus,
who gave himself as a ransom for all.”

Responsory

I will tell of your name to my friends: in the midst of the assembly I will praise you.
I will tell of your name to my friends: in the midst of the assembly I will praise you.

For you have not despised the poor in their distress;
in the midst of the assembly I will praise you.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
I will tell of your name to my friends: in the midst of the assembly I will praise you.

Canticle of Mary

Ant. Father, I have made your name known to those you have given me: make them holy in the truth.

Intercessions

Let us pray to God, our almighty Father, for his Church throughout the world:

Lord, remember your covenant with us.

May we be inspired by the example of Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus;
may your Church give itself to you in love.

May all contemplatives be faithful witnesses of your goodness;
so that the world may believe in you.

May we bear one another’s burdens in a spirit of love;
so that your faithful people may see your face in us and imitate your Son.

Fill us with a faithful missionary spirit;
for you desire all the world to know the truth of Christ.

Grant to all the faithful departed the joy of seeing your face;
for Christ wants those you gave him to be with him where he reigns in glory.

Our Father…

Prayer

God our Father,
you have promised your kingdom
to those who are willing to become like little children.
Help us to follow the way of Saint Thérèse with confidence
so that by her prayers
we may come to know your eternal glory.

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

 

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Find this image and more in the Flickr photostream of The British Library

Quote of the day: 25 September

Josefa_Naval_Girbés,_Leiga_e_Terciária_Carmelita_Descalça
Josefa Naval Girbés | Image credit: Discalced Carmelites

 

The Church intones a canticle of jubilation and praise to Christ for the beatification of Josefa Naval Girbés, a virgin, and a laywoman who dedicated her life to the apostolate in her native village Algemesi in the archdiocese of Valencia, Spain. A simple woman who was docile to the breath of the Spirit, throughout the course of her long life she reached the summit of Christian perfection, dedicated to the service of her neighbor, in times that were easy for no one in the 19th century, during which she lived and developed her intense apostolic activity…

A singular characteristic of Josefa was her secular status. She, who filled cloistered convents with her disciples, remained unmarried in the world, living the evangelical principles and being an example of Christian virtues for all those sons and daughters of the Church who “are by baptism made one body with Christ and… carry out for their own part the mission of the whole Christian people in the Church and in the world” (Lumen Gentium, 31).

Saint John Paul II

Homily for the Beatification of Six Servants of God
Saint Peter’s Square, 25 September 1988

August 16: Blessed Maria Sagrario

August 16
BLESSED MARIA SAGRARIO
OF SAINT ALOYSIUS GONZAGA
Virgin and Martyr

Optional Memorial

Maria Sagrario was born at Lillo (Toledo) on 8th January 1881. A pharmacist by trade, she was one of the first women in Spain to be admitted to this qualification. In 1915 she entered the Carmel of St. Anne and St. Joseph in Madrid. Through her spirit of prayer and her love for the Eucharist, she was a perfect embodiment of the contemplative and ecclesial ideal of the Teresian Carmel. She was Prioress of her community when she was martyred on 15th August 1936. It was a grace she longed for and accepted in perfection of faith and ardent love for Christ.

From the common of martyrs or of virgins

THE SECOND READING

From the letters and writings of Blessed Maria Sagrario

Following Christ by way of humility and the cross

May Jesus reign always in my heart! The Lord asks me to be humble, to weep over my sins, to love him much, to love my sisters much, to mortify them in nothing, not to mortify myself uselessly, to live recollected in him wanting nothing for myself, completely surrendered to his divine will.

In this vale of tears, suffering will not be lacking, and we should be content to have something to offer to our most beloved Jesus who wanted so much to suffer for love of us. The most direct way to unite ourselves to God is that of the cross, so we should always desire it. May the Lord not permit that I be separated from his divine will.

Blessed be God who gives us these ways of offering ourselves up to his love! The day will arrive when we will rejoice for having suffered in this way. Meanwhile, let us be generous, suffering everything, if not with happiness, at least in close conformity to the divine will of him who suffered so much out of love for us. However great are our sufferings, they come nowhere near his. If you wish to be perfect, seek first of all to be quite humble in thought, word, deed and desire; learn well what this means and work tenaciously to carry it out. Keep your gaze always on our most beloved Jesus, asking him in the depths of his heart what he desires for you, and never deny him anything, even if it means going strongly against the grain for you.

Blessed be he who arranges everything for our good! In possessing him, we possess everything.

RESPONSORY

I have fought the good fight to the end;
I have run the race to the finish. I have kept the faith;
all there is to come for me now is the crown of righteousness.

Because of the supreme advantage
of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,
I count everything else as loss,
that I may partake of his sufferings
by being molded to the pattern of his death.
All there is to come for me now is the crown of righteousness.

PRAYER

O God,
who by a spirit of prayer and devotion to the Eucharist
prepared Blessed Maria Sagrario to suffer martyrdom,
grant that we, through her example,
may freely spend our lives for you
by faithfully and constantly fulfilling your will.

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.

Maria-Sagrario_cadaver
“The most direct way to unite ourselves to God is that of the cross, so we should always desire it.”

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.”

13 July: Saint Teresa of Jesus “Of Los Andes”

July 13
SAINT TERESA OF JESUS “OF LOS ANDES”
Virgin

Memorial

Juanita Fernandez Solar was born at Santiago, Chile, on July 13, 1900. From her adolescence she was devoted to Christ. She entered the monastery of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns at Los Andes on May 7, 1919, where she was given the name of Teresa of Jesus. She died on April 12 of the following year after having made her religious profession. She was beatified on April 3, 1987, at Santiago, Chile, and canonized on March 21, 1993, by Saint John Paul II and proposed as a model for young people. She is the first Chilean and the first member of the Teresian Carmel in Latin America to be canonized.

From the Common of Virgins, except the following:

Office of Readings

Second Reading
Diario y cartas (Los Andes, 1983), 373, 359, 376

From the Spiritual writings of Saint Teresa of Jesus

Jesus alone is beautiful; He is my only joy. I call for Him, I cry after Him, I search for Him within my heart. I long for Jesus to grind me interiorly so that I may become a pure host where He can find His rest. I want to be athirst with love so that other souls may possess this love. I would die to creatures and to myself, so that He may live in me.

Is there anything good, beautiful or true that we can think of that would not be in Jesus? Wisdom, from which nothing would be secret. Power, for which nothing would be impossible. Justice, which made Him take on flesh in order to make satisfaction for sin. Providence, which always watches over and sustains us. Mercy, which never ceases to pardon. Goodness, which forgets the offenses of His creatures. Love, which unites all the tendernesses of a mother, of a brother, of a spouse, and which, drawing Him out of the abyss of His greatness, binds Him closely to His creatures. Beauty which enraptures… what can you think of that would not be found in this Man-God?

Are you perhaps afraid that the abyss of the greatness of God and that of your nothingness cannot be united? There is love in Him. His passionate love made Him take flesh in order that by seeing a Man-God, we would not be afraid to draw near Him. This passionate love made Him become bread in order to assimilate our nothingness and make it disappear into His infinite being. This passionate love made Him give His life by dying on the cross.

Are you perhaps afraid to draw near Him? Look at Him, surrounded by little children. He caresses them, He presses them to His heart. Look at Him in the midst of His faithful flock, bearing the faithless lamb on His shoulders. Look at Him at the tomb of Lazarus. And listen to what He says of the Magdalene: “Much has been forgiven her, because she has loved much.” What do you discover in these flashes from the Gospel except a heart that is good, gentle, tender, compassionate; in other words, the heart of a God?

He is my unending wealth, my bliss, my heaven.

Responsory

R/. I have come to rate all as loss in the light of the surpassing knowledge
of my Lord Jesus Christ: I am racing to grasp the prize
* since I have been grasped by Christ Jesus.
V/. I give no thought to what lies behind but push on to what lies ahead
as I run toward the prize to which God calls me on high
* since I have been grasped by Christ Jesus.

Prayer

God of mercy, joy of the saints,
you set the young heart of Saint Teresa ablaze
with the fire of virginal love for Christ and for His Church;
and even in suffering made her a cheerful witness to charity.
Through her intercession,
fill us with the delights of your Spirit,
so that we may proclaim by word and deed
the joyful message of your love to the world.

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

 

Teresa-de-los-Andes_teenager-formal-portrait_headshot-sepia
Juanita Fernández del Solar

26 June: Blessed Mary Josephine of Jesus Crucified

June 26
BLESSED MARY JOSEPHINE OF JESUS CRUCIFIED
Virgin

Optional Memorial

Josephine Catanea was born in Naples on February 18, 1894. She entered the Carmelite community of Santa Maria Ponti Rossi and made her solemn profession August 6, 1933. In 1945 was elected prioress, an office she held until her death. She endured the painful trials of illness and persecution by abandoning herself to the will of God. All who sought her help were inspired by her deep spirituality, humility and simplicity, as she inspired hope and faith in God and in the Blessed Virgin Mary. She died in Naples on March 14, 1948.

From the Common of virgins, with the psalms of the day

Office of the Readings

Second Reading

From the writings of Blessed Mary Josephine of Jesus Crucified
(Autobiography, pp.159, 296, 202; Diary, pp. 2-3, 109, 121, 126)

I offered myself to Jesus Crucified to be crucified with Him

It has always been my heart’s burning desire to fulfill the will of God; I have never wanted anything else. I have lived and am living the divine will. It is something I need more than the food I eat and the air I breathe. I would not know how not to do His will even for a moment! I have always wanted to live and to die conforming to the will of God. I wanted God’s will to always be in my thoughts, in my words, in everything I do and in every step I make. It was only through following God’s will that I was able to transform my pains into joy, transforming my life from Mount Calvary to Mount Tabor.

God’s will is a kiss of His love, it is an embrace of His goodness which lifts the soul out of its own misery in order to be comforted in His arms. The will of God is an act of tenderness which should make the soul want to abandon itself in love.

Oh will of God, infinite love, take away my will in the flame of your love! I want to unite myself to you, my God who are my all. I want only to do whatever pleases you. I want my life to be a continuous adoration, a continuous hymn of love for you, O God who are One and Three. Even if I were a seraphim of love, would I be worthy of the Lord? If I had consumed myself with sacrifices and penances for God and my life had been a holocaust, what would I have done for you, my God and my all?

I desire to love God with the same ardour as His divine Spirit, with fervent unction of his love, to the point of living only for Him and becoming one with Him; one will, one desire and one spirit.

There is only one thing necessary in life: to know God, our supreme Good, in order to be able to love Him with all one’s heart. This knowledge of God makes our spirit disappear like a drop of water in the ocean or like a spark in a fire. 

Contemplate this infinite God, one in essence but three in Persons. Try to see in the Trinity the unique principle, the wisdom existing in infinite love, and in the Trinity see the activity of tiny creatures that live in God and love Him.

I think that one day my small voice will become like a giant’s, because it is a voice that glorifies God thanks to the means He has given me on earth: the pains, suffering, prayer and the sacrifices we encounter in life. Let us submerge ourselves in God, let us found ourselves in Him, let us lose ourselves in Him alone and try to live joyfully for He is calling us: ‘Come Bride of Christ.’

Suffering is a sweet and precious kiss from our crucified Lord. I desire only the cross, which is light and love.

Lord, you told me that I would have to suffer more each day, that you would place me on the cross and there you would give me a kiss of eternal union. I pine for this moment and pine for this happy meeting even if it means I have to live a life of agony.

Our holy mother, Teresa of Jesus, wants us to be crucified with Christ, this is the task of our lives. When I think that Jesus has placed me on the cross with Himself I feel in myself a spiritual motherhood, a tenderness for souls, a great and profound joy that I cannot explain.

How many tribulations on earth there are, how many lamentations, how many sighs and tears! I am far from all, but here I share the pain of every heart. I present to God all the sighs, the tears which water this place of exile. I am living with suffering humanity.

What consolation I felt today in my poor heart.

These words at Holy Communion gave me comfort: “Daughter, you are mine but you will be mine even more.” This is exactly what my soul ardently desires. Oh how great is the love of my Lord! Oh indescribable goodness! Oh loving Jesus I thank you and I love you! 

I want to write with my blood a countless number of times: ‘I love you, Jesus, save souls!’

Responsory
Song 2: 3, 14

R. With great delight I sat in his shadow,* and his fruit was sweet to my taste.
V. Your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely.
R. and his fruit was sweet to my taste.

Prayer

Almighty and eternal God,
who willed to conform to Christ crucified
the virgin Blessed Mary Josephine,
as a victim for sinners,
grant that we, through her intercession and example,
may always embrace our own cross
and humbly fulfil your will.

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

 

Maria-Giuseppina-Catanea_cloister
Blessed Mary Josephine of Jesus Crucified with one of her nuns kneeling before her
Photo: Discalced Carmelites

29 May: Blessed Elia of St. Clement

May 29
BLESSED ELIA OF SAINT CLEMENT
Virgin

Optional Memorial

Blessed Elia of St. Clement was born in Bari, 17th January 1901, to deeply Christian parents. At her baptism, she was given the name Theodora, gift of God. In the brief course of her life on earth, she lived up to her name. On 8th April 1920 (then Feast of St. Albert, author of the Carmelite Rule), she entered the Carmel of St. Joseph in Bari. She received the habit on 24th November of the same year, the feast of St John of the Cross. On 8th December 1924, she wrote in her own blood her act of total and definitive offering to the Lord with the vow to embrace the “most perfect”. She died on Christmas day 1927. On 19th December 2005, Pope Benedict XVI signed the Decree of Beatification. She was proclaimed Blessed in Bari Cathedral on 18th March 2006.

From the Common of Virgins

Office of Readings

Second Reading

From the Writings of Blessed Elia of Saint Clement
(Ed. O.C.D. 2001: pp. 282, 295, 322)

The desire to lose herself in God and her apostolic zeal

O sweet hiddenness, I love to pass my days in your shadow and to consume thus my existence, for love of my sweet Lord. At times, thinking of those eternal rewards, so great compared to the slight sacrifices of this life, my soul remains in wonder, and seized by an ardent longing, it throws itself on God, exclaiming: “Oh my good Jesus, I want to reach my goal, the gates of salvation, no matter what the cost. Do not deny me anything; give me suffering. May this be the most intimate martyrdom of my poor heart, hidden from every human glance: a rugged cross is what I ask of you. I want to pass my days here below hanging from this cross.”

When we suffer with Jesus, the suffering is delightful; I long to suffer with all my heart, beyond this I no longer want anything.

My Delight, who could ever separate me from You? Who could be capable of breaking these strong chains that keep my heart attached to yours? Perhaps the abandonment of creatures? It is precisely this that unites the soul to its Creator. Perhaps tribulations, suffering, crosses? It is in these thorns that the canticle of the soul that loves you is freest and lightest. Perhaps death? But this will be nothing other than the beginning of true happiness for the soul. Nothing, nothing can separate this soul from You, not even for a brief moment. It was created for You and is lost if it does not abandon itself to You.

My life is love: this sweet nectar surrounds me, this merciful love penetrates me, purifies me, renews me, and I feel it consuming me. The cry of my heart is: “Love of my God, my soul searches for You alone. My soul, suffer and be quiet; love and hope; offer yourself but hide your suffering behind a smile, and always move on. I want to spend my life in deep silence, in the depths of my heart, in order to listen to the gentle voice of my sweet Jesus.

“Souls, I will search for a way to cast you into the sea of Merciful Love: souls of sinners, but above all souls of priests and religious. To this end, my existence is slowly disappearing, consumed like the oil of a lamp that watches near the Tabernacle.”

I sense the vastness of my soul, its infinite greatness that the immensity of this world cannot contain: it was created to lose itself in You, my God, because you alone are great, infinite and thus You alone can make it completely happy.

RESPONSORY

R/. An unmarried woman, like a young girl, can devote herself to the Lord’s affairs.
* Her aim is to be dedicated to him in body as in spirit (alleluia).
V/. God is the strength of her heart, he is hers forever:
* Her aim is to be dedicated to him in body as in spirit (alleluia).

Morning Prayer

Canticle of Zechariah

Ant. O Lord, how gentle is your love! Lost in your embrace I shall be blessed forever (alleluia).

Prayer

O Lord,
who were pleased to accept the self-offering
of Blessed Elia of Saint Clement, virgin;
grant through her intercession,
that, sustained by the Eucharist
we may be able faithfully to do your will.

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

Evening Prayer

Canticle of Mary

Ant. Your love, O Lord, is like a fire consuming me in the ardent furnace of your Heart (alleluia).

 

Elia-di-San-Clemente
Blessed Elia of San Clemente (Teodora Fracasso, 1901-1927)

25 May: St. Mary Magdalen de’ Pazzi

May 25
SAINT MARY MAGDALEN DE’ PAZZI
Virgin

Memorial

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

From the common of virgins

Office of Readings

Hymn

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

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

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

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

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

Psalmody

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

Psalms from the Common of Virgins

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

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

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

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

Prayer

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

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

Morning Prayer

Hymn

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

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

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

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

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

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

Psalmody

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

Psalms of Sunday, Week I

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

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

Scripture Reading

Phil 3:8, 10-11

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

Responsory

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

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

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

Intercessions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our Father . . .

Prayer

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

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

Prayer During the Day

Weekday prayer from the psalter

Evening Prayer

Hymn

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

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

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

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

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

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

Psalmody

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

Psalm 112

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Canticle: Eph 1:3-10

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Scripture Reading

Eph 3:8-11

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

Responsory

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

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

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

Intercessions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our Father . . .

Prayer

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

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

 

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

Marie du jour: 10 May

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

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

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

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity
The Last Retreat, First Day

The Complete Works of Elizabeth of the Trinity volume 1: I Have Found God, General Introduction and Major Spiritual Writings (p.111)
ICS Publications, Washington DC
© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites, Inc.
PERE JACQUES - Virginity is one of the crown jewels IGsize
Père Jacques was the headmaster of the Carmelite boarding school in Avon, France who sheltered Jewish boys as students. When he was arrested, a crowd of shocked students gathered to watch as he was led away; his parting words were, “Au revoir, les enfants.”

Quote of the day: 15 January

She helped me… it is a very particular aspect of the spiritual wealth of the Virgin, the Mother of Christ, for her Carmelite mission, which begins on Mount Carmel in the Holy Land and is linked to a garment. This garment is called the holy Scapular. I owe much in my youth to this Carmelite Scapular.

Saint John Paul II
Remarks to the parishioners of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Rome
15 January 1989

This was the will of Jesus before he died, his last will, and he said to the disciple as he says to us today, to each one of us:  She is your mother; here is your motherWe have a mother and it is Jesus who willed that we should have a mother.”

August 16: Blessed Maria Sagrario

August 16
BLESSED MARIA SAGRARIO
OF SAINT ALOYSIUS GONZAGA
Virgin and Martyr

Optional Memorial

Maria Sagrario was born at Lillo (Toledo) on 8th January 1881. A pharmacist by trade, she was one of the first women in Spain to be admitted to this qualification. In 1915 she entered the Carmel of St. Anne and St. Joseph in Madrid. Through her spirit of prayer and her love for the Eucharist, she was a perfect embodiment of the contemplative and ecclesial ideal of the Teresian Carmel. She was Prioress of her community when she was martyred on 15th August 1936. It was a grace she longed for and accepted in perfection of faith and ardent love for Christ.

From the common of martyrs or of virgins

THE SECOND READING

From the letters and writings of Blessed Maria Sagrario

Following Christ by way of humility and the cross

May Jesus reign always in my heart! The Lord asks me to be humble, to weep over my sins, to love him much, to love my sisters much, to mortify them in nothing, not to mortify myself uselessly, to live recollected in him wanting nothing for myself, completely surrendered to his divine will.

In this vale of tears, suffering will not be lacking, and we should be content to have something to offer to our most beloved Jesus who wanted so much to suffer for love of us. The most direct way to unite ourselves to God is that of the cross, so we should always desire it. May the Lord not permit that I be separated from his divine will.

Blessed be God who gives us these ways of offering ourselves up to his love! The day will arrive when we will rejoice for having suffered in this way. Meanwhile, let us be generous, suffering everything, if not with happiness, at least in close conformity to the divine will of him who suffered so much out of love for us. However great are our sufferings, they come nowhere near his. If you wish to be perfect, seek first of all to be quite humble in thought, word, deed and desire; learn well what this means and work tenaciously to carry it out. Keep your gaze always on our most beloved Jesus, asking him in the depths of his heart what he desires for you, and never deny him anything, even if it means going strongly against the grain for you.

Blessed be he who arranges everything for our good! In possessing him, we possess everything.

RESPONSORY

I have fought the good fight to the end;
I have run the race to the finish. I have kept the faith;
all there is to come for me now is the crown of righteousness.

Because of the supreme advantage
of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,
I count everything else as loss,
that I may partake of his sufferings
by being molded to the pattern of his death.
All there is to come for me now is the crown of righteousness.

PRAYER

O God,
who by a spirit of prayer and devotion to the Eucharist
prepared Blessed Maria Sagrario to suffer martyrdom,
grant that we, through her example,
may freely spend our lives for you
by faithfully and constantly fulfilling your will.

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.

Maria-Sagrario_cadaver
“The most direct way to unite ourselves to God is that of the cross, so we should always desire it.”

August 9: 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.”

St. Edith Stein Novena – Day 4

SCRIPTURE READING
John 2:1-11

There was a wedding at Cana in Galilee. The mother of Jesus was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited. When they ran out of wine, since the wine provided for the wedding was all finished, the mother of Jesus said to him, ‘They have no wine.’ Jesus said, ‘Woman why turn to me? My hour has not come yet.’ His mother said to the servants, ‘Do whatever he tells you.’ There were six stone water jars standing there, meant for the ablutions that are customary among the Jews: each could hold twenty or thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, ‘Fill the jars with water,’ and they filled them to the brim. ‘Draw some out now,’ he told them, ‘and take it to the steward.’ They did this; the steward tasted the water, and it had turned into wine. Having no idea where it came from – only the servants who had drawn the water knew – the steward called the bridegroom and said, ‘People generally serve the best wine first, and keep the cheaper sort till the guests have had plenty to drink, but you have kept the best wine till now.’

This was the first of the signs given by Jesus: it was given at Cana in Galilee. He let his glory be seen, and his disciples believed in him.

MEDITATION
A Chosen Vessel of Divine Wisdom:

Sr. Marie-Aimée de Jésus of the Carmel of the Avenue de Saxe in Paris 1839–1874

Nazareth

“A page from the great book of God’s mercy” is what Sister Marie-Aimée called her life. This life is very simple in its external course, but has an inner richness that can only be hinted at in a short biography. Those who would like to know more about it must refer to her own writings.

A delicate face of angelic purity and spirituality, big, soft, and deeply penetrating eyes that have knowledge of the supernatural world as well as of their natural home—this is Dorothea Quoniam, who in Carmel received the name of Marie-Aimée de Jésus. This name tells the secret of her life: “loved by Jesus” with an overwhelming, jealous love that laid total claim to her from her very first day.

Occasionally, [Jesus] revealed himself to her in human form and each time corresponding to her age, so that he seemed to grow up with her. When she was nineteen, her relatives wanted to arrange her future. One day they introduced a young man to her, and, after an opening conversation, let her know that he came as a suitor. Dorothea said not a word. She only smiled, but this smile was of a kind that made the poor fellow lower his eyes, blush, and wish that he had never come. The Lord had revealed himself beside this young man “in the full radiance of his virginal beauty” and said, “Compare!” At the same time, a smile of divine irony played about his lips and evoked its reflection in the face of his bride. The first attempt of this kind was rejected, and she knew how to refuse all thereafter with calm firmness.

She had already known when she moved to her “Nazareth” that her aim was the “desert” of Carmel. But she had to await the Lord’s hour.

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.

Sports for peace
Community members from El Sereif, North Darfur, perform traditional wedding songs in a cultural and sports event organized by UNAMID as part of the campaign “We need peace now”.
Learn more about this photo by Alberto Gonzalez Farran, UNAMID
The Hidden Life: hagiographic essays, meditations, spiritual texts
Edited by L. Gelber and Michael Linssen; translated by Waltraut Stein
The Collected Works of Edith Stein, Vol. 4 
ICS Publications, Washington DC 
© Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites, Inc.

July 13: St Teresa of the Andes

July 13
SAINT TERESA OF JESUS “OF LOS ANDES”
Virgin

Memorial

Juanita Fernandez Solar was born at Santiago, Chile, on July 13, 1900. From her adolescence she was devoted to Christ. She entered the monastery of the Discalced Carmelite Nuns at Los Andes on May 7, 1919, where she was given the name of Teresa of Jesus. She died on April 12 of the following year after having made her religious profession. She was beatified on April 3, 1987, at Santiago, Chile, and canonized on March 21, 1993, by Saint John Paul II and proposed as a model for young people. She is the first Chilean and the first member of the Teresian Carmel in Latin America to be canonized.

From the Common of Virgins, except the following:

Office of Readings

Second Reading
Diario y cartas (Los Andes, 1983), 373, 359, 376

From the Spiritual writings of Saint Teresa of Jesus

Jesus alone is beautiful; He is my only joy. I call for Him, I cry after Him, I search for Him within my heart. I long for Jesus to grind me interiorly so that I may become a pure host where He can find His rest. I want to be athirst with love so that other souls may possess this love. I would die to creatures and to myself, so that He may live in me.

Is there anything good, beautiful or true that we can think of that would not be in Jesus? Wisdom, from which nothing would be secret. Power, for which nothing would be impossible. Justice, which made Him take on flesh in order to make satisfaction for sin. Providence, which always watches over and sustains us. Mercy, which never ceases to pardon. Goodness, which forgets the offenses of His creatures. Love, which unites all the tendernesses of a mother, of a brother, of a spouse, and which, drawing Him out of the abyss of His greatness, binds Him closely to His creatures. Beauty which enraptures… what can you think of that would not be found in this Man-God?

Are you perhaps afraid that the abyss of the greatness of God and that of your nothingness cannot be united? There is love in Him. His passionate love made Him take flesh in order that by seeing a Man-God, we would not be afraid to draw near Him. This passionate love made Him become bread in order to assimilate our nothingness and make it disappear into His infinite being. This passionate love made Him give His life by dying on the cross.

Are you perhaps afraid to draw near Him? Look at Him, surrounded by little children. He caresses them, He presses them to His heart. Look at Him in the midst of His faithful flock, bearing the faithless lamb on His shoulders. Look at Him at the tomb of Lazarus. And listen to what He says of the Magdalene: “Much has been forgiven her, because she has loved much.” What do you discover in these flashes from the Gospel except a heart that is good, gentle, tender, compassionate; in other words, the heart of a God?

He is my unending wealth, my bliss, my heaven.

Responsory

R/. I have come to rate all as loss in the light of the surpassing knowledge
of my Lord Jesus Christ: I am racing to grasp the prize
* since I have been grasped by Christ Jesus.
V/. I give no thought to what lies behind but push on to what lies ahead
as I run toward the prize to which God calls me on high
* since I have been grasped by Christ Jesus.

Prayer

God of mercy, joy of the saints,
you set the young heart of Saint Teresa ablaze
with the fire of virginal love for Christ and for His Church;
and even in suffering made her a cheerful witness to charity.
Through her intercession,
fill us with the delights of your Spirit,
so that we may proclaim by word and deed
the joyful message of your love to the world.

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

 

Teresa-de-los-Andes_teenager-formal-portrait_headshot-sepia
Juanita Fernández del Solar

The Marie du jour – May 8

“Virgo fidelis”: that is, Faithful Virgin, “who kept all these things in her heart.” [Lk. 2:19] She remained so little, so recollected in God’s presence, in the seclusion of the temple, that she drew down upon herself the delight of the Holy Trinity: “Because He has looked upon the lowliness of His servant, henceforth all generations shall call me blessed!” [Lk. 1:48] The Father bending down to this beautiful creature, who was so unaware of her own beauty, willed that she be the Mother in time of Him whose Father He is in eternity.

Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity

She remained so little, so recollected in God’s presence

 

Presentation-BVM_Pierre Mignard - 1635 (2)
The Presentation of the Virgin in the Temple (detail)
Pierre Mignard (French, 1612 – 1695)
Oil on canvas, 1635
Private collection

 

Elizabeth of the Trinity Complete Works, Volume I: I Have Found God
General Introduction and Major Spiritual Writings (p. 110)
Edition produced, presented, and annotated by Conrad De Meester, O.C.D.
Translated by Sr. Aletheia Kane, O.C.D.
ICS Publications, Copyright © by Washington Province of Discalced Carmelites, Inc. 1984, 2014

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