Thursday, August 06, 2020

St Albert of Trapani, memoria, click to read more

St Albert of Trapani

Albert degli Abbatti was born at Trapani, Sicily, in the 13th 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.

 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. Concluding prayer of the Morning prayer, text after Discalced Carmelite Proper Offices.

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Wednesday, August 05, 2020


Raphael, Transfiguration

    One cannot advance in faith without closing one’s eyes to everything pertaining to the senses and to clear, particular knowledge. Though St Peter was truly certain of his vision of Christ glory in the transfiguration, yet after relating the fact in his second canonical epistle (2 Pt 1:16-18) he did not want anyone to take this as the chief testimony for certitude. But leading them on to faith he declared: We have a more certain testimony than this vision of Tabor: the saying and words of the prophets bearing testimony to Christ which you must make good use of, as a candle shining in a dark place (2 Pt 1:19)

    Reflecting on this comparison, we discover the doctrine we are teaching here. Telling us to behold the faith spoken of by prophets as we would a candle shining in a dark place, he asserts that we should live in darkness, with our eyes closed to all other lights, and that in this darkness faith alone – which is dark also -  should be the light we use. If we want to employ these other bright lights of distinct knowledge, we cease to make use of faith, the dark light, and we cease to be enlightened in the dark place mentioned by St Peter. This place (the intellect – the holder on which the candle of faith is placed) must remain in darkness until the day, in the next life, when the clear vision of God dawns upon the soul; and in this life, until the daybreak of transformation in and union with God, the goal of a person’s journey.  (St John of the Cross, Ascend of Mt Carmel Book 2 ch 16)
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Monday, August 03, 2020

St John Baptist Marie Vianney, Cure of Ars, memoria

                   The body of Saint John Mary Vianney, entombed above the main altar in Ars Basilica, France

St John Mary Baptist Vianney was born on 8 May 1786 in Dardilly and baptised on the same day. His parents, Matthieu Vianney and Marie Beluze, had six children, of whom John was the third. The Vianneys were traditional Catholics who helped the poor and gave hospitality to those in need. By 1790, the French Revolution forced many loyal priests to hide from the government in order to carry out the sacraments in their parish. The Vianneys continued attending Mass, even though it was illegal. In order to attend Mass, the Vianneys travelled to distant farms where they would pray in secret. In 1802, the Catholic Church was re-established in France, resulting in religious peace throughout the country. By this time, St John Vianney was concerned about his future vocation and longed for an education. He was 20 when his father allowed him to leave the farm to be taught at Father Balley's "presbytery-school" in the neighbouring village of Ecully. The school taught arithmetic, history, geography, and Latin. He struggled, especially with Latin, since his past education had been interrupted by the French Revolution. If it wasn't for Vianney's deepest desire to be a priest - and Father Balley's patience - he would have given up his struggle to continue. In autumn of 1813, he was sent to major seminary at Lyons. At the end of his first term he left to be privately tutored by Fr Balley. He received minor orders and the subdiaconate on 2 July 1814, was ordained deacon in June 1815, and was ordained priest on 12 August 1815. He said his first Mass the next day, and was appointed assistant to Fr Balley. Shortly after the death of Father Balley, Jean-Marie Vianney was appointed pastor of the parish of Ars, a town of 230. As the pastor of Ars, Vianney realized that the Revolution's aftermath resulted in religious ignorance, due to many years of the destruction of the Catholic Church in France. At the time, Sundays in rural areas were spent in the fields working, or spent dancing and drinking in taverns. Vianney was astonished, especially since Sundays were meant to be reserved for religion. He resolved, for a time being, to commit his pastoral care to resolve the matter and he succeded. Soon he came to be known internationally, and people from distant places began traveling to consult him as early as 1827. By 1855, the number of pilgrims had reached twenty thousand a year. During the last ten years of his life, he spent sixteen to eighteen hours a day in the confessional. Even the bishop forbade him to attend the annual retreats of the diocesan clergy because of the souls awaiting him yonder". He spent at least 11 or 12 hours a day in the confessional during winter, and up to 16 in the summer. St John Vianney had a great devotion to St. Philomena. He looked at her as his guardian and erected a chapel and shrine in honour of the saint. During May 1843, he fell so ill he thought that his life was coming to its end. He asked St Philomena to cure him and promised to say 100 Masses at her shrine. Twelve days later, he was cured and attributed his healing to her intercession. St John yearned for the contemplative life of a monk, and four times ran away from Ars, the last time in 1853. He died on 4 August 1859 at age 73. Biographers recorded miracles performed throughout his life, obtaining money for his charities and food for his orphans; he also had supernatural knowledge of the past and future, and could heal the sick, especially children. On 3 October 1874 Pope Pius IX proclaimed him Venerable; on 8 January 1905, Pope Pius X declared him Blessed and proposed him as a model to the parochial clergy; in 1925 Pope Pius XI canonized him, and assigned 8 August as his feast day. This feast was inserted in the General Roman Calendar in 1928 with the rank of Double. He was made patron saint of parish priests in 1929. The rank was changed to that of third-class feast in 1960, and it is thus celebrated in the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite. In the ordinary form Vianney is commemorated by a memorial on 4 August. In 1959, Pope John XXIII issued Sacerdotii Nostri Primordia, an encyclical on Vianney. In honour of the 150th anniversary of Vianney's death, Pope Benedict XVI declared a year for priests, running from the feast of the Sacred Heart between 2009 and 2010. St John Vianney became internationally notable for his priestly and pastoral work in the parish of Ars because of the radical spiritual transformation of the community and its surroundings. Catholics attribute this to his saintly life, mortifications offered to God for the conversion of his flock and persevering ministry in the sacrament of confession. St John Vianney pray for us, that merciful God will grant us many holy priests for the glory of His Church.

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Friday, July 31, 2020

Feast of St Ignatius of Loyola - click to read previous posts

Saint Ignatius of Loyola spent nine months in convalescence from March 1522 to February 1523, in Manresa, close to the Benedictine monastery of Montserrat in Spain, in the diocese of Barcelona, due to a war wound. Ignatius had a vision that he shared in his autobiography.

One night, he was awoken and he saw the Blessed Virgin with the Holy Child; during this vision, which lasted a good length of time, he received great spiritual consolation and the memory of his past life became very distasteful to him, especially the things concerning the flesh. He had the impression that all the images that had been imprinted in his heart before had been completely removed. From that moment until August 1533, when he wrote these words, he never again gave even the smallest consent to the things of the flesh. Without indicating the origin of this vision, he simply recorded the fruits, which in their sobriety, were never doubted. ('Dictionary of Apparitions')

credit: quoted after 'A Moment with Mary', picture represents Black Madonna of Montserrat, Spain. To visit the breathtaking photo gallery of Montserrat shrine, click HERE

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Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Feast of St Martha - click to read

The cult of St. Martha began about the year 1200. She was the person for whom Jesus was like family, and therefore, a powerful one in the presence of God. Jesus told Martha that Mary had chosen "the best part". In this way Our Lord gently reminds us the good prayer is proper nourishment for the soul. We can see Martha again at the tomb of her brother Lazarus, where she pronounces words of faith: "I know He will rise again in the resurrection on the last day." Jesus' answer was: "I am the resurrection and the life: whoever believes in me, though he should die, will come to life;...Do you believe this?" "Yes Lord", she replied, "I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God; he who is to come into the world." 


2 Cor. 10:17-18,11:1-2. But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he who commendeth himself is approved: but he, whom God commendeth. Would to God you could bear with some little of my folly! But do bear with me. For I am jealous of you with the jealousy of God. For I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

Luke 10:38-42.
Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain town: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary. who, sitting also at the Lord's feet, heard his word. But Martha was busy about much serving. Who stood and said: Lord, hast thou no care that my sister hath left me alone to serve? Speak to her therefore, that she help me. And the Lord answering, said to her: Martha, Martha, thou art careful and art troubled about many things: But one thing is necessary. Mary hath chosen the best part, which shall not be taken away from her.

Novena prayer to St Martha
O glorious Saint Martha,
I have recourse to your protection and aid,
And as proof of my affection and faith
I promise faithfully to complete this novena.

Comfort me in my difficulties
And intercede for my family
With your intimate friend, Our Saviour,
That we may always hold God in our hearts
And be provided for in our necessities.

I beg your supplications
Especially in behalf of the favour
I ask of you in this novena.

(mention your request).

I ask you, Saint Martha,
By your intercession to help me
In overcoming all my difficulties
And to teach me to become great
In the Kingdom of Heaven
By becoming as humble as you
In this world. Amen.

Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be

Picture represent a copy of Tintoretto painting, depicting Christ in the house of Martha and Mary.

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Monday, July 27, 2020

Blessed Titus Brandsma, Priest and Martyr, Optional Memoria, click to read

Good reading for reflection how truly and deeply Marian is and should always be the Order Carmelites.

The last part of Bl Titus Brandsma lecture "The Brothers of Our Lady"

Mary in Us as Living Through Us.
There is, however, yet another profound idea in the devotion to Mary on Carmel. It is based on the former indeed, and we cannot say that it was unknown in the first stages of our Order's history, even though it was more prominent in later times. I have called it the union with Mary. If we wish to conform ourselves to Mary in order to enjoy more fully the intercourse with God, by following her example, we should obviously become other Marys. We ought to let Mary live in us. Mary should not stand outside the Carmelite, but he should live a life so similar to Mary that he should live with, in, through, and for Mary. Even in the Middle Ages, in the first period of the Order's history, the idea was propagated that we should be serfs of Mary; in those days, even a stronger term, "slave," was used. In the 18th century, Blessed Grignion de Montfort drew attention again to this most vigorous Marian devotion. He wrote a work on True Devotion to Mary but it remained hidden during his lifetime and even for years after his death. It was not until 1842 that it was discovered, published and spread to all countries. It is a glorious utterance of Marian life. However, it is not new. Not only did the idea exist even in the Middle Ages, but also in later times it was brilliantly elaborated in the mystic school of Carmel. The admirers of the True Devotion to Mary by Blessed Grignion de Montfort admit willingly that the Saint had a remarkable prototype in the mystic writings of one of the dominant figures of later Carmelite mysticism, the Provincial of the Dutch Calced Carmelites, Michael of St. Augustine (Ballaert), in the middle of the 17th century. His treatise on Devotion to Mary was printed two years before Blessed Grignion de Montfort was born and was reprinted during the latter's life in Latin and Dutch. As he sees in Mary the Mediatrix of all graces, he says that just as the grace of God or of the Holy Ghost, is communicated to those who are susceptible of it, makes them active and excites divine life in them, so all graces, received through Mary and the spirit of Mary, will excite in us a truly Marian life. He wants the spirit of Mary to dwell in us so that we all may live in that spirit. As we should live in God, work and labour in Him, live and die in Him, so we can live in Mary because of the intimate union of Mary with God and because of her election to the office of Mediatrix of all graces.

Carmelite - Another Mary.
However beautiful the description of the devotion to Mary in the works of Fr. Michael of St. Augustine may be, there is yet another representation of that devotion living in the tradition of Carmel, which in the above-mentioned work is indeed touched upon but not elaborated. Still, in order to sound the deepest depths of the school of Carmel, it is necessary to see its characteristic features. We should attain similarity to Mary, especially in that we recognise her as the highest perfection which human power by the grace of God has attained. This perfection can also be developed in us to a considerable extent, if we reflect ourselves in Mary and unite ourselves to her. This ought to be the aim of our devotion to Mary, that we be another mother of God, that God should be conceived in us also, and brought forth by us. The mystery of the Incarnation has revealed to us how valuable man is to God, how intimately God wants to be united to man. This mystery draws the attention of our minds to the eternal birth of the Son from the Father as the deepest reason for this mystery of Love. In the celebration of the three Holy Masses on Christmas, the birth from the Father is first celebrated, secondly from the Holy Virgin Mary, thirdly God's birth in ourselves. This is not done without significance and this threefold birth must be understood to be a revelation of one eternal Love. It should be ever Christmas to us and we should always remember that threefold birth as phases of one great process of love. Mary is the daughter of God the Father, Mother of God the Son and Spouse of God the Holy Ghost. In her that threefold birth has been realised. We also have been chosen by the Holy Trinity for a dwelling, to share the privileges which we admire in Mary, but which God is willing to bestow on us also. Seen in this way, I should like to say that "the mystery of the Incarnation is another summary of Carmelite mysticism, Carmelite spiritual life."

Sunflowers in the Garden of Carmel.
The devotion to Mary is one of the most delightful flowers in Carmel's garden. I should like to call it a sunflower. This flower rises up high above the other flowers. Borne aloft on a tall stem, rich in green leaves, the flower is raised yet higher from among the green foliage. It is characteristic of this flower to turn itself towards the sun and moreover it is an image of the sun. It is a simple flower; it can grow in all gardens and it is an ornament to all. It is tall and firm and has deep roots like a tree. In the same way, no devotion is firmer than that to Mary. The fresh foliage, the green leaves point to the abundance of virtues, with which the devotion to Mary is surrounded. The flower itself represents the soul created after God's image in order to absorb the sunlight of God's bounty. Two suns shining into each other, one radiant with an unfathomable light, the other absorbing that light, basking in that light and glowing like another sun, but so enraptured by the beams of the Sun which shines on it, that it cannot turn itself away from Him, but can only live for Him and through Him. Such a flower was Mary. Like her, so may we, flowers from her seed, raise our flower-buds to the Sun, Who infused Himself into her, and will transmit to us also the beams of His light and warmth.

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Sunday, July 26, 2020

St Joachim and St Anne, parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary

           Francisco Zurbaran, The Immaculate Conception with St Joachim and St Anne, National Galleries of Scotland

"Joachim and Anne, how blessed a couple! All creation is indebted to you. For at your hands the Creator was offered a gift excelling all other gifts: a chaste mother, who alone was worthy of him... Joachim and Anne, how blessed and spotless a couple! You will be known by the fruit you have borne, as the Lord says: By their fruit you will know them." From a sermon by St John Damascene, bishop, after Spiritual Reading, Universalis
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Saturday, July 25, 2020

St. James the Greater, Apostle

Two of the twelve apostles were named James. St. James the Greater is the brother of the apostle St. John and son of Zebedee and Mary Salome. He is "the Greater" because he was called to the apostolate earlier than St. James the Less, the "Brother of Jesus" who led the Christians of Jerusalem until that city's destruction in 70 AD. A tradition in late antiquity held that the apostles divided up the world into territories to be evangelized, with Spain falling to St. James. In the ninth century a Galician monk announced that a star had led him to a field where he found the remains of the saint. This "field of the star" became the city of Compostela, one of the most important medieval pilgrimage destinations.

Many images of St. James the Greater represent him as a well-equipped medieval pilgrim with an ample cape, sturdy boots, a broad-brimmed hat, and a walking stick with a hook for hanging a drinking gourd. The hat will be adorned with a scallop shell, which is in the nature of a heraldic device for the St. James; Compostela pilgrims have used it to identify themselves for more than a thousand years. Less literal portraits of the pilgrim saint may show him in the kind of antique garb associated with apostles, with the walking stick as his one irreducible attribute. A second iconographic type presents St. James as Santiago Matamoros -- St. James the Moor Slayer. This image recalls Ramiro of Castile's victory over the Muslims at the Battle of Clavijo (ca. 844). Christian participants in the battle said they saw St. James riding with them, slaying the enemy on every side. Santiago Matamoros became the patron saint of Christian Spain, and an iconography developed in which the horseback saint raises his sword in the midst of the fray, with dead and dying Moors at his feet.

More details about St James the Greater and pilgrimages to Santiago di Compostela in Spain on the website of Confraternity of St James

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Friday, July 24, 2020

Blessed Maria Pilar, Teresa, and Maria Angeles, Blessed Maria Mercedes Prat, Virgin and Martyrs, optional memoria

“We shall weave these garlands flowering in your love and bound with one hair of mine.” 

This verse most appropriately refers to Christ and the Church, for in it, the Church, the Bride of Christ, addresses Him saying: let us weave garlands (understanding by garlands, all the holy souls engendered by Christ in the Church). Each holy soul is like a garland adorned with the flowers of virtues and gifts, and all of them together form a garland for the head of Christ, the Bridegroom. The loving garlands can refer to what we call aureoles; these are also woven by Christ and the Church and are of three kinds: The first kind is made from the beautiful flowers of all the virgins. Each virgin possesses her own aureole of virginity, and all these aureoles together will be joined into one and placed on the head of Christ, the Bridegroom. The second aureole contains the resplendent flowers of the holy doctors. All these aureoles will be entwined into one and set upon the head of Christ over that of the virgins. The third is fashioned from the crimson carnations of the martyrs. Every martyr has an aureole of martyrdom, and these red aureoles woven together will add the final touch to the aureole of Christ the Bridegroom. So beautiful and fair will Christ the Bridegroom be with these three garlands when He is seen in heaven. Therefore, we shall weave these garlands, the soul says, flowering in your love. St John of the Cross, taken form the Spiritual Canticle, after Discalced Carmelite Proper Offices.
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Blessed John Soreth, optional memoria, click to read

Blessed John Soreth was elected the General of Carmelites unanimously in 1451

This great man was one of the most prominent Priests of the Church. During his generalship, he reformed the Order and organized the Carmelite Sisterhoods. The first Convent of Carmelite nuns was formally founded at Guelder, Holland, on October 14, 1453. It must be mentioned here, however, that long before this time, pious women were affiliated with the order of Carmel, as, for example, Blessed Angela of Bohemia, Blessed Jeanne of Tulouse, in 1268, and her companion, Anne of Tulouse. Bl John Soreth soon established another Convent of Carmelite nuns in Liege, in 1463, over which he placed Blessed Frances d'Amboise, former Duchess of Brittany, who shed new lustre on the Order of Carmel, by the holiness of her life. Another contemporary of Blessed Frances, was Blessed Joan Scopelli, who died in the odour of sanctity, on July 9, 1491, in Italy.
All in all, Blessed John Soreth founded five Carmels for nuns. He was a true servant of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel, and when death approached, his last words were directed to his Heavenly Mother: "O Queen of my heart, I am going to see thee, to posess thee!"
"Not to be led astray by blandishments is to love 'with all your heart'; not to be seduced by falsehoods is to love 'with all your soul'; and not to let your spirit be broken by difficulties is to love 'with all your strength'." Fragment taken from the 'Exhortation on the Carmelite Rule' by Bl John Soreth, after Discalced Carmelite Proper Offices.
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Thursday, July 23, 2020

Our Lady, Mother of Divine Grace, Memoria

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 heaven of everlasting salvation. We ask this through our Lord. Concluding prayer, after Discalced Carmelite Proper Office.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Feast of St Mary Magdalene

                          El Greco, St Mary Magdalene, The Barton Galleries reproductive work. 

The strength and vehemence of love has this trait: Everything seems possible to it, and it believes everyone is occupied as it is; it does not believe anyone could be employed in any other way or seek anyone other then him whom it seeks and loves; it believes there is nothing else to desire or to occupy it and that everyone is engaged in seeking and loving him When the bride went searching for her Beloved in the plazas and suburbs, she thought that others were doing the same and told them that if the found him they should tell him she was suffering for love of him (Sg. 3:2, 5:8). Mary’s love was so ardent that she thought she would go and take Jesus away, however great the impediment, if the gardener would tell where he was hidden. (After St John of the Cross, ‘The Dark Night’ book 2 ch 13).

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Monday, July 20, 2020

Feast of St Elijah, Prophet, click to read more

 Guercino, Elijah fed by ravens, National Gallery, London

Scripture presents the prophet Elijah as a man of God, walking continually in God’s presence and fiercely defending the worship of the one true God. He stood up for God’s rights in a solemn contest on Mt Carmel. Later, on Mount Horeb he was granted an intimate experience of the living God. The hermits who instituted a form of monastic life in honour of Our Lady of Mt Carmel in the twelfth century followed monastic tradition in turning also to Elijah as their model. St Elijah is a patron of the Carmelite order. 

Then the prophet Elijah arose like a fire
and his word burned like a torch. 
He brought a famine upon them, 
and by his zeal he made them few in number. 
By the word of the Lord he shut up the heavens, 
and also three times brought down a fire. 
How glorious you were, O Elijah, in your wondrous deeds! 
And who has the right to boast which you have? 
You have raised a corpse from death 
and from Hades, by the word of the Most High; 
who brought kings down to destruction, 
and famous men from their beds; 
who heard rebuke at Sinai 
and judgement of vengeance at Horeb; 
who anointed kings to inflict retribution, 
and prophets to succeed you. 
You who were taken up by a whirlwind of fire, 
in a chariot with horses of fire; 
you who are ready at the appointed time, it is written, 
to calm the wrath of God before it breaks out in fury, 
to turn the heart of the father to the son, 
and to restore the tribes of Jacob. 
Blessed are those who saw you, 
and those who have been adorned in love; 
for we also shall surely live. (Sir 48:1-11). 

(Text after Discalced Carmelite Proper Offices).
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Friday, July 17, 2020

Bl Therese of St Augustine and Companions, memoria, click to read more

  These Discalced Carmelite nuns lived in a town of Compienge, France, in the Monastery of Incarnation, offering intercessory prayers for those in need. In 1789, their community numbered 20, with their prioress Therese of St Augustine. In the same year, in the midst of the French Revolution, the french National Assembly declared all religious vows null and void, assuming that most religious men and women were held in religious life against their will. The Assembly believed their act would "liberate" religious who would gratefully leave to enter the workforce. In August 1790, a government official visited the monastery of Compiegne and was surprised that each member of the community refused the "ridiculous freedom" that was being offered. The nuns were given a two-year ultimatum after which they would have to leave religious life. Under the leadership of Mother Therese the community prepared for the ordeal to come, praying and appealing to God for help and offering themselves as an instrument for the peace between France and their Church. They resolved to follow Jesus in his crucifixion and resurrection. Following their expulsion from the monastery, the community split into groups of four, living separately, adopting secular dress and continuing their simple and prayerful life. 
    Soon after, sixteen of the sisters were arrested for living religious life in violation of the constitution. They were taken to Paris, where they were all found guilty of being religious fanatics and supporters of King, they all were sentenced to death on the 17th July. On the night before their execution, the sisters arrived at the guillotine singing the Veni Creator Spiritus. Therese of St Augustine asked to be the last to die, so that she could encourage her sisters in their commitment, in the midst of the pointless violence. By the end of the same month the terror opf the French Revolution had come to an end. Text after Universalis 

   It all seems very hard work, this business of perfection - and so it is: we are waging war on ourselves! But as soon as we get down to it God becomes so active in our souls and showers so many mercies on them that whatever has got to be done in this life seems insignificant. And as we nuns do so much already, giving up our freedom for love of God and subjecting it to someone else, what excuse have we got for holding back when it comes to interior mortification? ....If you have started serving God seriously, the least you can offer him is, your life! If you have given him your will, what are you afraid of? If you are a real religious, a real 'pray-er', and want to enjoy God's favours, you obviously can't afford to shy away from wanting to die for him, and undergo martyrdom. Don't you realise, sisters, that the life of a good religious - a person who wants to be one of God's really close friends - is one long martyrdom? I say 'long' because in comparison with those whose heads have been chopped off in a trice one can call it long, but all our lives are short, very short in some cases. And we don't even know whether our own won't be so short that it will come to an end in an hour, or even a second, after we have made up our mind to serve God fully. That could happen. 
    We have just got to make no account of anything that will come to an end, least of all life, for we can't count on a single day. If we remember that every hour might be our last, is there a single one of us who will feel inclined to shirk? 
    Well, there is nothing you can be more certain of, believe me! So we must train ourselves to thwart our own wills in every way; then, if you try hard, as I have said, though you won't get there all of the sudden, you will gradually arrive, without realising it, at the peak of perfection. The fragments of the second reading from The Office of Readings, Discalced Carmelite Proper offices, after 'The Way of Perfection' by St Teresa of Avila

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Thursday, July 16, 2020

Feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel


Prayers and meditations of Carmelite Saints in honour of Our Lady.

St Therese of the Child Jesus.

Short biography

O Immaculate Virgin, O tenderest Mother! rejoiced that Jesus gave us His life and the infinite treasures of His divinity. How can we not love you and bless you, O Mary, for such great generosity. You love us as Jesus loves us, an for our sake you are willing to live far from Him. To love means to give all, to give one's self, and you wanted to prove that by remaining our support. The Saviour knew well the secrets of your Mother's heart, the immensity of your tenderness....Jesus left us to you, O Refuge of Sinners, when he left the cross to wait for us in heaven.
O Mary, I see you on Calvary's height, standing near the cross like a priest at the altar, offering the sweet Emmanuel, you dear Jesus, to appease the Father's justice. O desolate Mother, a prophet said of you: "There is no sorrow like to your sorrow." O Queen of martyrs, standing there bereft, you pour out all your heart's blood for us.

St Elizabeth of the Trinity
short biography

O faithful Virgin, when you uttered your 'fiat', the greatest of all mysteries was accomplished in you. In what peace and recollection did you live and act! Teach me to sanctify my most trivial actions and to spend myself for others when charity requires it, yet all the while to remain like you the constant adorer of God within me.


O Virgin most faithful, you remain night and day in profound silence, in ineffable peace, in a divine prayer that never ceases, your soul ever inundated with heavenly light. Your heart is like a crystal that reflects the divine One, the Guest who dwells in you, the Beauty that knows no setting. O Mary, you draw heaven down to you: see the Father commits His Son to you that you may be His mother, and the Spirit of love overshadows you. The Blessed Three come to you, and all heaven is opened and abases itself before you, O Virgin Mary.
Mother of the Word, show me your mystery after the Incarnation of the Lord; how you lived buried in adoration....Keep me ever in a divine embrace. Let me carry upon me the stamp of this God of love.


O Mary, you are the one created being who knew the gift of God, and lost no particle of it; a creature so pure and luminous that you seemed to be the light itself. "Mirror of justice": your life was so simple, so lost in God, that there is but little to say of it; "faithful virgin": who kept all these your heart." You were so lowly, so hidden in God in the seclusion of the temple that you drew upon yourself the complacent regard of the Holy Trinity. "For he has regarded the low estate of his handmaid, for behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed."
The Father, bending down to you, a creature so lovely, so unaware of your own beauty, chose you for the Mother in time of him whose Father is in eternity. Then the Spirit of love, who presides over all the works of God, overshadowed you, and, O Virgin, you uttered your 'Fiat': Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me according to your word," and the greatest of all mysteries was accomplished. By the descent of the Word into your womb, you became God's own for ever and ever.
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Monday, July 13, 2020

St Teresa of Jesus of Los Andes

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 having made her profession. She was beatified by John Paul II on April 3, 1987 at Santiago, Chile, and proposed as a model for young people. She is the first Chilean and first member of the Teresian Carmel in Latin America to be canonized. 

“….Are you perhaps afraid that the abyss of 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. ….” Fragment taken of the spiritual writing of St Teresa of Jesus of Los Andes (Diario y cartas, Los Andes, 1983). After ‘Discalced Carmelite proper offices’.
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