Friday, January 01, 2016

New Blog


available on my new blog
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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Christ the King Solemnity

On one occasion when I was in prayer I had a vision in which I saw how all things are seen in God. I cannot explain what I saw, but what I saw remains to this day deeply imprinted on my soul. It was a great act of grace in God to give me that vision. It puts me to unspeakable confusion, shame, and horror whenever I recall that magnificent sight, and then think of my sin. I believe that had the Lord been pleased to send me that great revelation of Himself earlier in my life, it would have kept me back from much sin. The vision was so delicate, so subtle, and so spiritual, that my hard understanding cannot, at this distance of time, close with it; but, to make use of an illustration, it was something like this. Suppose the Godhead to be a vast globe of light, a globe larger than the whole world, and that all our actions are seen in that all-embracing globe. It was something like that I saw. For I saw all my most filthy actions gathered up and reflected back upon me from that World of light. I tell you it was a piteous and a dreadful thing to see. I knew not where to hide myself, for that shining light, in which was no darkness at all, held the whole world within it, and all worlds. You will see that I could not flee from its presence. Oh that they could be made to see this who commit deeds of darkness!  Oh that they but saw that there is no place secret from God: but that all they do is done before Him, and in Him!  Oh the madness of committing sin in the immediate presence of a Majesty so great, and to whose holiness all our sin is so hateful.  In this also I saw His great mercifulness in that He suffers such a sinner as I am still to live. (Santa Teresa an Appreciation: On the Godhead). 

The picture of 'Christ Blessing' painting was taken in El Greco Museum in Toledo, Spain

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Sunday, November 15, 2015

All Carmelite Souls

Jesus said to his disciples: Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God still, and trust in me. There are many rooms in my Father's house; if there were not, I should have told you. I am going now to prepare a place for you, and after I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you with me; so that where I am you may be too. You know the way to the place where I am going. (St John 14:1-6)

I had a father and a mother who both feared God. My father had his chief delight in the reading of good books, and he did his best to give his children the same happy taste. This also helped me much, that I never saw my father or my mother regard anything but goodness. Though possessing very great beauty in her youth, my mother was never known to set any store by it. Her apparel, even in her early married life, was that of a woman no longer young. Her life was a life of suffering, her death was most Christian. After my mother’s removal, I began to think too much about my dress and my appearance, and I pursued many such like things that I was never properly warned against, full of mischief though they were both to myself and to others. I too early learned every evil from an immoral relative. I was very fond of this woman’s company. I gossiped and talked with her continually. She assisted me to all the amusements I loved; and, what was worse, she found some very evil amusements for me, and in every way communicated to me her own vanities and mischiefs. I am amazed to think on the evil that woman so changed me that scarcely any trace was left in me of my natural disposition to virtue. I became a perfect reflection of her and of another who was as bad as she was. For my education and protection my father sent me to the Augustinian Monastery, in which children like myself were brought up. There was a good woman in that religious house, and I began gradually to love her. How impressively she used to speak to me of God! She was a woman of the greatest good sense and sanctity. She told me how she first came to herself by the mere reading of these words of the Gospel, ‘Many are called and few chosen.’ This good companionship began to root out the bad habits I had brought to that house with me; but my heart had by that time become so hard that I never shed a tear, no, not though I read the whole Passion through. When at last I entered the Religious House of the Incarnation for life, our Lord at once made me understand how He helps those who do any violence to themselves in order to serve Him. No one observed this violence in me. They saw nothing in me but the greatest goodwill. At that sore step I was filled with a joy so great that it has never wholly left whatsoever in the path of duty: for our God is omnipotent, and He is on our side. May He be blessed for ever! Amen. O my supreme Good and my true Rest, I know not how to go on when I call those happy days to mind, and think of all my evil life since then! My tears ought to be tears of blood. My heart ought to break. But Thou, Lord, hast borne with me for almost twenty years, till I have had time to improve. And all that it might be better known to me who Thou art and what I am. Woe is me, my Maker! I have no excuse, I have only blame. Let Thy mercy, O Lord, rest on me. Other women there have been who have done great deeds in Thy service, but I am good only to talk: all my goodness ends in so many words: that is all my service of Thee, my God. Cost me what it may, let me not go on coming to Thee with idle words and empty hands, seeing that the reward of every one will be according to his works. Depart not from me, and I can do all things. Depart from me, and I shall return to whence I was taken, even to hell. One of the reasons that move me, who am what I am, to write all this even under obedience, and to madness as mine! Where could I think to find either pardon for the past, or power for the time to come, but from Thee? What folly to the stumbler to run away from the light! Let all those who would give themselves to prayer, and to a holy life, look well to this. They should know that when I was shunning prayer because I was so bad, my badness became more abandoned than ever it had been before. Rely on the waiting and abounding goodness of God, which is infinitely greater than all the evil you can do. When we acknowledge our vileness, He remembers it no more. I grew weary of sinning before God grew weary of forgiving my sin. He is never weary of giving grace, nor are his compassions to be exhausted. May He be blessed for ever, amen: and may all created things praise Him! I have made a vow—[it is known as ‘the Teresian vow,’ ‘the seraphic vow,’ ‘the most arduous of vows,’ ‘a vow yet unexampled in the Church’], a vow never to offend God in the very least matter. I have vowed that I would rather die a thousand deaths than do anything of that kind, knowing I was doing it. I am resolved also, never to leave anything whatsoever undone that I consider to be still more perfect, and more for the honour of our Lord. Cost me what pain it may, I would not leave such an act undone for all the treasures of the world. If I were to do so, I do not think I could have the face to ask anything of God in prayer: and yet, for all that, I have many faults and imperfections remaining in me to this day. (Santa Teresa an Appreciation)

Picture is from the public domain and represents Rubens' All Souls Day'.
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Saturday, November 14, 2015

All Carmelite Saints

I will make my home with them and walk among them; I will be their God and they shall be my people (2Cor 6:16) 
I will set up my dwelling among them (Lev 26:11)

'O Saints of Carmel, throned above
In Mary's court, obtain this grace 
That where you are in glory now
We, too, may find a resting-place'

All of us who wear this holy Carmelite habit are called to prayer and contemplation. This is what we were founded for. We are descendant from those holy fathers of ours on Mount Carmel, those who went in search of that treasure – the priceless pearl we are talking about – in such solitude and with such contempt for the world. We must remember those holy fathers of ours who have gone before us, the hermits whose lives we are trying to imitate. We must remember our real founders. These holy fathers whose descendants we are. It was by way of poverty and humility, we know, that they came to enjoyment of God. On the subject if the beginning of Orders, I sometimes hear it said that the Lord gave greater graces to those saints who went before us because they were the foundations. Quite so, but we too must always bear in mind what it means to be foundations for those who will come later. For if those of us who are alive now have not fallen away from what they did in the past, and those who come after us do the same, the building will always stand firm. What use is it to me for the saints of the past to have been what they were, if I come along after them and behave so badly that I leave the building in ruins because of my bad habits? For obviously whose who come later don’t remember those who have died years before as clearly as they do the people they see around them. A fine state of affairs it is if I insist that I am not one of the first, and do not realize what a difference there is between my life and virtues, and the life of those God has endowed with such grace! And you who sees your Order falling away in any respect, must try to be kind of stone the building can be rebuilt with – the Lord will help to rebuilt it. For love of our Lord I beg them to remember how quickly everything comes to an end, and what a favour our Lord has done us in bringing us to this Order, and what a punishment anyone who starts any kind of relaxation will deserve. They must always look at the race we are descended from – that race of holy prophets. What numbers of saints we have in heaven who have worn this habit of ours! We must have the holy audacity to aspire, with God’s help, to be like them. The struggle will not last long, but the outcome will be eternal. (St Teresa of Avila, readings from Discalced Carmelite proper Offices for the Feast of All Carmelite Saints)

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Chirst the King Novena starts 13th November and concludes on 21st November.

Pray Novena to Christ the King here

Christ the King, Ghent Altarpiece, Jan Van Eyck.

Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom....Today, you will be with me in Paradise (Luke 23:42-43)

When she [St Teresa of Avila] came into the world, a mere twenty years had passed since the last of the Moors were driven out of Spain and the whole peninsula united in the Catholic faith. Eight centuries of continual warfare between the Cross and the Crescent lay behind the Spanish people. During these battles they blossomed into an heroic people, into a legion of Christ the King. Teresa’s more immediate homeland, the ancient kingdom of Castile, was the strong fortress from which in resolute struggle the cross was gradually carried to the South. (Edith Stein, 'The Hidden Life')

If I leave the battleground, it isn't with a selfish desire to rest; the Thought of the eternal beatitude hardly makes my heart flutter. For a long time, suffering has become my heaven here on earth....What draws me to the heavenly homeland is the Father's call. It is the hope of finally loving Him as I so wanted and the thought that I would make him loved by a multitude of souls who would bless Him eternally. (St Therese, Letter 28)

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Monday, November 02, 2015

All Souls' Day

'Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light' (Matt 11:30) 

Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom...Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise (Luke 23: 42-43)

' we recommended her to the Lord and offered prayers for her soul in all our monasteries'...'it is those who do not recall there is an everlasting life that feel such pain when someone departs from the miseries of this life' (St Teresa letter to Lorenzo de Cepeda, 1570) 
' can consider all the nuns of this house to be your servants and capellanas (Carmelites devoted to pray for specific souls) (St Teresa letter to Diego de San Pedro de Palma, 1570)
'...why we should feel sorry about those who depart for a safe heaven, whom God draws out of this world with its dangers and instability'.  (St Teresa letter to Dona Luisa de la Cerda, 1571).
'I feel it, we must go to heaven by the same route, the one of suffering united with love. When I reach the harbour, I will teach to navigate on the stormy sea of the world, with the abandon and love of a child who knows that his Father cherished him and would not leave him alone in a time of danger'. ( St Therese Letters)

'...I cannot bring myself to fear Purgatory; I know that I am not worthy to enter that place of expiation with the Holy Souls, but I also know that the fire of love is more sanctifying that that of Purgatory, that Our Lord does not want us to suffer needlesly, and that He would never inspire me with desires that He does not intend to fulfill'. (St Therese Story of a soul)

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Sunday, November 01, 2015

All Saints Day

I am He who made all the saints; I gave them grace; I have brought them to glory. I know the first and the last; I embrace them all with an inestimable love.  I am to be praise in all my Saints; I am to be blessed above all things, and to be honoured in every one of them, whom I have thus gloriously magnified and eternally chosen, without any foregoing merits of their own. The Imitation of Christ, 3, 58.

Today is the vigil of All Saints. All Souls Day is the anniversary of my receiving the habit. Ask God to make me a genuine Carmelite nun, for better late than never. Your unworthy servant and loyal subject. Blessed be God, for I will always be so, come what may. Teresa of Jesus. Collected Letters, vol 1.

Previous posts HERE
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Friday, October 16, 2015


To read more click here
Audiobooks of St Teresa by LibriVox:
The Life of St Teresa HERE
Book of Foundations HERE
Conception of Divine Love HERE
The Way of Perfection HERE
Interior Castle HERE
Map of Teresian foundation in Spain HERE 
Map after BLOG

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Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Our Lady of the Rosary

The feast of the Holy Rosary was instituted by Pope Pius V to celebrate the anniversary of the defeat of the Turkish fleet at the battle of Lepanto on the first Sunday in October 1571, which ended the threat of Muslim domination of the Mediterranean and was ascribed in part to the prayers and processions of the Rosary confraternity in Rome. Later the feast was moved to the fixed date of 7 October.

I sought out solitude to pray my devotions, and they were many, especially the rosary, to which my mother was very devoted; and she made us devoted to it too.  (St Teresa of Avila, The Book of her Life, ch 1)

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Tuesday, October 06, 2015

NOVENA TO ST TERESA OF AVILA starts today, Oct 6 - click to pray!

My God and my infinite Wisdom, measureless and boundless and beyond all the human and angelic intellects! love that loves me more than I can love myself or understand! Why, Lord, do I want to desire more than what You want to give me? Why do I want to tire myself in asking You for something decreed by my desire? For with regard to everything my intellect can devise and my desire can want You've already understood my soul's limits, and I don't understand how my desire will help me. In this that my soul thinks it will gain, it will perhaps lose. For I ask You to free me from a trial, and the purpose of that trial is my mortification, what is it that I'm asking for, my God? If I beg You to give the trial, it perhaps is not a suitable one for my patience, which is still weak and cannot suffer such a forceful blow. And if I suffer it with patience and am not strong in humility, it may be that I will think I've done something, whereas You do it all, my God. If I want to suffer, but not in matters in which it might seem unfitting for Your service that I lose my reputation - since as for myself I don't know of any concern in me about honour - it may be that for the very reason I think my reputation might be lost, more will be gained on account of what I'm seeking, which is to serve You.

Instruction on the Prayer of Recollection, in St Teresa's own words:

IT is called the Prayer of Recollection because in it the soul collects, or gathers together, all her powers, and enters into her own interior with God. I wish I knew how to describe to you this holy intercourse which, with out disturbing in the least her perfect solitude, is carried on between the soul and her Divine Spouse and Companion, the Holy of Holies, and which takes place as often as ever she pleases to enter into this interior paradise in company with her God, and to shut the gate to all the world besides. I say, as often as she pleases ; for you must understand that this is not altogether a supernatural thing, but is quite within our own power, and we can do it whenever we chose ; I mean, of course, with God s help, for without this we can do nothing at all, not so much as have a single good thought. For you must observe that this recollection is not a suspension of the powers of the soul, but only a shutting them up, as it were, within ourselves.

The Truth or Foundation on which the Prayer of Recollection rests:

You know that God is everywhere (therefore He is in our interior.) Now it is clear that wherever the King is, there the Court is too therefore, wherever God is, there is heaven ; and you can readily, believe that wherever this Divine Majesty is, all glory is with Him. Then consider what St. Augustine says : that he " sought God in many places, and found Him at last within himself."

It is, then, of the utmost importance to bear this truth in mind, that our Lord is within us, and that we ought to strive to be there with him. On a certain occasion, when I was assisting at the Divine Office with the rest of the Sisters, I became, on a sudden, thus recollected within my self: and here my own soul was presented before me, and it seemed to me to resemble a bright mirror, in which there was no darkness nor shadow, either behind or on either side, or above or below but all clear and resplendent ; and in the midst of it there appeared Christ our Lord, in the form under which I am accustomed to see Him. It seemed to me that His Image was shining forth from every part of my soul, as though reflected in the mirror ; and then, by a wonder full communication of love, which I know not how to describe, this same mirror of my soul seemed to be re produced and again represented, in a wondrous manner, within the Form of my Divine Redeemer.

[Again], on a certain occasion, it was shown to me that my soul was like a sponge in the midst of the ocean of the Divinity, and that it drank in this heavenly substance, so as, in a manner, to embrace within it the Three Divine Persons. But, at the same time, I was admonished that though I had the Divinity within my soul, yet I myself was much more contained in Him than He in me. Thus, whilst I beheld, as it were, hidden within me the Three Divine Persons, I saw that They, at the same time, communicated Themselves to all created things, without ceasing for an instant to abide in me.

On another occasion I was made to understand this truth with great clearness that all things are seen in God, and that He contains every thing within Himself. I do not know how to describe this ; but it has remained deeply impressed upon my mind, and is one of the greatest favours our Lord has ever granted me, and one that has filled me, more than any other, with confusion at the remembrance of my sins. If it had pleased our Lord to let me see this before I had sinned, or if others, who offend Him, could only have seen it, I believe that neither they nor I would have ever had the boldness to commit sin. No words that I can use can convey any idea of this sublime truth. The only notion I can give of it is this : beheld the Divinity like a most brilliant diamond, far greater than the whole world, and containing everything within itself ; and in this diamond was reflected, as it were, everything that is done here below. Wonderful it was, indeed, to behold in so short a time, within this glorious mirror, such a multitude of things assembled together ! But to see represented in this pure and unsullied brightness such foul abominations as my sins was a spectacle that fills me with the deepest sorrow whenever I call it to mind. In truth, when I reflect upon it, I know not how I can bear the thought ; and at the time when I beheld it, I was so covered with confusion that I did not know which way to turn. Now it seems to me that this vision may be of much profit to those who are practising this Prayer of Recollection, to teach them to consider our Lord in the interior of their own souls ; for, to repeat what I have so often said before, this consideration fixes the attention far better, and is far more profitable, than to represent Him in any other way. If, instead of this, we direct our thoughts to God in heaven, or if, in fine, we turn to any spot beyond ourselves, we do but weary our minds and distract our souls, and, after all, lose much of the fruit of our labour.

To read more St Teresa's Own Words - click HERE
This little book is a happy compilation of two chapters from the "Way of Perfection' and made for the use of Carmelite Sister of Darligton by their Bishop at the beginning of the last century.

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Sunday, October 04, 2015

St Francis of Assisi

Bartolomeo Della Gatta 'Stigmata of St Francis' 

This Lord of ours is the one through whom all blessings come to us. He will teach us these things. In beholding His life we find that He is the best example. What more do we desire than to have such a good friend at our side, who will not abandon us in our labors and tribulations, as friends in the world do? Blessed are they who truly love Him and always keep Him at their side!....Once I had come to understand this truth, I carefully considered the lives of some of the saints, the great contemplatives, and found that they hadn't taken any other path: St. Francis demonstrates this through the stigmata. St Teresa of Avila. The Book of Her Life, Ch.22 
Let us return to the work of that seraph, for he truly inflicts a sore, and wounds inwardly in the spirit. Thus, if God sometimes permits an effect to extend to the bodily senses in the fashion in which it existed interiorly, the wound and sore appear outwardly, as happened when the seraph wounded St. Francis. When his soul was wounded with love by the five wounds, their effect extended to the body, and these wounds were impressed on the body, which was wounded just as his soul was wounded with love.[ St. Francis of Assisi received the marks of the wounds on his hands, feet, and side on Mount La Verna in October 1224]. St. John of the Cross 'Collected Works'

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

In the presence of the angels, come, let us adore the Lord.

Filippino Lippi, Archabgels and Tobias 

I thank you, Lord, with all my heart: you have heard the words of my mouth. In the presence of the angels I will bless you. I will adore before your holy temple. Psalm 137:1 

The third kind of place comprises those in which God chooses to be invoked and worshipped. Examples [include] Mount Garganus, the place St. Michael dedicated to God's worship by appearing to the Bishop of Siponto and telling him how he guarded that place so a chapel might be dedicated to God there in memory of the angels;… God alone knows why he chooses one place in which to receive praise more than another. What we should know is that he does all for our own benefit and so he may hear our prayers in these places - or anywhere we beseech him with integral faith. Yet those places consecrated to his worship are more appropriate as places for our prayers to be heard since the Church has so marked and dedicated them. St John of the Cross, 'The Ascent of Mt Carmel' ch 42  

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Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Novena Rose Prayer to St Therese starts today

Novena Rose Prayer

O Little Therese of the Child Jesus, please pick for me a rose from the heavenly gardens and send it to me as a message of love.

O Little Flower of Jesus, ask God today to grant the favors I now place with confidence in your hands...(mention petitions)

St. Therese, help me to always believe as you did, in God's great love for me, so that I might imitate your "Little Way" each day. Amen.

credit to Carmelite Sisters of the Divine Heart of Jesus, Manchester, St Louis

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Sunday, September 13, 2015

Bl Mary of Jesus (Mary Lopez Rivas Martinez)

This is the authorization for Sister María de Jesús to make her profession. I grant it with great pleasure. May the blessing of the Lord "of the dew of heaven and the fatness of earth (Gn. 27:28)” be granted her. From the letter of St Teresa of Avila permitting the profession for Sister Maria of Jesus on 8th September 1578.
More about the life of Bl Mary of Jesus here

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Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Carmel devotion

Domenico Ghirlandaio - Birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary

[St John of the Cross] in his prison cell…. after nine months of severe privation, was asked what he was thinking of. He replied, 'I was thinking that tomorrow is the feast of our Lady and that it would give me great joy to say Mass.' The sight of an image of the Mother of God brought love and brightness to his soul. Once, on seeing an image of our Lady while he was preaching to the nuns in Caravaca, he could not conceal his love for her and exclaimed: "How happy I would be to live alone in a desert with that image."After 'The Collected Works of S John of the Cross'. 

St Benedicta of the Cross on her Carmelite vocation: 'I need Carmel . . . with its perfection and way of perfection, Carmel with its purity, its apostolate, its martyrdom; Carmel with its special love for the sacred humanity of our Lord and its veneration of the Blessed Virgin without being restricted to one of her states or mysteries.' After Edith Stein, Collected Works. 

Little Flower's consecration to the Blessed Virgin: During the afternoon I read the act of consecration to Our Lady, for myself and my companions. I was chosen probably because I had been deprived of my earthly Mother while still so young. With all my heart I consecrated myself to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and asked her to watch over me. She seemed to look lovingly on her Little Flower and to smile at her again, and I thought of the visible smile which had once cured me, and of all I owed her. St Theres of Lisieux, The Story of a Soul

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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Assumption of Our Lady

Peter Paul Rubens 'Assumption of Our Lady'

Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of all who have fallen asleep. Death came through one man and in the same way the resurrection of the dead has come through one man. Just as all men die in Adam, so all men will be brought to life in Christ; but all of them in their proper order: Christ as the first-fruits and then, after the coming of Christ, those who belong to him. After that will come the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, having done away with every sovereignty, authority and power. For he must be king until he has put all his enemies under his feet and the last of the enemies to be destroyed is death, for everything is to be put under his feet. 
1 Corinthians, 15:20

On one of these same days, the feast of the Assumption of our Lady while at a monastery of the order of the glorious St. Dominic, I was reflecting upon the many sins I had in the past confessed in that house and many things about my wretched life. A rapture came upon me so great that it almost took me out of myself. I sat down; it still seems to me I couldn't see the elevation or hear Mass, and afterward I had a scruple about this. It seemed to me while in this state that I saw myself vested in a white robe of shining brightness, but at first I didn't see who was clothing me in it. Afterward I saw our Lady at my right side and my father St. Joseph at the left, for they were putting that robe on me. I was given to understand that I was now cleansed of my sins. After being clothed and while experiencing the most marvelous delight and glory, it seemed to me then that our Lady took me by the hands. She told me I made her very happy in serving the glorious St. Joseph, that I should believe that what I was striving for in regard to the monastery would be accomplished, that the Lord and those two would be greatly served in it, that I shouldn't fear there would ever be any failure in this matter even though the obedience which was to be given was not to my liking, because they would watch over us, and that her Son had already promised us He would be with us, that as a sign that this was true she was giving me a jewel. It seemed to me she placed around my neck a very beautiful golden necklace to which was attached a highly valuable cross. This gold and these stones are incomparably different from earthly ones. Their beauty is very different from what is imaginable here below. And the intellect cannot attain to an understanding of the nature of the robe that the Lord desires to have represented, nor can one imagine its whiteness; everything here on earth in comparison is like a sketch made from soot, so to speak. The beauty I saw in our Lady was extraordinary, although I didn't make out any particular details except the form of her face in general and that her garment was of the most brilliant white, not dazzling but soft. I didn't see the glorious St. Joseph so clearly, although I saw indeed that he was there, as in the visions I mentioned that are not seen. Our Lady seemed to me to be a very young girl. They were with me a little while; and I was in a state of wonderful glory and happiness, which in my opinion I had never experienced and which I did not want to see come to an end; then it seemed to me I saw them ascend to heaven with a great multitude of angels. I was left in deep loneliness, although so consoled and elevated and recollected in prayer and moved to love that I remained some time without being able to stir or speak, but almost outside myself. I was left with a great impulse to be dissolved for God and with similar effects. And everything happened in such a way that I could never doubt, no matter how much I tried, that the vision was from God. It left me very comforted and with great peace. St Teresa of Avila 'The Book of Her Life', ch.33.
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Monday, July 20, 2015

Feast of St Elijah the Prophet, spiritual father and leader of Carmelites

Holy Prophet of God Elijah, Leader and Father of Carmelites, intercede for us and for the salvation of all. 

V: Pray for us, O holy Father Elijah.
R: That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Let us pray. Grant, we beseech You, O Almighty God, that we who believe that the Blessed Elijah Your Prophet and our Father was wonderfully carried up in a fiery chariot, may by his intercession be raised to the desire of heavenly things and rejoice in the society of Your saints. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Elijah the prophet originated from Tishbe in Transjordania. He lived in the ninth century before Christ. Elijah heard to voice of the Lord telling him to go and hide himself and drink of the stream and that ravens would feed him there. He did as he was told, and thus he was chosen by God to lead the people back to Him. Some had been worshipping the god Baal, while the rest followed Yahweh. The Kingdom was divided. In  the accomplishment of his mission, there was a test on Mount Carmel. The prophets of Baal cried out from morning until evening invoking him, but to no avail. The prophet of Yahweh, Elijah, rebuilt the altar of the Lord with twelve stones (representing the twelve tribes of Israel). Elijah prepared the holocaust and surrounded it with water (in the midst of a drought), and the Lord consumed it with fire. The truth had been shown in a dramatic way. The drought ended, and Elijah was recognized as a prophet of the true God. The cult of Baal survived, and Elijah faced many challenges and humiliations but remained steadfast in his faith. The prophet listened for the Lord to pass by and found Him, not in an earthquake or fire, but in gentle breeze. Elijah's prayers are direct and clear. He is confident in the power of the one true God.

Lord God of Abraham, Issac, and Israel, let it be known this day 
that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things by your command. Answer me Lord! Answer me, that this people may know that you Lord, are God and that you have brought them back to their senses (1 Kings 18:30-37)

Siah brook on west site of Mt Carmel, where, according to Carmelite tradition, prophet ELijah lived 'And he came thither unto a cave, and lodged there' (1Kings 19:9). More about Elijah in pictures on Bibile walks

Every year on the feast of St Elijah, July 20, Mount Carmel in Palestine is filled with pilgrims who come by the thousands to celebrate the Feast of the Prophet. East and West combine to do him homage. Elijah is invoked in time of drought or flood for his prayers both opened and closed the heavens. He is also invoked against pestilence, to avert public calamities, to restore peace of soul, and to draw the blessings of God on those aspiring to perfection. In Holy Scriptures we read that Elijah was taken up from the earth in a fiery chariot, and that he will return at the end of the world to fight against anti-Christ and to convert Jews. After preaching in sackcloth for 'one thousand and two hundred and sixty days' he will be overcome by anti-Christ and slain in Jerusalem. For three days and a half day his body will lie unburied in the street, then the spirit of life from God will enter into him, and he will be taken up to heaven in a cloud.
Devotion to Elijah is proper to our times when crimes and wars abound, and every day brings us nearer to the time when he will 'come and restore all things'.

Post on the Carmelite devotion to St Elijah HERE

After: "Carmel, Its History, Spirit, and Saints", "Drink of the Stream" and "Carmelite Devotions"

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Sunday, July 19, 2015

Bill to legalise assisted suicide soon in the House of Commons, again

On 11th September, 2015, the House of Commons will vote on a Bill to legalise assisted suicide - the local MPs may be contacted via the Catholic Bishops' Conference website and everyone can contact their local MP to urge them to attend the debate and vote against the Bill HERE
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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Novena to Our Lady of Mt Carmel starts today

Let us put our petitions in the hands of Our Lady of Mt Carmel with confidence and devotion of Bl Mary of Jesus Crucified:

...I dwell in the heart of my Mother
There I find my Beloved
Am I then an orphan? In the bosom of Mary
I have found life
Do not say I am an orphan:
I have Mary for Mother and God for Father
The serpent, the dragon wished to catch me
And take my life;
But at the feet of Mary, I recovered my life.
Mary called me, and, in this monastery,
Will I remain forever.
At the feet of Mary
I came to life again. 
(Blessed Mary of Jesus Crucified)
To pray Novena click here

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Monday, July 13, 2015

Saint of the day, St Teresa de Los Andes

Who are You, and who am I? I am a creature formed by Your hands, a creature taken from nothingness, formed from clay, but with a soul that is like unto God, a soul that is like unto God, a soul that is intelligent and free, destined to give You the glory of the invisible world. My God, we are so miserable that we rebel against You, our Creator. Pardon me! For instead of loving You, we offend You. There is only one commandment You imposed on us and we do not fulfill that one. What does it profit us to gain the whole world if we lose our soul? What do riches, honours, glory, human affections matter, for they pass away and end? How do they compare with my soul, which is immortal and has been made worthy by the Blood of Jesus Christ, my God? How precious must a soul be since the devil will be watching out to destroy it. Either I am going to save my soul or I am going to condemn it forever. That is why I am resolved to save it. 
St Teresa of the Andes, 'God, the Joy of My Life'
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