Monday, January 01, 2018

New Blog

EFFICATIOUS PRAYER  AND NOVENA TO OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL

available on my new blog
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Friday, December 16, 2016

Jubilee Year of Mercy, December 8th, 2015 - November 20th, 2016

Announcement of the Jubilee Year of Mercy HERE More on the Jubilee Year HERE

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Sunday, April 03, 2016

Divine Mercy Sunday and Feast of St Teresa of the Andes


Let us listen today to St Teresa as she extols the blessings of the friendship that Christ offers to all (excerpts from the letter 150 written to her father):
I feel need to bring Him to you. I want Jesus to be your intimate friend, to whom you may entrust your heart, tired and filled with sorrow. Who…can fathom the intensity, the torrent of worries pouring over you as can Our Lord who delves into our deepest hearts and with delicate touch can touch those painful wounds whose depths even we ourselves don’t understand, Oh…how your life would change if you went to Him often as a Friend. Can you be thinking Jesus won’t to welcome you as a friend? If that’s what you thought, it would be a sign that you don’t know Him. Jesus is all tenderness, all love for his sinful creatures. He lives in the tabernacle with His Heart open to receive us, waiting for our arrival that He may console us. After ‘God the Joy of My Life. Saint Teresa of the Andes’

Divine Mercy photo after catholicinjapan.wordpress.com
St Teresa picture after lacasadelossuegnos.blogspot.com
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Monday, March 21, 2016

PALM SUNDAY and HOLY WEEK - click for link


Holy Week begins with the description of the triumphal entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem on the Sunday before His Passion. Jesus, who had always been opposed to any public manifestation and who had fled when the people wanted to make Him their king (Jn 6:15), allows Himself to be borne in triumph today. Not until now, when He is about to die, does He submit to being publicly acclaimed as the Messiah, because by dying on the Cross, He will be in the most complete manner Messiah, Redeemer, King, and Victor. He allows Himself to be recognized as King, but a King who will reign from the Cross, who will triumph and conquer by dying on the Cross. The same exultant crowd that acclaims Him today will curse Him in a few days and lead Him to Calvary; today's triumph will be a vivid prelude to tomorrow's Passion. As the joyful procession advances, Jesus sees the panorama of Jerusalem spread out at His feet. St Luke says (19:41-44): "When He drew near, seeing the city, he wept over it, saying: "If thou also hadst known, and that in this thy day, the things that are to thy peace!...Thy enemies...shall not leave in thee a stone upon a stone because thou hast not known the time of thy visitation."' St Teresa of Jesus says: "O Jesus, what bitter tears You shed over the city which refused to recognize You! And how many souls, like Jerusalem, go to perdition on account of their obstinate resistance to grace! For them I pray with all my strength. "My God, this is where Your power and mercy should be shown. Oh! what a lofty grace I ask for, O true God, when i conjure You to love those who do not love You, to answer those who do not call to You, to give, to give health to those who take pleasure in remaining sick!...You say, O my Lord, that you have come to seek sinners. Here, Lord, are the real real sinners. But, instead of seeing our blindness, O God, consider the precious Blood which Your Son shed for us. Let Your mercy shine out in the midst of such great malice. Do not forget, Lord, that we are Your creatures, and pour out on us Your goodness and mercy" (Exclamations of the Soul to God).

 Pope Francis blesses the Palms - St Peter's Square


Palm Sunday Procession - St Peter's Square

"A second word: why does Jesus enter Jerusalem? Or better: how does Jesus enter Jerusalem? The crowds acclaim him as King. And he does not deny it, he does not tell them to be silent (cf. Lk 19:39-40). But what kind of a King is Jesus? Let us take a look at him: he is riding on a donkey, he is not accompanied by a court, he is not surrounded by an army as a symbol of power. He is received by humble people, simple folk, who sense that there is more to Jesus, who have the sense of faith that says, "This is the Savior."
Jesus does not enter the Holy City to receive the honours reserved to earthly kings, to the powerful, to rulers; he enters to be scourged, insulted and abused, as Isaiah foretold in the First Reading (cf. Is 50:6). He enters to receive a crown of thorns, a staff, a purple robe: his kingship becomes an object of derision. He enters to climb Calvary, carrying his burden of wood. And this brings us to the second word: Cross. Jesus enters Jerusalem in order to die on the Cross. And it is here that his kingship shines forth in godly fashion: his royal throne is the wood of the Cross! I think of what Benedict XVI said to the cardinals: "You are princes but of a Crucified King"that is Christ's throne. Jesus takes it upon himself..why? Why the Cross? Jesus takes upon himself the evil, the filth, the sin of the world, including our own sin, and he cleanses it, he cleanses it with his blood, with the mercy and the love of God. Let us look around: how many wounds are inflicted upon humanity by evil! Wars, violence, economic conflicts that hit the weakest, greed for money, which no-one can bring with him. My grandmother would say to us children, no shroud has pockets! Greed for money, power, corruption, divisions, crimes against human life and against creation! And - each of us knows well - our personal sins: our failures in love and respect towards God, towards our neighbour and towards the whole of creation. Jesus on the Cross feels the whole weight of the evil, and with the force of God’s love he conquers it, he defeats it with his resurrection. This is the good that Christ brings to all of us from the Cross, his throne. Christ’s Cross embraced with love does not lead to sadness, but to joy! The joy of being saved and doing a little bit what he did that day of his death." (Excerpt from Pope Francis Palm Sunday
(homily)
 

Text of meditations below are excerpts from 'Divine Intimacy' chapter on Passion Sunday. The post is illustrated by Tissot picture representing procession leading Jesus into Jerusalem

HOLY WEEK WITH THE SAINTS OF CARMEL - SHORT, SELECTED REFLECTIONS

Tuesday of the Holy Week 
In today's Mass Epistle, Jeremiah (11:18-20) speaks to us as the suffering Saviour: "I was as a meek lamb that is carried to be a victim." This sentence expresses the attitude of Jesus towards the bitterness of His Passion. He knew every one of these sufferings in all their most concrete particulars; His heart had undergone them by anticipation, and the thought of them never left him for an instant during the course of His life on earth. If the Passion, in its historical reality, took place in less than twenty-four hours, in its spiritual reality it spanned his entire life.
Let us reflect on the gravity of sin with St Teresa: "O Lord of my soul, how quick we are to offend You! But how much quicker are You to forgive us! What am I saying, Lord! 'The sorrows of death have encompassed me' Alas! What a great evil is sin, since it could put God Himself to death with such terrible sufferings! And these same sufferings surround You today, O my Lord! Where can You go that You are not tortured? Men cover You with wounds in all Your members." (Exclamations of the Soul to God: 10)


Wednesday in the Holy Week
Today's Mass contains two lessons from Isaias (62:11-63:1-7, 53:1-12) which describe in a very impressive way the figure of Jesus, the Man of Sorrows, covered with the shining purple of His blood, wounded from head to foot, "Why then is Thy apparel red, and Thy garments like theirs that tread in the winepress? I have trodden the winepress alone, and of the Gentiles, there is not a man with Me." All alone Jesus trod the winepress of His Passion. Let us think of His agony in the Garden of Olives, where the vehemence of His grief covered all His members with a bloody sweat. Let us think of the moment when Pilate, after having Him scourged, brought Him before the mob, saying: "Behold the Man!".


'Ecce Homo' by Simon Bening

Jesus stood there, His head crowned with thorns, His flesh lacerated by the wipes; the brilliant red of His Blood mingled with the purple of His cloak, that cloak of derision with which the soldiers had clothed their mock king. Christ was offering Himself as a sacrifice for men, shedding His Blood for their salvation, and men were abandoning Him. "I looked about and there was none to help, I sought, and there was none to give aid" (Roman Missal). Where were the sick whom He had cured, the blind, who at the touch of His Hand recovered their sight, the dead who were raised to life, the thousands whom He had miraculously fed with bread in the wilderness, the wretched without number who in countless ways had experienced His goodness? Before Jesus there was only an infuriated mob clamoring: Crucify Him! Crucify Him! Even the Apostles, His most intimate friends, had fled; indeed one of them had betrayed Him: "If he that hated Me had spoken great things against Me, I would perhaps have hidden Myself from him! But thou, a man of one mind, My guide, and My familiar, who didst take sweetmeats together with Me" (Ps 54:13,14). We read these words today, as on all the Wednesdays of the year, in the psalms of Terce. To this text which so deeply expressive of the bitterness Jesus felt when betrayed and abandoned by His own, there is a corresponding response in Matins: "Instead of loving Me, they decried Me, and returned evil for good, and hate in exchange for My love" (Roman Breviary).
As we contemplate Jesus in His Passion, each one of us can say to himself, dilexit me, et tradidit semetipsum pro me - He loved me, and delivered Himself for me (Gal 2:20); and it would be well to add, "How have I repaid His love?"

Holy Thursday - the Gift of Love
Jesus, I want to tell all little souls of the wonder of your love (St Therese).

Today's Mass is , in a very special way, the commemoration and the renewal of the Last Supper, in which we are all invited to participate. Let us enter the Church and gather close around the altar as if going into the Cenacle to gather around Jesus; Here we find, as did the Apostles at Jerusalem, the Master living in our midst, and He Himself, through the person of His minister, will renew once again the great miracle which changes bread and wine into His Body and Blood; He will say to us, "Take and eat...take and drink." Jesus reveals to us the perfection of fraternal charity on the same evening that He instituted the Eucharist, as if to indicate that such perfection should be both fruit of the Sacrament of the Eucharist and our response to this great gift. Says St Teresa: "O good Jesus, to sustain our weakness and to stir up our love, You have chosen to remain always in our midst, although You well foresaw the way that men would treat You and the shame and outrages from which You would have to suffer. O eternal Father, how could You permit Your Son to live with us, to endure fresh insults every day? O my God! What great love in that Son! and also, what great love in that Father!...O Holy Father who art in Heaven, if Thy divine Son has left nothing undone that He could do for us in granting sinners so great a favour as that of the Blessed Sacrament, do not permit Him to be so ill-treated. Since Thy holy Son has given us this excellent way in which we can offer Him up frequently as a sacrifice, let us make use of this precious gift so that it may stay the advance of such terrible evil and irreverence as in many places is paid to this most holy Sacrament (Way of Perfection). Let us pray with St Augustine: O Lord, Lord, how small and narrow is the house of my soul for You to enter! Enlarge it Yourself. It is in ruins; repair it. I know and admit that there are things in it that are offensive in Your sight. But who will cleanse it? Or to whom but You shall I cry, purify me, Lord, from my hidden sins?"

Good Friday - The Mystery of the Cross 
St John of the Cross says Good Friday is the day which invites us more than any other to 'enter into the thicket of the trials and pains...of the Son of God' (Spiritual Canticle), and not only with the abstract consideration of the mind but with the loving heart and willingness to unite our sufferings with His. Says St John: "the purest suffering brings with it the most intimate and the purest understanding" (Spiritual Canticle). The atrocious martyrdom, which within a few hours will torture His body, has not yet begun, and yet the agony of Jesus in the Garden of Olives marks one of the most sorrowful moments of His Passion, one which best reveals the bitter suffering of His soul. His most sacred soul finds itself immersed in inexpressible anguish; it is extreme abandonment and desolation, without sligthest consolation, either from God or from man. 
The Saviour feels the weight of the enormous burden of all the sins of mankind; He the Innocent One, sees Himself covered with the most execrable crimes, and made, as it were, the enemy of God and the target of the infinite justice which will punish all our wickedness in Him. As God, Jesus never ceased, even in the most painful moment of His Passion to be united to His Father; but as man, He felt Himself rejected by Him, "struck by God and afflicted" (Is 53:4). This explains the utter anguish of His spirit, much more sorrowful than the dreadful physical sufferings which await Him, explains the cruel agony which made Him sweat blood; explains His complain, "My soul is sorrowful even unto death" (Mt 26:38). His humanity finds itself facing the hard reality of the fact, deprived of the sensible help of the divinity, which seems not only to withdraw, but even more, to be angry with Him, and Jesus groans: "My Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from Me!" But this anguished cry of human nature is immediately lost in that perfect conformity of His will to the Father's: "Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt" (Mt 26:39)
The Agony in the Garden is soon followed by the treacherous kiss of Judas,



the arrest, the night passed in the interrogation by the high priest and insults from the soldiers who strike Jesus, spit on His face and blindfold Him, while in the outer court, Peter is denying Him.




At dawn they commence anew the questioning and accusations; the going back and forth from one tribunal to another begins - from Caiphas to Pilate, from Pilate to Herod, and back again to Pilate,


- followed by the horrible scourging and the crowning with thorns


Finally, clothed as a mock king, the Son of God is presented to the mob which cries out: "Away with this man, and release Barabbas" 


for Jesus, the Saviour, the crowd can only shout: "Crucify Him, crucify Him!" (Luke 23: 18-21). Loaded down with the wood for His torture, Jesus is led away to Calvary where he is crucified between two thieves.


These terrible physical sufferings reach their climax when the Saviour, in agony on the Cross, utters the cry: "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken  Me? (Mt 27:46). Although personally united to the Word, His humanity is, by a miracle, deprived of all divine comfort and support, and feels instead the weight of all malediction due to sin: "Christ," says St Paul, "has redeemed us from the curse...being made a curse for us" (Gal 3:13). Here we touch the most profound depths of the Passion of Jesus, the most atrocious bitterness which He embraced for our salvation. Yet, the last words of Jesus are an expression of total abandonment: "Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit" (Lk 23:46). Thus Jesus teaches us to overcome the anxieties and anguish caused in us by sorrow and death, by acts of complete submission to the will of God and trustful abandonment into His hands.


"I weep for You, my King, my Lord, and Master, my Father and Brother, my beloved Jesus" (St Bonaventure

Pictures illustrating the Good Friday post are by Rembrandt, Tissot and Dore


HOLY SATURDAY - THE VICTORY OF THE CROSS
As soon as Jesus expired, "the veil of the Temple was torn in two....the earth quaked, the rocks were rent. And the graves were opened; and many bodies...arose," so that those who were present were seized with a great fear and said: "Indeed this was the Son of God" (Mt 27:51-54). St John of the Cross, describing the agony of Jesus on the Cross, affirms: "He wrought herein the greatest work that He had ever wrought, whether in miracles or in mighty works, during the whole of His life, either upon earth or in Heaven, which was the reconciliation and union of mankind, through grace, with God. And this, as I say, was at the moment and the time when this Lord was most completely annihilated in everything. Annihilated, that is to say, with respect to human reputation; since, when men saw Him die, they mocked Him rather than esteemed Him; and also with respect to nature, since His nature was annihilated when He died; and further with respect to the spiritual consolation and protection of the Father, since at that time He foresook Him...". And he concludes: "Let the truly spiritual man may understand the mystery of the gate and of the way of Christ, and so become united with God, and let him know that, the more completely he is annihilated for God's sake, according to these two parts, the sensual and the spiritual, the more completely he is united to God and the greatest is the work which he accomplishes" (Ascent of Mt Carmel, 2:7,11).

Barocci. The Entombment

If you would understand that the Cross is Our Lord's triumph, hear what He Himself said:' If I am lifted up, I will draw all people to myself'. In sharing His Cross, you are seeking His glory (St John of the Cross).


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Saturday, March 19, 2016

St Joseph Novena Prayer, 10 -18 March - click for link


St Teresa of Avila devotion to St Joseph HERE

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Saturday, March 05, 2016

The first of the Romances poem is based on St John’s Gospel (John 1:1) - ‘In pronciptio erat Verbum or In the beginning was the Word’, regarding the Blessed Trinity. Very beautiful poem for the Lenten meditation. 




1. In the beginning the Word was; He lived in God And possessed in him His infinite happiness. That same Word was God, Who is the Beginning; He was in the beginning. He was himself the Beginning And therefore had no beginning. The Word is called Son; He was born of the Beginning Who had always conceived him, Giving of his substance always, Yet always possessing it. And thus the glory of the Son was the Father’s glory, and the Father possessed all his glory in the Son. As the lover in the beloved Each lived in the other, And the Love that unites them Is one with them, their equal, excellent as the One and the Other: Three Persons, and one Beloved Among all three. One love in them all Makes of them one Lover, And the Lover is the Beloved In whom each one lives. For the being that the three possess Each of them possesses, And each of them loves Him who bears this being, Which alone unites them, Binding them deeply, One beyond words. Thus it is boundless Love that unites them, For the three have one love Which is their essence; And the more love is one The more it is love.

 2. On the communication among the Three Persons.
In that immense love proceeding from the two, the Father spoke words of great affection to the Son. Words od such profound delight that no one understood them; they were meant for the Son, and he alone rejoiced in them. What he heard was this: "My Son, only your company contents me, and when something pleases me I love that thing in you; whoever resembles you most satisfies me most, and whoever is like you in nothing will find nothing in me. I am please with you alone, O life of my life! You are the light of my light, you are my wisdom, the image of my substance in whom I am well pleased. My Son, I will give myself to him who loves you and I will love him with the same love I have for you, because he has loved you whom I love so."

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

Why we should pray always

You will seek the Lord your God, and if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul, you shall find him. In your distress, all that I have said will overtake you, but at the end of days you will return to the Lord your God and listen to his voice. For the Lord your God is a merciful God and will not desert or destroy you or forget the covenant he made on oath with your fathers. (Deuteronomy 4; 29-31) 


In the fragment from her ‘Life’ (ch 11/10,11), St Teresa encourages and explains to us why we should never abandon prayer, even if we are all the time experiencing nothing but aridity. Very good read for Lent.

  Beginners in prayer, we may say, are those who drew up the water out of the well: this, as I have said, is a laborious proceeding, for it will fatigue them to keep their senses recollected, which is a great labour because they have accustomed to a life of distraction. Beginners must accustom themselves to pay no heed to what they see or hear, and they must practise doing this during hours of prayer; they must be alone and in their solitude think over their past life – all of us, indeed, whether beginners or proficient, must do this frequently. There are differencies, however, in the degree to which it must be done, as I shall show later. At first it causes distress, for beginners are not always sure that they have repented of their sins (though clearly they have, since they have so sincerely resolved to serve God). Then they have to endeavour to meditate upon the life of Christ and this fatigue their minds. Thus far we can make progress by ourselves - of course with the help of God, for without that, as is well known, we cannot think a single good thought. This is what is meant by beginning to draw up water from the well, and God grant there may be water in it! But that, at least, does not depend on us: our task is to draw it up and to so what we can to water the flowers. And God is so good that when, for reasons known to His Majesty, perhaps to our great advantage, He is pleased that the well should be dry, we. Like good gardeners, do all that in us lies, and He keeps the flowers alive without water and makes the virtues grow. By water here I mean tears – or, if there be none of these, tenderness and an interior feeling of devotion. 
  What then, will he do here who finds that for many days he experiences nothing but aridity, dislike, distaste and so little desire to go and draw water that he would give it up entirely if he did not remember that he is pleasing and serving the Lord of the garden; if he were not anxious that all his service should not be lost, to say nothing of the gain which he hopes for from the great labour of lowering the bucket so often into the well and drawing it up without water? It will often happen that, even for that purpose, he is unable to move his arms – unable, that is, to think a single good thought, for working with the understanding is of course the same as drawing water out of the well. What, then, as I say, will the gardener of so great an Emperor; and, as he knows that is pleasing Him by so working (and his purpose must be to please, not himself, but HIM), let him render Him a great praise for having placed such confidence in him, when He has seen that without receiving any recompense, he is taking such great care of that which He had entrusted to him; let him help Him to bear the Cross and consider how He lived with it all His life long; let him not wish to have his kingdom on earth or ever cease from prayer; and so let him resolve, even if this aridity should persist his WHOLE LIFE long, never to let Christ fall beneath the Cross. The time will come when he shall receive his whole reward at once. Let him have no fear that his labour will be lost. He is serving a good Master, Whose eyes are upon him. Let him pay no heed to evil thoughts, remembering how the devil put such thoughts into the mind of Saint Jerome in the desert.
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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

LENT and HOLY WEEK with St Therese


Why do we need the virtue of temperance and how is St Therese a model of temperance, read: HERE

"Prayers and Meditations on the Life of Christ" by Thomas a Kempis - to read online click HERE

"Imitation of Christ" by Thomas a Kempis - to read online click HERE

Stations of the Cross with Carmelite Saints HERE

Now there was in the place where he was crucified, a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein no man yet had been laid. There, therefore, because of the parasceve of the Jews, they laid Jesus, because the sepulchre was nigh at hand.  (Jn 19:41, 42)
When I saw the blood running from the wounds of Jesus, the thirst of all souls entered my heart.(...) Oh, each day since this special blessing [Pranzini's last minute conversion], my desire to save these souls grew. I felt I heard Jesus tell me "Give me something to drink!" (The Story of a Soul)
 
Afterwards, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said: I thirst. Now there was a vessel set there full of vinegar. And they, putting a sponge full of vinegar and hyssop, put it to his mouth. Jesus therefore, when he had taken the vinegar, said: It is consummated. And bowing his head, he gave up the ghost. (Jn 19:28, 30).
The cry of the Lord on the cross, "I am thirsty" sounded continually in my heart....I wanted to give my Beloved a drink, and felt myself devoured by the thirst of all souls... It was not the souls of priests that attracted me, but those of the big sinners. I burned with desire to pull them from the eternal flames (The Story of a Soul)

Now before the festival of the Passover, Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart from this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end (Jn 13:1)

At the Last Supper, when Jesus knew his disciple's hearts burned with devoted love after he had just given himself to them through the unfathomable mystery of the Eucharist, this gentle Saviour gave them a new commandment. (...) Love one another just as I loved you (The Story of a Soul)


Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus' feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume (Jn 12:3)
Lord, at the twilight of this life, I will appear to you with empty hands because I do not ask you to keep count of my good deeds. All of our laws are flowed in your eyes. I would like, then, to clock myself with your law and from your love, receive you for eternity. I want no other crown than you (Prayer 6)

Palm Sunday
And they brought the colt to Jesus; and they lay their garments on him, and he sat upon him. And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down boughs from the trees, and strewed them in the way. And they that went before and they that followed, cried, saying: "Hosanna, blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. Blessed be the kingdom of our father David that cometh: Hosanna in the highest. " (Mk 11:7-10
After being exiled on earth, I hope to go and rejoice in your presence in our Father's house. However, I do not want to gain merits just for heaven. I want to work for your Divine Love for the sole purpose of pleasing you, consoling your Sacred Heart and saving souls who will love you for all eternity. (Prayer 6)

"It is better for you to have one man die for the people than to have the whole nation destroyed"(Jn 11:50)
My Lord, I thank you for all the blessings you have granted me, in particular, for having me pass the stringent test of suffering. On judgment day, i will think of you carrying the scepter of the cross. As you have judged me worthy to share this most precious cross with you, when I am in heaven, I hope to look like you and see my body glorified with the blessed wounds of your Passion (Prayer 6)

"I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die" (Jn 11: 25-26)
Adored Face, since you are the only home for our souls, our hymns will not be sung on foreign soil. While we await eternity when we will gaze upon your infinite glory, our only desire is to enchant your Divine Eyes while hiding our faces so no one can recognize us...Your veiled glance, that is our heaven, Oh Jesus! (Prayer 12)


When they heard these words, some in the crowd said, "This is really the prophet. Never has anyone spoken like this! (Jn 7:40, 46)
I know from experience, "That the kingdom of God is inside us." Jesus, (...) the Doctor of all doctors, teaches without words,...I have never heard him speak but I know he is inside me. At each and every moment, he guides me to do what I must do. Just when I need it, I discover lights I had never seen before (Story of the Soul)

"In peace, in the self-same, that is in Thee, the one sovereign Good, I will sleep and I will rest. Amen (Ps 4)

"During Lent of last year I was feeling stronger than ever, and in spite of the rigorous fast my health kept up to the end, when, in the early hours of Good Friday, Our Lord gave me reason to hope that I would soon go to join Him in Heaven. 
I had not been given leave to spend the whole night before the altar of repose, and so I went up to our cell at about midnight on Thursday. No sooner had I laid my head on the pillow than I felt a warm flood rise suddenly to my lips. I felt as though I were dying, and rejoiced at the thought. As I put out the little lamp, I mortified my curiosity and fell asleep peacefully. When I was called at five o'clock, I remembered that there was a pleasant discovery to be made, and on going to the window I found our handkerchief all stained with blood. I was convinced that our loving Lord had given me a first warning on the anniversary of His death, a faint murmur which told me that His joyful coming was not far distant." (The Story of a Soul)

"The Pharisee, standing by himself was praying.... The tax collector  was standing far off..."God, be merciful for me, a sinner!"...Those who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted" (Luke 18:11, 13-14)
It seems to me that humility is truth. I don't know if I am truly humble, but I feel that I see the truth in all things (Advice and Memories, 19)


For the Feast of Annunciation
"O Lord, my God, my Creator and Redeemer, I desire to receive Thee today with such affection, reverence, praise and honour; with such gratitude, worthiness, and love; with such faith, hope and purity, as Thy most holy Mother, the glorious Virgin Mary, received and desired Thee, when she humbly and devoutly answered the angel, who declared to her the mystery of the Incarnation: "Behold the handmaid of the Lord: be it done to me according to thy word"(Luke 1: 38)". (Imitation, B 4:17)

When an angel offers you to be the Mother of the God who will reign for all eternity, what an astonishing mystery to see you prefer the unutterable treasure of your virginity! I understand that your soul, oh Immaculate Virgin, would be more dear to the Lord, than the Divine sojourn. I understand that your soul, humble and gentle valley, would contain my Jesus, the Ocean of Love (Poems, 54)

"You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit on my right hand and at my left, this is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father" (Mt 20:23)
Since it had been necessary for Christ to suffer so that he would enter thtough that into glory, you must also drink his same chalice if you want to have a place at his side (The Story of a Soul)

For the Feast of St Joseph
"Protect and defend the soul of Thy poor servant amidst so many dangers of this corruptible life, and direct him in the company of Thy grace, through the way of peace to the country of everlasting light. Amen" (Imitation Bk 3:59)
I had never come into contact with evil, but dreaded the thought of doing so, and I realized that I would come across many disturbing things on my journey. I had not yet learned that all things are clean to the clean (Tit 1:15), that evil is not in material things but in unclean minds. From my childhood my devotion to Our Lady and St Joseph had been one thing, and every day I said the prayer: St Joseph, father and protector of virgins. I therefore placed myself under his protection and felt safe from all danger. (The Story of a Soul)

Second Sunday of Lent
Later Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white (Matt 17:1,2)
Oh Holy Face, more beautiful than the lilies and spring roses! You are not hidden from us! The tears which come from your Divine Face are like diamonds...of infinite value. We want to gather them so we can buy back the souls of our brothers and sisters (Prayers, 12)

"If you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? (Mt 5:46-47).
You say you want to be good with those who are good, gentle with those who are gentle. And when someone disagrees with you, you strike out against them...On the contrary: "Do good for those who hate you, pray for those who persecute you" (Advice and Memories, 103)

..when you are offering your gift at the altar, if you remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go, first be reconcile to your brother or sister, and then come and offer your gift (Mt 5:23-24)
If you always want to be right, you do this to the detriment of your soul. And to tell others what to do, even if you are truly right, still puts you in conflict. Yours is not to control other people's behaviour. You must not set yourself up as a judge - that is God's right alone - your only mission is to be an angel of peace (Advice and memories, 106)

First Sunday of Lent
Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil (Mt 4:1)
The more you press forward, the less you have to fight, or rather, the easier you win because you see the good side of things. It is then that your soul rises above the humans. It is incredible how, in the end, everything anyone tells me doesn't even grave my soul because I have understand the weakness of human judgment (Advice and Memories, 186)

Saturday after Ash Wednesday
I have come to call not the righteous but sinners to repentance (Luke 5:32)
When you are angry with someone, the way to find peace is to pray for that person and ask God to reward them for making you suffer. In spite of all their efforts to better themselves, God leave certain souls with weakness because it would be detrimental if they had  virtues others could in them (Advice and Memories, 150)


Friday after Ash Wednesday
The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast (Mt 9:15)
We have heard loving complaints from your beloved mouth. Understanding that the thirst which consumes you is one of love, we want to quench it and possess an infinite love! Blessed Husband of our souls! If we had the love from all the hearts, all that love would be for you...Give us this love and quench your thirst through your humble brides. (Prayers, 12)

Thursday after Ash Wednesday
For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it (Luke 9:24)
There are certain souls who require regular payment. For me, I take my chances at the bank of Love...I go for the big win. If I lose, I will know, I don't concern myself with the ups and downs, Jesus takes care of them for me, I do not know if I am rich or poor but I will know this later (Advice and Memories 71

Ash Wednesday
But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you (Mt 6:6)
Gratitude is the one thing which disposes God to grant his blessings. If we thank him for his graces, he is grateful and showers us with ten more. If we continue in this manner, with the same enthusiasm, imagine the incalculable multitude of blessings! I have done this. Try it and you will see. My gratitude is limitless for all he has given me and I show it to him in a thousand ways. (Advice and Memories ,72)



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Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Novena to Our Lady of Lourdes starts on 2nd February - click for link


"My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside, show me your face, let me hear your voice; for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely" - Song of Songs 2:14.

Credit for a beautiful photo and perfect Scripture citation to Fr Lawrence from Godz Godz blog. I may honestly say the photo of Our Lady of Lourdes is the best one I have ever seen.


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Purification of Our Lady and Presentation of Jesus in the Temple


Today's Feast, which marks the end of the Christmas season, is the feast both of Jesus and Mary: of Jesus, because He is presented by His Mother in the Temple forty days after His birth, according to the requirement of the law; of Mary, because [being obedient to the law] she submitted herself to the rite of purification.

"What do You teach me, O Lord, offering Yourself thus in the Temple? You show me respect for the law by Your willingness to observe it. You teach me adoration, for You offered Yourself to the Father, not as His equal, which You really were, but as man. Here You have given me a model of the respect which I owe to Your law, not only to the Ten Commandments, but also to my Holy Rule and Constitutions. This law is all sweetness and delight for me, but I make it bitter when I do not renounce myself, for then, instead of my bearing it sweetly, the law is obliged to bear me" (St Mary Magdalen di Pazzi)

Adopted from 'Divine Intimacy' Fr Gabriel of St Mary Magdalene, OCD



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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Baptism of Our Lord

Pierro della Frencesca, Baptism of Christ


John bore witness: I saw the Spirit descend as a dove from heaven, and it remained on him.(Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal)
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Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Feast of the Epiphany of Our Lord - click for link

The fragment taken from the Imitation of Christ refers beautifully to the Child Jesus found by the Magi led by the star and St Therese commenting on it. Let us pray we may be led to Christ always in spite of all distractions of the world.


To some I speak things common, to others things more particular; to some I sweetly appear in signs and figures, to other in great light I reveal mysteries (Imitation of Christ, Bk 3, ch43)

Since Christmas Celine had begun to share my most intimate thoughts, Our Lord wished us to make progress together, and so united us in a bond closer than mere ties of blood by making our very souls sisters. I love to recall our conversations at that time, as we sat in the belvedere looking out at the starry sky. i believe that we received many graces; as the author of the 'Imitation' says: To some I sweetly appear in signs and figures, to others in great light I reveal mysteries. He revealed Himself to our hearts, and the veil that hid Him was almost transparent. To doubt would have been impossible; whilst yet on earth we had found, through love, Him whom we sought, so that faith and hope were in abeyance. (Story of the Soul)



Having sighted the divinely-moving star, the Magi followed its radiance; and holding it as a lamp, by it they sought a powerful King; and having reached the Unreachable One, they rejoiced, shouting to Him: Alleluia!
The sons of the Chaldees saw in the hands of the Virgin Him Who with His hand made man. And knowing Him to be the Master, even though He had taken the form of a servant, they hastened to serve Him with gifts, and to cry to Her Who is blessed:
Rejoice, Mother of the Unsetting Star:
Rejoice, dawn of the mystic day!
Rejoice, Thou Who didst extinguish the furnace of error:
Rejoice, Thou Who didst enlighten the initiates of the Trinity!
Rejoice, Thou Who didst banish from power the inhuman tyrant:
Rejoice, Thou Who didst show us Christ the Lord, the Lover of mankind!
Rejoice, Thou Who redeemest from pagan worship:
Rejoice, Thou Who dost drag us from the works of mire!
Rejoice, Thou Who didst quench the worship of fire:
Rejoice, Thou Who rescuest from the flame of the passions!
Rejoice, guide of the faithful to chastity:
Rejoice, gladness of all generations!
Rejoice, O Bride Unwedded!

Having become God-bearing heralds, the Magi returned to Babylon, having fulfilled Thy prophecy; and having preached Thee to all as the Christ, they left Herod as a babbler who knew not how to sing: Alleluia !
(Adoration of the Magi - Akathist Hymn attributed to Romanos the Melodist (+560). After 'A Moment with Mary'


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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Christmas Novena starts 16th December - click for link






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Monday, December 14, 2015

St John of the Cross - Memorial

It is perhaps the best time now to meditate on the life of the greatest Saint of Carmel, who at the pick of his religious leadership and popularity preferred following Christ by choosing 'to suffer and to be looked down upon' instead of obtaining temporal rewards for his service to Christ. By meditating upon this example of extraordinary holiness we can better understand what does it really mean to love God above ourselves.


Storms clouds began to break over John's head when the Father General, Nicolas Doria, convened an Extraordinary Chapter in June 1590. John had a premonition that things would go badly for him. When one of the Segovian nuns said that she was sure he would return to them as their Provincial, he replied and with certainty, 'I shall be thrown into a corner like an old rag'. One source of disagreement went as back as 1581 at the Chapter at Almodovar del Campo. John had come into conflict (yes, even saints do this sometimes!) with Fr Ferome Gracian who had been a favourite and close collaborator of St Teresa. Gracian wanted the friars to be more active in the apostolate, whereas John insisted that they should be primarily contemplative, from which their apostolate would flow. He did not want their contemplative vocation to take second place and perhaps be squeezed out. This tension between the active and contemplative aspects of the Carmelite friar's life had a long history. The Order traces its origin back to the time of the Crusades, when some of the crusaders decided to settle in the Holy Land, on Mount Carmel, where Elija and Elisha had founded a 'school of prophets', living a life of community and contemplation. Ever since, Carmelites have looked on two great prophets as their spiritual forebears. When the Muslims defeated the crusaders and drove them out of the Holy Land, the friars fled to the West, where they took up an active apostolate, sometimes to the detriment of their contemplative base.
At the Madrid Chapter the problem was more a clash of personalities between Gracian, who represented the moderates and Doria who wanted more control. Although Teresa had not taken personality to Doria, a Genoese who had been a banker before entering the Discalced, she had prized Doria's organisational skills, but he was rigid and authoritarian. The younger Gracian had a brilliant mind, a distinguished scholar and organiser , and had a much more pleasing and charming manner, although his impetuosity and rashness made him powerful enemies - including Doria. Now, Doria put forward some proposals with which John adamantly disagreed. Doria changed the government of the Order, concentrating all power in the hands of a permanent committee. He also wanted to take revenge against the formidable Mother Ann of Jesus, who, supported by John of the Cross, opposed his plans for the nuns and wanted to seek papal approbation for their constitutions. In addition, he wanted to expel Gracian from the Order, seeing him as a dangerous rival to his own power. John of the Cross had already warned Gracian that this might happen. He had been horrified when Gracian had proposed that Doria should succeed him as Provincial: he was elected only by two votes. Now, he felt that Gracian was being unfairly treated, and said so. Although many of the other friars privately agreed with him, they were too cowed by Doria's dictatorial manner to speak out.


The moving story of St John of the Cross last years marked by his heroic love of God and the neighbour is to be continued.
Credit: on the basis of CTS little book 'John of the Cross' by Jennifer Moorcroft

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Sunday, November 29, 2015

ADVENT WITH ST THERESE


IT is Jesus alone, content with my feeble efforts, who will lift me to his side. Covering me with his infinite virtue, he will make a saint of me (Story of the Soul)

I have understood that Our Lord's love will reveal itself as well in the simplest soul which offers no resistance, as in the most noble (Story of the Soul)

Like a mother caressing her child, in this way I will comfort you, I will carry you at my breast and caress you in my lap...Having said this, there's nothing else to say all that's left is to wrap in gratitude and love (Story of the Soul). 

I understand that to become a saint, one must suffer a great deal, always seek perfection and forget one's self (Story of the Soul)

Now nothing surprises me, I am not concerned when i see that I am weak. On the contrary, it is that weakness which glorifies me. Every day I expect to discover new imperfections within myself.

God wanted to create great Saints who could be compared to lilies and roses, but also created lesser Saints. They should be content to be daises and violets, destined to simply enjoy God's glance as they lie humbly at His feet. 

I do not know if you are still feeling as you did when you last wrote, but I am sending you in answer this passage from the Canticle of Canticles, which describes so vividly a soul in a state of dryness, who can find no comfort anywhere: "I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valleys, and to look if the vineyard had flowered, and the pomegranates budded. I knew not: my soul troubled me for the chariots of Aminadab (Cant 6:10,11)." That is a picture of our souls. How often we go down to the fertile valleys where we found spiritual food, to the pleasant fields fo Scripture where we discovered so many treasures, but which now seem like a waterless desert. We no longer know where we are: instead of peace and light our lot is darkness and distress, but like the Bride we know the cause of this trial. We are not yet in our fatherland, but have still to be tried by temptation as gold in the furnace. Sometimes we feel utterly abandoned, and cannot make sure whether the chariots, that is the noise and commotion which surround us, are whitin or without. We do not know, but Jesus knows, and He sees our sorrow, and suddenly in the dark night, His voice is heard: "Return, return, O Sulamitess: return, return that we may behold thee (ibid, 6:12).

But if the son comes to know the dangers from which he has been spared, will he not love him [his Father] more? Well, I am this child, object of the provident love of a Father who did not send his Son to redeem the righteous, but the sinners.

  Oh! I love you, Mary, saying you are the servant
Of the God whom you charm by your humility
(Lk 1: 38).
This hidden virtue makes you all-powerful.
It attracts the Holy Trinity into your heart.
Then the Spirit of Love covering you with his shadow,
(Lk 1: 35)
The Son equal to the Father became incarnate in you,
There will be a great many of his sinner brothers,
Since he will be called: Jesus, your first-born!
(Lk 2: 7)

O beloved Mother, despite my littleness,
Like you I possess The All-Powerful within me.
But I don't tremble in seeing my weakness:
The treasures of a mother belong to her child,
And I am your child, O my dearest Mother.
Aren't your virtues and your love mine too?
So when the white Host comes into my heart,
Jesus, your Sweet Lamb, thinks he is resting in you! ...

You make me feel that it's not impossible
To follow in your footsteps, O Queen of the elect.
You made visible the narrow road to Heaven
While always practicing the humblest virtues.
Near you, Mary, I like to stay little.
At the home of Saint Elizabeth, receiving your visit,
I learn how to practice ardent charity.

There, Sweet Queen of angels, I listen, delighted,
To the sacred canticle springing forth from your heart
(Lk 1: 46).
You teach me to sing divine praises,
To glory in Jesus my Savior.
Your words of love are mystical roses
Destined to perfume the centuries to come.
In you the Almighty has done great things.
I want to ponder them to bless him for them.
 

("Why I love you, o Mary" from 'The Poetry of St Therese of Child Jesus')

All citation from the 'Story of the Soul' unless otherwise specified.


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Novena for the Immaculate Conception 29th November to 7th of December


O IMMACULATE Virgin! Mary, conceived without sin!
Remember, thou wert miraculously preserved from
even the shadow of sin, because thou wert destined
to become not only the Mother of God, but also
the mother, the refuge, and the advocate of man;
penetrated, therefore, with the most lively confidence
in thy never-failing intercession, we most humbly implore
thee to look with favor upon the intentions of this novena,
and to obtain for us the graces and favors we request.
(Here form your petitions.)
Thou knowest, O Mary, how often our hearts are the
sanctuaries of God, Who abhors iniquity. Obtain for us,
then, that Angelic purity which was thy favorite virtue,
that purity of heart which will attach us to God alone, and
that purity of intention which will consecrate every thought,
word, and action to His greater glory. Obtain also for us a
constant spirit of prayer and self-denial, that we may recover
by penance that innocence which we have lost by sin,
and at length attain safely to that blessed abode of the
Saints, where nothing defiled can enter.

O Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

EWTN version of the Novena HERE


The picture represents masterpiece by Francisco de Zurbaran

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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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