Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Day


Nativity by Gerard van Honthorst 

My Isabel (Gracian's little sister) is getting better every day. When I go to recreation, which is not often, she sets aside her needlework and begins to sing: Mother Foundress Is coming to recreation; Let's all dance and sing And clap our hands in jubilation. But this is for a moment. Outside the time of recreation she remains in her hermitage so absorbed with the Infant Jesus, the shepherds, her work, and her thoughts (which she tells me about) that it is something to praise the Lord for. She sends her regards, and prays for you. (St Teresa, letter to Padre Gracian, Christmas, 1576)
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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve, are we ready?


   Nativity scene with Angels - drawing attributed to Ludwig Richter
God, the divine Guest of our hearts, knows our poverty; all He asks, and expects to find, is an empty tabernacle (of our heart) 
St Therese (letters)
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Thursday, December 04, 2014

St John of the Cross abduction and imprisonment in Toledo

It is very fitting to read and reflect today upon the letter written by St Teresa to the King Don Philip II on 4th December 1577. During the previous night, St John of the Cross was taken prisoner and no one knew his whereabouts. The whole city was scandalized and Teresa is worried sick for his life. The situation was aggravated by the on-going oppression of the nuns at the Incarnation. St Teresa highly regarded Fray John of the Cross and considered him a saint. St John was taken prisoner on the night December 3rd 1577 and transferred to the Carmelite monastery in Toledo. He was horribly mistreated during nine months of imprisonment, suffered public lashes in front of a community of friars at least once a week, he was kept in a tiny cell with tiny window placed near the ceiling and his diet was of the strict penitential character. He managed to escape one night on August 15th 1578. During his imprisonment he wrote most of his famous ‘Spiritual Canticle’.


El Greco painting of the Carmelite Monastery in Toledo, where St John was kept prisoner.


The grace of the Holy Spirit be with your majesty, amen. I strongly believe that our Lady has chosen you to protect and help her order. So, I cannot fail to have recourse to you regarding her affairs. For the love of our Lord, I beg you to pardon me for so much boldness. I am sure your majesty has received news of how the nuns at the Incarnation tried to have me go there, thinking they would have some means to free themselves from the friars, who are certainly a great hindrance to the recollection and religious observance of the nuns. And the friars are entirely at fault for the lack of observance previously present in that house. The nuns are very much mistaken in their desire that I go there, for as long as they are subject to the friars as confessors and visitators, I would be of no help -- at least not of any lasting help. I always said this to the Dominican visitator, and he understood it well. Since God allowed that situation to exist, I tried to provide a remedy and placed a discalced friar (St John of the Cross) in a house next to them, along with a companion friar (German de San Matias). He is so great a servant of our Lord that the nuns are truly edified, and this city is amazed by the remarkable amount of good he has done there, and so they consider him a saint; and in my opinion he is one and has been one all his life. When the previous nuncio through a long report sent him by the inhabitants of the city was informed of the things that were happening and of the harm that the friars of the cloth were doing, he gave orders under pain of excommunication that the confessors be restored to their house (for the Calced friars had driven them from the city heaping abuse on them and giving much scandal to everyone). And he also ordered that no friar of the cloth under pain of excommunication go to the Incarnation for business purposes, to say Mass, or hear confessions, but only the discalced friars and secular clergy. As a result, the house was in a good state until the nuncio died. Then the Calced friars returned -- and so too the disturbance -- without demonstrating the grounds on which they could do so. And now a friar (Hernando Maldonado) who came to absolve the nuns caused such a disturbance without any concern for what is reasonable and just that the nuns are deeply afflicted and still bound by the same penalties I have been told. And worst of all he has taken from them their confessors (St John of the Cross and German de San Matias). They say that he has been made vicar provincial, and this must be true because he is more capable than the others of making martyrs. And he is holding these confessors captive in his monastery after having forced his way into their cells and confiscating their papers. The whole city is truly scandalized. He is not a prelate nor did he show any evidence of the authority on which these things were done, for these confessors are subject to the apostolic commissary. Those friars dared so much, even though this city is so close to where your majesty resides, that it doesn't seem they fear either justice or God. I feel very sad to see these confessors in the hands of those friars who for some days have been desiring to seize hold of them. I would consider the confessors better off if they were held by the Moors, who perhaps would show more compassion. And this one friar (St John) who is so great a servant of God is so weak from all that he has suffered that I fear for his life. I beg your majesty for the love of our Lord to issue orders for them to set him free at once and that these poor Discalced friars not be subjected to so much suffering by the friars of the cloth. The former do no more than suffer and keep silent and gain a great deal. But the people are scandalized by what is being done to them. This past summer in Toledo, without any reason, the same superior took as prisoner Fray Antonio de Jesús -- a holy and blessed man, who was the first discalced friar. They go about saying that with orders from Tostado they will destroy them all. May God be blessed! Those who were to be the means of removing offenses against God have become the cause of so many sins. And each day matters will get worse if your majesty does not provide us with some help. Otherwise, I don't know where things will end up, because we have no other help on earth. May it please our Lord that for our sakes you live many years. I hope in him that he will grant us this favour. He is so alone, for there are few who look after his honour. All these servants of your Majesty's, and I, ask this of him continually. Your Majesty's unworthy servant and subject, Teresa of Jesus, Carmelite
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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Anniversary of the first Discalced Friars foundation in Duruelo, on 28th November 1548


Having the permission of these two provincials, I now figured that nothing was lacking. We arranged that Father Fray John of the Cross would go to the house and get it ready so that, in spite of all, it could be lived in. For me, what was most urgent was that the friars begin, for I was very fearful lest some obstacle would come along our path. And this they did. Father Fray Antonio had already gathered some of the things necessary. Insofar as we could, we helped him; although our help amounted to little. He came to Valladolid with great happiness to speak to me and told me what he had collected, which was very little. It was only with clocks that he was well provided, for he had five of them; this greatly amused me. He told me they were meant as a help to follow the daily schedule, which he wanted well fixed; I don't think he even had any bed yet to sleep in.
On the First or Second Sunday of Advent (I don't remember which of these Sundays it was), in the year 1568, the first Mass was said in that little stable of Bethlehem, for it doesn't seem to me the house was any better (It was the First Sunday of Advent, November 28, 1568)... When I entered the little church, I was astonished to see the spirit the Lord had put there. And it wasn't only I, for the two merchants, my friends from Medina who had accompanied me there, did nothing else but weep. There were so many crosses, so many skulls! I never forget a little cross made for the holy water fount from sticks with a paper image of Christ attached to it; it inspired more devotion than if it had been something very expertly carved….The choir was in the loft. In the middle of the loft the ceiling was high enough to allow for the recitation of the Hours, but one had to stoop low in order to enter and to hear Mass. There were in the two corners facing the church two little hermitages, where one could do no more than either lie down or sit. Both were filled with hay because the place was very cold, and the roof almost touched one's head. Each had a little window facing the altar and a stone for a pillow; and there, too, the crosses and skulls. I learned that after the friars finished Matins they did not leave the choir before Prime but remained there in prayer, for their prayer was so deep that when it came time to say Prime their habits were covered with snow without their having become aware of the fact. The two Fathers recited the Hours with another Father from among those of the cloth who went to stay with them (although he didn't change his habit because he was very sickly) and another young, unordained brother who was also there. These two were Father Lucas de Celis and Brother José de Cristo, a deacon. (St Teresa - Book of Foundation, Ch 4)

Book of Foundation audio by LibriVox HERE

Map Of St Teresa foundations in Spain HERE

Picture after 'Rumbo al V centenario Teresiano'
Map after this blog

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Presentation of Our Lady in the Temple


O Thou Lord of my soul, and my Eternal Good, why is it that when a soul resolves to follow Thee, and to do her best to forsake all for Thee,—why is it that Thou dost not instantly perfect Thy love and Thy peace within that soul?  But I have spoken unadvisedly and foolishly, for it is we who are at fault in prayer, and never Thee.  We are so long and so slow in giving up our hearts to Thee.  And then Thou wilt not permit our enjoyment of Thee without our paying well for so precious a possession.  There is nothing in all the world wherewith to buy the shedding abroad of Thy love in our heart, but our heart’s love.  If, however, we did what we could, not clinging with our hearts to anything whatsoever in this world, but having our treasure and our conversation in heaven, then this blessedness would soon be ours, as all Thy saints testify.  God never withholds Himself from him who pays this price and who perseveres in seeking Him.  He will, little by little, and now and then, strengthen and restore that soul, till at last it is victorious.  If he who enters on this road only does violence enough to himself, with the help of God, he will not only go to heaven himself, but he will not go alone: he will take others with him.  God will give him, as to a good leader, those who will go after him.  Only, let not any man of prayer ever expect to enjoy his whole reward here.  He must remain a man of faith and prayer to the end.  Let him resolve, then, that whatever his aridity and sense of indevotion may be, he will never let himself sink utterly under his cross.  And the day will come when he will receive all his petitions in one great answer, and all his wages in one great reward.  For he serves a good Master, who stands over him watching him.  And let him never give over because of evil thoughts, even if they are sprung upon him in the middle of his prayer, for the devil so vexed the holy Jerome even in the wilderness.  But all these toils of soul have their sure reward, and their just recompense set out for them.  And, I can assure you, as one who knows what she is saying, that one single drop of water out of God’s living well will both sustain you and reward you for another day and another night of your life of life-long prayer. St Teresa On Prayer 

More info on the Feast HERE
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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

St Raphael Kalinowski, OCD


We entrust our task to our Most Holy Mother, the Virgin Mary, under her maternal care.  If there is anything to correct, let it be corrected once and for all; may the good that is done continue to increase. Toward this purpose, may God's love flood your souls along this earthly life, and finally lead you to the fountain of love, that is, to God Himself in eternity. (St Raphael Kalinowski, 1835-1907) 

On 19th of November we celebrate the Feast of Carmelite Friar, St Raphael Kalinowski, OCD. To read more, please visit some previous posts on this blog HERE
Picture posted today represents painting displayed in the choir of the Discalced Carmelite Church of Our Lady of the Brown Scapular and St Elijah in Czerna Friary near Cracow in Poland where St Raphael Kalinowski was a prior. To visit photogalery of the Church and the cloister click here


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Saturday, November 08, 2014

Feast of the Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity


O Virgin most faithful, you remain night and day in profound silence, in ineffable peace, in a divine prayer that never ceases, your soul ever inundated with heavenly light. Your heart is like a crystal that reflects the divine One, the Guest who dwell in you, the Beauty that knows no setting. O Mary, you draw heaven down to you: see, the Father commits His Son to you that you may be His mother, and the Spirit of love overshadows you. The Blessed Three come to you, and all heaven is opened and abases itself before you...I adore the mystery of this God who made flesh in you, O Virgin Mary. Mother of the Word, show me your mystery after the Incarnation of the Lord; how you lived buried in adoration...Keep me ever in a divine embrace. Let me carry upon me the stamp of this God of love. (Bl Elizabeth of the Trinity, 1880-1906)
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Friday, October 31, 2014

Feast of All Saints

I saw a great multitude which no man could number, of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and in the sight of the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and with palms in their hands. (Ap 7:2-12).

Who are those glorious saints? They have lived upon earth as we have, they have known our miseries, our difficulties, our struggles. Some of them we recognize easily, for the Church has raised them to the honours of the Altar; but the great majority are entirely unknown to us. They are humble people who lived obscurely in the accomplishment of duty, without display, without renown, whom no one here below remembers, but whom the heavenly Father looked upon, knew in secret, and, having proved their fidelity, called to His glory. The honourable positions occupied by some in this vast gathering, or the mighty deeds accomplished by others, no longer possess any value of themselves: eternal beatitude is not determined by the great things achieved here below. One things only endures, for the humble and the great, the poor and the wealthy: the degree of love they had attained, to which corresponds the degree of glory which now renders them eternally happy. (Ven Gabriel of St Mary Magdalen de Pazzi, OCD)

O blessed souls, who knew so well how to profit by the gifts of God, and to purchase with the precious ransom so delectable and enduring a heritage, tell us how you won through Him such an eternal blessing! Assist us, since you are so near the Fountainhead. Draw water for those of us on earth who are perishing with thirst. Teresa of Jesus, Exclamation of the Soul to God



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Friday, October 17, 2014

Cardinal Pell: Synod says 'no' to secular agenda' - click for link

Although it is not in the scope of this blog, however, I feel strongly like sharing this Youtube video posted yesterday with comments made by Cardinal Pell on the latest summary of Synod's work. Another commentary from Cardinal Sarah of Guinea on the latest events and secular agendas here
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Happy Feast of St Teresa of Jesus to all who care and visit this blog sometimes! - click for link


Quote for this wonderful day: Teresa knew well the continued presence and value of suffering (physical illness, opposition to reform, difficulties in prayer), but she grew to be able to embrace suffering, even desire it: "Lord, either to suffer or to die." Toward the end of her life she exclaimed: "Oh, my Lord! How true it is that whoever works for you is paid in troubles! And what a precious price to those who love you if we understand its value."
(after Saint of the Day)
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Friday, October 03, 2014

Praying the Rosary with St Therese of the Child Jesus and St Teresa of Avila during October, the month of the Most Holy Rosary


Joyful Mysteries
The Annunciation of Our Lord - Humility
Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven (Matt 18:4
Our Father
*
Sanctity is an interior disposition which makes us humble and little in God's arms, conscious of our weakness and trusting even to audacity in the goodness of our Father. 3 Hail Mary
*
Spiritual Childhood also means not to attribute to ourselves the virtues we practice, not to believe that we are capable of anything, but to acknowledge that it is the good Lord who has placed that treasure in the hand of His little child that He may use it when He needs it. 3 Hail Mary
*
Humility is truth. 4 Hail Mary. Glory be. Hail Holy Queen.
(St Therese)
or:
*
It is proper to divine love to lower itself; hence, the loser we are, the more we attract God.
*
We would like never to fail. What an illusion! What does it matter, my Jesus, if I fall at every moment? I come to recognise by it how weak I am and that is gain for me. You see by that how little I am able to do and You will be more likely to carry me in Your arms.
*
If I am humble, I am entitled, without offending the good Lord, to do small foolish things until I die.
*


The Visitation to Elizabeth - Love of Neighbour
You shall love your neighbour as yourself (Mark 12:31)
Our Father
*
I saw some new virtues arise in me...not speaking evil of anyone, no matter how slight, but ordinarily avoiding all fault-finding. I was very much aware that I should not desire to say of another person what I would not want them to say of me. I was extremely cautious about this. 3 Hail Mary
*
If through my intercession I could play a part in getting a soul to love and praise God more, even if it be for just a short time, I think that would matter more to me than being in glory. 3 Hail Mary
*
Whoever fails to love their neighbour, fails to love You, my Lord, since we see You showed the very great love You have for the children of Adam by shedding so much blood. 4 Hail Mary, Glory to be, Hail Holy Queen
(St Teresa)
or:
*
Let us strive always to look at the virtues and good deeds we see in others and cover their defects with the thought of our own great sins.
*
While we live in this mortal life, earthly joys are uncertain, even when they seem to be given by You.ig they are not accompanied by love of neighbour.
*
For at times it happens that some trifle will cause as much suffering to one as a great trial will to another; little things can bring much distress to persons who have sensitive nature. If you are not like them, do not fail to be compassionate.

The Birth of Jesus - Spirit of Poverty
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matt 5:3)
Our Father
*
My way is the way of spiritual childhood. 3 Hail Mary
*
My peace consists in remaining small. 3 Hail Mary
*
The thing that pleases Jesus when He beholds my soul is that I love my littleness and my poverty and have a blind hope in His mercy. 4 Hail Mary, Glory be, Hail Holy Queen.
(St Therese)
or:
*
The God of strength loves to show His power by making use of nothing.
*
It is possible to remain little even when we are charged with the most formidable functions and ...even when we are in extreme old age.
*
Remain always little and poor, in order to expect everything from God.

Presentation in the Temple - Obedience
If you love me, you will keep my commandments - (John 14:15)
Our Father
*
Let Your will be done in me in every way, and may it not please Your Majesty that something as precious as Your love be given to anyone who serves You only for the sake of consolation. 3 Hail Mary
*
We shouldn't care at all about not having devotion - as I have said - but we ought to thank the Lord who allows us to be desirous of pleasing Him, even though our works may be weak. This method of keeping Christ present with us is beneficial in all stages and is a very safe means of advancing. 3 Hail Mary
*
Everything other than pleasing God is nothing. 4 Hail Mary, Glory be, Hail Holy Queen.
(St Teresa)
or:
*
No matter how much I did, I strove that it be done in such a way that it would not displease the One who I clearly saw was witnessing it.
*
Nor does God ever fill anyone who serves Him.
*
The Lord helps those who are resolved to render Him service and glory.

The Finding of the Child Jesus in the Temple - Piety
You...must be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect (Matt 5:48)
Our Father
*
The Way of Spiritual Childhood...is the only means to make rapid progress in love and the only way by which saints are made. 3 Hail Mary
*
Take Jesus by His Heart...It is this way that I took hold of the good Lord and that is why I shall be well received by Him. 3 Hail Mary
*
Practice all the virtues and so always lift up your little foot to mount the ladder of holiness. 4 Hail Mary, Glory be, Hail, Holy Queen
(St Therese)
or:
*
The good Lord does not demand more from you than good will....He looks at you with love. Very soon, won over by your useless efforts, He will come down and take you in His arms. He will carry you up.
*
I know that there are saints who spent their lives practicing extraordinary mortifications,,,but after all, there are many mansions in the house of our heavenly Father. Jesus had told us so and that is why I follow the way He has traced out for me.
*
The best rule is that we should follow what love inspires us to do from moment to moment, with the sole desire of pleasing the good Lord in everything He asks of us.



Glorious Mysteries
The Resurrection of Jesus from the Dead - Faith
Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe (John 20:29)
Our Father
*
The Lord said to me: "Why are you afraid? Do you not know that I am all powerful? I will fulfill what I have promised" 3 Hail Mary
*
 I thought I would be able to serve God much better if I were in good health. This is our mistake: not abandoning ourselves entirely to what the Lord does, for He knows best what is fitting for us. 3 Hail Mary
*
I often thought that St Peter didn't lose anything when he threw himself into the sea, even though he grew frightened afterward. These first acts of determination are very important. 4 Hail Mary. Glory be. Hail, Holy Queen.
(St Teresa, Collected Works)
alternative quotations:
*
*Let us believe that all is  for our own greater good. Let His Majesty lead the way along the path He desires. We belong no longer to ourselves but to Him.
*
God's words cannot fail.
*
God always understand us and is with us. There is no doubt about this understanding and presence...He wants to begin to work in the soul in a special way. 
*
I write this for the consolation of weak souls like myself that they might never despair or fail to trust in the greatness of God.
*
The Lord helps us, strengthen us, and never fails; He is a true friend.
*
He shows no partiality, He loves everyone.

Ascension of Jesus into Heaven - Hope
Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you (Luke 11:9) Our Father
*
We never have too much confidence in the good Lord who is so powerful and merciful. We obtain from Him as much as we hope for. 3 Hail Mary
*
In order to remain a little child, we must expect everything fro our Good Lord, as a child expects everything from his father, without worrying about anything. 3 Hail Mary
*
When I fall on the road I can quickly rise again and Jesus takes me by the hand. 4 Hail Mary, Glory be, Hail, Holy Queen.
St Therese, various sources.
alternative quotations:
*
It is confidence and confidence alone that should lead us to Love.
*
Justice itself, amd justice even more than any other divine perfection, seems to me to be clothed in love.
*
That justice which frightens so many souls is for me a source of joy and confidence. To be just means more than to be severe in punishing the guilty. It takes account of right intentions and wishes to reward virtue. 
or:
Abandon yourself with absolute confidence to His infinite mercy.
*
He measures His gifts according to the amounts of confidence He finds us.
*
Jesus does not wish to give me provisions for the future. He feeds me from the moment to moment.
*
The whole of nature, in fact, enchanted me and raised my soul towards Heaven.

The Descent of the Holy Spirit - Love of God
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength (Mark 12:30) Our Father
*
Prayer is and exercise of love. 3 Hail Mary
I liked images so much. Unfortunate are those who through their own fault lose this great good. It indeed appears that they do not love the Lord, for if they loved Him they would rejoice to see a portrait of Him, just as here on earth it really gives joy to see one whom you deeply love. 3 Hail Mary
*
The love of God does not consists in tears or in this delight and tenderness, which for the greater part we desire and find consolation in; but it consists in serving with justice and fortitude of soul and in humility. Without such service it seems to me we would be receiving everything and giving nothing. 3 Hail Mary
*
It is very obvious that we love others more when we often recall the good works they do for us....Keep always in mind that we have our being from God, that He created us from nothing and sustains us, and all the other benefits flowing from His death and trials. 4 Hail Mary, Glory be, Hail Holy Queen.
St Teresa
or:
*
What a charming way to seek the love of God!
*
The perfect attainment of this true love of God brings with it every blessing....There is nothing on earth with which one can buy so wonderful a blessing.
*
The soul is therefore neither content with nor desirous of the world's satisfactions, because it has in itself what pleases it more...a desire to enjoy Him more and to be with Him. Being with Him is what it wants.
*Virtue always inspires love.
*
The Lord goes to in search of those who do love Him so as to give more to them.
*
Come to love a goodness so perfect and a mercy so unmeasurable.

Assumption of Mary into Heaven - Desire for Heaven
Come, O blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world (Matt 25:34) Our Father
I will spend my heaven in doing good upon earth. Why not, since the Angels can take care of us while still enjoying the Beatific Visions? 3 Hail Mary
*
If my wishes are granted, my heaven will be spent on earth until the end of the world. 3 Hail Mary
*
When the Angel shall have said "time is no more" then will I rest. I shall then be able to rejoice because the number of the elect will be complete and all shall have entered into joy and repose. 4 Hail Mary, Glory be, Hail Holy Queen.
St Therese
or:
*
I feel always the same audacious confidence that I will become a great saint, for I do not count on my own merits since I have none, but I hope in Him.
*
It is He and He alone who, being satisfied with my feeble efforts, will raise me to Himself and, covering me with His infinite merits, will make me a saint.
*
If we abandon ourselves, and place our confidence in God, while making every small effort and hoping everything from His mercy, we shall be rewarded as much as the greatest saints. 
*
One glance, one moment of His Heart can cause His flower to open out for all eternity.
*
If it is necessary to suffer and weep in order to reach heaven, I want to suffer whatever may please Jesus.
*
Eternal reward has no proportion to our small sacrifices in this life.

The Crowning of Mary Queen of Heaven and Earth - Devotion to Mary
Behold, your Mother (John 19:27) Our Father
*
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. 3 Hail Mary
*
I remember that when my mother died I was twelve years old...When I began to understand what I had lost, I went, afflicted, before an image of our Lady and besought her with many tears to be my mother. It seems to me that although I did this in simplicity it helped me. 3 Hail Mary
*
I have found favour wuth this souvereign Virgin in everything I have asked of her, and in the end she has drawn me to herself. 4 Hail Mary, Glory be, Hail Holy Queen
or:
*
To see a work accomplished that I knew was for the service of the Lord and to the honour of the habit of His glorious Mother - these were my concerns.
*
I prayed very much to St Joseph, as I did also to our Lady.
*
I saw our Lady in the greatest glory clothed in a white mantle; it seemed she was sheltering us all under it. I understood how high degree of glory the Lord would give to those living in this house.
*
He told me: 'I gave my Son, and the Holy Spirit, and this Blessed Virgin. What can you give Me?
*
He showed me His Mother ascend to heaven, the happiness and solemnity with which she was received, and the place where she is....The glory my spirit experienced in seeing so much glory was magnificent. The effects of this favour were great.
*
On another day the Lord told me this: 'Do you think, daughter, that merit lies in enjoyment? No, rather it lies in working and suffering and loving...When you see My Mother holding Me in her arms, don't think she enjoyed those consolations without heavy torment. From the time Simeon spoke those words to her, My Father gave her clear light to see what I was to suffer.
*

Sorrowful Mysteries
The Agony of Jesus in the Garden - Sorrow for sin
The cares of the world, and the delight in riches, and the desire for other things, enter in and choke the word, and it proves unfruitful (Mark 4:19)
Our Father.
*
Many times the feeling of my great faults is tempered by the happiness experienced in the thought that the multitude of Your mercies may be known. 3 Hail Mary
*
I found great consolation in sinners whom, after having been sinners, the Lord brought back to Himself. It seemed to me I could find help in them and that since the Lord had pardoned them He could also pardon me. 3 Hail Mary
*
Oh, what a good friend You make, my Lord! How you proceed by favouring and enduring...You take into account, my Lord, the times when they love You, and in one instant of repentance You forget their offences. 4 Hail Mary. Glory be.
(St Teresa Collected Works)
or:
*
The scene of His prayer in the garden, especially, was a comfort to me: I strove to be His companion there. If I could, I thought of the sweat and agony He had undergone in that place...I remained with Him as long as my thought allowed me to.
*
Where, my Lord, did I think I could find a remedy save in You? What folly; to flee from the light so as to be always stumbling!
*
Where, my Lord, did I think I could find a remedy save in You? What a folly; to flee from the light so as to be always stumbling!

The Scourging at the Pillar - Purity
Clean the inside of cup and dish so that the outside may become clean as well (Matthew 23:26). 
Our Father
*
Jesus is pleased to teach [me] the science of glorying in [my] infirmities. That is a great grace and I pray Jesus to teach it also to you, for there alone are found peace and repose of heart. 3 Hail Mary
*
Why should we defend ourselves when we are misunderstood and misjudged? Let us leave that aside. Let us not say anything....O blessed silence, which gives so much peace to the soul. 3 Hail Mary
*
I prefer to be accused unjustly...and joyfully offer this to the good Lord. Then I humble myself at the thought that I am indeed capable of doing the thing of which I have been accused. 4 Hail Mary. Glory be.
(St Therese, various sources)
or:
*
In the hidden struggle of interior resurrection, nature cannot get such a hold on us and we can more easily attain humility and peace.
*
When something was wanting I was much more satisfied, because I was then truly giving up something.
*
It suffices that we refrain from indulging in a selfish sort of happiness, and offer to our Spouse the small joys He strews on the path of our life to delight our souls and raise them even to Himself. 

The Crowning with Thorns - Courage
Courage! It is I! Do not be afraid (Matthew 14:27
Our Father
*
I don't understand these fears, "The devil! The devil!", when we can say "God! God!", and make the devil tremble. 3 Hail Mary
*
I would never counsel anyone - if there were someone to whom I should have to give counsel - to fail out of fear to put a good inspiration into practice when it repeatedly arises. For if one proceeds with detachment for God alone, there is no reason to fear that the effort will turn out bad; for God has the power to accomplish all. 3 Hail Mary
*
His Majesty wants this determination, and He is a friend of courageous souls if they walk in humility and without trusting in self. 4 Hail Mary. Glory be.
(St Teresa of Avila, Collected works)
or:
*
By understanding the love He bore me, I regained my courage, for I never lost confidence in His mercy.
*
God does not deny Himself to anyone who perseveres. Little by little He will measure out the courage sufficient to attain this victory. I say 'courage' because there are so many things the devil puts in the minds of beginners to prevent them in fact from starting out on this path.
*
Since we have an all-powerful King and so great a Lord that He can do all and that He brings all under His subjection, there is nothing to fear, if one walks, as I have said, in truth in the presence of His Majesty and with a pure conscience.

The Carrying of the Cross - Patience
As for the seeds in the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience (Luke 8:15). Our Father.
*
The glory of my Jesus, that is all. For my honour, I abandon it to Him, and if He seems to forget me, well! He is free to do so, for I no longer belong to myself but to Him. 3 Hail Mary
*
He will tire more quickly of making me wait than I shall tire of waiting for Him. 3 Hail Mary
*
To humble ourselves, to suffer our imperfections with patience, this is true sanctity, the source of peace. 4 Hail Mary, Glory be.
(St Therese)
or:
*
God's mercy exercises endless patience.
*
I am willing to wait until the day which has no setting sun, and when my darksome faith will vanish at His sight.
*
In one instance Jesus accomplished what I had been unable to do for several years, having been content, on my part, with my good will, which had never been wanting.


The Crucifixion - Self-Denial
If any man come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me (Luke 9:23). Our Father.
*
Even in sickness itself and these other occasions the prayer is genuine when i comes from a soul that loves to offer the sickness up and accept what is happening and be conformed to it. 3 Hail Mary
*
All bear their crosses even though these crosses be different. For all who follow Christ, if they don't want to get lost, must walk along the path that He trod. And blessed be the trials that even here in this life are so super-abundantly repaid. 3 Hail Mary
*
There are many who begin, yet they never reach the end. I believe this is due mainly to a failure to embrace the cross from the beginning. 4 Hail Mary, Glory be.
 (St Teresa)
or:
*
If people wish to gain freedom of spirit and not be always troubled, let them begin by not being frightened by the cross, and they will see how the Lord also helps them carry it and they will gain satisfaction and profit from everything.



All quotation after John McClernon 'Sermon in a Sentence' books.



















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Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Rosary with St Therese, click to pray



The Divine Dew
Thou art the Flower with petals still unclosed;
I gaze upon Thy beauty undefiled.
Thou art the Rose of Sharon long foretold,
Still in Thy glorious bud, Thou heavenly Child!
Thy dearest Mother's arms, so pure and white,
Form for Thee now a royal cradle throne;
Thy morning sun is Mary's bosom bright,
Thy sunlit dew her virginal milk, my Own!
Ah, little Brother, shielded safe from harms,
In Thy deep eyes Thy future clear I see,­
Soon Thou wilt leave for us Thy Mother's arms;
E'en now to suffer, Love is urging Thee.
And round Thy very Cross, Thou fading Flower,
Still clings the fragrance of Thy cradle throne;
I recognize the pearls of Thy first hour:
This Blood drew life from Mary's milk, my Own.
Those pearly dews on all our altars rest;
The angels fain would slake their thirst thereby,
Offering to God these words, forever blest:
"Behold the Lamb," St John's adoring cry.
Yes, see the Word, made Bread for famished men,
The Eternal Priest, the Lamb on altar throne!
Since God's own Son is Mary's Son, all, then,
This Bread drew life from Mary's milk, my Own!
On love divine, on joy, on glory's light,
The seraphs feast with rapture ever new;
I, a frail child, in the ciborium bright
See but a milk white Host, like pearly dew.
And since 'tis milk that suits with childhood most,
And Thou art Love Itself upon Thy throne,
So, tender Love, in my white daily Host
I see Thy Mother's virginal milk, my Own!

(St Therese, Poems)

credit: 'A Moment with Mary' 




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Friday, August 15, 2014

Assumption of Our Lady


"The Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the oldest Marian Feast, returns every year in the heart of summer. It is an opportunity to rise with Mary to the heights of the spirit where one breathes the pure air of supernatural life and contemplates the most authentic beauty, the beauty of holiness. The atmosphere of today’s celebration is steeped in paschal joy. “Today”, the antiphon of the Magnificat says, “the Virgin Mary was taken up to Heaven. Rejoice, for she reigns with Christ for ever. Alleluia”. This proclamation speaks to us of an event that is utterly unique and extraordinary, yet destined to fill the heart of every human being with hope and happiness. Mary is indeed the first fruit of the new humanity, the creature in whom the mystery of Christ – his Incarnation, death, Resurrection and Ascension into Heaven – has already fully taken effect, redeeming her from death and conveying her, body and soul, to the Kingdom of immortal life. For this reason, as the Second Vatican Council recalls, the Virgin Mary is a sign of certain hope and comfort to us (cf. Lumen Gentium, n. 68). Today’s feast impels us to lift our gaze to Heaven; not to a heaven consisting of abstract ideas or even an imaginary heaven created by art, but the Heaven of true reality which is God himself. God is Heaven. He is our destination, the destination and the eternal dwelling place from which we come and for which we are striving." (Pope Benedict XVI, Homily on the Feast of Assumption, 2008)

"It is true that Our Lady is Queen of Heaven and earth, but at the same time she is more Mother than Queen. One should not think of her (as I have often heard it said) eclipsing the glory of all the Saints, as the rising sun makes the stars disappear. That would be a very strange thing, for a mother to overshadow the glory of her children. On the contrary, I believe that she will add splendour to the glory of the Saints (St Therese, Novissima Verba)


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Saturday, August 09, 2014

St Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, Memorial



Prayers
I will go unto the altar of God. It is not myself and my tiny little affairs that matter here, but the great sacrifice of atonement. I surrender myself entirely to Your divine will, O Lord. Make my heart grow greater and wider, out of itself into the Divine Life. (after God Alone and I: Carmelite Meditations)

How wondrous are the marvels of your love,
We are amazed, we stammer and grow dumb,
For word and spirit fail us (after An Edith Stein Daybook)


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Friday, August 01, 2014


The reprints of out of print Carmelite books are offered (free postage Australia wide) and if you are interested please contact 'Treasure of Carmel Publication, 13 Jonathon Street, Bowral NSW 2576, treasureofcarmel@iprimus.com.au

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel



All who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart (Luke 2: 18-19)

Close to you, Oh my loving Mother, I have found rest for my heart. I want nothing more on earth. If, at times, i feel sadness, if fear assails me, always, by supporting my weakness, Mother, you have deemed to bless me. (St Therese, Poems)

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Monday, July 07, 2014

Novena to Our Lady of Mt Carmel starts today




Efficacious Novena Prayer to Our Lady of Mt Carmel, long version

EWTN Novena to Our Lady of Mt Carmel, short version

OCARM Novena version

"Those who wear the scapular, profess to belong to Our Lady." said Pius XII. Because we belong to Mary she takes special care of our souls. One who belongs to her cannot be lost or be touched by eternal fire. Her powerful maternal intercession gives her the right to repeat, for her children, the words of Jesus: "Holy Father...those whom Thou gavest Me have I kept; and none of them is lost" (Jn 17:12)

Devotion to our Lady of Mount Carmel indicates a strong call to the interior life, which, in a very special way, is Mary's life. The Blessed Virgin Mary wants us to resemble her in heart and mind much more than in externals....the grace produced in Mary's soul a very rich interior life; a life of recollection, prayer, uninterrupted giving of herself to God, and of constant contact and intimate union with Him. Mary's soul is a sanctuary reserved for God alone...here reign love and zeal for the glory of God and the salvation of men.
Those who wish to live truly devoted to our Lady of Mount Carmel, must follow Mary into the depths of the interior life. Carmel is the symbol of the contemplative life, of life wholly consecrated to seeking God and tending wholly toward divine intimacy; and she who best realizes this very high ideal is Mary, Queen, Beauty of Carmel. "Judgment shall dwell in the wilderness and justice shall sit in Carmel. And the work of justice shall be peace, and the service of justice quietness and security forever. And my people shall sit in the beauty of peace, and in the tabernacles of confidence" (Isa 32: 16-18)

"O Mary, flower of Carmel, fruitful vine, splendor of heaven, who brought forth the Son of God yet remained a Virgin, sweet and Immaculate Mother, grant the favours your children implore, O Star of the sea" (St Simon Stock)

Text based on "Divine Intimacy" by Ven Gabriel of St Mary Magdalene, OCD






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Sunday, June 29, 2014

Saints Peter and Paul, Apostles


How did Jesus love his disciples and why did He love them? It wasn't their human qualities that attracted Him; an infinite distance existed between them. He was knowledge, Eternal Wisdom; they were poor sinners - ignorant, filled with wordly thoughts. yet, Jesus calls them His friends, His brothers. He wants to open His Father's kingdom for them and see them reign with Him in this kingdom. He wants to die on a cross [for them] because He said: "There is no graeter love than to give one's life for those we love" (St Therese)

Juan Fernandez de Navarrete, St Peter and Paul
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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Most Sacred Heart Solemnity



St Teresa Margaret Redi, Carmelite nun best known for her devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus wrote during her spiritual exercises in 1768: "My God, I only wish to become a perfect copy of Thee, nothing else. Because Thy life was a hidden one of humility, love and sacrifice, so must mine be, since Thou knowest that I desire nothing else but to become a victim of the Sacred Heart entirely consumed in the fire of Thy Divine Love"
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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Birth of St John the Baptist

..they[]made signs to his father to find out what he wanted him called. The father asked for a writing tablet and wrote, "His name is John"(Lk 1:62-63). 

I asked myself what name I would have at Carmel. I knew that there was a sister Therese of Jesus there; yet, my pretty name "Therese" could not be taken away from me. All at once, I thought of the little Jesus who I loved so much and I said to myself: "Oh how happy I would be to call myself Therese of the Child Jesus" (The Story of the Soul) 

The picture represents masterpiece of Tinotretto 'The Birth of St John the Baptist'
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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Most Holy Trinity

Luca Rossetti, Holy Trinity

How rich are the depths of God – how deep his wisdom and knowledge – and how impossible to penetrate his motives or understand his methods! Who could ever know the mind of the Lord? Who could ever be his counsellor? Who could ever give him anything or lend him anything? All that exists comes from him; all is by him and for him. To him be glory for ever! (Rom. 11:33-36)

"O my God whom I adore; help me to forget myself entirely That I may be established in you as still and as peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity. May nothing trouble my peace or make me leave you, O my Unchanging One, but may each minute carry me further into depths of your mystery. Give peace to my soul; make it your heaven, your beloved dwelling and your resting place. May I never leave you there alone but be wholly present, my faith wholly vigilant, wholly adoring, and wholly surrendered to your creative Action. O my beloved Christ, crucified by love, I wish to be a bride for your Heart; I wish to cover you with glory; I wish to love you...even unto death! But I feel my weakness, and I ask you to 'clothe me with yourself', to identify my soul with all the movements of your Soul, to overwhelm me, to possess me, to substitute yourself for me that my life may be a radiance of your Life. Come into me as Adorer, as Restorer, as Saviour. O Eternal Word, Word of my God, I want to spend my life in listening to you, to become wholly teachable that I may learn all from you. Then, through all nights, all voids, all helplessness, I want to gaze on you always and remain in your great light. O my beloved Star, so fascinate me that I may not withdraw from your radiance. O consuming Fire, Spirit of Love, 'come upon me', and create in my soul a kind of incarnation f the Word; that I may be another humanity for him in which he can renew his whole Mystery, And you, O Father, bend lovingly over your poor little creature; 'cover her with your shadow', seeing in her only the 'Beloved' in whom you are well pleased'. O my Three, my All, me Beatitude, infinite Solitude, Immensity in which I lose myself to you as your prey. Bury yourself in me that I may bury myself in you until I depart to contemplate in your light the abyss of your greatness'" 
Bl Elizabeth of the Trinity, Prayer.




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Sunday, June 08, 2014

PENTECOST


In the evening of the first day of the week, the doors were closed in the room where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews. Jesus came and stood among them. He said to them, "Peace be with you", and showed them his hands and his side. The disciples were filled with joy when they saw the Lord, and he said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father sent me, so am I sending you". After saying this he breathed on them and said: "Receive the Holy Spirit. For those whose sins you forgive, they are forgiven; for those whose sins you retain, they are retained." (St John 20-19-23)

In the heaven of her soul, the praise of glory has already begun her work of eternity. Her song is uninterrupted, for she is under the action of the Holy Spirit, who effects everything in her; and although she is not always aware of it, for the weakness of nature does not allow her to be established in God without distractions, she always sings, she always adores, for she has so to speak, wholly passed into praise and love in her passion for the glory of her God. In the heaven of our soul let us be praises of love of our Immaculate Mother. One day the veil will fall, we will be introduced into the eternal courts, and there we will sing in the bosom of infinite Love. And God will give us "the new name promised to the Victor." What will it be? 

LAUDEM GLORIAE

(Bl Elizabeth of the Trinity "Heaven in Faith", Tenth Day)



PENTECOST
With your pure and burning flames,
Holy Spirit, deign to enkindle my soul;
Consume it with divine love,
O you whom I invoke each day!

Spirit of God, brilliant light,
You fill me with your favours,
You inundate me with your sweetness
Burn, annihilate me completely!

You give me my vocation,
Oh, lead me then to this intimate,
Interior union, to this life
Wholly in God, which is my desire,

May my hope be in Jesus alone,
And while living in the midst of this world,
May I long for, may I see only Him,
Him, my Love, my divine Friend!

Holy Spirit, Goodness, supreme Beauty!
O you whom I adore, you whom I love!
Consume with your divine flames,
This body and this heart and this soul!
This bride of the Trinity
Who desires only to do your will!
(Bl Elizabeth of the Trinity, 'Poems')

O my God, I want to work for Your glory and for that I must be wholly filled with You and You are love. Then I shall be all-powerful. A look, a desire will become a prayer that cannot be resisted and that can obtain everything. Apostle, Carmelite, it is all one! (Bl Elizabeth of the Trinity, after Carmelite Meditation, Flemington Carmel)

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



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