Wednesday, November 08, 2017



Remain in me (Jn 15:4). It is the Word of God who gives this order, expresses this wish. Remain in Me, not for a few moments, a few hours which must pass away, habitually, Remain in Me, pray in Me, adore in Me, love in Me, suffer in Me, work and act in Me. Remain in Me, so that you may be able to encounter anyone or anything; penetrate further still into these depths. This is truly the 'solitude into which God wants to allure the soul that He may speak to it.' as the prophet sang (Hos 2:14).
In order to understand this very mysterious saying, we must not, so to speak, stop at the surface, but enter ever deeper into the divine Being through recollection. 'I pursue my course.' (Ph 3:12) exclaimed St Paul; so must we descend daily this pathway of the Abyss (Ruysbroeck 52-53), which is God; let us slide down this slope (Ru, 52) in wholly loving confidence, "Abyss calls to abyss". It is there in the very depths that the divine impact takes place (Ru 40), where the abyss of our nothingness encounters the Abyss of mercy (Ru 2), the immensity of the all of God (todo of God of John of the Cross face to face with the 'nada' - our nothingness - of man). There we will find the strength to die to ourselves and, losing all vestige of self, we will be changed into love...."Blessed are those who die in the Lord"(Ap 14:13)
(Bl Elizabeth of the Trinity 'Haeven in Faith, First Day, Prayer 2). 

"Father, I will that where I am they also whom You have given Me may be with Me, in order that they may behold My glory which You have Me, because You have loved Me before the creation of the world" (John 17:24). Such is Christ's last wish, His supreme prayer before returning to His Father, He wills that where He is we should be also, not only for eternity, but already in time, which is eternity begun and still in progress. It is important then to know where we must live with Him in order to realize His divine dream. "The place where the Son of God is hidden is the bosom of the Father, or the divine Essence, invisible to every mortal eye, unattainable by every human intellect,"(St John of the Cross, St 1:3) as Isaiah said: "Truly You are a hidden God" (Is 45:15). And yet His will is that we should be established in Him, that we should be, so to speak, His own shadow (Ru 81).

By baptism , says St Paul, we have been united to Jesus Christ (Rom 6:4-5). And again: "God seated us together in Heaven in Christ Jesus, that He might show in the ages to come the riches of His grace" (Eph 2:6-7). And further on: "You are no longer guests or strangers, but you belong to the City of saints and the House of God." (Eph 2:19). The Trinity - this is our dwelling, our "home", the Father's house that we must never leave. The Master said one day: "The slave does not remain with the household forever, but the son remains there forever (John 8:35).

"As long as our will has fancies that are foreign to divine union, whims that are now yes, now no, we are like children; we do not advance with giant steps in love for fire has not yet burnt up all the alloy; the gold is not pure; we are still seeking ourselves; God has not consumed "all our hostility to Him. But when the boiling cauldron has consumed every imperfect love, every imperfect sorrow, every imperfect fear," "then love is perfect and the golden ring of our alliance is larger than Heaven and earth. This is the secret cellar in which love places his elect," this "love leads us by ways and paths known to him alone; and he leads us with no turning back, for we will not retrace our steps." (Spiritual Canticle 439). (Bl Elizabeth Second Day, Prayer 2).

The same saint (St John of the Cross) also says that "God is the center of the soul". So when the soul with all "its" strength will know God perfectly, love and enjoy Him fully, then it will have reached the deepest center that can be attained in Him". Before attaining this, the soul is already "in God who is the center," "but it is not yet in its deepest center, for it can still go further. Since love is what unites us to God, the more intense this love is, the more deeply the soul enters into God and the more it is centered in Him. When it "possesses even one degree of love it is already in its center"; but when this love has attained its perfection, the soul will have penetrated into the deepest center. There willl be transformed to the point of becoming very like God." (St John of the Cross, The living Flame of Love). To this soul living within can be addressed the words of Pere Lacordaire to St Mary Magdalene: No longer ask for the Master among those on earth or in Heaven, for He is your soul and your soul is He." (Second Day, Prayer 1).




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Thursday, September 14, 2017

Exaltation of the Holy Cross

                                                  'Finding of the Holy Cross', Bartel Beham

"Hail, Cross our only hope"! - this is what the holy church summoned us to exclaim during the time for contemplating the bitter suffering of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The jubilant exclamation of the Easter Alleluia silenced the serious sing of the Cross. But the sign of our salvation greeted us amid the time of Easter joy, since we were recalling the discovery of the One who had passed from sight. At the end of the cycle of ecclesiastical feasts, the cross greet us through the heart of the Saviour. And now, as the church year draws towards an end, it is raised high before us and is to hold us spell bound until Easter Alleluia summons us anew to forget the earth for a while and rejoice in the marriage of the Lamb. 
                                 Edith Stein, 'The Hidden Life', fragment from "1939 - Ave Crux, Spes Unica"



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Sunday, July 16, 2017

Feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel

OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL, PRAY FOR US


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


St Therese of the Child Jesus.

Short biography

But good Blessed Virgin, it seems to me that I am more fortunate than you, for I have you for Mother and you have no Blessed Virgin to love. Jesus on the Cross gave you to us for our Mother, so we are richer than you, since we possess Jesus and you are ours as well.

***

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

St Elizabeth of the Trinity
short biography

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

***

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

***

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

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Novena to the Sacred Heart of Jesus starts today - click to pray


St John of the Cross in the Canticle of Canticles says: 'Arise, and make haste, my love, my fair one, and come into the clefts of the rock, and into the cavern of the enclosure" (Spiritual Canticle 31:5). And St Teresa Margaret of the Heart of Jesus wrote in her resolutions: My God, I wish to enclose myself in Your most loving Heart as in a desert, to live there in You, with You, and for You, a hidden life of love and sacrifice" (Spirituality Of St Teresa Margaret Redi)


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