Day of Gladness and Joy

Resurrection, art by Albert Pinkham


How beautiful is this feast of Easter! And how beautiful our assembly! This day contains so many mysteries, both old and new! During this week of feasting or, rather, of happiness, people are rejoicing all over the world and even the powers of heaven unite themselves with us in joyful celebration of the Lord’s resurrection. Angels and Archangels are exultant as they wait for the heavenly King, Christ our God, to return victorious over the earth; the choirs of saints exult as they sing of “he who rose before the dawn”, the Christ (cf. Ps 110[109]:3). Earth exults, for the blood of a God has washed it. The sea exults, for the footsteps of our Lord have honored it. May every person born again of water and the Holy Spirit, exult. May Adam, the first of men, now freed from the ancient curse, exult (…) Christ’s resurrection has not only inaugurated this holy feast but, still more, has won for us salvation instead of suffering, immortality in place of death, healing instead of wounds, resurrection instead of decline. In former times the Passover mystery was carried out in Egypt according to the ritual prescribed by the Law: the sacrifice of the lamb was no more than a sign. But today we celebrate a spiritual Passover according to the Gospel: the day of resurrection. Then it was a lamb taken from the flock that was sacrificed (…); now Christ in person offers himself as lamb of God. Then it was an animal from the sheepfold; now, not just a lamb but the shepherd himself lays down his life for his sheep (Jn 10:11) (…) Then the Hebrews crossed the Red Sea and sang a hymn of victory in honor of their deliverer: “Let us sing to the Lord; he has covered himself in glory” (Ex 15:10). Now, all those accounted worthy of baptism sing this victory song in their hearts: “You alone are holy, you alone are God, Jesus Christ, in the glory of God the Father. Amen”.

~ Saint Proclus of Constantinople (c.390-446)

Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alelluia!

Wishing you all a very Happy and Blessed Easter!

Maundy Thursday

Gethsemane, art by Julia Stankova

Here is the source of every sacrament,

The all-transforming presence of the Lord,

Replenishing our every element

Remaking us in his creative Word.

For here the earth herself gives bread and wine,

The air delights to bear his Spirit’s speech,

The fire dances where the candles shine,

The waters cleanse us with His gentle touch.

And here He shows the full extent of love

To us whose love is always incomplete,

In vain we search the heavens high above,

The God of love is kneeling at our feet.

Though we betray Him, though it is the night.

He meets us here and loves us into light.

~ A poem by Malcolm Guite

Saint Joseph

Art Source Unknown

When the tools are put in their places and the day’s work is done,
When between Carmel and the Jordan, Israel falls asleep in the wheatfields and the night,
As when he was once a young boy ant it began to get too dark for reading,
Joseph enters with a deep sight into conversation with God.
He preferred Widson and she had been brought to him for marriage.
He is as silent as the earth when the dew rises,
He feels the fullness of night, and he is at ease with joy and with truth.
Mary is in his possession and he surrounds her on all sides.
It is not in a single day he learned how not to be alone any more.
A woman won over each part of his heart which is now prudent and fatherly.
Again he is in Paradise with Eve !
The face which all men need turns with love and submission toward Joseph.
It is no longer the same prayer and no longer the ancient waiting since he has felt
Like an arm suddenly without hate the pressure of his profound and innocent being.
It is no longer bare Faith in the night, it is love explaining and working.
Joseph is with Mary and Mary is with the Father.


~ A poem by Paul Claudel

Happy and Blessed Solemnity of Saint Joseph!

Christmas

El Sueño del Niño, Barroco Cusqueño siglo XVIII

I saw a Child stand,
Royally bedecked
In crown, scepter,
And finely wrought white garments,
And a crimson cloak.
I saw a Child.
And suddenly I knew
The secret of all mystery,
And of all immensity!

Eternity opened
Its sublimity to me.
I looked into
The Face of Ecstasy.
For hidden there
Before my eyes
Was Love
Become a Child
For love of me!

I knelt
Before His smallness,
And knew
I grew.
There before me
Stood the Infant,
Aged a year or two.
And kneeling made me
As small as He.

Child, Man, and Host!
The secret of all mystery
Began with the Infant,
Grew with the Man,
And reached the infinity
Of sublimity
In the smallest of
All things sublime —
A Host!

I saw a Child
And He gave me the key
That opens the Heart
Of Him- Who – Is;
Whom I can please
If I repeat the Child’s way:
Grow small,
Quite small.

Then I will be so very big
That I will reach
My Father’s hand
And understand
What it means to be
Absorbed
And hidden
In the Lord of Hosts,
A host myself
Annihilated
Unto death to self;
A piece of bread
To be eaten up

With zeal and love
For Him
The Child.

~ A poem by Catherine De Hueck Doherty


Being Christ-Centered



Throughout this beautiful season, I am praying for you. I pray that the Infant may touch your heart and mind and soul with His tiny hands. I pray that He may open you to His own beauty, and to realize that He needs you in His Mystical Body!

I pray that you might begin to be Christ-centered, not self-centered. Yes, this is my prayer for you—that you become Christ-centered, Love-centered! It is tragic to behold a world that ‘makes Christ wait’ to receive our love. It is even more tragic to behold dedicated Christians—those especially chosen by His love—making Him wait.

But when all is said and done, I must come back to this one sentence of John the Beloved: “Little children, let us love one another.”
I have nothing else to say, really; Love is the very essence of our religion, our faith.


~ A meditation by Catherine De Hueck Doherty

Wishing you all a very blessed Christmastide and a New Year 2021
filled with Christ love, good health in body and spirit, peace and unity!


To Love

Art Source Unknown

Today, November 14th the Church celebrates All Carmelite Saints. As a Lay Carmelite I considered all those saintly men and women in Carmel my family and my friends. They are mentors in my journey, intercessors, soul friends. I feel their presence in my daily life. I pray to them. I read their writings and learn so much about this great gift of spirituality which is Carmel and contains treasures of everlasting rivers of fresh and living water that satisfy our souls. I’m eternally grateful for their love, for their exemplary lives and for their intercessions not only to our Carmelite family but to the whole world.

Beloved Saints of Carmel, pray for us!


To Love

My Sisters, I’m from Bethany
Where I met the Lord.
Sister Agnes, who had followed me,

Felt the melting of the heart.
Yes, it was truly ineffable

To prepare a feast for Him,
While that adorable Master

We offered a divine meal.
“It was the banquet of love”

Where Jesus gives himself,
Because his good always prevails

The soul who seeks it and who loves it:
In the measure of his faith

She reaches the Sovereign King.

To love, for a Carmelite,
Is to surrender like Jesus

A true love never hesitates,
It wishes to give always more and more.
Let us be a faithful image

Of our Bridegroom sacrifices,
Retrace in us the model

Of this divine Crucified One.
Looking at him night and day

Let’s climb the austere mountain,
It is the home of Love,
His palace and his sanctuary.
In this mysterious temple

Sacrifice ourselves with a happy heart.

To love is to forget oneself
Like the Angel of Lisieux
To become lost in the one we love
And be consumed in his fires.
Sister Thérèse knew how to understand
In its great simplicity
This call so strong and so tender “Stay in my charity”
“I love both the night and the day”
Such was the divine song

From the victim of love To Jesus,
his mystic Bridegroom.
“My vocation is love…”
“I love both night and day.”

To love is,
like Magdalene
Never to leave the Lord
But to stand in full peace
At the feet of this divine Saviour.
She listened in silence “The word He told him.”
Better to savour his presence
Oh, everything in her was silent.
His soul finally took hold

Jesus the One Necessary.
Before this divine Being
All the earth vanished.
Buried in his love

She surrendered without return.

To love is to be apostolic

Zealous for the honour of the living God
It is truly the ancient heritage
That the great seer left us.
Collected by St. Thérèse
Who gave it to us in turn.
Carmel became the furnace,
The home of divine Love.
Our saints had understood it so well…
As they were enflaming souls!
All in them gave Jesus Christ
By radiating his bright flames.
My Sisters, let’s be real Apostles of Charity.

To love is to imitate Mary
Exalting in God’s greatness
While her soul delighted
Sang her song to the Lord.
Your centre, o faithful Virgin,
Was the annihilation,

For Jesus, everlasting splendour,
Hides in abasement.
It’s always through humility

May your soul magnify him.
The Apostle in his infirmity Cried out,
“I boast In the strength of the Redeemer

Living and triumphant in my heart.”  

To love is to testify

To our Christ, to our King;
And give our life as a pledge
To better affirm our faith.
Like our sixteen blessed,
May we shed our blood
Singing in our happy souls
A hymn all grateful.
Truth, speaking one day

Says this supreme word:
“The greatest proof of love

Is to die for the One we love.”
O my Sisters,

“let us die every day”
To make Him love for love.

“To the praise of his glory”
Let us sacrifice ourselves always
Because to win the victory

God claims our help.
Let us imitate our revered mothers
In their zeal and fervor.
We will come out of our miseries
And our King will be victorious.
We will redouble fidelity
For this plan to be realized.
By our generosity
We will help the Holy Church

And we will see love reigning,
A foretaste of the divine abode.

~Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity Poetry

“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

A Blessed Feast Day of All Carmelite Saints!
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The Cloister of the Heart

Jesus, Art by Amy Mc Cutcheon

Everything leads us to the love of Our Lord.
All things nourish and feed this love;
All things cherish and make it our joy;
It lives on our desires and satisfies them;
It lives on our sorrows and consoles them;
It lives on our sufferings and rewards them;
It lives on our sacrifices and makes them infinitely precious;
It lives on our pleasures and adds to them;
It lives on our hopes and fulfils them:
And in a word it will create our happiness
Now and for ever.

To LOVE, nothing will seem impossible, nay more, nothing will be impossible. You cannot restrain love; it is irresistible, mounts every barrier, triumphs over ever difficulty, laughs at every obstacle. This supernatural love-life is the only real life. Yes, this Interior Life lived with Jesus, our attachment to and union with Him, and through Him with the Father and the Holy Ghost, this IS life, OUR life, the only things to live for, without which all else is dead, and worthless and meaningless.

The one sure cloister is the cloister of the heart, where Jesus and the soul live their love-life together, untroubled and undisturbed by all the riot and tumult of the world without; with every movement of memory, mind, and imagination stilled, every desire quelled, there in that silent cloister of the heart the soul is flooded with the calm tranquil peace of perfect love and lies in glad content in the embrace of her Divine Lover. The outward cloister matters little; the inward cloister matters much.

It is to little purpose to shut out the vision of the exterior world, if imagination and memory rove over it as they will, for then the soul is more without than she was before; once enter the cloister of the heart and then, even if she live in the midst of the restless tossing of this world’s troubled throng, there will be perfect peace within. It is for lovers that the Divine Lover is calling. He comes, this Lover, Jesus, with the Great Red Wounds so cruelly gashed in Hands and Feet and Side. He comes, this Lover, Jesus, with His Body all rent, all torn, all bleeding. He comes, this Lover, Jesus, with His Head crowned with cruel thorns, with His Sacred Face disfigured with wounds and blows, with His Eyes filled with Blood. He comes to seek for lovers. His Arms are stretched out wide ready to embrace the soul that will make her response to His appeal, and say to Him: “Oh, my darling Jesus, I take You for my Lover and my All. My Love, I want to be everything to You, and You shall be everything to me!” He will embrace her with those blood-stained Arms of His and the thrill of love will surge through her at His touch.

Victims of Love, those who would love to love’s extreme limit, love without reserve; love with such love that they sacrifice themselves as living Victims to His All-Merciful Love; it is for such our Jesus is calling. It is for souls like these that He asks.


I hold Him, and nor time nor place
My soul from Him shall part—
The Heart of my most loving God,
The God of my poor heart.


~ Listening to the Indwelling Presence, compiled by a Religious

To my Mother, Our Lady of Mount Carmel

 

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Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Photo taken by me in Alba de Tormes, Spain)

 

Oh Heavenly Queen of Carmel,
pure and sublime beauty!

Mother of Carmel,
I carry you deeply in my heart.
Cover my soul with your mantel, sweet Mother of mine
and fill it with your care and warmth.
My soul is secure in you,
joined together with your love.
Your hands guide my steps,
Lighting them night and day.
You are my lighthouse that leads me
to safe harbor.
Oh Star of the Sea!

Carmel is your garden and your perfume
permeates all the flowers. What a joy to feel you near!
What a blessing to have you as a Mother!
Your scent envelopes my soul when I tend to the roses and the jasmine.
Roses salute you, their beauty adorn your steps.
Your Carmel is a garden with green prairies and abundant flowers,
with many springs of living, fresh and healing water.

I thank you Blessed Mother for inviting me to your abode
and for teaching me to live day by day, step by step with you.
Let me rest in your sweet heart, Virgen del Carmen
for there is where I find the One I seek…
The Beloved!

 

~ My personal reflection/poem

 

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Roses for Mary (Photo taken by me)

 

110227327_10223676987862362_8074285754440355397_n
Carmel is the mountain of flowers and with full hands the children of Carmel have strewn these flowers over the earth. ~ Bl Titus Brandsma  (My photo)

 

 

Wishing you all a very happy and blessed Feast Day of Our lady of Mount Carmel!
Ora Pro Nobis!

 

St. John the Baptist: Baptism

 

Icon4
Icon of St. John the Forerunner, art source unknown

 

A Sonnet for St. John the Baptist:

 

Love’s hidden thread has drawn us to the font,

A wide womb floating on the breath of God,

Feathered with seraph wings, lit with the swift

Lightening of praise, with thunder over-spread,

And under-girded with an unheard song,

Calling through water, fire, darkness, pain,

Calling us to the life for which we long,

Yearning to bring us to our birth again.

Again the breath of God is on the waters

In whose reflecting face our candles shine,

Again he draws from death the sons and daughters

For whom he bid the elements combine.

As living stones around a font today,

Rejoice with those who roll the stone away.

 

~ By Malcolm Guite – this sonnet was published in the book ‘Sounding of the Seasons,’ a cycle of seventy sonnets for the Church Year.

The Life of Prayer – Meditation #2

 

Jesus Let us adore Him art by annie henrie
Art by Annie Henrie

 

Since prayer does not consist in thinking much but in loving much, a life of continual prayer will consist much more in love than in thought. Nevertheless, a certain amount of mental activity is necessary, either to direct the heart toward God, or to maintain it in this direction.

The soul who applies itself well to mental prayer will easily be able to collect in itself some good thoughts which it can use during the day to keep its heart turned toward God. Therefore, it will be useful for the soul to try to recall these thoughts often in the midst of its occupations, and to apply them practically to its life.

Thus, for example, if during prayer, we have been considering God’s infinite mercy toward us, we shall strive to preserve this thought even during our occupations, recognizing many signs of this mercy in the various circumstances in which we find ourselves. in fact, many happenings which, from a purely human point of view, are unpleasant and painful, hide, in reality, great mercies of the Lord who, by means of the sorrows, fatigues, and the trials of life, wants to detach us from creatures, make us practice virtue, and advance in goodness. Likewise, in our dealings with our neighbor, we shall try to imitate God’s mercy. “Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful” (Lk 6,36). Although our prayer was spent in aridity, without leaving us any definite thought, but only a deeper realization of our nothingness and the infinite greatness of God, we shall make a treasure of it by attempting during the day to fulfill our duties in a spirit of humility and homage to God. We shall rejoice if some opportunity occurs for humbling ourselves, acknowledging our littleness—even before creatures—and exalting the grandeurs of the Lord.

In this way prayer will not be an isolated item in our day, but will permeate it, by conferring on each action and circumstance the tone of continual prayer.

 
~ A Meditation by Father Gabriel of St Mary Magdalen, O.C.D ~ Divine Intimacy

 

 

“Give me, O Lord, such great fervor and immense love that I shall see no difference between this or that life, this or that state, person, time, or place, but shall do what is most pleasing to You, whatever or wherever it may be, tending always to You by the affection of my soul. Grant that I may see all things in You, and nothing but You in them, ever eager and anxious to serve You in all things; and that, all on fire and burning with love, I may not take into consideration what is easiest and most agreeable for me, but only what is most pleasing to You.”
~ St. Bonaventure   

 

 

 

Love’s Choice

 

“O God, O Creator, O Spirit of life overwhelming Your creatures with ever new graces!
You grant to Your chosen ones the gift which is ever renewed:
The Body and Blood of Jesus Christ!”
~ St. Angela of Foligno

 

The Body and Blood of Christ by Theophilia
The Eucharistic Heart of Jesus
Art by Cecilia Lawrence ~ 2018

 

This sonnet is about the experience of receiving Holy Communion:

This bread is light, dissolving, almost air,

A little visitation on my tongue,

A wafer-thin sensation, hardly there.

This taste of wine is brief in flavour, flung

A moment to the palate’s roof and fled,

Even its aftertaste a memory.

Yet this is how He comes. Through wine and bread

Love chooses to be emptied into me.

He does not come in unimagined light

Too bright to be denied, too absolute

For consciousness, too strong for sight,

Leaving the seer blind, the poet mute;

Chooses instead to seep into each sense,

To dye himself into experience.

 

~ A Sonnet for Corpus Christi, by Malcolm Guite. It was published in ‘Sounding the Seasons’ a cycle of seventy sonnets for the Church Year.

 

 

“The eternal tide flows hid in Living Bread. That with its heavenly life too be fed…”
~ St. John of the Cross, O.C.D
 

 

 

Wishing you all a very Blessed Feast of Corpus Christi!