Is Lent and I feel the interior call to walk by your side during these 40 days united to you, my Beloved.
These 40 days in the wilderness where the earth is barren and quiet, I can feel your loneliness, my Beloved. Silence engulfs this desert and I can only hear your footsteps as we walk side by side.
I can’t wait for the night to arrive. So I can view the magnificent sky filled with all the beauty of your Father’s creation. The moon and the stars — the sky looks like a blanket of shooting stars covering us from above giving us light and protection marked by the beauty of His love.
All those bright stars are speaking to you they bring you messages from above, from your Beloved Abba! They prompt you to persevere, and remain in His presence all along this journey. Giving you strength for your mission ahead, consoling your weary heart, my Beloved.
They urge you to keep going, to keep focused, to keep praying. To stay and remain in His perfect love.
Following you along this desert, my Beloved, is not an easy task. At times I have so many questions, so many concerns, so much restlessness in my own heart. But you only ask me to trust in you, to hold your hand and continue to walk together, side by side these 40 days.
My heart is united to yours and is finding true calm now, being in your presence is all I need during these long 40 days.
In quietude and awe, my heart is waiting,
Your beloved child, sister and friend, Redeemed by your love!
Was I conceived in love,
and for love?
We are all born
with your precious DNA in our hearts and souls,
We come to experience life
in order to discover You.
You have chosen to abide
in the deepest chambers of our hearts.
You have left my side.
Human love is so conditional
and limited, but when we are inspired
and touch by Your divine love,
our love can be transform
and become real. Alive!
Your love is everlasting,
You have placed your heart
so full of tender mercy and love
O, how blessed I am,
Your love gives me life,
gives me hope,
gives me joy.
Your love is my stronghold
and my peace.
All my life you have been
by my side,
and that suffices.
I was born for love.
We are born for love.
Because You are love.
King of my heart and soul.
Love in One.
Pure and Perfect!
I can say like the Sufi mystic and poet Rumi: “Love came and it made me empty. Love came and it filled me with the Beloved. It became the blood in my body. It became my arms and my legs. It became everything! Now all I have is a name, the rest belongs to the Beloved.”
“For contemplation is nothing else than a secret and peaceful and loving inflow of God, which, if not hampered, fires the soul in the spirit of love.” ~ Saint John of the Cross, O.C.D.
On Saturday, February 16th, I professed my Definitive Promises to the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites. Our OCDS Community gathered for a special day of grace and fellowship followed by a beautiful Mass officiated by our spiritual Father Dominic.
I was admitted to our OCDS Community in June 16th, 2012 and made my First Promise on April 25th, 2015. Over these years of spiritual formation and growth within my Carmelite family, I’ve been discerning my call to this rich spirituality and gift from God and I feel so grateful to my Beloved Lord to lead me into this blessed way.
I have a long way to go and so much to climb up the mountain of God, but with His grace and blessing and inspired by the Holy Spirit, I pray that I will continue faithfully to my journey in Carmel and be an instrument of God and His living flame of love in the world.
I’m eternally grateful, my Beloved Jesus, for calling me to Carmel!
O living flame, O living flame, O living flame, living flame of love!
How gently you wake in my heart. How tenderly you swell my heart with love, O living flame of love!
O lamps of fire, O living flame, O lamps of fire, our warmth and light!
Sweet cautery, delicate touch of life, sweet cautery, living flame of love!
O living flame, living flame of love O living flame, my living flame, My flame of love!
~ Based on “Living Flame of Love”, by St. John of the Cross, O.C.D.
O.C.D.S. (Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites)
“By the promise made to the community . . . the person becomes a full member of the Secular Order.” (Constitution 12) The promise is highly significant for Secular Carmelites and the process of formation moves the person toward making a life promise. The wording of the First Promise and the Definitive Promise differ only in the last phrase.
I, (name), inspired by the Holy Spirit, in response to God’s call, sincerely promise to the Superiors of the Order of the Teresian Carmel and to you my brothers and sisters, to tend toward evangelical perfection in the spirit of the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty, obedience, and of the Beatitudes, according to the Constitutions of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites, for three years [for the rest of my life]. I confidently entrust this, my Promise, to the Virgin Mary, Mother and Queen of Carmel.
A significant part of formation is coming to understand the commitment made by the promise. It is a promise to live in the spirit of the Beatitudes and in the spirit of chastity, poverty and obedience. Each of these commitments has a separate paragraph in the Constitutions of the Secular Order.
The commitment to the promise to live the spirit of the evangelical counsel of chastity
13. The promise of chastity reinforces the commitment to love God above all else, and to love others with the love God has for them. In this promise the Secular Carmelite seeks the freedom to love God and neighbour unselfishly giving witness to the divine intimacy promised by the beatitude “blessed are the pure of heart for they shall see God” (Mt 5:8). The promise of chastity is a commitment to Christian love in its personal and social dimensions in order to create authentic community in the world. By this promise the Secular Carmelite also expresses the conscious desire to respect each person as required by God’s law and one’s state of life, as a single person or married or widowed. This promise does not prevent a change in state of life.
The commitment to the promise of live the spirit of the evangelical counsel of poverty
14. By the promise of poverty the Secular Carmelite expresses the desire to live in accordance with the Gospel and its values. In evangelical poverty there is a wealth of generosity, self-denial, and interior liberty and a dependence on Him who “Though rich, yet for our sake, became poor” (2 Co 8:9), and who “emptied Himself” (Ph 2:7), to be at the service of His brothers and sisters. The promise of poverty seeks an evangelical use of the goods of this world and of personal talents, as well as the exercise of personal responsibilities in society, in family, and work, confidently placing all in the hands of God. It also implies a commitment to the cause of justice so that the world itself responds to God’s plan. In combination with these, evangelical poverty recognizes personal limitations and surrenders them to God with confidence in His goodness and fidelity.
The commitment to the promise to live the spirit of the evangelical counsel of obedience
15. The promise of obedience is a pledge to live open to the will of God, “in whom we live and move and have our being” (Ac 17:28) imitating Christ who accepted the Father’s will and was “obedient unto death, death on a cross” (Ph 2:8). The promise of obedience is an exercise of faith leading to the search for God’s will in the events and challenges in society and our own personal life. For this reason the Secular Carmelite freely cooperates with those who have responsibility for guiding the community and the Order in discerning and accepting God’s ways: the Community’s Council, the Provincial and the General.
The commitment to the promise to live the spirit of the beatitudes
16. The beatitudes are a plan of action for life and a way to enter into relationship with the world, neighbours and co-workers, families and friends. By promising to live the beatitudes in daily life, Secular Carmelites seek to give evangelical witness as members of the Church and the Order, and by this witness invite the world to follow Christ: “the Way, the Truth and the Life” (John 14:6).