The Splendor of the Day

Georgian bay8

“The whole earth is a living icon of the face of God. ” Saint John of Damascus – (my own photo)

 

Your grace is my constant companion.

I find You everywhere in the splendor of the day.
I find You in the trees and in the gentle movement of the leaves.
I find You in the breeze of the summer afternoon by the bay.
I find You in the beauty of the sunset. 
I find You in the love and care of good friends.

I find You in the beauty of the monarch butterfly flying carefree
searching for the sweet nectar of each flower.
I find You in the sunlight that passes through the green leaves.
I find You in the beauty of the scenery of this country road.
I find You in the joyful songs of your happy birds…
I find You in the hummingbirds, blue jays, and woodpeckers.

My heart is overflowing with love for Your creation.
Oh Beloved, your grace is sufficient for me.
I find Your beauty everywhere in the splendor of the day.

These days at the cottage with dear friends
and the blessings of each hour enjoying each other’s company.
Sharing meals together.

Our early evening swim at the bay,
admiring Your beautiful sky and all the cloud formations.

Bike riding after so long…Thank you Lord Jesus
for making my body strong again.

There is so much to give You thanks my Beloved!
Your Bread of Life I received on Sunday Mass at the Martyr’s Shrine.
My heart is so full of gratitude.

And how can I forget about the starry nights,
the sky is Your canvas.
I find You in the sounds of nature,
the crickets chirping at night and the birds at dawn.
They wake me up with their sweet melody.

Thank you! Thank you, my Beloved!
for I find Your grace in the splendor of the day.

~ My Personal Reflection

 

Georgian bay14

“It helped me to look at fields, or water, or flowers. In this things, I found a remembrance of the Creator. I mean that they awakened and recollected me and served as a book.” Saint Teresa of Avila – (my own photo)

 

Georgian bay15

“God passes through the thicket of the world, and wherever His glance falls He turns all things to beauty.” Saint John of the Cross –  (my own photo)

 

Georgian bay5

“Believe one who knows: You will find something greater in woods than in the books. Trees and stones will teach you that which you can never learn from masters.” Saint Bernard of Clairvaux – (my own photo)

 

Georgian bay12

“From the creation, learn to admire the Lord! Indeed the magnitude and beauty of creation display a God who is the artificer of the universe. He has made the mode of creation to be our best teacher.” Saint John Chrysostom – (my own photo)

 

Georgian bay16

“‘With my mouth,’ God says, ‘I kiss my own chosen creation. I uniquely, lovingly, embrace every image I have made out of the earth’s clay. With a fiery spirit I transform it into a body to serve all the world.’” Saint Hildegard of Bingen  –  (my own photo)

 

All photos are taken by me from the beautiful area of Georgian Bay, Ontario ❤ in August 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holy Spirit, Holy Dove

Bernini's Holy Spirit

 “Dove of the Holy Spirit” amber stained glass window designed by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1660) at Saint Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City (photo source unknown)

 

Who are you, sweet light, that fills me
And illumines the darkness of my heart?
You lead me like a mother’s hand,
And should you let go of me,
I would not know how to take another step.
You are the space
That embraces my being and buries it in yourself.
Away from you it sinks into the abyss
Of nothingness, from which you raised it to the light.
You, nearer to me than I to myself
And more interior than my most interior
And still impalpable and intangible
And beyond any name:
Holy Spirit eternal love!

Are you not the sweet manna
That from the Son’s heart
Overflows into my heart,
The food of angels and the blessed?
He who raised himself from death to life,
He has also awakened me to new life
From the sleep of death.
And he gives me new life from day to day,
And at some time his fullness is to stream through me,
Life of your life indeed, you yourself:
Holy Spirit eternal life!

Are you the ray
That flashes down from the eternal Judge’s throne
And breaks into the night of the soul
That had never known itself?
Mercifully relentlessly
It penetrates hidden folds.
Alarmed at seeing itself,
The self makes space for holy fear,
The beginning of that wisdom
That comes from on high
And anchors us firmly in the heights,
Your action,
That creates us anew:
Holy Spirit ray that penetrates everything!

Are you the spirit’s fullness and the power
By which the Lamb releases the seal
Of God’s eternal decree?
Driven by you
The messengers of judgment ride through the world
And separate with a sharp sword
The kingdom of light from the kingdom of night.
Then heaven becomes new and new the earth,
And all finds its proper place
Through your breath:
Holy Spirit victorious power!

Are you the master who builds the eternal cathedral,
Which towers from the earth through the heavens?
Animated by you, the columns are raised high
And stand immovably firm.
Marked with the eternal name of God,
They stretch up to the light,
Bearing the dome,
Which crowns the holy cathedral,
Your work that encircles the world:
Holy Spirit God’s molding hand!

Are you the one who created the unclouded mirror
Next to the Almighty’s throne,
Like a crystal sea,
In which Divinity lovingly looks at itself?
You bend over the fairest work of your creation,
And radiantly your own gaze
Is illumined in return.
And of all creatures the pure beauty
Is joined in one in the dear form
Of the Virgin, your immaculate bride:
Holy Spirit Creator of all!

Are you the sweet song of love
And of holy awe
That eternally resounds around the triune throne,
That weds in itself the clear chimes of each and every being?
The harmony,
That joins together the members to the Head,
In which each one
Finds the mysterious meaning of his being blessed
And joyously surges forth,
Freely dissolved in your surging:
Holy Spirit eternal jubilation!

~ Poem by St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein) O.C.D. – Virgin and Martyr, Co-Patron of Europe

*For more information about the life of Edith Stein please check:
http://www.kilmacudcarmel.ie/edith.html#Who

 

Wishing all of you a very blessed Feast day of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)!

 

Nature & Grace

 

Varadero Beach2

Varadero beach, by unknown artist

 

I just got back from Varadero, Cuba. My husband and I went for a week’s vacation to the pristine beaches of the Caribbean sea. The resort we stayed at was very close to an ecological reserve and our room was located close to this beautiful gem of nature. Every morning the beautiful birds would be waking us up chirping in the blue sky and lasting all throughout the day like praising the Creator for all his goodness and love.

We saw many kinds of beautiful butterflies and little colourful iguanas among the tall palm trees. What a delight to the eyes and the senses. After breakfast we would walk to the beach and as we approached it, we saw the beautiful crystal clear turquoise sea’s gentle waves washing away the white sand. The view felt like it was taken from a very fine photograph. We felt so blessed to have experienced those days surrounded by God’s beautiful creation in the place we loved the most…the sea.

Sunsets were so amazing diffusing so many different shade of colours in the sky. It was truly a golden hour. As I always say: God indeed is an artist!

We had the amazing opportunity to go in a catamaran to see the dolphins in the open ocean close to the beautiful island of Cayo Blanco. What a surreal experience. I couldn’t contain my tears from flowing as I interacted and swam with these beautiful angels of the sea. It was a long time dream of mine.

And I can’t forget the flowers! They were all so beautiful and full of rich colours shining towards the bright sun. We met amazing people and made new friends. I love Cuban people, they have a beautiful heart.

And the food…was simply amazing! Especially the fruits. They are blessed with so many different varieties of fruits like mangoes, papaya, pineapple and guava; these were among my favourites. We ate a lot of seafood and it was very tasty and so fresh. We loved it!

We are so grateful and thankful for experiencing moments of grace in those blessed days. Those memories will be with us for the rest of our lives. Thank You Lord for the amazing gift of life and your beautiful creation and for meeting new friends. It’s all a blessing.

Thank you for reading! Always take the time to enjoy nature wherever you are and be aware of those moments of grace ❤

 

ABD4E3B9-57A9-4B37-8E18-A725ED27C222

A dream come true! Interacting and swimming with the dolphins near the island of Cayo Blanco, Cuba. (my own photo)

Birds

That God made birds is surely in His favor.
I write them as His courtesies of love.
Hidden in leaves, they offer me sweet savor
of lightsome music; when they streak above
my garden wall they brush my scene with color.

They are embroideries upon the grass.
I write the gayest stitched-in blossoms duller
than birds which change their patterns as I pass.

I nurse a holy envy of St. Francis
who lured the birds to nestle at his breast.
Yet I am grateful for this one which dances
across my lawn, a reckless anapest.

Subjects for gratitude push up my living
praise to a sum that tempts the infinite;
but birds deserve one whole psalm of thanksgiving
and these words are my antiphon for it.

~ A Poem by Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit (Jessica Powers), O.C.D. 

 

Birds of Cuba art

Birds of Cuba, art by Julio Cesar Rodriguez

    

I See His Blood Upon the Rose

 

Rose Flower Dewdrops Drops Rain Red Hd Wallpaper Free Download

Red Rose (Photo source unknown)

 

I see His Blood upon the rose
And in the stars the glory of His eyes
His Body gleams amid eternal snows
His tears fall from the skies.

I see His face in every flower
His voice is thunder and the singing of the birds
And carven by His power
Rocks are but His written words.

All pathways by His feet are worn
His strong Heart stirs the ever-beating sea
His crown of thorns is twined with every thorn
His Cross is every tree.

 

~ A Poem by Joseph Mary Plunkett

 


“and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.”
Colossians 1:20


 

*The month of July is dedicated to the Precious Blood of Jesus. For more information about this special devotion, please kindly check:  Seven Saints Talk About the Most Precious Blood at http://www.catholictv.org/blog/7-saints-talk-about-the-most-precious-blood

God Took the Risk

garden after the storm art by alexi zaitsev

Garden after the Storm, art by Alexi Zaitsev

 

When encountering suffering—whether in ourselves or in someone else—the important question is not “How can God love us when these things are allowed to happen? but rather “We know that God loves us, so what is God’s meaning in allowing such sufferings?”

‘Why doesn’t God, who is almighty, interfere?” many ask. But God’s power is the power of love. And “love” is patient, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things” (1 Cor 13:4, 7).

God refuses to be dragged into the spiral of violence. If God were to use power and authority to end all evil in the world, he would be no better than we are. God does not dictate; he respects us.

God has given us the unfathomable honor of letting us be collaborators in the work of creation. He has shared his intelligence and freedom with us and let us participate in the completion of creation. That God has taken a great risk in doing so is something we experience daily.

But God has esteemed us so highly as co-creators that he doesn’t hesitate to pay the price.

If God wasn’t love, it would be easy for an all-powerful God to take away our freedom and reduce us to marionettes and mechanical puppets. Then everything in the world would be perfect. But we would also be robbed of our dignity.

~ A Meditation by Father Wilfrid Stinissen, O.C.D.

Christ art by arild rosenkrantz

He Suffered, art by Arild Rosenkrantz (England c.1928)

 

O Lonely Christ of Charing Cross

O lonely Christ of Charing Cross, Rue de la Paix,
Boulevard Anspach; O lonely Christ of a thousand
celebrated thoroughfares and foreign-sounding streets.
Why is it that I have to meet you here, so far from home,
When I have seen you lonely, too, in Harlem and Fifth Avenue? In
Edmonton, Yukon, and Portland, Oregon; in Chicago, San Francisco,
Toronto, Kalamazoo, you were lonely too.

O lonely Christ of everywhere, why stand you there and here,
so still, so sad, looking at the hurrying crowds who pass you by—Why?

Why are your eyes so full of hunger, longing, pity and compassion?
Why do you lift your nail-torn hand and then let it fall again
with so much sadness, as though you were a beggar about to beg, alas?

Why is it that I have to meet you across all continents, all celebrated thoroughfares,
small, dingy streets and palatial avenues, as well as wild and distant places?

You answer nothing. You just look.
O Christ of Charing Cross, so lonely, 
you weep because the multitudes are hungry for your love and know it not.
And because you hunger to be loved by those who know you not.

Give me the key, Beloved, so that I may open your loneliness and,
entering, share its weight. Behold my heart that you have wounded with your love.
Make it a door for all to come to you. Give me your voice and words of fire
that I may show them you.

~ A Poem by Catherine De Hueck Doherty

 

 

 

The Blood’s Mystic

Mary Magdalene beautiful art

Mary Magdalene, by unknown artist

 

Grace guards that moment when the spirit halts
to watch the Magdalen
in the mad turbulence that was her love.
Light hallows those who think about her when
she broke through crowds to the Master’s feet
or ran on Easter morning,
her hair wind-tumbled and her cloak awry.
What to her need were the restrictions of
earth’s vain formalities?
She sought, as love so often seeks and finds,
a Radiance that died or seemed to die.

One can surmise she went to Calvary
distraught and weeping, and with loud lament
clung to the cross and beat upon its wood
till Christ’s torn veins spread a soft covering
over her hair and face and colored gown.
She took her First Communion in His Blood.

O the tumultuous Magdalen! But those 
who come upon her in the hush of love
claim the last graces. A wild parakeet
ceded its being to a mourning dove,
as Bethany had prophesied. We give 
to Old Provence that solitude’s location
where her love brooded, too contemplative
to lift the brief distraction of a wing.
There she became a living consecration
to one remembering.

Magdalen, first to drink the fountained Christ
Whose crimson-signing stills our creature stir,
is the Blood’s mystic. Was it not the weight
of the warm Blood that slowed and silenced her?

 

~ A Poem by Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit (Jessica Powers), O.C.D. 

 

the tears of amry magdalene

The Tears of Mary Magdalene, art by Philippe De Champaigne (1656)

 


“Most of all I imitate the behavior of Mary Magdalene, for her amazing – or, rather, loving – audacity which delighted the heart of Jesus, has cast its spell upon mine.”
– St. Therese of Lisieux, O.C.D.





Wishing all of you a very blessed feast day of Saint Mary Magdalene!
Saint Mary of Magdala, apostle of the apostles, ora pro nobis!

 

Night Prayer: To The Prophet Elijah

Prophet Elias

Prophet Elijah ~ Encaustic icon from Saint Catherine’s Monastery, Mount Sinai – VII century

 

This is the edge of time; this cliff encounters
the valleys of the measureless unknown
and the great surges of those outer seas
where swim Orion and the Pleiades.
I like to come here in the night alone.

I like to seek this arched and alien window,
lean into night and lift my restless love
to pastures where an ancient prophet tethered
horses of fire. I cry, “My father, my father,
the chariot of Israel and the driver thereof!”

Where dwells this lonely eremite I know not,
hid by what torrent, by what ravens fed;
but when the moon suggests his solitude,
my mind has taste of an unearthly food;
where the night shines, my heart is visited.

He who has swept by fire to time’s suspension,
yet to be slain and in the judgement tried—
is he not closer to our human pity
than those who triumph in a lasting city,
the far impassible beatified?

Here I touch space that borders the eternal;
here, undistracted by the clock’s poor  rhyme,
I stand, an emigrant of earth whose place
is nearer heaven, being near to grace,
and hold my heart out, over the sill of time.

 

~ A Poem by Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit (Jessica Powers), O.C.D. 

 

Grotto of St Elijah

Interior of the Stella Maris Monastery in Haifa, Israel. It is the largest Carmelite Monastery and world center of the Order, built on the site of earlier churches and monasteries of the Byzantine and Crusader periods. The Church was built over a cave associated with the prophets Elijah and Elisha. (Photo credit to Rafael Gomez)

 

Stella Maris

The cave of Saint Elijah is a grotto written about in the Hebrew Bible, where the prophet Elijah took shelter during a journey into the wilderness (1 Kings 19:8). Photo taken by me during my pilgrimage to Israel in October 2010.

 

candles at the grotto

Inside St. Elijah’s grotto … Four candles lit by me ❤ prayers offered for my family and for others intentions. Photo taken by me.

 

Wishing all of you a very blessed feast day of Saint Elijah, Leader and Father of Carmelites! 

Holy Prophet Elijah, ora pro nobis!

Like The Bright Seraphim

under is wings2

In The Shadow of Your Wings, art by Daniel F. Gerhartz

 

Like your bright brothers seraphim
who veil their faces with their wings,
you hide your face, and yet I know
that when the pinions stir and blow
you peer at God and me and things.

I love those glances of your soul,
so shyly sent. I stand aside and watch,
with deeper pleasurings,
the hidden face behind the wings,
a Sanctus waiting to be cried.

Ah, guard this native secrecy!
Know, child: those angels chief in grace
who stir when Splendor breathes His name
and wake and slumber in His flame
alone use wings to hide their face.

~ A Poem by Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit (Jessica Powers), O.C.D.

 

A Brown Habit

 

Carmelite Brown habit

Photo source unknown

 

That long brown habit
hanging on the door recalls me
a solid human body, tall and straight,
reliable and steady as Gibraltar, the guard
of that ancient sea and all its craft.

I touch it with my reverent hands
I rest my cheek against it. I feel at home
and safe at last, within our mutual
Beloved’s arms; He holds me lest I fall.
He has my head against his heart.
His left hand clasps it close, his right hand
“doth embrace me.” Such indestructible
enclosure makes me laugh at threats
and turns my tears to precious stones
he links into a chaplet and puts upon my head.

The brown habit was your robe
when you said Mass for us within my home—
a blessing and a treasure past all reckoning
and it was you who brought it to me
across the heaving oceans and cold, autumn skies, and then
presented it as gift and grace
adornment for my poverty, crowning for my solitude,
proof of the Christed love between us.

~ A poem by Barbara Dent, O.C.D.S.

The Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Carmelite Scapular2

 

~ What is the Brown Scapular?
http://www.meditationsfromcarmel.com/content/what-brown-scapular

~ The Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel by Fr. Camilo Maccise OCD, Prior General.
http://www.meditationsfromcarmel.com/content/brown-scapular-our-lady-mount-carmel

~ Brown Scapular Catechesis: 
http://www.meditationsfromcarmel.com/content/scapular-catechesis

~ Brown Scapular: A “Silent Devotion” By Father Kieran Kavanaugh, OCD
http://www.meditationsfromcarmel.com/content/brown-scapular-silent-devotion

 

Investiture of the Brown Scapular of Our Lady of Mount Carmel

Saturday, June 16th, 2012 Feast of The Immaculate Heart of Mary ~ A visit to the Discalced Carmelite Nuns of St. Joseph with our OCDS communities. Holy Mass presided by Father Dominic, my Admission to Formation to the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites and Receiving the Brown Scapular of the Order… A very special and blessed day… Eternally grateful!

 

 

Prayer to Our Lady of Mount Carmel

The Mystery of Tears

 


“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears…” ~ Psalm 56:8


 

woman art by karen wallis

Art by Karen Wallis

 

There is a mystery about tears sometimes, when they appear as gift divine, descending like a torrent or a flood which nothing can deter or stop or dam. They come unbidden, swift. Their flow is free, and yet they are a weight that prostrates a soul to earth and seems to push it in the dirt, until the soul is one with it.

There is a mystery about tears sometimes, as if they were not human but divine; as if the heart of God could not contain its pain and in his love has found someone to share his tears.

There is a mystery about tears sometimes, when one knows, without knowing, that his soul must cry. For only tears like these can pierce a stony heart that does not want to love.

~ A Meditation by Catherine De Hueck Doherty

“You’ll make me cry!”
His gentle fingers
stroked her cheek. “You couldn’t—
even if you tried. No one ever mourns
or weeps once they’ve arrived and known
the true embrace, the everlasting kiss of peace.”

~ An excerpt from the poem ‘Dialogue” by Barbara Dent, O.C.D.S.