The world is charged with the grandeur of God. It will flame out, like shining from shook foil; It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod? Generations have trod, have trod, have trod; And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil; And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil
Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent; There lives the dearest freshness deep down things; And though the last lights off the black West went Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs — Because the Holy Ghost over the bent World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
Thank you so much to all my followers and readers for all of your interest and support! It’s been an incredible journey for me, I feel so grateful and humbled to be part of this amazing blogging community as I continue to learn so much from all of you.
Two years ago I felt inspired to start blogging about Carmelite Spirituality and I continue to love it!
As a Lay Carmelite (O.C.D.S.) I feel so blessed in sharing the inspirational writings of many great saints of Carmel and other great spiritual writers, prayers, meditations, my own reflections and poems about this rich spiritual treasure to the soul which is the Carmelite charism.
As I mentioned before, Carmel is an ancient path for today’s pilgrim. . .
“Carmel stands for the intimate encounter which God brings about between the person and God in the midst of all that is most ordinary in life. The expression and source of this encounter, God’s gift of contemplation, is the very heartbeat of what Carmel is and what it desires to be. Saint John of the Cross described contemplation as the inflowing of God’s grace into a human being. Carmelites speak of contemplation as a gift of God that can be nurtured by a life of prayer, community, and service.”
“Our Carmelite Spirituality is focussed on Christ, and inspired in a particular way by the patrons of the Order—the prophet Elijah and the Blessed Virgin Mary—as well as by the saints of the Carmelite Family over the centuries.”
“Our mission in life is to know and love God, and to make God known and loved. And share the Good News of Christ, that God loves humanity with a deep passion.”
I’m so excited for another great year of blogging and sharing with all of you!
Wishing you all peace, joy, much love. . .and abundant blessings!
“God is humanity’s universal teacher and guardian, but his teaching to humanity is mediated by angels.” ~ St. Thomas Aquinas
On Behalf of Love
Every truth without exception—no matter who makes it—is from God. If a bird got accused of singing too early in the morning, if a lute began to magically play on its own in the square and the enchanting sounds it made drove a pair of young lovers into a wild, public display of passion, if this lute and bird then got called before the inquisition and their lives were literally at stake, could not God walk up and say before the court, “All acts of beauty are mine, all happen on the behalf of love”? And while God was there, testifying for our heart’s desires, hopefully the judge would be astute enough to brave a question, that could go, “Dear God, you say all acts of beauty are yours, surely we can believe that. But what of all actions we see in this world, for is there any force in existence greater than the power of your omnipresent hand?” And God might have responded, “I like that question,” adding, “May I ask you one as well?” And then God would say, “Have you ever been in a conversation when children entered the room, and you then ceased speaking because your wisdom knew they were not old enough to benefit—to understand? As exquisite is your world, most everyone in it is spiritually young. Spirituality is love, and love never wars with the minute, the day, one’s self and others. Love would rather die than maim a limb, a wing. Dear, anything that divides man from man, earth from sky, light and dark, one religion from another. . . O, I best keep silent, I see a child just entered the room.”
Christ told us to love our neighbor as ourselves. If you can’t love yourself, you can’t love anyone else. How important it is to be gentle with oneself!
We so often flagellate ourselves, dwelling on our sins and thinking we are horrible people. We harass ourselves, thinking of the wrong decisions we have made and the sins we have committed. We wound ourselves unceasingly, and we exhaust ourselves in the process.
We forget that the gentleness of God is part of his mercy. We forget that if we but turn to him and say, “I’m sorry”, the sin is erased completely. He does not remember the sin. His mercy overshadows all.
How do you learn to be gentle? St. John used to recline on the breast of Christ. I think we will become gentle with ourselves and others if we do likewise. Then we will hear the heartbeats of God, and we will be able to help others hear them.
~ A Meditation by Catherine De Hueck Doherty
“Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened, and I will give you rest. Shoulder my yoke and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
~ Matthew 11:28-29
“Be compassionate as your Father is compassionate. Do not judge, and you will not be judged yourselves; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned yourselves; grant pardon, and you will be pardoned.”
Hospitality of the heart means accepting others as they are, not as we would like them to be, and allowing them to make themselves at home in one’s heart. To be at home in another person’s heart is to touch love. It is through the love of our brothers and sisters in Christ that we begin to understand the love of God.
~ A short meditation by Catherine De Hueck Doherty
Slow were his steps, for he came from far away. He didn’t want to hurry lest I get startled at his approach.
When he arrived, he bent and took my hand, saying, “Come, let us go to where my Father walked.” We went. It seemed as if our path was but a gentle wind. I had never walked upon the wind. But it was gentle, soft and singing. It sang its joy that he who made it now walked upon it. I could only listen to this song, for it is the Trinity who sang to me in that strange wind we walked upon.
It seemed to me that I began to see both outside and inside at the same time. The world was before me, and so were the hearts of men. I did not understand what happened. I could only absorb the unabsorbable.
I felt a change. His hand tightened upon mine. The gentle wind became a roar. He said, “Listen to it. In it you hear the hunger of men’s hearts for me. You cannot hear as well as we: my Father and I and the Holy Spirit. But you can hear. Ephpheta: let your ears be opened!”
I lost all sense of whatever had been real to me. I entered the roaring wind, holding his hand and trembling as leaves do on a windy night.
Have you ever entered man’s hunger for God? Pray that you never do, unless it be his will, for tears will fill your mind, your heart, your soul. You will drown in your own tears, unless you hold his hand.
Somewhere, some time, I came back, back to the Mass that was going on, in time to feed on bread and wine given to me by him who held my hand and taught me to walk upon the wind.
“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears…” ~ Psalm 56:8
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.
Not everyone can give alms in money, but we all can give alms in words.
Alms of warm, kind words are like a mother’s lullaby to the elderly, who have a kind of hungry loneliness. These words bring peace and joy to those who are sad and anxious, and make the unwanted feel loved and needed once more.
Do you see that child? Have you an extra moment to speak to him? Befriending a lonely or unloved child, be he rich or poor, is to bring Christ to that little one. Take the child into your heart. You will be taking Christ into your heart, and surely, in eternity, He will reverse the process!
~ By Catherine de Hueck Doherty
“For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.” ~ Matthew 25:35-36
There is a city that through time shall lie in a fixed darkness of the earth and sky, and many dwell therein this very hour. It is a city without seed or flower, estranged from every bird and butterfly.
Who walked these streets of night? I know them well. Those who come out of life’s sequestered places: the lonely, the unloved, the weak and shy, the broken-winged who piteously would fly, the poor who still have starlight in their faces.
They are the outcast ones, the last, the least, whom earth has not invited to her feast, and who, were they invited in the end, finding their wedding clothes too frayed to mend, would not attend.
~ A poem by Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit (Jessica Powers), O.C.D.