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
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! ❤
Oh ! I would like to sing, Mary, why I love you, Why your sweet name thrills my heart, And why the thought of your supreme greatness Could not bring fear to my soul. If I gazed on you in your sublime glory, Surpassing the splendor of all the blessed, I could not believe that I am your child. O Mary, before you I would lower my eyes !…
If a child is to cherish his mother, She has to cry with him and share his sorrows. O my dearest Mother, on this foreign shore How many tears you shed to draw me to you !… In pondering your life in the holy Gospels, I dare look at you and come near you. It’s not difficult for me to believe I’m your child, For I see you human and suffering like me…
When an angel from Heaven bids you be the Mother O the God who is to reign for all eternity, I see you prefer, O Mary, what a mystery ! The ineffable treasure of virginity. O Immaculate Virgin, I understand how your soul Is dearer to the Lord than his heavenly dwelling. I understand how your soul, Humble and Sweet Valley, Can contain Jesus, the Ocean of Love !…
Oh ! I love you, Mary, saying you are the servant Of the God whom you charm by your humility. This hidden virtue makes you all-powerful. It attracts the Holy Trinity into your heart. Then the Spirit of Love covering you with his shadow, The Son equal to the Father became incarnate in you, There will be a great many of his sinner brothers, Since he will be called : Jesus, your first-born !…
O beloved Mother, despite my littleness, Like you I possess The All-Powerful within me. But I don’t tremble in seeing my weakness ; The treasures of a mother belong to her child, And I am your child, O my dearest Mother. Aren’t your virtues and your love mine too ? So when the white Host comes into my heart, Jesus, your Sweet Lamb, thinks he is resting in you !…
You make me feel that it’s not impossible To follow in your footsteps, O Queen of the elect. You made visible the narrow road to Heaven While always practicing the humblest virtues. Near you, Mary, I like to stay little. I see the vanity of greatness here below. At the home of Saint Elizabeth, receiving your visit, I learn how to practice ardent charity.
There, Sweet Queen of angels, I listen, delighted, To the sacred canticle springing forth from your heart. You teach me to sing divine praises, To glory in Jesus my Savior. Your words of love are mystical roses Destined to perfume the centuries to come. In you the Almighty has done great things. I want to ponder them to bless him for them.
When good Saint Joseph did not know of the miracle That you wanted to hide in your humility, You let him cry close by the Tabernacle Veiling the Savior’s divine beauty !… Oh Mary ! how I love your eloquent silence ! For me it is a sweet, melodious concert That speaks to me of the greatness and power Of a soul which looks only to Heaven for help…
Later in Bethlehem, O Joseph and Mary ! I see you rejected by all the villagers. No one wants to take in poor foreigners. There’s room for the great ones… There’s room for the great ones, and it’s in a stable That the Queen of Heaven must give birth to a God. O my dearest Mother, how lovable I find you, How great I find you in such a poor place !…
When I see the Eternal God wrapped in swaddling clothes, When I hear the poor cry of the Divine Word, O my dearest Mother, I no longer envy the angels, For their Powerful Lord is my dearest Brother !… How I love you, Mary, you who made This Divine Flower blossom on our shores !… How I love you listening to the shepherds and wisemen And keeping it all in your heart with care !…
I love you mingling with the other women Walking toward the holy temple. I love you presenting the Savior of our souls To the blessed Old Man who pressed Him to his heart. At first I smile as I listen to his canticle, But soon his tone makes me shed tears. Plunging a prophetic glance into the future, Simeon presents you with a sword of sorrows.
O Queen of martyrs, till the evening of your life That sorrowful sword will pierce your heart. Already you must leave your native land To flee a king’s jealous fury. Jesus sleeps in peace under the folds of your veil. Joseph comes begging you to leave at once, And at once your obedience is revealed. You leave without delay or reasoning.
O Mary, it seems to me that in the land of Egypt Your heart remains joyful in poverty, For is not Jesus the fairest Homeland, What does exile matter to you ? You hold Heaven… But in Jerusalem a bitter sadness Comes to flood your heart like a vast ocean. For three days, Jesus hides from your tenderness. That is indeed exile in all its harshness !…
At last you find him and you are overcome with joy, You say to the fair Child captivating the doctors : “O my Son, why have you done this ? Your father and I have been searching for you in tears.” And the Child God replies (O what a deep mystery !) To his dearest Mother holding out her arms to him : “Why were you searching for me ? I must be about My Father’s business. Didn’t you know ?”
The Gospel tells me that, growing in wisdom, Jesus remains subject to Joseph and Mary, And my heart reveals to me with what tenderness He always obeys his dear parents. Now I understand the mystery of the temple, The hidden words of my Lovable King. Mother, your sweet Child wants you to be the example Of the soul searching for Him in the night of faith.
Since the King of Heaven wanted his Mother To be plunged into the night, in anguish of heart, Mary, is it thus a blessing to suffer on earth ? Yes, to suffer while loving is the purest happiness !… All that He has given me, Jesus can take back. Tell him not to bother with me… He can indeed hide from me, I’m willing to wait for him Till the day without sunset when my faith will fade away…
Mother full of grace, I know that in Nazareth You live in poverty, wanting nothing more. No rapture, miracle, or ecstasy Embellish your life, O Queen of the Elect !… The number of little ones on earth is truly great. They can raise their eyes to you without trembling. It’s by the ordinary way, incomparable Mother, That you like to walk to guide them to Heaven.
While waiting for Heaven, O my dear Mother, I want to live with you, to follow you each day. Mother, contemplating you, I joyfully immerse myself, Discovering in your heart abysses of love. Your motherly gaze banishes all my fears. It teaches me to cry, it teaches me to rejoice. Instead of scorning pure and simple joys, You want to share in them, you deign to bless them.
At Cana, seeing the married couple’s anxiety Which they cannot hide, for they have run out of wine, In your concern you tell the Savior, Hoping for the help of his divine power. Jesus seems at first to reject your prayer : « Woman, what does this matter, » he answers, « to you and to me ? » But in the depths of his heart, He calls you his Mother, And he works his first miracle for you…
One day when sinners are listening to the doctrine Of Him who would like to welcome them in Heaven, Mary, I find you with them on the hill. Someone says to Jesus that you wish to see him. Then, before the whole multitude, your Divine Son Shows us the immensity of his love for us. He says : “Who is my brother and my sister and my Mother, If not the one who does my will ?”
O Immaculate Virgin, most tender of Mothers, In listening to Jesus, you are not saddened. But you rejoice that He makes us understand How our souls become his family here below. Yes, you rejoice that He gives us his life, The infinite treasures of his divinity !… How can we not love you, O my dear Mother, On seeing so much love and so much humility ?
You love us, Mary, as Jesus loves us, And for us you accept being separated from Him. To love is to give everything. It’s to give oneself. You wanted to prove this by remaining our support. The Savior knew your immense tenderness. He knew the secrets of your maternal heart. Refuge of sinners, He leaves us to you When He leaves the Cross to wait for us in Heaven.
Mary, at the top of Calvary standing beside the Cross To me you seem like a priest at the altar, Offering your beloved Jesus, the sweet Emmanuel, To appease the Father’s justice… A prophet said, O afflicted Mother, “There is no sorrow like your sorrow ! ” O Queen of Martyrs, while remaining in exile You lavish on us all the blood of your heart !
Saint John’s home becomes your only refuge. Zebedee’s son is to replace Jesus… That is the last detail the Gospel gives. It tells me nothing more of the Queen of Heaven. But, O my dear Mother, doesn’t its profound silence Reveal that The Eternal Word Himself Wants to sing the secrets of your life To charm your children, all the Elect of Heaven ?
Soon I’ll hear that sweet harmony. Soon I’ll go to beautiful Heaven to see you. You who came to smile at me in the morning of my life, Come smile at me again … Mother… It’s evening now !… I no longer fear the splendor of your supreme glory. With you I’ve suffered and now I want To sing on your lap, Mary, why I love you, And to go on saying that I am your child !…
A poem by Saint Therese to Our Lady
Happy and Blessed Feast Day of The Immaculate Conception of The Blessed Virgin Mary!
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!
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
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
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
Wishing you all a very happy and blessed Feast Day of Our lady of Mount Carmel! Ora Pro Nobis!
“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
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! ❤
Here we are, in our meeting place. Our secret garden, in a beautiful day of June late afternoon.
I find You in the flowers. I find You in the birds, the trees, the ducks, the butterflies. All rejoice and praise You. Your presence is here with me among the lilies. Your fragrance is everywhere. Your love and tenderness follows me wherever I go.
Nature is Your playground. The sky is Your canvas. I stop and let all these precious moments stay with me forever.
They console my heart.
You know my heart is aching
from the losses of three dear friends.
Three beautiful souls that recently departed
To Your loving arms.
May You welcome them in your Kingdom,
where there are no more tears and pain.
Blessed them with Your everlasting love and peace.
Your Heart I seek. I want my heart to become a shrine for Your Sacred Heart. A place where You can rest and I can rest in You. My Jesus, my All and my God.
~ My short poem to Jesus
Nothing can separate us from the love of God.
If God gave the soul his whole creation she would not be filled thereby but only with himself.
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. ~ St. John Chrysostom
The whole earth is a living icon of the face of God. ~ St. John Damascus
God passes through the thicket of the world, and wherever His glance falls He turns all things to beauty. ~ St. John of the Cross
I asked the whole frame of the world about my God; and he answered, I am not He, but He made me.
St. Augustine of Hippo
Let us protect Christ in our lives, so that we can protect others, so that we can protect creation!
~ Pope Francis
The goal of the Incarnation, the Cross, and the Resurrection is Pentecost. If God has become man, if he has suffered and died for us and risen from the dead, it is in order finally to fill us with the Holy Spirit. Jesus says it with crystal clear words: “I came to cast fire upon the earth; and would that it were already kindled!” (Lk 12:49).
In one of the manuscripts of Luke’s Gospel, it says “May your Holy Spirit come”, instead of may “Your kingdom come” (Lk 11:2). God’s kingdom is identified with the Holy Spirit. When we are filled with him, God is truly Lord in us.
The theology of the West is sometimes criticized for its “mono-Christ-ism”. It seems that theologians have devoted themselves in a biased, almost exclusive way toward Christ. But we cannot understand Christ, the truth, if we are not led by the Spirit of truth, who leads us into all truth (Jn 16:13). Perhaps this is also the reason why the theology of the West is so cold, dry, and abstract. The flame is missing. We have needed the Charismatic Renewal to become aware that the Church is not only the Church of Christ but also the Church of the Holy Spirit.
There are three Persons in God. We may not omit or pass over any one of them. Each one of the three Persons has his own function and his own role. We miss out on something essential if we limit ourselves to one or two Persons.
In the beginning, God’s Spirit hovered over the waters (Gen 1:2). We could speak of a cosmic Pentecost, which prepared, and in some way even anticipated, the actual and definitive Pentecost. The Spirit is present from the beginning, and he sighs in creation and makes it sigh with him. “We know”, writes Saint Paul, “that the whole creation has been groaning with labor pains” (Rom 8:22). It begins already on the first day of creation, and this groaning is the work of the Spirit.
It is man’s calling to be a conscious pneumatoforos (Spirit bearer). What is unconscious in creation becomes conscious in man. It is his function to interpret the language of creation, to be in harmony with it and articulate it, so that it becomes a song of praise that not only God but even his fellowmen can understand.
St. Ildephonsus of Toledo, Spain, was proclaiming the joy of being “a servant of Mary” already in the 7th century. In one of his prayers he brings to full light the idea of Mary’s virginal Motherhood as a model of spiritual life for the Christian.
Mary must obtain for us from the Holy Spirit the grace for Christ to be formed spiritually in us just as she, through the power of the same Spirit, fashioned Christ according to the flesh.
Holy Virgin, I beg you: enable me to receive Jesus from the Spirit, according to the same process by which you bore Jesus.
May my soul possess Jesus thanks to the Spirit through Whom you conceived Jesus.
May the grace to know Jesus be granted to me through the Spirit Who enabled you to know how to possess Jesus and bring Him forth.
May my littleness show forth the greatness of Jesus in virtue of the Spirit in Whom you recognized yourself as the handmaid of the Lord, desiring that it be done to you according to the word of the Angel.
May I love Jesus in the Spirit in Whom you adored Him as your Lord and looked after Him as your Son.
~ St. Ildephonsus of Toledo
~ From the book “Prayers to Mary” by Most Rev. Virgilio Noe