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)!

 

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!

O glorious St. Joseph…


Glorioso San José, under your patronage may my interior life grow and develop.
In your school, O glorious St. Joseph, I desire to learn how to live by faith, guided in all things by divine Providence.


Today the Church presents St. Joseph, the great Patriarch, to whose care God willed to entrust the most chosen portion of His flock, Mary and Jesus. Because Joseph was selected by God to be the guardian of the family of Nazareth, the nucleus of the great Christian family, the Church recognizes in him the Guardian and Patron of all Christendom. Herein lies the significance of today’s Feast, which invites us to fix our attention on the mission entrusted to this great Saint in relation to Jesus and to the Church.
Aware of the great mystery of the Incarnation, Joseph’s whole life gravitated about that of the Incarnate Word: for Him he endured worry, suffering, fatigue, labor. To Him he consecrated all his solicitude, his energy, his resources, his time. He reserved nothing for himself, but completely oblivious of any personal needs, desires, or views, he devoted himself entirely to the interests and the needs of Jesus. Nothing existed for Joseph except Jesus and Mary, and he felt that his life on earth had no other raison d’être than his care for them. In this way he participated fully, as a humble, hidden collaborator, in the work of Redemption; if he did not accompany Jesus in His apostolic life and to His death on the Cross—as Mary did—nevertheless, he worked for the same end as the Savior.
Having been the faithful guardian of the Holy Family, it is impossible that from the heights of heaven St. Joseph should not continue to protect the great Christian family, the universal Church, which, confident of his protection, and relying on his assistance, prays thus: “Sustained, O Lord, by the protection of the spouse of Your holy Mother, we beseech Your clemency … that by his merits and intercession You will guide us to eternal glory” (RM).

Saint Joseph and Jesus

Saint Joseph and the Child, Jesus ~ art by Bartolome Esteban Murillo (1617-1682)

St. Teresa of Avila Devotion to Saint Joseph:

Due to St. Teresa’s devotion to and trust in St. Joseph’s loving care for her intentions and the needs of the reform, Discalced Carmelites regard St. Joseph as a Protector of the Order and a master of prayer…

Saint Joseph patron saint of the order of carmelites

“O St. Joseph, how much I love you! How much good it does me to think of your humble, simple life! Like us, you lived by faith. I contemplate you in the little house at Nazareth, near Jesus and Mary, busy working for them. I see you using the plane, and then wiping your forehead from time to time, and hurrying to finish the work on time for your customers. Although you lived with the Son of God, your life was very ordinary, for Jesus certainly did not perform any useless miracles. Everything in your life was just as it is in ours. And how many sorrows, fatigues and dangers! Oh! how astonished we should be if we knew all that you suffered!” (cf. T.C.J. C, – NV).

“I do not know how anyone can think of the Queen of Angels during the time that she suffered so much with the Child Jesus, without giving thanks to you, O glorious St. Joseph, for the way you helped them. For this reason it seems to me that those who practice prayer should have a special affection for you always.

“I wish I could persuade everyone to be devoted to you, for I have great experience of the blessings which you obtain from God. I have never known anyone to be truly devoted to you and render you particular services who did not notably advance in virtue, for you give very real help to souls who commend themselves to you. I have clearly seen that your help has always been greater than I could have hoped for. I do not remember that I have ever asked anything of you which you failed to grant. The Lord wishes to teach us that as He was Himself subject to you on earth (for, being His guardian and being called His father, you could command Him), just so in Heaven He still does all that you ask” (cf. T.J. Life, 6).
O dear St. Joseph, I place myself, then, with full confidence under your protection. teach me to live as you did, in faith and abandonment to God; teach me to live solely for Him, by consecrating myself entirely to His service.

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

 

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, going down to Nazareth art by William Charles Thomas Dobson

Jesus, Mary and Joseph, going down to Nazareth, art by William Charles Thomas Dobson (1817-1898)

 

Wishing you all a very blessed Feast day of Saint Joseph! 

The Living Flame Of Love

Painting by Celine Martin : St John of the Cross

Saint John of the Cross ~ Art by Celine Martin

“This was requested of me by the Carmel, as he was known. I focused on creating a strong contrast with the cross.” Céline’s note. (taken from the Archives du Carmel de Lisieux)

Songs of the soul in the intimate communication of loving union with God. 

1. O living flame of love
that tenderly wounds my soul
in its deepest center! Since
now you are not oppressive,
now consummate! if it be your will:
tear through the veil of this sweet encounter!

2. O sweet cautery,
O delightful wound!
O gentle hand! O delicate touch
that tastes of eternal life
and pays every debt!
In killing you changed death to life.

3. O lamps of fire!
in whose splendors
the deep caverns of feeling,
once obscure and blind,
now give forth, so rarely, so exquisitely,
both warmth and light to their Beloved.

 

4. How gently and lovingly
you wake in my heart,
where in secret you dwell alone;
and in your sweet breathing,
filled with good and glory,
how tenderly you swell my heart with love.
~ Saint John of the Cross, O.C.D.

Guadalupe

Guadalupe ~ Art by Cecilia Spihlmann

Guadalupe ~ Art by Cecilia Spihlmann

You are the fountain of my life,
Under your shadow and in your protection,
I fear no evil… no pain, no worry.

O Maria, O most merciful Mother,
Gentle Virgin with the name Guadalupe.
On a mountain we find roses in winter,
All the world has been touched by your love.

Here in the crossing of your arms,
Could there be anything else that I need?
Nothing discourage… nothing depress me.

You are the star of the ocean,
My boat is small and the waves are so high.
But with you to guide me,
I’ll reach my homeland.

You are the dawn of a new day,
For you give birth to the Son of the Father.
All of my lifetime,
I’ll walk beside you.

~ Hymn to Our Lady of Guadalupe, author unknown