Our Secret Garden

 

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My Photo, taken in Bayfield, Ontario ~ June 2020

 

Beloved,

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.

Beloved,

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.

Beloved,

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

 

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Photo taken by me at Gairloch Gardens ~ June 2020


Nothing can separate us from the love of God.
Romans 8:39

 

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Photo taken by me at Gairloch Gardens ~ June 2020


If God gave the soul his whole creation she would not be filled thereby but only with himself.
Meister Eckhart

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Photo taken by me at Gairloch Gardens ~ June 2020


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

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Photo taken by me at Gairloch Gardens ~ June 2020

The whole earth is a living icon of the face of God.
~ St. John Damascus

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Photo taken by me at Gairloch Gardens ~ June 2020


God passes through the thicket of the world, and wherever His glance falls He turns all things to beauty.

~ St. John of the Cross

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Photo taken by me at Gairloch Gardens ~ June 2020


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

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Photo taken by me at Gairloch Gardens ~ June 2020


Let us protect Christ in our lives, so that we can protect others, so that we can protect creation!
~ Pope Francis

 

It’s May and It’s My Three Year Blog Anniversary!

 

Happy Three Year Blog Anniversary My Carmel!

thank you so much 2

 

I would like to thank all of you, my followers and readers, for your interest and support to My Carmel Blog!

I’m looking forward to another year of blogging about Carmelite Spirituality, contemplative poetry and reflections about our faith and the life of the Saints.

Stay safe and God’s blessings to all!

a rose for you

Patty

Love Chooses a “You”

 

Watching a star
Art source unknown

 

Love, true love, is always directed at concrete people. Love is never anonymous. Love chooses; love doesn’t love an unknown mass.

God also chooses people onto whom he focuses his love. God wills that all people be saved, but he doesn’t begin with all. He chooses one man, Abraham. And Abraham becomes a people, Israel. Israel becomes the Church, the people of God, and the Church shines throughout the world.

To choose and be chosen is a characteristic throughout the Bible. God chooses someone from among the anonymous multitude and pours his love and gifts of grace over this person. From this person, love will in turn stream out to others.

If you want to live in love, you can’t begin by loving all of humanity. Start with your neighbor! Choose people you meet in your daily life. Love begins with a “you.”

The fire of love needs to spread all over the world, but its spark is always ignited in a relationship between two people. If you want to love everybody right away, you’ll end up loving no one for real. First, love the ones closest to you, then, through them, you may later acquire universal love.

 

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

Your Three Gifts

 

Wise man
My photo

 

The astrologers from the East presented gold, myrrh, and frankincense as a way to worship the unknown child of God. You—who know fully who the child in the manger is—can present him even more appropriate gifts.

You know that this child is your Creator. To create means to make something of nothing. If you really want to worship this child as your Creator, then give him your nothingness: your inner emptiness, powerlessness, and inadequacy. Without your nothingness, he cannot create you. With your nothingness, he makes your life his creation.

The child in the crib is also the Word. He is the Word of the Father. The Word will make itself heard, and seek those who will listen. You can offer him your openness, your silence, and your listening.

The child is also Christ your Savior. He comes to heal your wounds, and to free you from your sin. You can never get to know him if you do not reveal your sins to him. The third gift you can give this child is your need of his healing. Then he will change your sin into bright signs of his love.

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

 

 

Happy and Blessed Feast of the Epiphany of the Lord!

The Isle of Love

 

saint john the evangelist
San Giovani Evangelista, art by Lorenzo Costa (1480 – 1485 circa) Accademia Carrara Bergamo.

 

Here is an excerpt from the book ‘The Way of the Dreamcatcher’
Spirit Lessons with Robert Lax: Poet, Peacemaker, Sage.
By S.T. Georgiou.

 

Robert, it’s been said that you eventually left Marseille and later went on to Greece and Patmos because of a “sign” you saw in your room. Over your bed there was an icon of St. John the Divine writing his Revelation. This image prompted you to start thinking of Patmos and the famous cave wherein John experienced his vision.

That’s a true story. And up there on my wall, among all the other pictures and postcards, is a copy of that very icon. The original is from an illustrated manuscript of the fifteenth century.

Oh yes, there’s St. John writing his Apocalypse.

And the fact that he’s writing also led me to believe that Patmos would be a good place to write and meditate.

So Patmos was love at first sight?

Definitely. Things were clearer here, much more real, rooted, you might say. No distractions. Excellent climate, at least for most months. A fertile, unfolding quiet. Beautiful, inspiring light. Something about the light – so many tones, hues beaming into the soul. And there was also a classical influence as well. It was a ruggedly Homeric place ringed by a “wine dark sea.”

What was it that you found holy here? The site must have certainly impressed you since you had previously gone to such inspiring locales as the Virgin Isles, the Canary Isles, and a number of the islands of Italy and Greece. 

Many people who visit say that there is an ominous feel to the place as your boat approaches, but not in a bad way. There’s just a certain feeling that something spiritually significant is here, waiting to reveal itself in its own good time. When I first came I strongly felt the power of St. John’s cave as well as the great monastery and that whole area up there, but it was really the Cave of the Apocalypse that moved me.

You sound like the islanders — they’re very ” cave conscious. ”  

Yes, the cave has been a magnet for all the Patmians since the days of St. John. In fact, St. John’s association with the cave has permeated the whole psychology of the people here. It has made them loving, gentle, wise. I’ve found that they never say a word in any situation that doesn’t emanate from a pure trust, a deep spiritual centre of which the cave is a part. So many times I’ve heard, “Epomoni” (Patience), “Oti theli o Theos” (Whatever God wants) and “Doxa si o Theos” (Glory be to God). Everything seems to be right here for a good rapport with the Creator. The men, women and children have a solid spiritual foundation nurtured by the sanctity of the isle and by their forefathers.
On top of that, they are always reminded of the high ideals of their classical and Byzantine ancestors. I mean, Socrates “Know thyself,” which many of the locals echo, is a good start for anyone.

So you feel Patmos is truly a sacred site, a blessed zone? Is there a unique energy here? A cosmic pulsing?

I certainly would not be inclined to doubt it. The sun, moon and stars seem to shine right into you. Yes, I very much believe the people are blessed simply by being here. Grace seems to flow here. You can’t help but sense the love of God. The gates of Patmos are as wide as the heart, open to all.

What did you feel when you first came to this holy isle? 

A timeless serenity. Generative silence. Awe. The quiet imposed by the volcanic mountains and stones, a real love moving over the face of the waters. In a more familial sense, I did feel like someone might if they had run into their long-lost parents or grandparents — as if everything you’ve heard in your life, up till then, had just been an echo of something that all along had been planted right here. And the echoes of that something could still be heard. . .

It’s interesting how when St. John came here, he emphasized the need to love. “Just love one another, ” he would say. So we are meant to form relationships, to network. One star can’t illuminate the whole night sky. Constellations have to form.

Patmos then seems to be a model for harmonious living, a kind of cosmic school of higher learning. 

I do believe that very much — it’s a wholesome place that naturally fosters self-discovery and genuine agape. There’s a living tradition here. I felt a great wave of peace when I came to Patmos, and I still sense these peaceful rhythms. Things are free-flowing here. The sunlight writes on the water, and the waters wave in the light. Even the birds seem to fly in a more peaceful way, as if they know that they are loved. Animals are like children because they know when they are loved, and when they are not.

 

Look far back,
look infinitely on.
Penetrate, do not appraise.
Behold all things
with the innocence of light.
Laugh when you meet a stranger;
let your glances flash together
like water in sunlight.
~ Robert Lax

 

Happy Feast of Saint John The Evangelist!
The Disciple whom Jesus Loved, St. John The Divine, St. John The Theologian,
pray for us!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Believe The Unbelievable

 

Baby Jesus

 

A human being who was God has appeared in the world. This is the most jarring event in all of world history.

To the nonbeliever this is a scandal that turns Christianity into mythology. Christianity claims not only that Jesus was singularly transparent to God; it claims that God—he who carries the universe and to whom no name is fitting because he transcends anything we can imagine—is identical to a human being who was named Jesus, born in Nazareth, and who worked as a carpenter.

The eternal God, who can have no historical destiny since he is outside of any history limited by time, enters time and submits himself to a particular destiny. The invisible and intangible one becomes visible and tangible and ties himself to the human condition. He has a mother, a grandmother and a grandfather, and other relatives.

That God has crossed the threshold of history and entered our existence is totally incomprehensible. On our own, we would never have thought that anything like this were possible. Yet, the Incarnation of God is the central truth of Christianity.

Our faith is rooted in mystery. God has come so close that his nearness blinds us. We grow in the faith to the extent that we bow before the incomprehensible. It is only when you affirm the unbelievable that has become one of us that it is possible for you to become like him. And that is what he created you for in the beginning.

 

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

 

 

Merry Christmas! ❤ Feliz Navidad!

Vineyard of Carmel

 

CarmeliteMonastery
Carmelite Monastery in Santa Clara, California ~ Art by Sylvia Waddell


Come, Love, to the vineyard

In the morning dew,
There we’ll watch in silence,
If vineyards bloom anew,
If the grapes are growing,
Life with vigor glowing,
Fresh the vine and true.

From the heights of Heaven
Holy Mother descend,
Lead unto your vineyard
Our beloved friend.
Dew and rain let gently
Drop from His kind hand
And the balm of sunshine
Fall on Carmel’s land.

Young vines, newly planted,
Tiny though they be,
Grant them life eternal
A gift of peace from Thee.
Trusted vintners strengthen
Their frail and feeble powers,
Shield them from the enemy
Who in darkness cowers.

Holy Mother grant reward
For your vintners’ care
Give them, I beseech you,
Crown of Heaven fair.
Don’t let raging fire
Kill these vines, we pray,
And grant your life eternal
To each young shoot some day.

 

~ A poem by St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein), O.C.D.

Thankfulness Always

 

Jesus art by Joshua Vargas
Art by Joshua Vargas

 

Jesus gives thanks to God when he institutes the Holy Eucharist. He thanks the Father for the bread which is his own body, and the wine which is his blood.

Jesus is infinitely thankful that he gets to work for his Father’s kingdom, even if this means suffering and death for himself. He gives thanks that he can pass on the words he has received from the Father (Jn 17:8), reveal the name of the Father (v. 6), and fulfill the commission the Father has given him (v. 4). Everything for which Jesus gives thanks comes to fruition through his total humiliation. The wine in the cup that he lifts in thankfulness to God is the blood that pours out of his pierced heart.

If you sometimes have difficulties thanking God for everything, then just remind yourself of how Jesus presented his whole life as a thanksgiving sacrifice to the Father. All his vitality, the riches of his will and his love, he concentrates and summarizes in a prayer of thanksgiving. If you wish to find unity and coherence in your life, the best thing you can do is to resign yourself to everything that happens. What it does mean is a foundational attitude of trust in someone who knows and understands everything much better than you do, someone who loves, and wants the best for his creation.

We do well always and everywhere to give God thanks.

 

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

 

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever.
1 Chronicles 16:34

 

A Blessed Canadian Thanksgiving to All!

 

grateful

 

Hold On To Your Saint!

 

All-Saints-Montage
(Photo collage~source unknown)

 

That we are entering an age of martyrdom must be obvious to anybody with a nose on their face and eyes in their head! When it comes, the name of God, Our Lady, and your patron saint should be on your lips. Your patron saint is very close to you, a creature like you.

What characterizes a saint?

A saint is a lover of God; that is, a lover of all human beings.
A saint listens to the Lord and lets his words penetrate the heart. He doesn’t respond with “if”s and “but”s.
The saints were free. Those who do the will of God are free, for when you do your own will, you are bound.
When you go in search of God, hold on to the hand of your saint. He or she will lead you to God as no one else can.

~ A Meditation by Catherine Doherty

 

You are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by all, shown to be a letter of Christ administered by us, written not in ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets that are hearts of flesh.
~ 2 Cor 3: 2-3 

 

For a Lover of Nature

I recently got back from a wonderful trip to Scotland. My daughter and I visited the beautiful and magical city of Edinburgh and later on we took a full day tour to visit the Scottish Highlands—It was such a wonderful experience to be surrounded by majestic mountains and valleys, visiting small Victorian little towns, cruising the dark and deep waters of Loch Ness with breathtaking views followed by a visit to Urquhart Castle. And feeding the Highlands Cows—Unforgettable! What an amazing day we had!

I’m feeling very humble and blessed by the extraordinary experiences we had with my daughter during our visit to Scotland. So thankful to our Beloved Lord for blessing us with this amazing opportunity to travel together and treasure those moments for a lifetime.

Here I share a few of the photos I took during our visit to this beautiful land of many treasures. . .

 

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Relaxing at sunset with a view of Edinburgh Castle in the background (My photo – July 2019)

 

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Our climb to Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh…Philippians 4:13  (My photo – July 2019)

 

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Attended Mass at St. Patrick’s Church in Edinburgh on July 16th Feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel ❤ A very blessed day! (My photo – July 2019)

 

EDI Little Flower
Saint Thérèse ❤ you are always near! Thank you Little Flower! At St. Patrick’s Church, July 16th 2019 (My photo)

 

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Cruising on Loch Ness…Enjoying all the beauty and wonder! God’s creation is awesome and a precious gift to us all! (My photo – July 2019)

 

Urquhart castle
Visiting the ruins of Urquhart Castle. . . (My photo – July 2019)

 

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Visiting the Highland Coo! They are so docile and cute! (My photo – July 2019)

 

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Beautiful roses everywhere in Edinburgh and The Highlands…The climate favors them for their growth and beauty! Here I took this photo in the Victorian town of Pitlochry (July 2019).

 

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The Highlands! So grateful to God for this unforgettable trip! (My photo – July 2019)

 

For a Lover of Nature

Your valley trails its beauty through your poems,
the kindly woods, the wide majestic river.
Earth is your god—or goddess, you declare,
mindful of what good time must one day give her
of all you have. Water and rocks and trees
hold primal words born out of Genesis.

But Love is older than these.

You lay your hand upon the permanence
of green-embroidered land and miss the truth
that you are trusting your immortal spirit
to earth’s sad inexperience and youth.
Centuries made this soil; this rock was lifted 
out of aeons; time could never trace 
a path to water’s birth or air’s inception,
and so, you say, these be your godly grace.
Earth was swept into being with the light—
dear earth, you argue, who will soon be winning
your flesh and bones by a most ancient right.

But Love had no beginning.

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