Elpina, The Shepherdess

 

shepherdess with her flock
Shepherdess with her Flock, art by Jean-François Millet

 

Elpina the shepherdess
Burning with a great desire
To know how God
Could be loved upon earth,
Wept alone one day
And in the woods
Uttered these words:
“Eh! Who can teach me
to love God Who loves me
and Who, before the existence
of the world He created
with this same love
of His Heart Divine,
loved me…”
While thus grieved
she wept to herself
not being able to console
the pain of her heart;
the virgin, now a hermit,
swooned and fell–
a prey to languor…
Behold, there before her,
ornate with gilded wings,
brimming with celestial delight,
stood suddenly a gracious spirit,
and his loving lips
like lilies and roses
opened into these beautiful accents:
“Elpina, how can you say
You do not love God,
When your very desire
Of loving is love itself?
It is the sweet flame
Which escapes from
The secret furnace of your Heart.”

 

~ A poem by St. Teresa Margaret Redi of the Sacred Heart, O.C.D.

 

 

“I propose to have no other purpose in all my activities, either interior or exterior, than the motive of Love alone. “
~ St. Teresa Margaret Redi of the Sacred Heart, O.C.D.

 

 

 Happy & Blessed Feast Day of St. Teresa Margaret Redi!  

The Cloud of Carmel

 

Virgo Maria
Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Art source unknown)

 

“The Lord promised that He would dwell in a cloud.”
~ 2 Chronicles 6:1 

 

Symbol of star or lily of the snows,
rainbow or root or vine or fruit-filled tree:
these image the immaculate to me
less than a little cloud, a little light cloud rising
from Orient waters cleft by prophecy.
And as the Virgin in a most surprising
maternity bore God in the mysteries of grace
beseech her: Cloud, encompass God and me.

Nothing defiled can touch the cloud of Mary.
God as a child willed to be safe in her,
and the Divine Indweller sets His throne
deep in a cloud in me, His sanctuary.
I pray, O wrap me, Cloud, . . . light Cloud of Carmel
within whose purity my vows were sown
to lift their secrecies to God alone.
Say to my soul, the timorous and small
house of a Presence that it cannot see
and frightened acre of a Deity,
say in the fullness of your clemency:
I have enclosed you all.
You are in whiteness of a lighted lamb wool;
you are in softness of a summer wind lull.
O hut of God, deepen your faith anew.
Enfolded in this motherhood of mine,
all that is beautiful and all divine
is safe in you.

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

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. . .

 

EDI122
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)

 

EDI saint patrick church
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)

 

Edi Lochness 2
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)

 

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

 

roses in EDI
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).

 

EDI me and my baby girl
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.  

 

 

 

 

 

To Our Lady of Perpetual Succour

 

Church-StAlphonsus-Liguori-Our-Lady-Perpetual-Help-pilgrim-info03
Byzantine Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour

 

On my way to Heaven,
Where I shall see you,
Your beloved image accompanies me
on my earthly journey
to be my Perpetual Help.
You know how your sweet image
captivates my soul,
Near you I breath the fragrance of love,
And find my peace in your gaze.
Your maternal smile shone above me,
When I was good,
When I erred, sad was your gaze upon me.
My childish prayer you welcomed with caresses and maternal love,
I look upon you and weep no longer,
For I anticipate my Heaven.
My Mother, support me in the terrors
of my battle for God on earth,
To bring to Him my prisoners of war,
A thousand souls for His love.
Image of Mary, be always for me
A rich honeycomb of love,
To sweeten the bitterness of death;

My eyes to ever draw from you my consolation.
From this earth to you I go
Throwing myself into your arms,
To rest forever in your sweet embrace,
which none will ever take from me.

~ A poem by Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, O.C.D.

 

Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, ora pro nobis!

 

 

The Church of Saint Alphonsus Ligouri stands out among the many churches in Rome…not for its’ external beauty but for what it contains: The original image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.

About the Image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help:
The original painting of Our Lady of Perpetual Help is, perhaps, the most widely-recognized icon in the world.

The image was, for some time, kept in Saint Matthew’s Church in Rome. Then in 1798, the church was destroyed by Napoleon’s forces. In January 1855, the Redemptorist Order purchased a villa located here for their headquarters. They were unaware of the fact that the land they had purchased was actually the location of the church and monastery of Saint Matthew–the place which the Virgin Mary had specified for the image to be placed in an earlier vision.
The Icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help (also known as Our Lady of Perpetual Succour) hangs above the main altar.
It is not very large, about 16 x 20″. But it is of great significance to many Catholics who have sought the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary. To stand in front of the icon–quite often un-disturbed by other visitors– is a wonderful experience.
*This information has been taken from The Catholic Travel Guide.

*For more information about Our Lady of Perpetual Succour, please check:
https://www.pilgrim-info.com/church-st-alphonsus-liguori-rome/

 

 

Wishing you all a happy & blessed Feast day of Our Lady of Perpetual Succour!

Contemplation

 

lavender
Photo source unknown

 

The path to the prayer room
runs beside a bed of herbs —
rosemary, sage, holy basil,
chervil, chives.

Lavender. Walking,
I pluck a stalk and crush
the woolly flowers lightly in
my hand, pausing
to inhale the fragrance.

I carry the sprig down
the steps, into the place of 
contemplation. My body stills,
but thumb and finger lift
the purple flame, an oblation.

The aroma is itself a prayer,
a reaching, a receiving. I sit
in silence, breathing what God is
telling me: he is in me
as he is in the flower.

Thanks be to God.

~ A poem by Luci Shaw 

 

God’s Grandeur

 

Bird flying
Photo taken by me at sunset today. . .

 

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.

 

~ A poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, S.J.

 

The Evening of the Visitation

 

 

The Visitaion art by Angiolo D'Andrea
The Visitation art by Angiolo D’Andrea (1880-1942)

 

Go, roads, to the four quarters of our quiet distance,
While you, full moon, wise queen,
Begin your evening journey to the hills of heaven,
And travel no less stately in the summer sky
Than Mary, going to the house of Zachary.

The woods are silent with the sleep of doves,
The valleys with the sleep of streams,
And all our barns are happy with peace of cattle gone to rest.
Still wakeful, in the fields, the shocks of wheat
Preach and say prayers:
You sheaves, make all your evensongs as sweet as ours,
Whose summer world, all ready for the granary and barn,
Seems to have seen, this day,
Into the secret of the Lord’s Nativity.

Now at the fall of night, you shocks,
Still bend your heads like kind and humble kings
The way you did this golden morning when you saw God’s
Mother passing,
While all our windows fill and sweeten
With the mild vespers of the hay and barley.

You moon and rising stars, pour on our barns and houses
Your gentle benedictions.
Remind us how our Mother, with far subtler and more holy
influence,
Blesses our rooves and eaves,
Our shutters, lattices and sills,
Our doors, and floors, and stairs, and rooms, and bedrooms,
Smiling by night upon her sleeping children:
O gentle Mary! Our lovely Mother in heaven!

 

~ A poem by Thomas Merton

 

Happy & Blessed Feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary!