Ministering Spirits

 

angel show me the way

Show Me The way, art by J. Kirk Richards


Never go anywhere without the angels

who watch God’s face and listen to be sought.
Greater than you, yet they have joy to serve you.
Never go blundering through the jungle, thought,
without a clear-eyed one to part the branches,
shout snake or swamp-hole, cry a rock beware.
The angels of the Lord encamp around you
in any place you pitch your tents for prayer.

Know that your soul takes radiance from the angels.
She glories in these creatures of her kind
and sees herself thus lightsome, free as wind.
She stands abashed when the flesh rudely brings
its homage to these pure intelligences
and tries to crowd their beauty into bodies
and weight their grace with gravity of wings.

 

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

 


“If we detect an angel by the effect he is producing, let us hasten to pray since our heavenly guardian has come to join us.”
~ St. John Climacus


 

Love For Love

 

Corpus Christi

“Corpus Christi is one of God’s most beautiful and precious gifts. It is beautiful because it encompasses the reality of the Trinity being present , and precious because it is a gift which we do not deserve and yet was given to us freely and unconditionally. Many Saints and spiritual writers spent many long hours of contemplation before our Eucharistic Lord, and put down in writing what they have experienced during those hours of prayer and contemplation. And yet, all of them would tell us that there is no word to describe the gift of this Presence of Jesus in this simple piece of bread. The Holy Eucharist is both a unifying doctrine for those who accept in faith the words of Jesus, “This IS My Body!” in the passage of the Last Supper, and a stumbling block for those who do not yet believe. For us, Catholics, the Holy Eucharist is not just a representation of Jesus, it IS Jesus Himself, the Real Presence. It is not just the product of a collective imagination of pious people but a mystery presented to us which can only be apprehended by faith alone. The Holy Eucharist is one of those mysteries of “believe to understand,” as opposed to “understand to believe.” (paraphrasing St. Augustine).” *
*https://srhelena.blogspot.com/2010/06/our-eucharistic-lord.html

~ A Reflection by Sister Helena of Mary, Carmelite nun

 

The Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist by Saint Teresa of Avila:


“Once after receiving Communion,” St. Teresa wrote, “I was given understanding of how the Father receives within our soul the most holy Body of Christ, and of how I know and have seen that these Divine Persons are present, and how pleasing to the Father this offering of His Son is, because He delights and rejoices with Him here—let us say—on earth. For His humanity is not present with us in the soul, but His divinity is. Thus the humanity is so welcome and pleasing to the Father and bestows on us so many favors.”


“What a powerful insight! In our reception of the Lord’s Body and Blood in the Eucharist, we become connected to Christ’s humanity. We are united with God-made-man and experience the most intimate communion possible between two human persons. He becomes one with us, and we are united with Him. We are right to wonder at this great mystery of our faith! We can say nothing more profound than Thank You (which is what the word “Eucharist” means in Greek) when we experience the indescribable blessings that result from our communion with God’s only Son.”*  * http://stlouisreview.com/article/2012-07-25/eucharist-sacrament

 

Holy Eucharist4

Holy Eucharist, by unknown artist

 

The Real Presence

Jesus is present in the Eucharist with all His divinity and all His humanity. Although His humanity is present “per modum substantiae,” that is, in substance and not in corporeal extension, it is whole and entire in the consecrated Host—body and soul, and this latter with its faculties of intellect and will. Therefore our Eucharistic Lord knows and loves us as God and as Man. He is not a passive object for our adoration but He is living; He sees us, listens to us, answers our prayers with His graces. Thus we may have, with the gentle Master of the Gospel, living, concrete relations which, although imperceptible to our senses, it substitutes for what we do not see or touch; “sola fides sufficit,” says St. Thomas, faith alone is sufficient (Pange Lingua). As Jesus, disguised as a traveler, once taught the disciples of Emmaus, and inflamed their hearts, so too, Jesus hidden under the Eucharistic veil illumines our souls, inflames them with His love and inclines them over more effectively toward sanctity.

Jesus is there, in the consecrated Host, true God and true Man; as He became incarnate for us, so for us too, has He hidden Himself under the Sacred Species. There He waits for us, longs for us, is always ready to welcome and listen to us. And we need Him so much! God, pure Spirit, is present everywhere, it is true; and in His Unity and Trinity, He even deigns to dwell within our souls, vivified by grace. Nevertheless, we always have need of contact with Jesus, the Word made Flesh, God made Man, our Mediator, our Savior, our Brother, and we find Him present in the Eucharist. Here on earth we are never closer to Him than when we are in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament of the altar.

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

 

Jesus and the Holy Eucharist


LOVE FOR LOVE

White Host set in tabernacle gold,
Real Presence no eye can behold,
Called down from heaven by priestly words,
His name is Jesus, Savior long foretold.

What love our Savior has for us,
To make himself a prisoner of love.
Asking for nothing but giving everything
Dwelling in silence, patiently waiting.

My soul, awaken!
Do you hear him sighing?
The God of heaven,
For your love is thirsting.

O Jesus,
how often we have neglected you.
Distracted by the works we have to do.
Missing those moments,
We could have spent with you.

Lord my God, in the tabernacle
You are always there.
If only we find few moments to spare.
Returning the love that keeps you there
A Prisoner for us whom you hold so dear.

~ A poem by Sister Helena of Mary, O.Carm

 

Let us celebrate this day of devotion with much love. Let us return Love for love ❤

Wishing all of you a very blessed Feast of Corpus Christi! 

To Live with The Spirit

Holy Spirit visual blessings

 

To live with the Spirit of God is to be a listener.
It is to keep the vigil of mystery,
earthless and still.
One leans to catch the stirring of the Spirit,
strange as the wind’s will.

The soul that walks where the wind of the Spirit blows
turns like a wandering weather-vane toward love.
It may lament like Job or Jeremiah,
echo the wounded hart, the mateless dove.
It may rejoice in spaciousness of meadow
that emulates the freedom of the sky.

Always it walks in waylessness, unknowing;
it has cast down forever from its hand
the compass of the whither and the why.

To live with the Spirit of God is to be a lover.
It is becoming love, and like to Him
toward Whom we strain with metaphors of creatures:
fire-sweep and water-rush and the wind’s whim.
The soul is all activity, all silence;
and though it surges Godward to its goal,
it holds, as moving earth holds sleeping noonday,
the peace that is the listening of the soul.

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

The Gaze of Love

“Come,” says my heart, “seek God’s face”; your face, Lord, do I seek!
Psalm 27

Jesus and me by unknown artist

‘Gazing into the eyes of the Beloved’, by unknown artist

 

My Beloved,
My heart yearns for your gaze.
Your presence reveals this yearning in me.

It is so necessary to gaze upon you, O Lord 
When I’m here in your presence.
Your gaze heals me and comforts me,
Your healing power transforms me and renew me.

To contemplate your face, Beloved, is all I seek.
You are the gaze of love.

Your peace I yearn and desire.
Your friendship, is all I want and all I need in order to live in this exile.

O Beloved,
My heart cannot contain your beauty when You gaze at me
With so much tenderness and infinite love.
I want to live for these precious moments of intimacy with You.

You embrace me with so much delicacy, and I feel so loved.
O Lord, I feel so calm and whole in your presence.
You hold my hand and I feel your guidance and affirmation,
Knowing that You are constantly in me and with me.

You bless me Lord.
I need you Lord, like oxygen to my lungs.
Like sight to my eyes.
Like food to sustain my body.
Like light to illuminate my mind and soul.

You are my all, Beloved.
May I live in You all the days of my life and forever.

~ My Personal Reflection 

 

Mystical Rose

 

Mary by sieger koder

Mary’s Garden, art by Sieger Köder

How did Mary become the Rosa Mystica, the choice, delicate, perfect flower of God’s spiritual creation? It was by being born, nurtured, and sheltered in the mystical garden or Paradise of God. Scripture makes use of the figure of a garden when it would speak of heaven and its blessed inhabitants. A garden is a spot of ground set apart for trees and plants, all good, all various, for things that are sweet to the taste, or fragrant in scent, or beautiful to look upon, or useful for nourishment. According in its spiritual sense it means the home of blessed spirits and holy souls dwelling there together, souls with both the flowers and the fruits upon them, which by the careful husbandry of God they have come to bear, flowers and fruits of grace, flowers more beautiful an more fragrant than those of any garden, fruits more delicious and exquisite than can be matured by earthly husbandman.

All that God has made speaks of its Maker; the mountains speak of his eternity, the sun of his immensity, and the winds of his almightiness. In like manner flowers and fruits speak of his sanctity, his love, and his providence; and such as are flowers and fruits, they are found in a garden, therefore a garden has also excellences which speak of God, because it is their home. For instance, it would be out of place if we found beautiful flowers on the mountain crag, or rich fruit in the sandy desert. As then by flowers and fruits are meant, in a mystical sense, the gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost, so by a garden is meant mystically a place of spiritual repose, stillness, peace, refreshment, and delight.

Our first parents were placed in “a garden of pleasure” shaded by trees, “fair to behold and pleasant to eat of,” with the Tree of Life in the midst and a river to water the ground. Thus our Lord, speaking from the cross to the penitent robber, calls the blessed place, the heaven to which he was taking him, “paradise,” or a garden of pleasure. Therefore, St. John, in the Book of Revelation, speaks of heaven, the place of God, as a garden or paradise in which was the Tree of Life giving forth its fruits every month.

Such was the garden in which the Mystical Rose, the Immaculate Mary, was sheltered and nursed to be the mother of the All Holy God, from her birth to her spousal to St. Joseph, a term of thirteen years. For three years of it she was in the arms of her holy mother, St. Anne, and then for ten years she lived in the Temple of God. In those blessed gardens, as they may be called, she lived by herself, continually visited by the dew of God’s grace, and growing up a more and more heavenly flower, till at the end of that period she was suitable for the inhabitation in her of the Most Holy. This was the outcome of the Immaculate Conception. Excepting her, the fairest rose in the paradise of God has had upon it blight and has had the risk of canker-worm and locust. All but Mary; she from the first was perfect in her sweetness and her beautifulness, and at length when the angel Gabriel came to her he found her “full of grace,” which had, from her good use of it, accumulated in her from the first moment of her being.

Mary is the most beautiful flower that ever was seen in the spiritual world. It is by the power of God’s grace that from this barren and desolate earth there have ever sprung up at all flowers of holiness and glory. And Mary is the queen of them. She is the queen of spiritual flowers; and therefore she is called the rose, for the rose is fitly called of all flowers the most beautiful.

~ A Meditation by John Henry Newman

 

Virgin Mary with rose

Mystical Rose, art by Bradi Barth

 

Mystical Rose

THERE is no rose of such virtue
As is the rose that bear Jesu:
Alleluia.

For in this rose contained was
Heaven and earth in little space:
Res Miranda.

By that rose we may well see
There be one God in Persons Three:
Pares forma.

The angels sang, the shepherds too:
Gloria in Excelsis Deo:
Gaudeamus.

Leave we all this worldly mirth
And follow we this joyful birth:
Transeamus.

~ A Poem by an unknown Medieval Author

Res Miranda, thing to be marvelled at. Pares forma, equal in nature. Gaudeamus, let us rejoice. Transeamus, let us go hence.


A Prayer
Mystical Rose, Immaculate Virgin, Mother of Mercy, I venerate thee that I might honor thy Divine Son and thereby win His mercy. I ask for thy help in the clemency of thy Maternal Heart in all confidence that I will be heard.



Poem and Prayer Source: 
http://www.catholictradition.org/Mary/mystical-rose.htm

Dark Night

 

for the heart

A Dark Night, by unknown artist


Deep in the dark of night

with yearning, set aflame by love’s own fire,
—oh, happy grace-full flight!—
I left with no descrier,
as all my household, peaceful, would retire.

Secure, out of the light,
disguised, up secret ladder ever higher,
—oh, happy grace-full flight!—
the dark hid my desire,
as all my household, peaceful, would retire.

Within that happy night,
in secret, without anyone’s discerning,
nor aught that caught my sight,
nor guide nor light returning
save for the one that in my heart was burning.

It served me as my guide,
more certain than the brilliant midday sun,
to where for me would bide—
how well I knew! —the One,
where we might not be found by anyone.

O night that guides my flight!
O night that was more loving than the sun!
O night that would unite
the Lover and loved one,
beloved changed to Lover—unison!

Upon my blossoming breast—
I guarded it for only him, no less—
there he remained at rest,
I gave him my caress,
our love the fanning cedar’s breeze would bless.

The breeze blew from the tower,
my fingers now began to part his hair,
with his hand’s gentle power
he wounded my neck where
my senses, stricken, faded unaware.

I lost, forgot my being,
my face reclined upon my Lover there,
all ceased, my spirit freeing,
and leaving all my care
behind, forgotten, midst the lilies fair.

 

~ A poem by Saint John of the Cross, O.C.D.

 

 

 

 

 

Loveliest Blossom

 

woman and the flowers art by Christen Schloe

Loveliest Blossom, by unknown artist

 


You are my private garden, my treasure, my bride, a secluded spring, a hidden fountain.
~ Song of Solomon 4:12



When you are eager in the tiny portion

that is your garden, when you are tying strings
to give the stalks of the sweet peas their balance
so flowers may alight on them like wings
of pastel butterflies; when you appraise
with glowing face the lilies and carnations
(scent is to charm and color to amaze),
I think: she has not found the loveliest blossom.

There is a flower full of mystery
between this wall and that, amid this green.
I found it but to bear it back to secret.
It is a flower God and I have seen,
and I not till I looked at it with Him.

Hidden and unpredictable and shy,
it was not given to be shared, not even with you,
little lover of fragrance.
(Oh, with you least of all!)
Plucked from the soft soil of your unawareness,
uprooted from my silence, it would die.
I keep it then, God’s individual favor,
the private bloom I scent my storerooms by.

 

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

 

The Eucharist: Mystery of Love

Emmaus art by Ladislav Záborský

The Supper at Emmaus, art by Ladislav Záborský

The Road to Emmaus: A Meditation on the Eucharistic Life
(Luke 24:13-35)

The word “Eucharist” means literally “thanksgiving.” A Eucharistic life is one lived in gratitude. The story, which is also our story, of the two friends walking to Emmaus has shown that gratitude is not an obvious attitude toward life. Gratitude needs to be discovered and to be lived with great inner attentiveness. Our losses, our experiences of rejection and abandonment, and our many moments of disillusionment keep pulling us into anger, bitterness, and resentment. When we simply let the “facts” speak, there will always be enough facts to convince us that life, in the end, leads to nothing and that every attempt to beat fate is only a sign of profound naiveté.

Jesus gave us the Eucharist to enable us to choose gratitude. It is a choice we, ourselves, have to make. Nobody can make it for us. But the Eucharist prompts us to cry out to God for mercy, to listen to the words of Jesus, to invite him into our home, to enter into communion with him and proclaim good news to the world; it opens the possibility of gradually letting go of our many resentments and choosing to be grateful. The Eucharist celebration keeps inviting us to that attitude.
In our daily lives we have countless opportunities to be grateful instead of resentful. At first, we might not recognize these opportunities. Before we fully realized, we have already said: “This is too much for me. I have no choice but to be angry and to let my anger show. Life isn’t fair, and I can’t act as if it is.” However, there is always the voice that, ever again, suggests that we are blinded by our own understanding and pull ourselves and each other into a hole. It is the voice that calls us “foolish,” the voice that asks us to have a completely new look at our lives, a look not from below, where we count our losses, but from above, where God offers us his glory.

Eucharist—thanksgiving—in the end, comes from above. It is the gift that we cannot fabricate for ourselves. It is to be received. That is where the choice is! We can choose to let the stranger continue his journey and so remain a stranger. But we can also invite him into our inner lives, let him touch every part of our being and then transform our resentments into gratitude. We don’t have to do this. In fact, most people don’t. But as often as we make that choice, everything, even the most trivial things, become new. Our little lives become great—part of the mysterious work of God’s salvation.
Once that happens, nothing is accidental, casual, or futile any more. Even the most insignificant event speaks the language of faith, hope, and, above all, love.

That’s the Eucharistic life, the life in which everything becomes a way of saying, “Thank you” to him who joined us on the road.

~ By Henri J. M. Nouwen


 

Carmel: A Eucharistic Community

Disciples of Jesus had been celebrating the Eucharist in a variety of ways for centuries by the time the Carmelite hermits gathered on Mount Carmel at the Wadi- ‘ain-es-Siah about 1200 A.D. Since then, like other Christians, Carmelites, religious and lay, have celebrated the Eucharist in diverse ways. What is unvaried is this: Eucharist has been at the heart of Christian and Carmelite life from the origins of Christianity and from the inception of the Carmelite Order…

The Eucharist is the meal celebrated by the disciples of Jesus, a sacrificial meal that is the “Church’s entire spiritual wealth,” a meal that manifests the presence of the Church. Religious orders have long experimented with ways to follow Jesus, and the tension between community and solitude. The Eucharistic meal is at the center of this Carmelite tension, a place where the human and the divine encounter each other at the table of the Lord.

~ By Dr. Keith Egan, T.O.C.

Emmaus art by bradi barth2

Emmaus, art by Bradi Barth


Discalced Carmelite Hermit


THIS LITTLE HERMIT wishes to remain anonymous, but generously contributes these words about the Eucharist.


 

Eucharist art by baron arild rosenkrantz

Holy Eucharist, art by Baron Arild Rosenkrantz

 

Oh, beloved
I love to sit before you here
Present in the Most Blessed Sacrament.

You pierce through the veil that separates
Us.
You penetrate my very being.

My soul is aflame with your love,
Your healing touch,
You fill me with your love, your joy, and
Your peace.

I thirst for you, I long for you, more, my
Beloved one.

So still, in this stillness
ALL stops, nothing exists but you.

No time, no space.
The stillness is you, the stillness is love.

In this profound silence and solitude
I have been loved by LOVE itself.

I have found my beloved one 
Keep me in the stillness of your love.

~+~

 

 

 

 

Grace Given

awakenedheart

Awakened Heart, art by Janice Van Cronkhite

You drench me in your blessedness—
pressed down, compacted, flowing over,
till here I am, a child caught in a storm of love,
saturated with these discarnate ecstasies.

Your ways are masterful. Your generosity,
now captive in my starveling heart, loads me
with luxurious garments, crown and jewels—
treasures gained by you in times long past,
and yet enduring into our eternal now.

You are willing captive to my abject,
but trustingly prosaic, homeliness.

Where do we go from here?
Into some fastness of delight and fortitude,
a refuge for those wanderers, besotted by your love?

I cannot conceive (nor do I try)
what you have in store for me, but rest
in faith’s patient hope, and love’s fierce faith.

It is you who taught me how to love—
assiduous, recklessly adventurous
and all the while imprisoned deep
within your mighty stronghold of a heart.

 

~ A poem by Barbara Dent, O.C.D.S.  

Easter Love

 

Mary Magadalene after Christ Resurrection

Mary Magdalene meets the Risen Christ, art by Bradi Barth

He is Risen, Truly He is Risen! Alleluia!

On Easter we celebrate love,
love coming down from heaven,
love blanketing the earth
in a transforming embrace;
unique and infinite love,
giving more than we can imagine
for us, to cleanse our sin,
a perfect sacrifice, Lamb of God,
the walking, talking Word.
He is teacher, role model, friend,
this God in human form,
dying, then rising from the dead,
proving all who believe
will also rise
to have eternal life, with Him,
Lord of all.
Oh, Happy, Happy Easter!

A poem by Joanna Fuchs

Wishing all of you a very happy and blessed Easter Sunday!