To Love

Art Source Unknown

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!


To Love

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

A Blessed Feast Day of All Carmelite Saints!
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The Life of Prayer – Meditation #2

 

Jesus Let us adore Him art by annie henrie
Art by Annie Henrie

 

Since prayer does not consist in thinking much but in loving much, a life of continual prayer will consist much more in love than in thought. Nevertheless, a certain amount of mental activity is necessary, either to direct the heart toward God, or to maintain it in this direction.

The soul who applies itself well to mental prayer will easily be able to collect in itself some good thoughts which it can use during the day to keep its heart turned toward God. Therefore, it will be useful for the soul to try to recall these thoughts often in the midst of its occupations, and to apply them practically to its life.

Thus, for example, if during prayer, we have been considering God’s infinite mercy toward us, we shall strive to preserve this thought even during our occupations, recognizing many signs of this mercy in the various circumstances in which we find ourselves. in fact, many happenings which, from a purely human point of view, are unpleasant and painful, hide, in reality, great mercies of the Lord who, by means of the sorrows, fatigues, and the trials of life, wants to detach us from creatures, make us practice virtue, and advance in goodness. Likewise, in our dealings with our neighbor, we shall try to imitate God’s mercy. “Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful” (Lk 6,36). Although our prayer was spent in aridity, without leaving us any definite thought, but only a deeper realization of our nothingness and the infinite greatness of God, we shall make a treasure of it by attempting during the day to fulfill our duties in a spirit of humility and homage to God. We shall rejoice if some opportunity occurs for humbling ourselves, acknowledging our littleness—even before creatures—and exalting the grandeurs of the Lord.

In this way prayer will not be an isolated item in our day, but will permeate it, by conferring on each action and circumstance the tone of continual prayer.

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

 

 

“Give me, O Lord, such great fervor and immense love that I shall see no difference between this or that life, this or that state, person, time, or place, but shall do what is most pleasing to You, whatever or wherever it may be, tending always to You by the affection of my soul. Grant that I may see all things in You, and nothing but You in them, ever eager and anxious to serve You in all things; and that, all on fire and burning with love, I may not take into consideration what is easiest and most agreeable for me, but only what is most pleasing to You.”
~ St. Bonaventure   

 

 

 

Love’s Choice

 

“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

 

The Body and Blood of Christ by Theophilia
The Eucharistic Heart of Jesus
Art by Cecilia Lawrence ~ 2018

 

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!

 

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

Holy Virgin, I Beg You

 

Mary Mother of God The teotokos
Mary, Mother of God: The Teotokos, art by Bradi Barth

 

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

 

 

May, a blessed month with Our Lady!

 

Si Sabrá la Primavera Que La Estamos Esperando…

 

sheeps2
Photo credit to: Pawel Uchorczak

 

Aquí tenéis un precioso poema-oración de una de Carmelita Descalza de Antequera

 

Si sabrá la Primavera
que la estamos esperando…

Si se atreverá a cruzar
nuestros pueblos despoblados,
colgando en nuestros balcones
la magia de sus geranios.
Si dejará su sonrisa
esculpida en nuestros campos,
pintando nuestros jardines
de verde, de rojo y blanco.

Si sabrá la Primavera
que la estamos esperando…

Cuando llegue y no nos vea
ni en las calles ni en los barrios,
cuando no escuche en el parque
el paso de los ancianos,
o el bullicio siempre alegre
de los chiquillos jugando.
Si creerá que equivocó
la fecha del calendario,
la cita que desde siempre
la convoca el mes de Marzo.

Si sabrá la Primavera
que la estamos esperando…

Cuando estalle jubilosa
llenando de puntos blancos
los almendros, los ciruelos,
los jazmines, los naranjos,
y no vea que a la Virgen
la preparan para el Paso.
Que se ha guardado el incienso,
el trono, la cruz y el palio.
Y que Cristo, igual que todos,
está en su casa encerrado,
y no lo dejan salir
ni el Jueves ni el Viernes Santo…

¿Pensará la Primavera
que tal vez se ha equivocado?

¿Escuchará los lamentos
de quien se quedó en el paro,
de quien trabaja a deshoras
por ayudar a su hermano,
de aquél que expone su vida
en silencio y olvidado?
¿Escuchará cada noche
los vítores, los aplausos
que regalamos con gozo
al personal sanitario?

¿Pensará la Primavera
que tal vez se ha equivocado
y colgará sus colores
hasta la vuelta de un año?

Si sabrá la Primavera
que la estamos esperando…

Que se nos prohíbe el beso,
que está prohibido el abrazo;
el corazón, sangre y fuego,
el corazón desangrado.

Si sabrá la Primavera
que ya la estamos soñando…
Asomados al balcón
de la Esperanza, esperamos
como nunca, que ella vuelva
y nos regale el milagro
de ver florecer la vida
que hoy se nos va de las manos…

¡Bienvenida, Primavera!
Hueles a incienso y a ramos,
con tu traje de colores
y los cantos de tus pájaros.
Ven a pintar de azul-cielo
esta tierra que habitamos.

¿No sentís que en este mundo
algo nuevo está brotando?
Si será la Primavera
que está apresurando el paso.

~ Hermana Lucía, O.C.D.

Advent Prayer

 

joy- mary fuhrmann
Advent Joy, art by Mary Furhmann

 

Advent is a season  of waiting, of longing, of active
attentiveness to what is being birthed.
Advent is a time of pregnancy, of expectation,
of yearning  for the reality of Love’s presence
within us and in the whole world.

Advent is a time of being present to the darkness
of the womb during pregnancy; of being present to the unknown,
to mystery, to what is yet unseen and still being formed.

Advent is a time of trusting in the midst
of whatever darkness we are in, trusting as Mary did that
light would emerge for the path ahead.

Advent invites us to open our hearts,
to trust amidst darkness,
and make room for Love;
Love with Us
and
Love Birthing within Us.

This longing is made up of simplicity,
of expectancy, of hope and the
spirit of childhood and Joy.

 

~ By Cathy AJ Hardy

 

Center of Our Hearts

 

Jesus Sacred Heart statue
Vintage wood carving Sacred Heart of Jesus statue from Spain (1930)

 

O God, what will You do to conquer
the fearful hardness of our hearts?
Lord, You must give us new hearts,
tender hearts, sensitive hearts,
to replace hearts that are made of marble
and of bronze.
You must give us Your own Heart , Jesus.

Come, lovable Heart of Jesus.
Place Your Heart deep in the center of our hearts
and enkindle in each heart a flame of love
as strong, as great, as the sum of all the reasons 
that I have for loving You, my God.

O holy Heart of Jesus, dwell hidden in my heart,
so that I may live only in You and only for You,
so that, in the end, I may live with You eternally
in heaven.

Amen!

~ A prayer to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by St. Claude de la Colombière,, S.J. 

 

 

“On awaking, enter in the Sacred Heart of Jesus and consecrate to It your body, your soul, your heart and your whole being, so as to live but for Its love and glory alone.”
~ Saint Margaret Mary  

 

 

A Very Blessed Feast of The Sacred Heart of Jesus to All!

 

 

 

All for God

 

Jesus The Forest Meeting by Amy McCutcheon
Art by Amy McCutcheon

 

Happy are your eyes because they see, your ears because they hear!
~ Matthew 13:16

 

We must resolve to put the whole of our sense life at God’s service. We must refuse to use our senses except when their exercise is for the honour and glory of God.

We can so easily presume that the whole bent of our being is to God, and fail to recognize how we allow ourselves dangerous distractions; how we allow ourselves to notice and nose into other people’s business; how we yield to useless curiosity, indulge ourselves in countless ways.

Hold up! Fix your eyes on the perfect Son. Hold yourself in your hands so that your activities are controlled, that you know what you are doing, and are not drifting by carelessly occupied with trifles, occupied with yourself.

Our whole way of life should be helping us to this true recollection, this concentration on God. Sustained discipline is absolutely essential if we are to belong to God.

‘Many prophets and holy men longed to see what you see and never saw it, to hear what your hear, and never heard it.’ Let’s weigh these words.

How utterly privileged we are to know Christ Jesus our Lord. How privileged to have access to his words, his thoughts . . . Do we really see this as an unheard of privilege?  We shall answer that question truthfully by looking at what we do. Are we always most seriously, with everything we have in us, trying to get to know him and trying to live according to his teaching?

. . . The torch is sweeping slowly round our room. Do we want to see the cobwebs? Do we want to remove them? Or do we allow our eyes to rest on them for a brief moment only, and then go on just as before.

 

~ A Meditation by Ruth Burrows, O.C.D.

 

Jesus, holy and beloved
hold me always in your ‘yes’.
Let nothing matter to me from this moment
but the Father’s good pleasure,
the coming of his kingdom.
Let me not matter to myself.
I have only one short life in which to love
in difficulty and pain,
trusting in the dark and non-seeming.
Opportunities come and pass forever,
never to return.
Let me not miss one,
let my life be lived in total love:

There is no other way of living a truly human life.
 

Why Can’t I Pray?

 

couple in love art by robert berran
Art by Robert Berran

 

You have got to approach prayer as a love affair. And the accent is not on praying; it is on the one to whom you pray. You are drawn to God as a young girl is drawn to a young man. Slowly, as in a human love affair, Christ absorbs you more and more and becomes the center of your life. You savor and find new depths to every word he says.

Then you turn to the Scriptures. We call this meditation, but how can such a little word describe your plunging into the depths of each word of Christ?

As you plunge into Christ’s words, your deep relationship to him, the one you call prayer, will change. You will enter into a new dimension, which some call contemplation.

What is contemplation? One Sunday I was walking in a city park, and I came across a couple sitting on a bench. Before them was their picnic basket, and a dog was happily eating their sandwiches, paper and all; I stood less than ten feet away. The two paid no attention to me, and were utterly oblivious to the dog. They were holding hands and looking at each other.

There comes a moment when words become useless—men and women just sit and look at each other. This is the moment of deepest love, when the wings of the intellect are folded and the heart is totally opened to the other. This is contemplation.

So, before you can pray, you must meet God. The best way to meet him is to stand very still, without frustration or anxiety, and wait for him. He will come if you are waiting for him.

That is really all I can tell you about prayer.

And when you hold hands with Christ, whisper my name.

 

~ A Meditation by Catherine de Hueck Doherty

 

 

My lover speaks; he says to me, “Arise, my beloved, my beautiful one, and come!
~ Sg 2: 10