How can you define prayer, except by saying it is love? It is love expressed in speech, and love expressed in silence. To put it another way, prayer is the meeting of two loves: the love of God for man, and that of man for his God.
~ By Catherine de Hueck Doherty
“We ourselves have known and put our faith in God’s love towards ourselves. God is love and anyone who lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” ~ 1 John 4:16
Prayer: A Progression
You came by night, harsh with the need of grace, into the dubious presence of your Maker. You combed a small and pre-elected acre for some bright word of Him, or any trace. Past the great judgment growths of thistle and thorn and past the thicket of self you bore your yearning till lo, you saw a pure white blossom burning in glimmer, then, light, then unimpeded more!
Now the flower God-is-Love gives ceaseless glow; now all your thoughts feast on its mystery, but when love mounts through knowledge and goes free, then will the sated thinker arise and go and brave the deserts of the soul to give the flower he found to the contemplative.
~ A poem by Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit (Jessica Powers) O.C.D.
The second bead: scene of the lovely journey
of Lady Mary, on whom artists confer
a blue silk gown, a day pouring out Springtime,
and birds singing and flowers bowing to her.
Rather, I see a girl upon a donkey
and her too held by what was said to mind
how the sky was or if the grass was growing.
I doubt the flowers; I doubt the road was kind.
“Love hurried forth to serve.” I read, approving.
But also see, with thoughts blown past her youth,
a girl riding upon a jolting donkey
and riding further and further into the truth.
~ A poem by Sister Miriam of the Holy Spirit (Jessica Powers), O.C.D.
O Jesus living in Mary,
come to live in Your servants,
with Your spirit of holiness,
in the fullness of Your power,
in the perfection of Your ways,
in the truth of Your virtues,
and in the communion of Your Divine Mysteries.
In Your Spirit
and for the glory of the Father,
overcome every hostile power!
“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons and daughters of God” (Mt 5, 9). These are the words of Jesus from his sermon on the mount. They tell us something about ourselves, and they tell us something about God’s Kingdom. By our baptism, we are called to live in Christ’s peace, and this peace is at the heart of God’s Kingdom.
Before his passion and death, Jesus said to his disciples: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you.” . . . He told them to trust in God and to trust in him as he went away to prepare a place for them (see John 14, 1-3). After his resurrection, he appeared to his disciples saying “peace be with you.” The disciples were fearful and in hiding. They had abandoned Jesus in his moment of greatest need. Still, Jesus returned to them with love, understanding and compassion to give them his peace.
We are followers of Jesus. He calls us to trust him, and to trust that God the Father has a wonderful plan for us. Jesus gives us his peace – a peace that is beyond all understanding, a kind of peace that only he can give – so that we can become all that he has called us to be.
We are all members of his body: the hands, the feet, the voice and face of Jesus. We are called to share his peace – in the classroom, the schoolyard, in our communities, and in the world. Each time we forgive, share with, help, comfort and care for one another, the peace of Jesus and of God’s Kingdom becomes more real for everyone to see.
As we go out into the world, let us remember Jesus’ words “peace be with you” and carry them in our hearts. We ask the Holy Spirit for the courage to share Jesus’ gift of peace through acts of kindness, as a sign of his kingdom’s everlasting peace, where the Father has prepared a place for each of us, beloved sons and daughters of God.
~ A Reflection by Tony Consentino, RCCDSB
God our Father, your Son Jesus gave up His life to free us from the power of sin and death. He showed us that the greatest love is in giving up one’s life for others. Today we remember those who fought and died for our freedom. We ask you to bless and console them together with their families. Help us to understand the sacrifices they made in leaving their loved ones to face the horrors of war. May we never forget their generosity. May your Holy Spirit give us the courage to resist evil in all its forms and show us how to be peacemakers through prayer and action, lest we forget those who fought, suffered and died that we might have the freedom and peace we enjoy today. We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen!
~ A prayer for Remembrance Day by Tony Cosentino, RCCDSB
“A single poppy has the soul of a thousand heroes and the tears of a million loved ones ❤ Let us always remember them! Let us always pray for peace!
O my God, Trinity whom I adore, let me entirely forget myself that I may abide in You, still and peaceful as if my soul were already in eternity; let nothing disturb my peace nor separate me from You, O my unchanging God, but that each moment may take me further into the depths of Your mystery! Pacify my soul! Make it Your heaven, Your beloved home and place of Your repose; let me never leave You there alone, but may I be ever attentive, ever alert in my faith, ever adoring and all given up to Your creative action.
O my beloved Christ, crucified for love, would that I might be for You a spouse of Your heart! I would anoint You with glory, I would love You – even unto death! Yet I sense my frailty and ask You to adorn me with Yourself; identify my soul with all the movements of Your soul, submerge me, overwhelm me, substitute Yourself in me that my life may become but a reflection of Your life. Come into me as Adorer, Redeemer and Saviour.
O Eternal Word, Word of my God, would that I might spend my life listening to You, would that I might be fully receptive to learn all from You; in all darkness, all loneliness, all weakness, may I ever keep my eyes fixed on You and abide under Your great light; O my Beloved Star, fascinate me so that I may never be able to leave Your radiance.
O Consuming Fire, Spirit of Love, descend into my soul and make all in me as an incarnation of the Word, that I may be to Him a super-added humanity wherein He renews His mystery; and You O Father, bestow Yourself and bend down to Your little creature, seeing in her only Your beloved Son in whom You are well pleased.
O my `Three’, my All, my Beatitude, infinite Solitude, Immensity in whom I lose myself, I give myself to You as a prey to be consumed; enclose Yourself in me that I may be absorbed in You so as to contemplate in Your light the abyss of Your Splendour!
~ A prayer of Saint Elizabeth of The Trinity (1880-1906), O.C.D.
Today, November 8th is the Feast day of Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity, O.C.D., her very name means “house of God”. On August 2nd, 1901 St. Elizabeth enters Carmel., here is a portion of her postulant questionnaire:
What is your Ideal for sanctity? To live from love.
What is the quickest way to attain it? To make oneself as small as possible, to surrender oneself without reserve.
What saint do you love most? The disciple Jesus loved, who rested his head on Jesus’ breast.
Which part of the Rule speaks most directly to you? Silence.
What is the dominant trait of your character? Sensitiveness.
Your Favorite Virtue? Purity. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
The fault you most abhor? Egoism in general.
Give a basic definition of prayer. The union of one who is not with the One who Is.
What is your favorite book? The soul of Christ—it reveals to me all the secrets of the heavenly Father.
~ By Two Sisters in the Spirit, Ignatius Press
*For more information about the life of Saint Elizabeth of the Trinity, please check: carmelitesofboston.org/spirit-of-carmel/our-saints/saint-elizabeth-of-the-trinity/
“Through the intercession of Your saints, O Lord, may I tread the way of holiness courageously.” ~ Divine Intimacy ~
Every one of us would probably admit that the distance between the great saints and us feels quite great. Their pattern of life can be so bright that there is a risk that—rather than urging us on—they make us wonder whether there is any sense in trying to follow their example.
For that reason it is good sometimes to turn our gaze to the great multitude of insignificant, anonymous, little saints. They are ordinary people who haven’t always been exemplary. They haven’t lived in ceaseless prayer and have not always been obedient and faithful to the promptings of the Spirit. They have had their failings, maybe big and tangible failures, but they haven’t said an irrevocable “no” to God. They are now, thanks to God’s incomprehensible mercy, together with the great saints before the throne of God.
They know, and we know, that it isn’t their great deeds or achievements that opened heaven to them. They acknowledge, and we with them, that God alone has saved them, and that their clothing has been washed clean in the blood of the Lamb.
These little saints aren’t envious of the great ones. And the great saints aren’t condescending toward the little ones. All who stand before God are full-grown saints, according to the measure God has determined for each.
It fills us with encouragement and resolve to love God more when we see that it isn’t through great feats we come to him but only through the infinite love of this God to whom we finally surrender.
~ A Meditation by Father Wilfrid Stinissen, O.C.D.
“O saints of heaven, I am the least of all creatures. I know my worthlessness, but I also know how noble and generous hearts love to do good. Therefore, O blessed inhabitants of the heavenly City, I entreat you to adopt me as your child. All the glory you may help me to acquire will be yours; deign, then, to hear my prayer and obtain for me … your love …” (T.C.J. St, 13) Divine Intimacy.
Prayer to the Saints of Carmel
Holy men and women of Carmel, you found in the Carmelite Family a school of prayer, a community ready to serve others, and sure companions for your pilgrimage through life. From your place at the summit of Mount Carmel, Jesus Christ, help us to walk steadily in his footsteps, that our prayers and good works may further the cause of his Church.
Wishing you all a very Blessed Feast of All Saints!
O glorious guardian of my frame!
In heaven’s high courts thou shinest bright,
As some most pure and holy flame,
Before the Lord of endless light.
Yet for my sake thou com’st to earth,
To be my brother, Angel dear:
My friend and keeper from my birth,
By day and night to me most near.
Knowing how weak a child am I,
By thy strong hand thou guidest me;
The stones that in my pathway lie,
I see thee move them carefully.
Ever thy heavenly tones invite
My soul to look to God alone;
And ever grows thy face more bright,
When I more meek and kind have grown.
O thou who speedest through all space
More swiftly than the lightnings fly!
Go very often, in my place,
To those I love most tenderly.
With thy soft touch, oh! dry their tears;
Tell them the cross is sweet to bear;
Speak my name softly in their ears,
And Jesu’s name, supremely fair.
Through all my life, though brief it be,
I fain would succor souls from sin.
Dear Angel, sent from heaven to me,
Kindle thy zeal my heart within!
Naught but my holy poverty,
And daily cross to give have I;
O join them to thine ecstasy,
And offer them to God on high.
Thine are heaven’s glory and delight,
The riches of the King of kings;
The Host in our ciboriums bright
Is mine, and all the wealth pain brings.
So with the Cross, and with the Host,
And with thine aid, dear Angel Friend,
I wait in peace, on time’s dark coast,
Heaven’s happiness that knows no end.
~ A poem written by Saint Thérèse of Lisieux on February, 1897 (seven months before her death) From a translation by S.L. Emery, 1907.
May we always have our Holy Guardian Angel by our side guiding and protecting us! ❤ Wishing you all a very blessed Feast Day of the Holy Guardian Angels!