Thursday, October 19, 2017

CARMELITE QUOTE





From the life of St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila)

One night, being so ill that I wanted to excuse myself from mental prayer, I took my rosary in order to occupy myself in vocal prayer. I tried not to recollect my intellect, even though externally I was recollected in the oratory. When the Lord desires, these devices are of little avail. I was doing this for only a short while when a spiritual rapture came upon me so forcefully that I had no power to resist it. It seemed to me I was brought into heaven, and the first persons I saw there were my father and mother. I saw things so marvelous--in as short a time as it takes to recite a Hail Mary--that I indeed remained outside myself; the experience seemed to me too great a favor. I say it lasted a short time, but perhaps it took a little longer; the impression is that the time was very short. I feared lest the experience be some illusion, although it didn't seem so to me. I didn't know what to do, because I was very ashamed to go to my confessor about this. I don't think the shame was from humility, but I thought he would make fun of me and say: Oh, what a St. Paul you are, or a St. Jerome, that you see heavenly things! And that these glorious saints experienced similar things made me more afraid. I did nothing but weep a great deal, for I didn't think there was any basis for my having such an experience. Finally, however much I disliked doing so, I went to my confessor; I never dared to remain silent about such things--however much I regretted having to speak of them--on account of the great fear I had of being deceived. Since he saw I was so anxious, he consoled me from my troubled feelings.

As time went on, it happened--and continues to happen sometimes--that the Lord showed me greater secrets.
The Book of Her Life Chap. 38, No. 1


St. Teresa, pray for us!

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Novena to St. Teresa of Jesus Day Two


Preparing for the feast of St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila)
Feast Day: October 15



Please note: Due to Oct.15th falling on Sunday this year, Secular Carmelites in the Washington province will celebrate the feast of our Holy Mother on Monday, October 16.








Saturday, October 7, 2017

Novena to St. Teresa of Jesus Day One


Preparing for the feast of St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila)
Feast Day: October 15


Please note: Due to Oct.15th falling on Sunday this year, Secular Carmelites in the Washington province will celebrate the feast of our Holy Mother on Monday, October 16
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Thursday, September 21, 2017

THREE WORDS OF WISDOM

A CHEAT DAY

Photo: R. Massaro (C) 2017 Spirit Singing


Anyone who has tried to lose weight is probably familiar with our three words for today. Many weight loss programs advise a person to have a "cheat day" once a week, so one does not feel deprived.

I think you know where I am going with this...do you have a cheat day in your spiritual life?  Do you take short cuts in the spiritual life? Do you want your reward now? As St. Pio used to say.

How many ways can our human nature try to cheat?

Cheating on a Diet
This cheating seems to be sanctioned and approved by various health professionals and nutritionists.

Cheating on taxes
According to federal statistics, over one and a half million people 
cheat when filing their income taxes.

Cheating in school
Schools are facing a modern-day dilemma: students are using technology to cheat on tests and exams.

Cheating in sports (using enhancement drugs)
Major league sports continually report on athletes who cheat and use illegal drugs to excel in sports.

Cheating at Cards
Casinos have severe penalties for those who are caught cheating through "counting cards" and other various means to beat the "House."

Cheating on Your Spouse
Infidelity and cheating on one's spouse causes marriages to shatter and families to break apart. Many times, healing and forgiveness never takes place.

We can also ask ourselves who are trying to lead a life of virtue, if we have fallen prey to the ways of the world in which there is no sense of sin. No fear of God! No fear of offending the Almighty!

Have we been faithful to our baptismal promises, our vows that we renew each year at the Easter season?  Have we been faithful to the spouse of our soul: Christ the Lord?

One only has to read the daily news to see that we are living in a post Christian era. This drastic situation calls for drastic measures. This world needs saints. This world needs living witnesses of holiness. This world needs a holy multitude of counterculture spiritual activists: people who will take up a life of prayer and proclaim the Living God and encourage others to do the same.

We are living in dark times. Now is the time to stop cheating and taking short cuts in the spiritual life. We have only one life to live and it is short. Let's make a decision each morning to give Jesus permission to control our life. Let's make a decision to be faithful to prayer today.

Let us pray for each other.


Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS










Saturday, September 9, 2017

SATURDAY OF OUR LADY

Photo: R. Massaro (c) 2017 Spirit Singing Lourdes, France


Your nativity, O Virgin, has proclaimed joy to the whole universe. The Sun of Righteousness, Christ our God, has shone from you, O Theotokos. By annulling the curse he bestowed a blessing. By destroying death he has granted us eternal life (Troparion).

By your nativity, O most pure virgin, Joachim and Anna are freed from barrenness; Adam and Eve from the corruption of death. And we, your people, freed from the guilt of sin, celebrate and sing to you: The barren woman gives birth to the Theotokos, the Nourisher of our Life (Kontakion).


Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS


Monday, July 31, 2017

THREE WORDS OF WISDOM

A BLINDING LIGHT

Photo: R. Massaro (C)2017 Spirit Singing-St. Paul Church North Canton, Ohio


Scripture tells us that St. Paul was blind for three days after a light from the sky brought him to his knees as he fell to the ground. The voice of the Lord spoke directly to him, telling him to go into the city. Saul obeyed.

...As he traveled along and was approaching Damascus, a light from the sky suddenly flashed about him. He fell to the ground..."Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?...I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting...(Acts 9:9)

Paul, a military man, who was used to giving orders, was suddenly obeying the voice of Jesus and others around him after this life-changing experience. He was able to trust those around him to lead him into the city. Once in the city, waiting to be told what to do, Saul has a vision: a man coming to him and healing him of his sudden blindness. 

St. Paul's conversion story should make us pause and think of how the Lord became the center of our life. Was our conversion experience as dramatic as Paul's? Or was it a gradual change of heart that led us to follow the Lord? Whether it's the story of St. Paul, or another saint, or a friend or family member, a person's spiritual conversion should leave us amazed and grateful for how the Holy Spirit works to convert the hearts of men.

Sometimes, others around us become that blinding light for us. They speak truthfully and sometimes harshly to us about our sinfulness and lack of virtue. Sometimes, it is the Holy Spirit that sheds the blinding light on us in our time of prayer. He convicts us of sin, encourages us in virtue, or sheds light on Scripture or Church teaching for us. St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila) speaks of this sometimes painful light as "self-knowledge." It is the gift of the Holy Spirit who shows us who we truly are before the Lord. Hopefully, we respond in humility and not run in fear from the truth and give up on prayer.

The conversion of St. Paul reminds me of the prophet, Elijah. While St. Paul experienced an audible voice of the Lord, a voice that was heard by those around him, Elijah, the man of prayer, heard the voice of the Lord within his heart. For those of us who are seeking the Lord in prayer on a daily basis, we strive to hear His voice in our heart. We look for a word from Him, telling us what we should do, or we wait for a word of encouragement, or an admonition, or His gift of consolation. We are receptive to whatever He wishes to give us in the time of prayer.

We can recall that when we were first converted to the Lord, we needed the help of others to lead us, just as St. Paul needed his men to lead him into the city. Paul needed the wisdom of others to guide him, just as we need confessors and spiritual directors to lead and guide us. Paul was baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit!  We who are baptized and confirmed Christians must go forth and evangelize just as Paul did. Sometimes the mission field is in our backyard with family, friends, and coworkers. Let us share the amazing grace of God with others.

"Amazing Grace...I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see!"





Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Thursday, July 20, 2017

CARMELITE SAINT OF THE DAY

ST. ELIJAH
PROPHET AND FATHER OF CARMEL
JULY 20

Photo: R. Massaro (c) 2017 Spirit Singing-Carmelite Shrine Niagra Falls






The prophet Elijah appears in Scripture as a man of God who lived always in His presence and fought zealously for the worship of the one true God. He defended God's law in a solemn contest on Mount Carmel, and afterwards was given on Mount Horeb an intimate experience of the living God. The inspiration that was found in him from the very beginnings of the Order so pervade its whole history that the prophet may deservedly be called the founder of the Carmelite ideal. (From the Carmelite Proper)

Holy Father, St. Elijah, pray for us!

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS