Sunday, November 5, 2017


Reflections on the Rule of the 
Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites

From the Statutes:


In addition to the days of fasting and of abstinence proper to the Church of the USA and responding to the encouragement of our bishops "to prepare for each Church festival by a day of particular self-denial, penitential prayer and fasting" (NCCB Pastoral Statement "Penitent Discipline" to the US, Washington, DC, 1966) and to our Carmelite traditions, unless excused by reasons of illness or age, we will observe the following:

a)  Members will fast on the Vigils of the following feast days:

     St. Joseph the Worker
     May 1

     Our Lady of Mount Carmel
     July 16

     The Prophet Elijah
     July 20

     St. Therese
     October 1

     Holy Mother St. Teresa of Jesus
     October 15

     All Carmelite Saints
     November 14

     Holy Father St. John of the Cross
     December 14

b)  For a sufficient reason, the above special fast days may be

c)  Anticipated fast days should never involve fasting on Sundays 
     or Holy Days.

The Order of Carmel is one of the most penitential religious orders in the Church.  As Secular Carmelites, we have a different vocation by living in the world, but we share in the same graces and spiritual heritage of our religious brothers and sisters.  Let us be resolved to be faithful to our Carmelite discipline of prayer and fasting.

Soon, we will celebrate All Saints of Carmel on November 14. Let us be faithful to our day of fasting and abstinence on November 13, so that we may celebrate with joy the Saints of Carmel who have gone before us.  

One only has to read the news to see that our world needs God's mercy! Let us draw down His mercy by offering Him our poor prayers and penance on behalf of sinners.

May all the Saints of Carmel, all those holy souls who were faithful to their Carmelite promises, intercede for us and for our world. 

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Thursday, October 19, 2017


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

Thursday, September 21, 2017



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 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


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