Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday in the Year for Priests


From the life of St. John Vianney

Already little John Mary Vianney had the temperament of the priest he would some day become. At once practical and inspired he was both peasant and poet. He felt the peace of the trees and the languor of the day in the very fibers of his being. He loved the meadows, the ripening crops, the good smell of earth and sun. And how he delighted in the lightning flashes that crossed the horizon from end to end. Forty years later, fifty years later, even until he died, he would still speak of it all in a voice filled with nostalgia.


The fact is that John Mary Vianney was first of all a contemplative. He had the sense of prayer. He prayed just as easily as he breathed, with the naturalness, the simplicity that made him seek out solitude. What he preferred above all else was to speak to God without any witnesses, or else listen silently to Him. Dom de Laveyne, who was a great religious, once said: "Silence is the most certain sign of the presence of God in a soul." But little John Mary had to store up his provision of silence, recollection, and solitude right there and then. For when he attained manhood all these things would be denied him.
From the Remarkable Cure of Ars, by Michelle de Saint Pierre

Prayer for Priests
O Jesus, our great High Priest, Hear my humble prayers on behalf of your priest, Father [N].Give him a deep faith a bright and firm hope and a burning love which will ever increase in the course of his priestly life.

In his loneliness, comfort him in his sorrows, strengthen him in his frustrations, point out to him that it is through suffering that the soul is purified, and show him that he is needed by the Church, he is needed by souls,he is needed for the work of redemption.

O loving Mother Mary, Mother of Priests, take to your heart your son who is close to you because of his priestly ordination,and because of the power which he has received to carry on the work of Christin a world which needs him so much.

Be his comfort, be his joy, be his strength,
and especially help himto live and to defend the ideals of consecrated celibacy. Amen.

John Joseph, Cardinal Carberry (+1998)Archbishop of St. Louis 1968-1979

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie
______________________

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Saturday of Our Lady

By her complete adherence to the Father's will, to his Son's redemptive work, and to every prompting of the Holy Spirit, the Virgin Mary is the church's model of faith and charity. Thus she is a "preeminent and...wholly unique member of the Church;" indeed, she is the "exemplary realization" of the Church.
Catechism #967


Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tabernacle of the Week


Carmelite Monastery
Lourdes, France



The Divine Praises

Blessed be God.
Blessed be His Holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ, true God and true man.
Blessed be the name of Jesus.
Blessed be His Most Sacred Heart.
Blessed be Jesus in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.
Blessed be the Holy Spirit, the paraclete.
Blessed be the great Mother of God, Mary most holy.
Blessed be her holy and Immaculate Conception.Blessed be her glorious Assumption.
Blessed be the name of Mary, Virgin and Mother.
Blessed be Saint Joseph, her most chaste spouse.
Blessed be God in His angels and in His Saints.
May the heart of Jesus, in the Most Blessed Sacrament, be praised, adored, and loved with grateful affection, at every moment, in all the tabernacles of the world, even to the end of time. Amen.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS
____________________

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Carmelite Saint of the Day


Blessed Mary of Jesus Crucified
(The Little Arab)

was born of the Baouardy family, Catholics of the Greek Melkite Rite, at Abellin in Galilee in 1846. In 1867 she entered the Discalced Carmelites at Pau in France and was sent with the founding group to the Carmel in Mangalore in India where, in 1870, she made her profession. She returned to France in 1872. In 1875 she went to the Holy Land where she built a monastery in Bethlehem and began planning for another in Nazareth. Noted for her supernatural gifts, especially for humility, for her devotion to the Holy Spirit, and her great love for the Church and the Pope, she died at Bethlehem in 1878.
From the Carmelite Proper


To learn more about this saint visit



To learn more about the "Little Arab" and the Greek Melkite Catholic Church visit



Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS
_______________________

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sanctifying the Hours of our Daily Life



I recently read or heard somewhere (can't remember where) about a priest who talked about attending Catholic school as a youth. He told the story of the religious sister who taught the children the practice of "sanctifying the hour." He said that the nun had a special bell in the classroom that each child would take turns ringing at the beginning of each hour. I believed they prayed a Hail Mary to begin the new hour.

"So You could not stay awake with me for even an hour?"Matthew 26:40
This devotion may seem simple and unsophisticated to some people, but I believe there is great wisdom behind this simple practice. Anyone on the spiritual path knows that at the beginning of the prayer life it is hard to pray constantly and to remember God throughout the day. For Secular Carmelites the simple but great "little way" of Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection comes in to mind when reflecting on this holy practice.

The Hour of Mercy: O, Eternal Father, I offer you the body and blood of your dearly beloved Son in atonement for my sins, and the sins of the whole world.

Brother Lawrence wrote the book, The Practice of the Presence of God. This book is a great help to those seeking union with God.
Excerpts from The Third and Fourth Conversations from the book:
Br. Lawrence told me--

...When a considerable period went by without his thinking about Him, he did not disquiet himself, but acknowledged his wretchedness and returned to God with the more confidence for having experienced such sadness when he forgot Him.

From the Fourth Conversation:

He told me that it (his way of going to God) consisted in one good act of renunciation of all those things which we recognized did not lead to God, so that we might accustom ourselves to a continual communion with Him...We need only to realize that God is close to us and to turn to Him at every moment, to ask for His help to learn His will in doubtful things, and to do gladly those which we clearly perceive He requires of us, offering them up to Him before we begin, and giving Him thanks when they have been finished for His honor.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church gives the official definition of prayer:


"Prayer is the raising of one's mind and heart to God or the requesting of good things from God."
#2559

We can see that raising our hearts and mind to God is prayer itself. No words are necessary. Let us learn from Brother Lawrence and the age-old practice of sanctifying the hour to remember God each day. We know, too, that the religious throughout the world, and we as Secular Carmelites are called to sanctify the hours by praying the Liturgy of the Hours each day. If we are faithful to prayer and the remembrance of God in the hours of our earthly life, we need not be afraid of the Hour of our death, for we will have already offered and sanctified the hour to Our Father.

May Our Lady, pray for us now and at the Hour of our death. Amen.

We can sanctify the week as well:

Sunday-Devoted to the Holy Trinity

Monday-to the Holy Spirit and the Holy Souls in Purgatory

Tuesday-to the Holy Angels

Wednesday-to St. Joseph

Thursday-to the Blessed Sacrament

Friday-to the Passion of our Lord and to His Sacred Heart

Saturday-to the Blessed Virgin Mary


Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS
______________________

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Sunday in the Year for Priests

An excerpt from the Life of St. John Vianney
by Michel de Saint Pierre




Another day, when he was still only four, he disappeared mysteriously from the house. Marie Vianney noticed it, looked for him, called him. All in vain. In a panic, she sought him all over the farm, weeping and despairing. Suddenly fear struck terror to her heart as she remembered a certain water hole, dark and deep, where the child might have drowned. But at last she found John Mary in the stable praying, with his hands on the famous wooden satuette. Perhaps Marie was edified, good Christian that she was. But she did not let him know it. Instead, she chided: "Why did you run away? Why did you cause me so much worry? And why do you hide to say your prayers? You know very well that we all pray together."

John Mary Vianney owed a great deal, and would continue to owe a great deal to this woman who was his mother. Concerning his own filial sentiments, he later on expressed himself in a way that left no room for doubt:

My love of prayer and of the altar? After God, I owe it to my mother." "Virtue passes easily from the hearts of mothers into the hearts of their children!"

Fr. Monnin, a very reliable witness and one of the confidants of the last years of his life, has declared: "We remember hearingh him say on several occasions that a child should not be able to look at his mother without weeping."

Prayer of St. John Vianney:

I love You, O my God,
and my only desire is to love You
until the last breath of my life.
I love You, O my infinitely lovable God,
and I would rather die loving You,
than live without loving You.
I love You, Lord
and the only grace I ask is to love You eternally...
My God, if my tongue cannot say in every moment that I love You,
I want my heart to repeat it to You as often as I draw breath.


Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS
_______________________

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Saturday of Our Lady


The Coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary

She is a bride, so gentle and affectionate, and the mother of the only true bridegroom. In her abundant goodness she has channeled the spring of reason's garden, the well of living and life-giving waters that pour forth in a rushing stream from divine Lebanon and flow down from Mount Zion until they surround the shores of every far-flung nation. With divine assistance she has redirected these waters and made them into streams of peace and pools of grace. Therefore, when the virgin of virgins was led forth by God and her Son, the King of kings, amid the company of exulting angels and rejoicing archangels, with the heavens ringing with praise, the prophecy of the psalmist was fulfilled, in which he said to the Lord: At your right hand stands the queen, clothed in gold of Ophir.
An Exerpt from a homily by St. Amadeus of Lausanne, bishop
From the Office of Readings for today's feast.


 
My Queen! My Mother! I give myself entirely to you; and to show my devotion to you, I consecrate to you this day my eyes, my ears, my mouth, my heart, my whole being, without reserve. Wherefore, good Mother, keep me, guard me, as your own property and possession. Amen.
(photo: The crowned virgin at Lourdes)

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

_____________________

Friday, August 21, 2009

St. John of the Cross-Sayings of Light & Love #28

(click to enlarge)



Saint of the Day

St. Pius X




Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS
___________________

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Saint of the Day:St. Bernard of Clairvaux



"I know by myself how incomprehensible God is, seeing I cannot comprehend the parts of my own being." St. Bernard


St. Bernard also wrote the beautiful prayer, The Memorare:


Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided.

Inspired by this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins, my mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me.
Amen.


Peace be with you!

Rosemarie, OCDS
______________________

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Stained Glass Scapulars-Reflections on the Secular Carmelite Rule


Article 13

By virtue of their Promise, the Secular Carmelites should have a particular esteem for the Beatitude of poverty. They should love it as Christ loved it. in their daily effort to live according to the Gospel, they should try to realize what a wealth of generosity, self-denial, and above all hope and interior liberty, poverty makes available to them. In poverty they will find the way to union with Him who, "though He was rich, yet for our sake became poor" (C2 Cor. 8,9) out of love for us, and Who "emptied Himself" (Phil. 2,7) to be at the service of His brethren.


Have you personally known someone who gave up everything to follow Jesus- literally sold all his possessions and entered a religious order? That is a radical response to the Gospel call of Jesus. We may think of the saints, in particular, St. Francis of Assisi who gave up everything to follow Jesus in simplicity.


As Secular Carmelites we are called to love poverty according to our state in life. We are familiar with that old saying, "You can't take it with you!" So why not start now of detaching ourselves from the things of this world. We can challenge ourself to refrain from accumulating "stuff." The "stuff" that Jesus warns us will pass away. We must follow the Lord who tells us we must store up for ourselves treasure in heaven. St. Teresa, too, tells us that self-indulgence and prayer do not go together. As Carmelites let us challenge ourselves to be prudent in spending, and be ever-ready to support those in need.


Let us remember to support our Carmelite sisters and priests. They depend on the charity of others. As Carmelites let us keep in mind another familiar saying, "charity begins at home."


Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS
____________________

Monday, August 17, 2009

General Information on Secular Carmelites


The Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites (Sometimes referred to as the Third Order) is open to all Catholics, married or single, in good-standing with the Catholic Church.

Secular Carmelites are called to witness in the world the charism of contemplative prayer.

The Obligations of a Secular Carmelite:

*1/2 Hour of mental prayer in an atmosphere of solitude and silence
*Pray morning & evening prayer from the Liturgy of the Hours
*Attend mass daily if possible
*Observe daily devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary
*Have a great esteem for the Sacrament of Reconciliation
*Attend a monthly formation meeting with the community

A typical monthly meeting format:
*Morning or Evening Prayer in common-depending on the time the community meets.
*Short information meeting
*Whole community formation of the Carmelite saints, Rule, etc.
*Small group formation-Preparation for promises
*Break-Sharing with the community

Our community meets on the first Sunday of each month. Our meetings are from 1-4pm.

We also keep in touch with each other in between meetings through an online private Yahoo group.

Carmelite Saints (not a complete list):

St. Elijah
St. John of the Cross
St. Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi
St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila)
St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)
St. Teresa of Jesus (Andes)
St. Teresa Margaret Redi
St. Therese of Lisieux
St. Raphael Kalinowski
Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity



Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS
__________________

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday in the Year for Priests



Triduum Mass for the feast of the Assumption
St. Joseph Church-Randolph, Ohio



Fr. Edward Wieczorek, pastor of St. Joseph Church welcomes the pilgrims to Our Lady's Shrine.








Fr.Sean Donnelly, from the Diocese of Cleveland, tells the story of the Apparitions at Lourdes, France.











Thank you to Fr. Wieczorek and Fr. Donnelly for a beautiful Mass in honor of Our Lady.
Visit the official webiste of Lourdes, France. Live tv coverage 24 hours a day of the Grotto. Click here.


Prayers for Priests
You came from among us to be, for us, one who serves.We thank you for ministering Christ to us and helping us minister Christ to each other.

We are grateful for the many gifts you bring to our community:for drawing us together in worship,for visiting us in our homes,for comforting us in sickness,
for showing us compassion,for blessing our marriage,for baptising our children,for confirming us in our calling,for supporting us in bereavement, for helping us to grow in faith,for encouraging us to take the initiative,for helping the whole community realise God's presence among us.

For our part, we pray that we may always be attentive to your needs and never take you for granted.You, like us, need friendship and love,welcome and a sense of belonging,kind words and acts of thoughtfulness.
We pray, also, for the priests who have wounded priesthood. May we be willing to forgive and may they be open to healing. Let us support one another during times of crisis.

God our Father, we ask you to bless our priests and confirm them in their calling.Give them the gifts they needto respond with generosity and a joyful heart.
We offer this prayer for our priest, Who is our brother and friend,
Amen.
(From World Day of Prayer for Priests)

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS
____________________

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Saturday of Our Lady


Feast of the Assumption
of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Prayer to Our Lady before a Pilgrimage Mass

Dear Blessed Mother, please pray with me as I begin the most important part of my pilgrimage, Holy Mass.


Guide me through your loving prayers, dear Mother, to an inner peace and calm. Help me to set aside all my anxious care and concern that I may participate fully in this wonderful act of worship. Let me see in this Mass the unending sacrifice of Jesus, a sacrifice of love for me and for all humanity.

Kind and compassionate Mother, help me to a greater clarity of mind and thought that I might see and hear more fully the message of this Eucharist. give me openness of heart that I may willingly accept into my life, the quiet direction of my loving Father through Sacred Scripture and the wonderful words of the Gospel of Jesus I will hear today.

May this Eucharist be a turning point in my life, Mary, a new beginning in this, my earthly pilgrimage toward my true home, which is in Heaven.

During this Mass I offer to our loving Lord all of my petitions, hopes, desires and problems, all of the intentions of my pilgrimage. I offer them with the priest through our crucified Saviour to the Father. I am confident He will hear me and answer my prayers, just as I am confident of His never-ending love for me.

Dearest Mary, pray for me during this Eucharist. Pray for all of us here in this church. Pray for us as we join in offering to the Father that most perfect act of your beloved Son, Christ our Lord. Amen.
(Adapted from a pilgrimage prayer to Our Lady of Consolation)

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS
_____________________

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Carmelite Quote


People must not think that our "little way" is a restful one, full of sweetness and consolation. It's quite the opposite. To offer oneself as a victim to love is to offer oneself to suffering, because love lives only on sacrifice; if one is completely dedicated to loving, one must expect to be sacrificed unreservedly.

St. Therese of the Child Jesus

Our Secular Carmelite vocation is a call to not only accept the cross but to approach it and embrace it with love-our vehicle to heaven. St. Therese tells us that we must expect to be sacrificed without reservation. Let us prepare ourselves each day with prayer to accept whatever the Lord wishes to send for our purification and sanctification. We know that without the cross their will be no resurrection. Let us expect and look with anticipation to the cross in our life. We can have confidence that our holy Mother, Mary, will remain with us every step of the way.

Let us pray for each other.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS
______________________

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tabernacle of the Week

St. Augustine Health Center
Richfield, Ohio
Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine






Prayer of St. Alphonsus Liguori
for a visit to the Blessed Sacrament






Photo: R. Massaro-St. Augustine
Lord Jesus Christ, who, through the love which you bear all men, remains with them day and night in this sacrament, full of mercy and of love, expecting, inviting, and receiving all who come to visit You, I believe that You are truly present in the Sacrament of the Altar. I adore you and thank you for all the favors which you have bestowed upon me, especially for having given me Yourself in this sacrament, for having given me for an advocate Your most holy Mother, Mary, and for having called me to visit You in this church.





Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS
____________________

Monday, August 10, 2009

Spiritual Life Dictionary


Today's Term:
Supernatural Words

Supernatural words are manifestations of God's thought which are heard either by the exterior senses or by the interior senses or directly by the intellect.

1. Exterior words-An auricular supernatural word is a vibration formed in the air by the ministry of angels. For example, St. Luke tells us that Zachary heard the angel Gabriel speak to him. The same angel Gabriel said to Mary: "Hail, full of grace." Like corporeal visions, these locutions are subject to illusion.

2. Imaginary supernatural words are heard by the imagination, when the person is awake or asleep. They sometimes seem to come from heaven; at other times from the depths of one's heart. They are perfectly distinct, although not heard with bodily ears. They are not easily forgotten. When the devil produces these words the soul is disturbed, troubled, and frightened.

3. Intellectual words are heard directly by the intellect without the intermediary of the senses or the imagination, in the way the angels communicate their thoughts to one another. It is mystical speech, which is the tongue of the fatherland.
Christian Perfection and Contemplation by Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.

It is the same with another way in which God teaches the soul, and addresses it without using words, as I have said. This is so celestial a tongue that it is difficult to explain it to mortals, however much we may desire to do so, unless the Lord teaches it to us by experience...I think this is the state in which the devil has the least power of interference.

This kind of vision and this kind of speech are such spiritual things that I believe no turmoil is caused by them in the faculties, or in the senses.

The Life of St. Teresa, Chap. 27

We can make a short examen and ask ourselves:

*Do I say only the good things people need to hear, the things that will build them up spiritually, (St. Paul) or do I speak negatively and critically about people and situations?

*Do I follow the prompting of the Holy Spirit and "pray from the heart" and learn to listen instead of always "speaking" in prayer?

*Am I a good listener, or am I always thinking of what I am going to say next in a conversation?

*Am I respectful of the Word of God? Do I pray for the Holy Spirit to enlighten me during the scripture readings at Mass?
As Secular Carmelites the Lord may give us the gift of perfect contemplation, as St. Teresa describes it. If the Lord desires to speak to our hearts in a true locution or spiritual vision as described above, let us remember that these gifts are not for ourselves alone, but for the upbuilding of the whole Church. We must also be careful not to boast about the gifts the Lord has given us. May the Lord give us wisdom and discernment of spirits.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie
_______________________

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sunday in the Year for Priests

The bishop receives the fullness of the sacrament of Holy Orders, which integrates him into the episcopal college and makes him the visible head of the particular Church entrusted to him. As successors of the apostles and members of the college, the bishops share in the apostolic responsibility and mission of the whole Church under the authority of the Pope, successor of St. Peter.

Catechism #1594

(photo copyright-Spirit Singing)

Almighty God, look upon the face of Him who is the eternal High Priest, and have compassion on Your priests in today's world. Remember that they are but weak and frail human beings. Stir up in them the grace of their vocation. Keep them close to You lest the enemy prevail against them, so that they may never do anything in the slightest degree unworthy of their sublime vocation.

Official website of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops
http://www.usccb.org/

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie

_____________________

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Saturday of Our Lady

Prayer to the Blessed Virgin Mary:

O Mary, you desire above all things to see Jesus loved; if you love me, this is the favor which I ask of you, to obtain for me a great love of Jesus Christ. You obtain from your Son whatever you please; pray then for me, that I may forever remain in His love and in His grace, and that by imitating you I may practice every virtue that is pleasing to his sacred Heart. Obtain for me a great love toward you, who, of all creatures, are the most pure and most beloved of God. And through that grief which you suffered on Calvary, when you beheld Jesus expire on the cross, obtain for me a happy death, that by loving Jesus, and you, my Mother, all through life, I may come to love you and bless you forever in heaven.
____________________
Enjoy this website loaded with beautiful photos of the Poor Clare Nuns in Cleveland, Ohio

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS
_____________________

Friday, August 7, 2009

Carmelite Feast Day




St. Albert of Trapani, priest



Albert degli Abbati was born in Trapani in Sicily in the thirteenth century. Having joined the Carmelites and been ordained a priest, he soon became famous for his preaching and miracles. He was provincial in Sicily in 1926, and died at Messina, probably in 1307, with a reputation for purity and prayer.


Lord God, you made St. Albert of Trapani a model ofpurity and prayer, and a devoted servant of Our Lady.May we practice these same virtues and so be worthy alwaysto share the banquet of your grace.We ask this through Christ ou Lord. Amen.
(From the Carmelite Proper)

Let us remember in prayer all priests today, especially our Carmelite priests and brothers and our provincial, Fr. Grennon.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS
______________________

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Catechism Quote


Catechism #2214 & 2215

The divine fatherhood is the source of human fatherhood; this is the foundation of the honor owed to parents. The respect of children, whether minors or adults, for their father and mother is nourished by the natural affection born of the bond uniting them. It is required by God's commandment.

Respect for parents derives from gratitude toward those who, by the gift of life, their love and their work, have brought their children into the world and enabled them to grow in stature, wisdom, and grace. With all your heart honor your father,and do not forget the birth pangs of your mother. Remember that through your parents you were born; what can you give back to them that equals their gift to you?" (Sirach 7:27-28)


As Secular Carmelites, we should also honor our holy parents in the spiritual life: St. Teresa of Jesus and St. John of the Cross. We can ask ourselves:

* Am I obedient to their teachings?

* Do I ask for their prayerful assistance each day?

* Do I honor them by respecting their sons and daughters of the Order, my brothers and sisters in Carmel?

*Do I pray for my deceased brothers and sisters?

In this "Year for Priests" let us also remember in prayer all the priests who give us the Bread of Life: Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. Let us be truly grateful for the gift of ordained Priesthood in which these holy men bring us sanctifying grace by means of the Sacraments.


Let us be faithful to our Holy Parents of Carmel and ask their constant intercession for us to be faithful to holy Mother Church.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie
_____________________

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Today's Saint: St. John Vianney
Patron Saint of Priests
The Holy Father has declared the "Year for Priests" in honor of the 150th anniversary of the death of St. John Vianney. See the sidebar for the link to the official website of the "Year for Priests."

Before beginning your work, my dear brethren, never fail to make the Sign of the Cross. Do not imitate those people without religion who dare not do this because they are in company. Offer quite simply all your difficulties to God and say again from time to time this offering, for by that means you will have the happiness of drawing down the blessing of Heaven on yourself and on all you do.

St. John Vianney is good role model for Carmelites as he is well-known for his definition of contemplative prayer. One day while walking in church he saw one of his parishioners sitting in a pew. St. John Vianney asked him, "What are you saying to Him?" The old man replied, "Nothing. I look at him and he looks at me." That is a simple definition of the simplicity of contemplative prayer. Remember, this type of prayer is infused, a total gift of God.
Let us pray for each other, that we reach the stage of simple prayer-contemplation.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie
_____________________

Monday, August 3, 2009

Spiritual Direction with St. John of the Cross



(speaking of humble souls)
They rejoice when others receive praise, and their only sorrow is that they do not serve God as others do. Because they consider their deeds insignificant, they do not want to make them known. They are even ashamed to speak of them to their spiritual director because they think these deeds are not worth mentioning. They are more eager to speak of their faults and sins, and reveal these to others, than of their virtues. They have an inclination to seek direction from one who will have less esteem for their spirit and deeds. Such is the characteristic of a pure and simple and true spirit, one very pleasing to God. Since the wise spirit of God dwells within these humble souls, he moves them to keep these treasures hidden, and to manifest only their faults. God gives this grace to the humble, together with other virtues, just as he denies it to the proud.


Yet I believe very few souls are so perfect in the beginning. We would be happy enough if they manged not to fall into these imperfections of pride. As we will point out later, then, God places these souls in the dark night so as to purify them of these imperfections and make them advance.

The Dark Night, Bk. I, Chapter 2-3

Let us pray that we as Secular Carmelites imitate the humility of the Virgin Mary who praised God for the great things he had done for her, his lowly handmaid. Let us strive to give God the glory for any good we possess. Let us refrain from boasting about our spiritual gifts or graces that we receive. Let us imitate St. Therese, the Little Flower, who kept her good works and sufferings hidden in her heart, where God alone could be witness to it.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS
___________________

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday in the Year for Priests


The Sacrament of Holy Orders leaves a permanent mark on the soul, truly consecrates a person to the Lord. "Orders" indicates that a man who has been ordained has a hierarchical role in the Church and has also been consecrated by a gift of the Holy Spirit into sacred service to God, the Church, and his fellow man.
Introduction to Catholicism-TheDidache Series

If a person has true virtue, nothing whatever can change him; he is like rock in the midst of a tempestuous sea. If anyone scorns you, or calumniates you, if someone mocks at you or calls you a hypocrite or a sanctimonious fraud, none of this will have the least effect upon your peace of soul. You will love him just as much as you loved him when he was saying good things about you. You will not fail to do him a good and to help him, even if he speaks badly of your assistance. You will say your prayers, go to Confession, to Holy Communion, you will go to Mass, all according to your general custom.
St. John Vianney-Patron Saint of Priests
150 Anniversary of his death
The Year for Priests


Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS
____________________

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Saturday of Our Lady


Our Blessed Lady, in her immense love for us, is eager to receive into her virginal hands the gift of our actions, imparting to them a marvelous beauty and splendor, and presenting them herself to Jesus most willingly. More glory is given to our Lord in this way than when we make our offering with our own guilty hands.

True Devotion to Mary #224

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS