Monday, August 30, 2010

SPIRITUAL LIFE DICTIONARY

TODAY'S TERM:
PURITY OF INTENTION

For our actions to be meritorious it is enough, according to many theologians, that they be inspired by any supernatural motive: fear, hope or love. It is true that St. Thomas requires that our actions be at least virtually under the influence of charity through a preceding act of love the influence of which still endures. He adds, however, that this condition is fulfilled in all those that perform any lawful action whilst in the state of grace: For those in the state of grace every act is meritorious or demeritorious.

The intention is the principal element in our actions; it is the eye that sheds its light upon them and directs them toward their end, it is the soul that animates them and gives them their worth in God's sight.
From the Spiritual Life by Rev. Adolphe Tanquerey #239

St. John of the Cross, speaking of moral goods, and the ability of the Christian to rejoice in them:

Christians, then, should rejoice not if they accomplish good works and abide by good customs, but if they do these things out of love for God alone, without any other motive. As those who work only for the service of God will receive a more elevated reward of glory, so those who work for other motives will suffer greater shame when they stand before God.
Collected Works of St. John of the Cross, Ascent of Mt. Carmel, Chap. 27, No. 5

Let us pray for each other, that through prayer ,that gives self-knowledge, we may purify our intentions and be aware of our selfish motives. May the Holy Spirit burn out any hidden desires we have to glorify ourselves. May the Holy Spirit create in us a clean and pure heart!

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.

Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I may love only what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, that I may defend all that is holy.
Guard me, O Holy Spirit, that I myself may always be holy.
— Augustine of Hippo





Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS
____________________

Friday, August 27, 2010

Saturday of Our Lady




Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us!
Learn more about the Holy Rosary


A plenary indulgence is granted, if the Rosary is recited in a church or public oratory or in a family group, a religious community or pious association; a partial indulgence is granted in other circumstances.

Queen of the Holy Rosary Shrine
Parma Heights, Ohio





Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
___________________

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tabernacle of the Week

St. John Neumann Catholic Church
Strongsville, Ohio
Diocese of Cleveland
Pastor: Rev. Robert J. Kraig
(double click screen to enlarge)







Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
_____________________

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Three Words of Wisdom

"ENDURE YOUR TRIALS"


 Brothers and sisters,You have forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as children: my son, do not disdain the discipline of the Lord
or lose heart when reproved by him;for whom the Lord loves, he disciplines;he scourges every son he acknowledges.”
Endure your trials as “discipline”;
God treats you as sons.
For what “son” is there whom his father does not discipline?
At the time,all discipline seems a cause not for joy but for pain,
yet later it brings the peaceful fruit of righteousness
to those who are trained by it.

So strengthen your drooping hands and your weak knees.
Make straight paths for your feet,
that what is lame may not be disjointed but healed.
 
 (Hebrews 12: 5-7, 11-13)

These words from today's second scripture reading immediately spoke to my heart and reminded me of the spiritual work of mercy that exhorts us to "bear wrongs patiently." Actually, three more words of wisdom that we can consider.

 As Christians we are challenged to bear all things, to endure all things...We know from the lives of the apostles and the saints that they were masters at this spiritual work of mercy.  This attitude of mercy, which is the fruit of living a life of beatitude, is the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.  It is the direct result of our desire to imitate Our Lord who endured all things, even unto death.

When we bear wrongs patiently and when we forgive offenses willingly, we are not only being merciful to others who have tried and tested us, but we are being merciful to ourselves. We can experience profound peace of mind and heart  when we forgive ourselves willingly and die to our ego. 

How do I endure my trials?

Do I respond with fear and anxiety?
Do I rejoice that I suffered a little for Christ? 
Do I withdraw and write off certain people and situations?

Here is how St. Peter describes trials:

There is cause for rejoicing here. You may for a time have to suffer the distress of many trials: but this is so that your faith, which is more precious than the passing splendor of fire-tried gold, may by its genuineness lead to praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ appears. (1 Peter 6-7) 

Prayer can help us prepare for the battle of trials that will always be a part of our life.  Prayer can help us get to know ourselves-who we really are before the Lord. St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila) teaches us that self-knowledge is painful. Purity of heart, although a gift of God, does not come easily. As I have mentioned before, holiness is back-breaking, hard spiritual labor, because we do not die to our egos easily.

Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity teaches us that Heaven begins now, not when we die.  Trials in this life are our purgatory. It is the Lord's way of being merciful to us-purifying us now so that we may begin to live a life of beatitude in the here and now.  

Let us pray for each other that we will "endure our trials" patiently, knowing that the Holy Spirit will help us to endure all things for the love of Christ.

May we imitate Our Lady of Sorrows who endured her trial in the silence of her heart. May we imitate the holy martyrs who willingly embraced the cross , even with great joy! 

 The Spiritual Works of Mercy: 
 To instruct the ignorant;
 To counsel the doubtful;
 To admonish sinners;
 To bear wrongs patiently;
 To forgive offenses willingly;
 To comfort the afflicted;
 To pray for the living and the dead.


Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
______________________

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Saturday of Our Lady

(photo: R.Massaro, crowned virgin of Lourdes, Frances)

August 22-Feast of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Octave of the Assumption

Ever-Virgin Mary, we acclaim you Queen of the universe! For you gave birth to Christ the Lord, who is Savior of all mankind.


Heavenly Father, you gave us your Son's Mother as our own Mother and Queen. In your mercy hear her prayer for us so that we may reach heavenly glory in the kingdom of your children.


Blessed are you, O Virgin Mary, for having believed the message given you by the Lord. With Christ you are now Queen forever.


Learn more about the Coronation of the Virgin Mary

Queen of the Universe Shrine, Orlando, Fla.

Pope Pius XII Enclyclical-Ad Caeli Reginam
Proclaiming the Queenship of Mary-1954

Peace be with you!
Rosmarie, ocds
_____________________

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Tabernacle of the Week

St. Jude Church
Elyria, Ohio
Diocese of Cleveland
Pastor: Rev. Frank Kosem

(double click screen to enlarge)




Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
____________________

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Carmelite Saint of the Day

TODAY'S SAINTS:
OCD Martyrs of the French Revolution, priests
Bl. John- Baptist Duverneuil
Bl. Michael Aloysius Brulard
Bl. James Gagnot


Photo from Carmelite Blog Louange de sa Gloire




Click here for link to Carmelite Gift Shoppe website that has short bio on these blesseds with prayers and Office of Readings.

Supplement to the 1993
Carmelite Proper of the Liturgy of the Hours





Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
___________________

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Stained Glass Flowers-Little Accounts of the Miraculous


From the life of St. Teresa Margaret of the Sacred Heart:

One of the Saint's companion-novices, Sr. Theresa Maria of the Immaculate Conception, has been ill and in high fever for months from an internal growth. At the Mother Prioress' request, Friar Joseph  Dominic Ferretti had brought to the monastery an image of Saint Joseph, which as it happens, is still there. The community immediately began a triduum of prayer during which Sr. Theresa Marageret never wearied of urging the sick nun to make acts of faith. On the third day, the Saint assured her that the Patriarch of Mankind would heal her, if only her faith


were great enough, and urged her to anoint herself with oil taken fromt he lamp before the statue. Sr. Theresa Maria followed the suggestion, and found herself cured at once and completely. It was current opinion in the monastery that whenever a sick person was attended by Sr. Theresa Margaret, complete recovery or decided relief, either physical or spiritual, or both was bound to ensure.


Brother Andre' who will be canonized on Oct 17, 2010 also healed people through oil from St. Joseph's lamp. Visit the website of the shrine he started by clicking on the link below.



Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
___________________

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Saturday of Our Lady

(photo:R.Massaro, St. Peter Church Mansfield, Oh.)
O Immaculae Virgin, Mother of God and Mother of men! We believe with all the fervor of our faith in your triumphal Assumption, both in body and soul, into heaven, where you are acclaimed as Queen by all the choirs of angels and all the legions of saints; and we unite with them to praise and bless the Lord who has exalted you above all other pure creatures, and to offer you the tribute of our devotion and our love.

We know that your gaze which on earth watched over the humble and suffering humanity of Jesus, is filled in heaven with the vision of that Humanity glorified, and with the vision of Uncreated Wisdom; and that the joy of your soul in the direct contemplation of the adorable Trinity, causes your heart to throb with overwhelming tenderness.

And we, poor sinners, whose body weighs down the flight of the soul, beg you to purify our hearts, so that, while we remain here below, we may learn to see God, and God alone, in the beauties of His creatures.

We trust that your merciful eyes may glance down upon our miseries and our sorrows, upon our struggles and our weaknesses; that your countenance may smile upon our joys and our victories; that you may hear the voice of Jesus saying to you of each one of us, as He once said to you of His beloeved disciple: Behold your son.

(From "Queen of Heaven" Leaflet Missal Company)

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
___________________

Friday, August 13, 2010

Carmelite Quote


From the writings of St. Teresa of Jesus of the Andes when she was 19 years old:

Now I'll tell you the reasons why I want to become a Carmelite. The first is that in Carmel one can live a life of prayer, of intimate union with God...

The second is solitude. Very often I feel a great yearning for solitude...

Third, the poverty of Carmel delights me, for in having nothing, the heart remains pure and belongs to God alone. Besides, by being poor I'll be more like Him who had nowhere to lay his head.

Fourth, penance attracts me: to punish the body which is so often the cause of sin, to make it suffer according to the example of Christ. Also, making the body suffer subjects it to the soul.

Fifth, the sacrifice of this life has a special attraction for me, and more so since everything is suffered in one's heart and will remain unknown with no one aware of it. Only God is aware of it.

Sixth, A Carmelite's goal to pray for priests, that they may be sanctified, and for sinners, that they may be converted couldn't be a higher one. A Carmelite sanctifies herself in order to make all the Church's members holy.

Excerpt from a letter to Fr. Artermio Colon, S.J. dated January 29, 1919
(photo: R.Massaro, Banner of Saints, Lourdes, France)


Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
____________________

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

TABERNACLE OF THE WEEK

St. Peter Catholic Church
North Ridgeville, Ohio
Diocese of Cleveland
Pastor: Rev. Bob Franco


(double click on screen to enlarge)



Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
_____________________

Monday, August 9, 2010

Carmelite Saint of the Day

TODAY'S SAINT:
ST. TERESA BENEDICTA OF THE CROSS
(EDITH STEIN)


A poem written by St. Teresa on Good Friday, 1938
and dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
This poem reflects what she knew to be her own vocation, to stand beneath the Cross for the souls entrusted to her care.

Today I stood with you beneath the Cross,
And felt more clearly than I ever did
That you became our Mother only there.
Even an earthly mother faithfully
Seeks to fulfill the last will of her son.
But you became the handmaid of the Lord;
The life and being of the God made Man
Was perfectly inscribed in your own life.
So you could take your own into your heart,
And with the lifeblood of your bitter pains
You purchased life anew for every soul.
You know also the celestial radiance
Which your Sons' love would shed on us in Heaven.
Thus carefully you guide our faltering footsteps,
No price too high for you to lead us to our goal.
But those whom you have chosen for companions
To stand with you round the eternal throne,
They here must stand with you beneath the Cross,
And with the lifeblood of their bitter pains
Must purchase heavenly glory for those souls
Whom God's own Son entrusted to their care.







Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
__________________

Sunday, August 8, 2010

THREE WORDS OF WISDOM

 LIGHT YOUR LAMPS

(photo: R.Massaro, Poor Clare Monastery, Canton,Oh.)

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Gird your loins and light your lamps
and be like servants who await their master’s return from a wedding, ready to open immediately when he comes and knocks.
Blessed are those servants whom the master finds vigilant on his arrival.

Amen, I say to you, he will gird himself, have the servants recline at table, and proceed to wait on them. And should he come in the second or third watch and find them prepared in this way,
blessed are those servants.

Be sure of this: if the master of the house had known the hour
when the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be prepared, for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.”
Luke 12:35-40

In today's Gospel, the Lord exhorts us to "light your lamps." Jesus told the Apostles that the Holy Spirit would guide them in all things. As Christians, we must look to the Holy Spirit to be our light and our guide. How do we keep the lamp of our soul lit and in a state of grace? By frequent reception of the sacraments.

As Secular Carmelites, we know that a point of our Rule is to have frequent recourse to the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Why? Because it makes spiritual common sense, doesn't it?  When one gets away from the Sacraments, the spiritual life is harder to live. We cannot make progress to reach purity of heart on our own, we need the light of the Holy Spirit and the grace of God to help us reach spiritual perfection.


We must obey the Holy Father and the teachings of the Church: the universal Sacrament of salvation.  Here is a beautiful quote from the Catechism on the nature of the Church as Sacrament:


The Church, in Christ, is like a sacrament--a sign and instrument, that is, of communion with God and of unity among all men.
Excerpt from #775


As sacrament, the Church is Christ's instrument. She is taken up by him also as the instrument for the salvation of all, the universal sacrament of salvation, by which Christ is "at once manifesting and actualizing the mystery of God's love for men. "
Excerpt from #776

In our Carmelite tradition and teaching we are familiar with St. John's famous poem, "The Dark Night."  In this poem he writes,

...On that glad night

in secret, for no one saw me,
nor did I look at anything
with no other light or guide
than the one that burned in my heart.

This beautiful stanza describes a soul that is on fire with love for God and steps out into the dark night of faith to seek the Beloved.

We can examine ourselves and discern if our hearts are on fire with love of God that manifests itself by charity toward our neighbor. When we become Christlike we will be like a shining light that others are drawn to. 

Life is so short...Let us keep our lamps lit, for we know not the day nor the hour when the Master will return.














Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS
_____________________

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Carmelite Saint of the Day

TODAY'S SAINT:
SAINT ALBERT OF TRAPANI

(photo from carmelnet.org)
From the Carmelite Proper:

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 1296, and died at Messina, probably in 1307, with a reputation for purity and prayer.

PRAYER: Lord God, you made St. Albert of Trapani a model of purity and prayer, and a devoted servant of Our Lady. May we practice these same virtues and so be worthy always to share the banquet of your grace. We ask this this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
_________________________

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

St. John of the Cross-Sayings of Light and Love


(double click screen to enlarge)



Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
_____________________

Monday, August 2, 2010

Carmelite Quote


A quote by St. Teresa of Jesus of the Andes
before she entered the Carmelite Order:


(photo: R.Massaro, St.Agnes Church Orrville, Ohio)

 

The other day I was coming before the exposition of the Most Blessed Sacrament, I was asking myself, why don't we all fall madly in love with Him?  Oh, Mother, I want so much to belong to Him completely, to give myself entirely to Him! When will I become a Carmelite so that I can live only in Him, and for Him, and because of Him? Pray for me, please. I always remember you, Rev. Mother, and all my dear Sisters. I love them so. And although my prayers don't count for much, I am asking Our Lord to make the Sisters saints.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
__________________