Sunday, November 28, 2010

THREE WORDS OF WISDOM

THE LORD'S MOUNTAIN

For Carmelites the symbolism of God's mountain, Mount Carmel, is paramount. As secular Carmelites we follow the teachings and spiritual direction of St. John of the Cross who wrote extensively about ascending the mountain of Carmel which is spiritual symbolism for union with God. We ask Our Lady of Mt. Carmel to lead us safely to the summit of Carmel, to Christ her Son.

St. John of the Cross made a drawing of Mt. Carmel, the mount of perfection, which became helpful to his disciples, because it was a summary of his teaching that they could refer to in their spiritual struggle. One of the features of this drawing is the narrow path that
leads to the summit. We know from the Gospel of Matthew that he is referring to the parable of the narrow gate:
Enter through the narrow gate. The gate that leads to damnation is wide, the road is clear, and many choose to travel it. But how narrow is the gate that leads to life, how rough the road, and how few there are who find it!
 (Matthew 7:13-14)

As secular Carmelites we should be very grateful that the Lord has given us the spiritual eyes to see the narrow gate that leads to Him. He tells us clearly that the road is rough, so we should expect the road of prayer and purification to be difficult. There are many spiritual books written about how one can overcome the rough road of dryness in prayer. This has always puzzled me, because this is one area for Carmelites whose main charism is prayer, and in particular, quiet prayer, that is necessary for spiritual growth. Of course, we need direction to help us and encourage us through this difficult time. That is where St. John of the Cross and his teaching can help us. We must keep before us our goal: the mountain of the Lord.

During this season of Advent when the entire church is on retreat praying and waiting and keeping vigil for the coming of the Lord let

us remember to pray for each other. Waiting can be very difficult. We only have to look at our society to see it. Waiting in line at the store or waiting in traffic one sees impatience on all sides. Let us use these moments in our daily life to turn interiorly toward the Lord's mountain and renew our desire to be one with him.  As today's psalm response states, "Let us go rejoicing to the House of the Lord." Our response to the challenges and stresses of our daily activities is one way we give witness that as Catholics, as Christians, as Carmelites we are going "rejoicing to the House of the Lord" one moment at a time.

Let us pray for each other!

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
___________________

Saturday, November 27, 2010

SATURDAY OF OUR LADY

Devotion to Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament was begun by a French priest, St. Peter Julien Eymard (1811-1868). He is the founder of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament.



Prayer to Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament
O Virgin Mary, Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament, glory of the Christian people, joy of the universal Church, salvation of the whole world, pray for us, and awaken in all believers a lively devotion toward the Most Holy Eucharist, so that they may be made worthy to daily partake of this Holy Sacrament. Amen.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
____________________

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

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

SAYING #119

There are three signs of inner recollection: first, a lack of satisfaction in passing things; second, a liking for solitude and silence, and an attentiveness to all that is more perfect; third, the considerations, meditations and acts that formerly helped the soul now hinder it, and it brings to prayer no other support than faith, hope, and love.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
____________________

Monday, November 22, 2010

TABERNACLE OF THE WEEK

ST. ADALBERT
BEREA, OHIO
Diocese of Cleveland
PASTOR: Rev. Barry Gearing






Peace be with you!
Rosemarie,ocds
___________________

Sunday, November 21, 2010

OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST THE KING


But during the little while this life lasts--and perhaps it will last a shorter time than each one thinks--let us offer the Lord interiorly and exteriorly the sacrifice we can. His Majesty will join it with that which He offered on the cross to the Father for us. Thus even though our works are small they will have the value our love for Him would have merited had they been great.
St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila)

Stella Maris Carmelite Monastery
Mt. Carmel-Holy Land-click here


Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
__________________

Thursday, November 18, 2010

CARMELITE QUOTE


From St. Teresa of Jesus' Interior Castle
(Chap. 10,No. 3)

Let us compare God to a very spacious and magnificent mansion or palace and remember that this edifice is God Himself. Can the sinner withdraw from it in order to carry out his crimes? No, certainly not, for within this very palace, that is, within God Himself, are perpetrated all the abominations, impurities and evil deeds that sinners commit. Oh awful thought, well worthy to be pondered over! What profit it would bring to us, who know so little and understand these truths but partially or how could we possibly be so reckless in our daring? Let us, sisters, meditate on the infinite mercy and patience of God in not casting us down to hell at once and let us render Him hearty thanks. Surely we should be ashamed of resenting anything done or said against us--we who are the scum of the earth--when we see what outrages are offered to God our Creator whithin His very being, by us His creatures; yet we are wounded whenever we hear of an unkind word having been spoken of us in our absence, although perhaps with no evil intention.














Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Sunday, November 14, 2010

THREE WORDS OF WISDOM

 WILL OF GOD

Photo: R. Massaro

The Will of God for our soul is a mysterious discernment process that we struggle with our entire lives. It's usually an interior spiritual competition-of-sorts between the the will of God vs. what I want. The good news is that it is a good sign if we have this interior struggle.  I think we can safely say that not many in our society give one thought to what is the "will of God" for their lives.

Many saints have struggled with pleasing God and doing his will. I think of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. What great courage it must have taken to leave her own religious order to begin the Sisters of Charity-following the Holy Spirit's prompting to do the will of God. And how many priests today struggled with the call to follow Christ and enter the seminary?

St. Therese of the Child Jesus, Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity, St. Teresa of the Andes, St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila) all made heroic acts to leave their beloved families and enter the cloister, virtually cutting themselves off from their families and the world to follow the crucified and risen Christ in the Order of Carmel. They longed to imitate Christ who was obedient to the will of the Father. The will of the Father was Jesus' life, passion, death, and resurrection. All for love of us and our salvation.
Photo: R. Massaro

God knows what is best for us. He has a unique plan for each of us that leads to salvation and a life in his house that will never end. Each day the details of our life are a road map to this destiny.  This is why I believe St. Therese of the Child Jesus is one of the greatest saints of modern times, according to many popes. Her little way of love in finding God in the ordinary tasks of everyday life are one way in which we can live out the will of God in the little details of daily life. And as scripture tells us those who are faithful in little things will be charged with greater.

The will of God can seem mysterious, challenging and heart-wrenching for those who love him and want to please him. It can also be very simple. Simple if we respond in love to the opportunities he presents to us each day. St. Augustine tells us to "love and do what you will." This is great spiritual advice if it is not taken out of context. We must be people of prayer with a conscience formed by the Holy Spirit. Our choices must reflect the Gospel and the teachings of the Church. Yes, we can have freedom in this life, true freedom if we embrace the cross-the ultimate sacrificial love that Christ had for the Father and for us.

Let us pray for each other, that we follow Jesus in saying yes to the will of the Father. He will become intimate friends with us if we have this desire. For he says:" ...there are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does the will of my heavenly Father is brother and sister and mother to me." (Matthew 12:50)

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS
______________________

Friday, November 12, 2010


Bethlehem Cave and
Nativity Museum
Located in Nativity of the Lord Jesus
Catholic Church
2425 Myersville Rd.
Akron, Ohio 44312



The Bethlehem Cave is a replica of the cave where Jesus was born as it appears today in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.


Only two such replicas exist in the United States. The other is in Washington D.C.


The Nativity Museum is adjacent to the chapel and displays a collection of Nativity scenes from different countries.

The Nativity of the Lord Jesus Catholic Church was designed to reflect the 4th century a.d. Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem
Pastor: Rev. David Halaiko
Mass is held in the chapel at various times during the week. Please check bulletin.
(all text taken from brochure provided by the church)

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
__________________

Sunday, November 7, 2010

STAINED GLASS FLOWERS-LITTLE ACCOUNTS OF THE MIRACULOUS

Once while I was reciting with all the Sisters the hours of the Divine Office, my soul suddenly became recollected; and it seemed to me to be like a brightly polished mirror, without any part on the back or sides or top or bottom that wasn't totally the way I usually see Him. In its center Christ, our Lord, was shown to me, in the way I usually see him. It seemed to me I saw Him clearly in every part of my soul, as though in a mirror. And this mirror also--I don't know how to explain it--was completely engraved upon the Lord Himself by means of a very loving communication I wouldn't know how to describe. I know that this vision is very beneficial to me each time I remember it, especially after receiving Communion.
St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila) from the Book of her Life

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
____________________

Saturday, November 6, 2010

SATURDAY OF OUR LADY

November-The month dedicated to the Poor Souls
Prayer to Our Lady for the Poor Souls in Purgatory

Most holy Mary, Our Lady of Intercession whose maternal tenderness gathers in one embrace all the souls redeemed by the Precious Blood of thy Son Jesus, we come before thy royal throne with sadness in our hearts as we remember those who have gone before us, but also with unlimited confidence in thine intercession. Death, which burst asunder the bonds of earth, has not destroyed the affection which binds us to those who lived in the same faith as we do. O Mary, countless souls await with unutterable anxiety the assistance of our prayers, and the merits of our good works in that place of expiation. Urged by the charity of Jesus Christ, we raise our countenance and heart in supplication to thee, the compassionate Mother of all believers, in favor of those suffering souls. Make our prayers of good effect, O Mary; obtain for them the power to move the Heart of Jesus our Redeemer through thy motherly intercession.

Let thine incomparable holiness supply the defects of our misery, thy love make good our languid affection, thy power strengthen our weakness. Grant, O Queen of Heaven, that the ardent desire of the souls of the departed to be admitted to the Beatific Vision may soon be satisfied. We pray to thee, O Mother, especially for the souls of our relations, of priests, of those who were zealous in honoring thee, of those who did good to the souls of others, of those who wept with them and for them and, finally, for the souls of those who are forgotten. Grant that one day, when we are all reunited in Heaven, we may be able to rejoice in the possession of God, in the happiness of thy dear presence, in the fellowship of all the Saints, thanking thee forever for all the blessings thou hast obtained for us, O Mother, who art our unfailing comfort. Amen.


Photo: R. Massaro  St. Peter Church Mansfield, Ohio




Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS
___________________

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

SPIRITUAL LIFE DICTIONARY

TODAY'S TERM:
PRACTICE OF THE PRESENCE OF GOD

The effort to realize God dwelling within our souls as our friend. To achieve it, silence and solitude must be practiced, motives purified outside the time of formal prayer by offering what is done for his glory, and frequently turning to him by ejaculations. The growth of the spiritual life carries with it an increasing realization of God's presence, and perfection, as Cassian says, is the constance practice of that presence.
From A Catholic Dictionary by Donald Atwater





The saints practiced the presence of God.











Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
____________________

Monday, November 1, 2010

CARMELITE QUOTE


From St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila):

Those who practice recollection, when they are in prayer, nearly always have their eyes closed; and it is an excellent custom for many reasons, because it is doing oneself violence in order to turn one's eyes from the things of the earth. However, it is only in the beginning that it costs; in fact, when one has acquired the habit thereof, it rather requires violence to open the eyes than to close them.

Read the Interior Castle online

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
__________________