Sunday, January 30, 2011

CARMELITE QUOTE

St. Teresa Margaret of the Sacred Heart


...I hereby resolve to show abhorrence to and to fly from praise of myself, and never to say anything that can occasion it either directly or indirectly.


In view of the fact, my God, that You have given me the clearest indication that a soul cannot be wholly Yours unless it free the mind and heart of every worldly care, I firmly resolve never to speak of things of this world, never to be curious about them, no matter how indifferent they may be, but to interest myself solely in that which can lead me only to You; furthermore, to strengthen myself in this resolution I propose, my God, in the Monastery to attend to myself alone, never to notice what my Sisters do, always to be silent about what they do, deaf to all they say, blind to all that I may accidentally see...all with the desire to employ all my faculties at all times only to serve, praise, and bless You, my God, my only Good.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
___________________

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

TABERNACLE OF THE WEEK

ST. BRENDAN
NORTH OLMSTED, OHIO
PARISH WEBSITE

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
____________________

Sunday, January 23, 2011

THREE WORDS OF WISDOM

COME FOLLOW ME

St. Peter-Our first Holy Father

In today's Gospel, we hear Jesus calling Peter to follow him. “Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men.”  As baptized Christians, we know that God is calling us to be "fishers of men",too. Do we live out this baptismal calling to evangelize and spread the Good News, or are we content to keep our faith to ourselves?

Jesus called Peter and his successors to be our spiritual leaders and holy fathers who teach us the faith and keep us on the true path to union with God through following his Son, Jesus Christ. We know that this path is narrow, painful, and difficult. We need the teachings of the Church to light our way and guide us.

We must be formed by the Holy Spirit in order to be his missionaries in spreading the Good News. We must be willing to learn and study our faith, the teachings of the Church. This mission of evangelization, the great commission of Jesus to "go and preach to all nations" is the core sacrament of the Church. The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

#738-Thus the Church's mission is not an addition to that of Christ and the Holy Spirit, but is its sacrament: in her whole being and in all her members, the Church is sent to announce, bear witness, make present, and spread the mystery of the communion of the Holy Trinity:  (the Catechism then quotes St. Cyril of Alexandria)

All of us who have received one and the same Spirit, that is, the Holy Spirit, are in a sense blended together with one another and with God. For if Christ, together with the Father's and his own Spirit, comes to dwell in each of us though we are many, still the Spirit is one and undivided. He binds together the spirits of each and every one of us,...and makes all appear as one in him. For just as the power of Christ's sacred flesh unites those in whom it dwells into one body, I think that in the same way the one and undivided Spirit of God, who dwells in all, leads all into spiritual unity.

As Secular Carmelites we are called to be witnesses in the world to  our charism of contemplative prayer. Why? I believe this question is answered directly by the teachings of the Church in the excerpt of the Catechism I have quoted above:

in her whole being and in all her members, the Church is sent to announce, bear witness, make present, and spread the mystery of the communion of the Holy Trinity.

Can you hear Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity telling us the same thing through her writings? We see her whole life caught up in this mystery, this indwelling of the Holy Trinity. She evangelizes and  spreads the Good News of this Holy Communion of the Trinity living and working in us, the members of the Church. 

Let us be faithful to our Carmelite calling of being witnesses in the world. Perhaps it is a quiet witness of being faithful to our Carmelite promises. Perhaps it's a quiet and gentle witness of sharing our Carmelite teachings with others. Let us remember, that whatever we do, we do in the name of the Lord. May it all be done in charity and with the grace and light and strength from the Holy Spirit, who forms us into one body and one Spirit in Christ.

COME FOLLOW ME






View previous posts on "Three Words of Wisdom"











Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
____________________


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Saturday of Our Lady

The Fifteen Promises of Mary
to those who recite the Rosary


1.  Whoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the rosary shall receive signal graces.


2.  I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all those who shall recite the rosary.


3.  The rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin, and defeat heresies.


4.  It will cause virtue and good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire of eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means.


5.  The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the rosary, shall not perish.


6.  Whoever shall recite the rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its sacred mysteries, shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just, he shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of eternal life.


7.  Whoever shall have a true devotion for the rosary shall not die without the sacraments of the Church.


8.  Those who are faithful to recite the rosary shall have during their life and at their death the light of God and the plenitude of His graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the merits of the saints in paradise.


9.  I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the rosary.


10.  The faithful children of the rosary shall merit a high degree of glory in heaven.


11.  You shall obtain all you ask of me by the recitation of the rosary.


12.  All those who propagate the holy rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.


13.  I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the rosary shall have for intercessors the entire celestial court during their life and at the hour of  death.


14.  All who recite the rosary are my sons, and brothers of my only son, Jesus Christ.


15.  Devotion to my rosary is a great sign of predestination.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
________________________


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Spiritual Direction with St. John of the Cross



Many spiritual persons, after having exercised themselves in approaching God through images, forms, and meditations suitable for beginners, err greatly if they do not determine, dare, or know how to detach themselves from these palpable methods to which they are accustomed. For God then wishes to lead them to more spiritual, interior, and invisible graces by removing the gratification derived from discursive meditation. They still try to hold on to these methods, desiring to travel the road of consideration and meditation, using images as before. They think they must always act in this way. Striving hard to meditate, they draw out little satisfaction or none at all. Rather, aridity, fatigue, and restlessness of soul increase in the measure they strive through meditation for that former sweetness, now unobtainable. They will no longer taste that sensible food, as we said, but rather will enjoy another food, more delicate, interior, and spiritual. Not by working with the imagination will they acquire this spiritual nourishment but by pacifying the soul, by leaving it to its more spiritual quiet and repose.
The Ascent of Mt. Carmel, Bk II, Chap. 12, No. 6


St. John of the Cross gently tells us that we must be bold in our effort to be detached from our familiar way of prayer in seeking union with God. He tells us over and over again in his writings the mistakes beginners make. They seek shelter and comfort in the consolation of meditation when God is clearly calling them to leave behind reason and imagination to explore the hidden depths of his love where images and forms and labor of the intellect do not exist. This can be a frightening prospect! 


The saints were not timid in this regard. We, too, in order to obtain purity of heart, must leave the familiar road of prayer behind, renounce our spiritual "comfort zone," and follow the Lord where he leads. He leads us through the night of faith. He leads us through dryness and lack of consolation. But this is the cross, the cross we promised to embrace when we entered Carmel. 


Although we may feel alone, and even feel abandoned at times in our purification, we know that he is with us every step of the way, for he promised us that he would be with us always.


He knows the way for each of us that leads to his heart. This is the place where mystical secrets and "invisible graces" as St. John states are shared between lovers. Let us trust in him that he knows the way. Let us trust that he is our light and lamp that leads us on the dark night of faith to union with him.
Let us pray for each other.



Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
_____________________

Sunday, January 16, 2011

CARMELITE QUOTE



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


The holy resolutions of St. Teresa Margaret (part 1):


Reflecting on the purpose for which You, my God, have called me out of nothing into the happy state of Religion, I propose and resolve to devote myself, in future, with great courage, to a complete reform of myself, and truly and utterly to despoil myself of all my inclinations that I may adhere more closely and only to You.


As to the means which You, my God, have given me for my sanctification, I resolve, in future, to regard them with greater esteem, irrespective of their possible minuteness, and to make use of them in all diligence for no other end than Your own great glory, and that I may the better serve You and love You in the way and manner which You, my Jesus, through Your love for the Father have set for me...in this I shall be constant, for without perseverance there is no salvation.


Having weighed carefully the truth that one cannot be called Your true Spouse, my Jesus, unless the predominant passions be checked, I resolve with all my heart to practice, at all costs, continuous abnegation of my own will and entire an immediate obedience in all things great and small, for I have learned from You, my God, that You made Yourself obedient under unbearably harsh conditions, conditions under which I shall never be placed. 


In consideration of the fact that my neighbors, O my God, are images of You, made like unto You, the products of Your divine love and the price of Your blood, I shall never, in future, look upon them with other than eyes of true charity, in accordance with Your own command; I now propose to sympathize with them on all occasions, to hide and excuse their defects, to speak of them always with esteem, and finally never to fail, knowingly, in love for them in thought, word, or deed.



Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
_____________________

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

TABERNACLE OF THE WEEK


ST. MARY CHURCH
HUDSON, OHIO
Diocese of Cleveland
PASTOR: Rev. Edward Kordas


















Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
___________________

Sunday, January 9, 2011

THREE WORDS OF WISDOM


I REJECT SIN

Today on this feast of the Baptism of the Lord I was thinking of the renewal of our baptismal promises that we make during Easter. The priest questions us and asks us if we reject sin and Satan, we respond, "I do." We make a definite and profound statement that we will reject sin in our life and with the grace of God endeavor to lead a life of holiness in imitation of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

The Secular Carmelite's reception of the large brown scapular during the clothing service is a sign of our baptismal calling.  The priest who presides over our clothing day Mass spoke at length about this a few years ago. He gave a beautiful homily illustrating that the scapular we wear is an extension of our baptismal garment. Why? Because as Carmelites we profess to live the evangelical counsels: chastity, poverty, and obedience. This is the life of Jesus Christ and our response to his call of " take up your cross and follow me."

The Church gives the faithful the gift of indulgences. One of the requirements to gain a plenary indulgence is to be free from any attachments to sin, even venial sin. The other requirements are:

*Perform the work to which the indulgence is attached
*Receive the sacrament of confession
*Receive Holy Communion
*Pray for the intention of the Holy Father

These requirements are the basis of our life as secular Carmelites. If we look at each requirement we will see these requirements lived out in our vocation. 

The Carmelite is called to a life of prayer on behalf of the Church. We are seeking a pure heart, so we are striving to be free from any attachments of sin, even venial sin.  Our Holy Mother, St. Teresa of Jesus repeats this holy desire of being free from even venial sins in all of her writings.

We are to live a Eucharistic life. We are called to attend Mass daily, if possible. We are called, as our Rule states, to have "a great esteem for the Sacrament of Reconciliation."

The Church gives us the gift of indulgence as an offering of mercy to the sinner to shorten the soul's stay in purgatory. The secular Carmelite, by our life of prayer, penance, and self-denial is seeking to purify our soul in this life, so that when we die, there will be no separation and we may see Him "face-to-face."

Bl. Elizabeth of the Trinity, is one of the Carmelite saints who speaks about this purification and that heaven begins now and not when we die. In our life as secular Carmelites we are trying to keep our baptismal garment unstained for the day when we meet the Beloved at the eternal wedding feast.

The baptismal rite includes the following statement:

You have become a new creation, and have clothed yourselves in Christ. See in this white garment the outward sign of our Christian dignity. With your family and friends to help you by word and example, bring that dignity unstained into everlasting life.
St. Therese wanted to keep this holy garment unstained, she states 

this in her writings. This Doctor of the Church, this Doctor of Love, is a model we can follow on our way of perfection up Mt. Carmel. We have the help of our family, our Carmelite brothers and sisters and our holy parents of the Order: St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Jesus. May they pray for us and help us to always 'reject sin and satan,' so that with a pure heart we may be able to see as St. John the Baptist saw, the perfect Lamb of God, face-to-face." And, one day, may we hear those beautiful words, "Come, my beloved, for in you I am well-pleased!

Let us pray for each other.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
_________________


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Stained Glass Flowers-Little Accounts of the Miraculous






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


Before entering the new monastery, while in prayer outside in the church, being almost in rapture, I saw Christ who seemed to be receiving me with great love and placing a crown on my head and thanking me for what I did for His Mother.


Another time while all were at prayer in choir after compline, I saw our Lady in the greatest glory clothed in a white mantle; it seemed she was sheltering us all under it. I understood how high a degree of glory the Lord would give to those living in this house.


Here are links to wonderful blogs focused on Carmelite spirituality. Enjoy









Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
____________________

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

THE WAY OF PERFECTION

Our Secular community is studying the Way of Perfection in anticipation of the 500 birthday of St. Teresa in 2015. The Order has asked us to follow a particular plan of study. This year the Order is studying the Way of Perfection. If the readers of Spirit Singing would like to follow along, I will post my notes from our whole group formation and offer a few comments on the chapters we have studied. This will be a monthly post.



Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
_____________________

Sunday, January 2, 2011

FEAST OF THE EPIPHANY

FEAST OF THE EPIPHANY
DAY TO BLESS YOUR HOUSE

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
______________________