Monday, February 28, 2011

"CARMELITE CONVERSATIONS"
EACH MONDAY
7:30PM-EST
CLICK ON "LISTEN LIVE" TO HEAR THE SHOW





Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
___________________

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Three Words of Wisdom

KINGDOM OF GOD

Photo: R. Massaro St. Dymphna Shrine Massillon, Ohio

Mt 6:24-34
Gospel

Jesus said to his disciples:

“No one can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and mammon.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life,
what you will eat or drink,
or about your body, what you will wear.
Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
Look at the birds in the sky;
they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns,
yet your heavenly Father feeds them.
Are not you more important than they?
Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?
Why are you anxious about clothes?
Learn from the way the wild flowers grow.
They do not work or spin.
But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor
was clothed like one of them.
If God so clothes the grass of the field,
which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow,
will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith?
So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’
or ‘What are we to drink?’or ‘What are we to wear?’
All these things the pagans seek.
Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness,
and all these things will be given you besides.
Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.
Sufficient for a day is its own evil.”


In today's Gospel, Jesus tells us to seek first the kingdom of God and all our temporal needs will be met. This takes courage and trust on our part. It takes heroic courage and trust if one is struggling financially and with unemployment. But even in these challenging times Jesus warns us not to let the love of money rule our heart. God alone should be the "master" that we serve.

St. Paul gives us a look into the kingdom of heaven by describing the souls who live there "The Kingdom of God is not a matter of eating or drinking, but of justice, peace, and the joy that is given by the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17).

Pope John Paul II and our current Holy Father, Benedict XVI have repeatedly warned us against the sin of materialism.  Many people in our society are living beyond their means because they have to have "it" now.  There is no longer a mentality of  saving for a desired item. The same mentality can be found in the spiritual life. St. John of the Cross teaches us about the plight of beginners. He tells us that many people begin the road of prayer, but when they discover the work involved, they give up easily because their is no "instant gratification." Growing in love and virtue takes patience and hard work, this is difficult for us in our "drive-thru" society.

Even certain Christians have fallen-prey to the "gospel of prosperity" being preached in churches today. St. Paul has a stern warning for those who preach a different word other than what the Lord had given them:
Some who wish to alter the gospel of Christ must have confused you. For even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel not in accord with the one we delivered to you, let a curse be upon him (Galatians 1:8-9)!

The Secular Carmelite is called to be a witness in the world of the kingdom of God by drawing others to a life in imitation of Jesus Christ. Others should be attracted to God through us by our intimate friendship with Jesus Christ, by the living out of our promises of chastity, poverty, and obedience. They should be attracted to God through our lives...The world should know that we are Christians, not because of what we possess, but because of the love we have for one another. 

Life is short, we cannot take our possessions with us.  Let us store up for ourselves treasure in heaven. The Holy Spirit is ready to bestow these precious gifts on the soul who seeks first the Kingdom of God.



Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
_________________

Friday, February 25, 2011

Tabernacle of the Week

CHURCH OF THE RESURRECTION
SOLON, OHIO




Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
__________________

Thursday, February 24, 2011

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

SAYING # 131



My Beloved, all that is rugged and toilsome I desire for myself, and all that is sweet and delightful I desire for you.











(use your Google translate to get the site in English)




Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
__________________

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

SPIRITUAL LIFE DICTIONARY

Oh Holy Dwelling Place of God!
(Stained Glass Window, Shrine of St. Dymphna- Massillon, Ohio
photo: R. Massaro)

TODAY'S WORD: SANCTITY

From the Catholic Dictionary by Donald Attwater:

An eminent degree of charity, from a pure heart, and a good conscience, and an unfeigned faith.
(1 Tim. I, 5)

Here is the quote from Timothy that this definition is taken from:

What we are aiming at in this warning is the love that springs from a pure heart, a good conscience, and sincere faith.

With the holy season of Lent almost upon us, let us reflect on this description of holiness. Because, we must remember that whatever form of penance we choose, and if we are faithful and carry it out to the end,  that this in itself does not constitute holiness. We must seek the Divine intervention and assistance of the the One Sanctifier, who bestows sanctifying grace upon us: the Holy Spirit!

May he grant us a high degree of charity, the crowning glory of all the virtues. May His love be poured into our hearts, a love that is not feighned, and produces good works inspired by holy motives. Then we will truly be temples of the Holy Spirit. Let us look to Our Lady, the dwelling place of God to obtain for us a pure heart.







Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS
___________________

Monday, February 21, 2011

Stained Glass Scapulars-Reflections on the Secular Carmelite Rule

Photo: R. Massaro St. Anthony Church Akron, Ohio

From the Constitutions Section 1, No. 3

The members of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites are faithful members of the Church, called to live in allegiance to Jesus Christ through a friendship with the one we know loves us...

This short excerpt taken from  paragraph 3 states the essence of our Secular Carmelite vocation. This excerpt is threefold in nature:

#1: Faithful members of the Church.

#2: Fidelity to Jesus Christ

#3: Friendship with Jesus Christ

The readers of this blog may say, "Ok, you are preaching to the choir."  Patience, dear reader, let us hear the message, and let it take deeper root in our hearts and minds. Let us examine our conscience in light of these three virtues.

We can ask ourselves if we are truly faithful members of the Roman Catholic Church. We know that when we came to Carmel we had to provide a baptismal certificate, we had to show that we are members of the church, in good standing, before we were clothed with the Scapular.  Now we can ask ourselves if we have gotten off-track along-the-way by not adhering to church teaching in certain matters, perhaps an illicit relationship, occult practices or new-age teachings.  This is not being a faithful member of the church.

We can examine ourselves further in light of #2-fidelity or allegiance to Jesus Christ. Do we let people and situations become an obstacle to our union with Christ.  The Carmelite Order is studying the Way of Perfection this year, and recently our community discussed the chapters in which St. Teresa speaks of the harm relatives can do to our spiritual lives if we are not careful. Are we more faithful to worldly pastimes and pleasures than performing works of charity? Are we afraid to speak the truth when necessary? Do we compromise our beliefs as Catholics, as Carmelites in order to please others? This is not fidelity to Jesus Christ.

Now we come to the heart of the Carmelite vocation: friendship with Jesus Christ.  Yes, this is the heart of our calling. We are called to spend time in intimate friendship with Our Lord and Savior. What a beautiful and awesome calling! We should be most grateful that he has called us to be his beloved by inspiring us to seek union with Him. Do we take our prayer time seriously? Is it hit or miss? Do we pray only when we feel like it?

When we answered the Lord's call to enter Carmel, we accepted the call to follow the Crucified and Risen Savior. We must learn to leave worldly pleasures behind, accept the joys and sorrows of the narrow road of prayer if we desire holiness.  Life is short. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to give us the gift of true contemplation, the gift of a pure heart, so that we may be faithful followers of Jesus Christ and His Church.

Let us pray for each other!

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
______________________

Sunday, February 20, 2011

WAY OF PERFECTION

Thank you to those who are following along with our study of St. Teresa's Way of Perfection. Here are my notes for chapters 10-12 from our whole group formation-click on photo.


Official website for the centenary of St. Teresa




Peace be with you!
Rosemarie,ocds
___________________

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Saturday of Our Lady

O glorious Virgin, Mother of God, blessed among all nations, worthy of praise and the greatest of praise, intercede for me with your beloved Son. O honored Lady, Mother of the King of angels and archangels, assist me and deliver me from every difficulty and danger.


O blossom of the patriarchs, the virgins and the angels, hope of glory, beauty of virgins, admiration of the angels and archangels, remember me, and forsake me not, I beseech you, at the terrible hour of my death. O star of the sea, gate of heaven, temple of God, palace of Jesus Christ, harbor of safety, flower of all nations, pearl of all sweetness, hope of the faithful; O Queen who gives hope to the guilty, who surpasses in radiance the virgins and the angels, your presence gives joy to all the hosts of heaven.

Therefore, O Mother of mercy, I place in the protection of your holy hands every moment of my life, my sleeping, my waking, the sight of my eyes, the touch of my hands, the speech of my lips, the hearing of my ears, so that in everything I may be pleasing to your own beloved Son. Amen.




Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
______________________

Thursday, February 17, 2011

TABERNACLE OF THE WEEK

SACRED HEART CHURCH
OBERLIN, OHIO
DIOCESE OF CLEVELAND



Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
__________________

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Carmelite Quote






From Blessed Elizabeth
of the Trinity:

So that nothing may draw me out of this beautiful silence within, I must always maintain the same dispositions, the same solitude, the same withdrawl, the same stripping of self! If my desires, my fears,my joys or my sorrows, if all the movements proceeding from these "Four Passions" are not perfectly directed to God, I will not be solitary: there will be noise within me. There must be peace, "sleep of the powers," the unity of being. "Listen my daughter, lend your ear, forget your people and your father's hosue, and the King will become enamored of your beauty."

It seems to me that this call is an invitation to silence: listen...lend your ear...But to listen we must forget "our father's house," that is, everything that pertains to the natural life...
From, Heaven in Faith

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
______________________

Friday, February 11, 2011

Our Lady of Lourdes

FEAST DAY OF OUR LADY OF LOURDES 

I hope you enjoy this little video meditation from our previous pilgrimage to Lourdes.
Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds



Friday, February 4, 2011

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



#151
Let your speech be such  that no one may be offended, and let it concern things  that would not cause you regret were all to know them.


#141
Speak little and do not meddle in matters about which you are not asked.


Carmel de Laval-France
patience-the page will translate to English





Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
__________________

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Feast of St. Blaise


Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
__________________

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Feast of the Presentation



World Day for Consecrated Life
Established in 1997 by the Late John Paul II. 
Excerpt from John Paul II:

On the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple
5. The World Day for Consecrated Life will be celebrated on the feast

 which commemorates the presentation which Mary and Joseph made 
of Jesus in the temple "to present him to the Lord" (Lk2:22).
This Gospel scene reveals the mystery of Jesus, the One consecrated

 by the Father, come into the world to carry out his will faithfully 
(cf. Heb 10:5-7). Simeon points to Jesus as "a light for revelation to the
 Gentiles" (Lk 2:32) and by a prophetic word foretells the supreme 
offering of Jesus to the Father and his final victory (Lk 2:32-35).
In this way the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple is an eloquent icon 

of the total offering of one's life for all those who are called to show 
forth in the Church and in the world, by means of the evangelical 
counsels "the characteristic features of Jesus -- the chaste, poor 
and obedient one" (VC 1).
Mary is associated with the presentation of Christ.
The Virgin Mother who carries Jesus to the temple so that he can be 

offered to the Father expresses very well the figure of the Church who 
continues to offer her sons and daughters to the heavenly Father, 
associating them with the one oblation of Christ, cause and model of 
all consecration in the Church.
For some years now, in the Church of Rome and in other dioceses, 

the feast of 2 February has almost spontaneously brought numerous 
members of Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic 
Life around the Pope and diocesan pastors in order to demonstrate
 together, in communion with the entire People of God, the gift and 
commitment of their call, the variety of charisms of consecrated life, 
and their special place within the community of believers.
It is my wish that this experience be extended to the whole Church, 

so that the celebration of the World Day for Consecrated Life may 
gather consecrated persons together with other faithful in order to 
sing with the Virgin Mary the marvels which the Lord accomplishes 
in so many of his sons and daughters, and to manifest to all that being
a "people consecrated to himself" (cf. Deut 28:9) is the condition of
all those who are redeemed by Christ.






Peace be with you!

Rosemarie, ocds

__________________