Saturday, December 31, 2011

Second Song: Knowledge



The gift of knowledge points out to us the path to follow and the dangers to avoid in order to reach heaven.


St. Teresa of Avila says that self-knowledge is painful!

When we enter into a deep, intimate relationship with Jesus in the life of prayer, he begins to tell us about ourselves, and sometimes this is not a pleasant revelation. In the life of prayer, when one is seeking to obtain a pure heart, the light of the Holy Spirit begins to reveal to our minds all sorts of deep-seated attachments that we possess.

The gift of knowledge helps us to put into light the worldly things we can easily become attached to. We then make a choice with our will to give up the attachment and pray for God's grace to actually help us to do it. The life of the Carmelite is a call each day to become detached to the world and to die to ourselves. A Carmelite is called to do this with great joy!
Embracing the cross and trying to enter through the narrow door are painful prospects. If we keep in mind our heavenly goal and place our trust in Christ our Hope, we can strive for holiness with a calm and peaceful heart that brings joy to our lives. A joy that is the hallmark of authentic holiness.

I recall the lives of the French Carmelite martyrs of Compiegne who went to their death singing! The popular opera, Dialogues of the Carmelites is based on this true story.

An excerpt from the true story:

The nuns were sentenced to the guillotine. An ironic sidelight: the one nun of royal blood, Marie of the Incarnation, happened to be away at the time of the arrest and thus escaped execution; one of only three survivors of her community, she became the martyrs first historian, collecting eyewitness accounts of the nuns deaths. Reverend Mother Émilienne, Superior General of the Sisters of Charity of Nevers, wrote in a letter:

I learned from a person who was a witness to their martyrdom that the youngest of these good Carmelites was called first and that she went to kneel before her venerable Superior, asked her blessing and permission to die. She then mounted the scaffold singing Laudate Dominum omnes gentes. She then went to place herself beneath the blade allowing the executioner to touch her. All the others did the same. The Venerable Mother was the last sacrificed. During the whole time, there was not a single drum-roll; but there reigned a profound silence.

Sister Charlotte of the Resurrection, seventy-eight and an invalid, having been thrown roughly to the pavement from the tumbrel, was heard to speak words of forgiveness and encouragement to her tormentor. Sister Julie had an extreme horror of the guillotine; yet she refused to leave her sisters even when her family sent for her, saying, We are victims of the age, and we must sacrifice ourselves for its reconciliation with God." Another witness said of the nuns, They looked like they were going to their weddings."

Copyright ICS Publications. Permission is hereby granted for any non-commercial use, if this copyright notice is included. http://www.icspublications.com/




Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, please pray that the Light of the Holy Spirit may give us knowledge that we may see ourselves as God sees us.


Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS
________________

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Carmelite Quote

If you give yourself to prayer, you'll find that God will show Himself to you, and make you fall in love with Him. In prayer our soul seeks Him out, and if we do so, wanting to know and love Him, Jesus will raise a bit the veil that conceals Him and show us His divine Face, radiant with beauty and sweetness. There are times when He will open His Heart's wound, and will show us the treasures of his infinite goodness and love. At other times He lets His sweet voice be heard, leaving the soul consumed by love and repentance.

(double-click screen to enlarge)






Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
_________________

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas!!




MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL READERS OF SPIRIT SINGING!
MAY YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES HAVE A BLESSED AND GRACE-FILLED NEW YEAR!

(Double-click screen for large view)
















Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
___________________

Monday, December 19, 2011

TABERNACLES

St. Francis Xavier Church
Medina, Ohio
Diocese of Cleveland, Ohio




Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
________________

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Three Words of Wisdom

SELF-UNDERSTANDING IS NEGLECTED

Our Lady's "self-knowledge:"
"I am the handmaid of the Lord."
Recently, while in the waiting room of a doctor's office I picked up a flyer and was immediately captivated by the first line:  "In today's busy world, self-understanding is often neglected." I went on to read the short paragraph that highlighted the benefits of a total body massage from "the tips of your toes, to the tips of your eyelashes." Well, as a Secular Carmelite, of course I could see the spiritual symbolism in this statement.  It certainly reflects a twisted spirituality in light of our Christian faith.

"The path of self-knowledge
must never be abandoned."
The Life Chap. 13, No.15
 Self-understanding? Where have we heard this before in our Carmelite studies?  St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila), of course!  She teaches us the great benefits of self-knowledge. A knowledge about ourselves that is realized through quiet prayer and submission to the work and grace of the Holy Spirit.  This holy enlightenment, however, is not as relaxing and physically enjoyable as the total body massage. It is much, much different. It can be very painful, in fact, even for those who are given to prayer and contemplation.   Sometimes, it takes great courage to pray, for we  know that we will stand before the Lord...he may bring to our mind and our attention where we have failed: our ugly faults in all their glory!

The person who submits to a total body massage in the secular world makes a decision to have a stranger manipulate his muscles and joints.  They place themselves in a vulnerable position with this stranger.  Let us take this example as food for meditation. Let us ask the Holy Spirit for courage to come before him in prayer ready to have him reveal to us who we really are before him.  This may not be a pleasant sight or revelation in our eyes, but it is necessary for spiritual growth. 

While the world tells us not to neglect our "selves," to pamper the body and to embrace all the pleasures the world has to offer, let us remain faithful to our call to holiness through true self-knowledge  wrought in us by the Holy Spirit.

Our holy parents, St. John and St. Teresa, clearly teach us to be detached from the senses and worldly pleasures, let us also be detached from spiritual consolations, where we would like to remain in consolation and be pampered by the Holy Spirit. St. Teresa and St. John tell us that consolations are given for service to God and neighbor. God will console us when we need it, let us not put service aside to seek these spiritual favors.


Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
_________________

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Saturday of Our Lady

(photo:R.Masssaro)
Sorrowful Mother Shrine, Ohio
Scarcely had the angel departed when Mary was on the road. The first pilgrimage of faith had begun. The handmaid, who was the servant of the Lord, was going to serve, presenting for all time the idea of the serving Church. It was the first act of service to God made man. It was Mary's first act of faith; she believed the added sign given her by the angel; Behold your cousin Elizabeth has conceived." (Lk I,36) The Mother with the instinct of motherhood, utterly forgetful of self, was prompted to go out to another's need. She wanted not only to share her love but to share the Beloved. As she started out she was setting his feet on the path to Jerusalem where He would complete his supreme act of service by becoming "the suffering servant."

Mary's first pilgrimage of faith has so much to teach us. She inspires us to go out with generous hearts to love and serve the Lord in all around us.
Pilgrims With Mary John Moloney P.P.

Visit the Carmelite Monastery in Latrobe, Pa.



Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
______________________

Friday, December 16, 2011

CARMELITE SAINT OF THE DAY

TODAY'S SAINT:
BLESSED MARY OF THE ANGELS




Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
__________________


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Carmelite Saint of the Day

HAPPY FEAST DAY TO ALL CARMELITES
SOLEMNITY OF ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
______________________

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Carmelite Quote

...This enkindling of love and the union of these two faculties, the intellect and the will, is something immensely rich and delightful for the soul, because it is a certain touch of the divinity and already the beginning of the perfection of the union of love for which the soul hopes. Thus one does not receive this touch of so sublime an experience and love of God without having suffered many trials and a great part of the purgation.
The Dark Night, Chap. 12, No. 6

Reminder: Today is a day of fast and abstinence for OCDS

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
_______________

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Three Words of Wisdom



COME TO ME...

Today's "Three Words of Wisdom" immediately call to mind Our Lord's beautiful exhortation, "Come to me all you who labor and find life burdomsome..."  We could take liberty with this passage and write our own statement that we would hope to hear from our Dear Lord.  All we need do is call to mind the cross he is asking us to carry at this moment in our life.  What would you like to hear Jesus say to you ?  Perhaps, "Come to me, all you who are sick."  "Come to me, all you who are experiencing family problems." Come to me, " All you who are unemployed."  Come to me, all you who are mourning and weeping over a deceased loved one."

Jesus tells us to Come to him. Let us make the effort to meet him face-to-face, for he has already come to us and abides with us.
Jesus invites us to "come to him" on a daily basis; in prayer, in the Holy Eucharist, in Scripture, in our neighbor.  We have the opportunity each day to meet him face-to-face in so many ways, we only need to turn to him, to be aware of his presence within us.

Let us approach Our Lord humbly, ever-mindful of who we are before him: his servants, yet his children, too. He is waiting to give us what we need: his very body and blood, the Holy Eucharist for our spiritual journey, his companionship in prayer, the support of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

Let us have a great desire to see all people come to Him. He is waiting with arms open....for you!

Visit the Carmelite Monastery of Port Tobacco, MD

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
________________

Thursday, December 8, 2011


SOLEMNITY OF OUR LADY
THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION OF THE
BLESSED VIRGIN MARY


Photo: R Massaro, Crowned Virgin
Lourdes, France




Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
_____________________

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


NOVENA TO ST. JOHN OF THE CROSS

Photo: R. Massaro-Statue at St. John of the Cross Church
Euclid, Ohio






Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
___________________


Monday, December 5, 2011

SAINT TERESA OF AVILA CHURCH
CADIZ, OHIO







Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds
__________________

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Saturday of Our Lady

Photo: R. Massaro Lourdes, France
The definition of the Immaculate Conception  of Our Blessed Lady in 1854 was like a great light in a dark age. It was preceded by her appearance at Rue de Bac in Paris in 1830; heaven's preparation; and followed by Lourdes in 1858; heaven's approval.

To Catherine Laboure, a young Sister of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, she appeared in the convent chapel...What was the purpose of her coming? To tell a sinful world of a mother's sadness, and to plead with men to return to the Lord. Catherine, like Bernadette, was chosen for a mission to pray and suffer for sinners, and to convey a message to the world.

As Moses returned with God's loving design, the tables of the Law, cut in stone, Catherine brought her message to the world imprinted on a medal. What a concise summary of salvation that medal presents. The Heart of Jesus surmounted by a cross, the heart of Mary, pierced by a sword. 

Prayer:

O Mary conceived without sin, obtain for me from your Divine Son a deep hatred of sin, purity of soul and body, the gift of prayer, a holy life and a happy death.
(From Pilgrims With Mary by John Moloney P.P.)

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS
__________________