Sunday, April 28, 2013

SUNDAY IN THE YEAR OF FAITH




ST. PAUL

Photo:R.Massaro(c)2013SpiritSinging










Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Friday, April 26, 2013

CARMELITE QUOTE




ST. THERESE OF THE CHILD JESUS AND OF THE HOLY FACE
DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH

I suppose that I ought to be distressed that I so often fall asleep during meditation and thanksgiving after Holy Communion, but I reflect that little children, asleep or awake, are equally dear to their parents; that to perform operations doctors put their patients to sleep; and finally, that 'The Lord knoweth our frame. He remembereth that we are but dust.' (Psalm 102)




Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Saturday, April 20, 2013

SATURDAY OF OUR LADY

EVENING PRAYER
St. Bernard's Prayer to the Virgin Mary
From the Divine Comedy
Photo:R.Massaro(c)2013SpiritSinging

Regina Health Center Richfield, Ohio

Maiden and Mother, daughter of thine own Son,
Beyond all creatures lowly and lifted high,
Of the Eternal Design the corner-stone!

Thou art she who did man's substance glorify
So that its own Maker did not eschew
Even to be made of its mortality.

Within thy womb the Love was kindled new
By generation of whose warmth supreme
This flower to bloom in peace eternal grew.

Here thou to us art the full noonday beam
Of love revealed: below, to mortal sight,
Hope, that for ever springs in living stream.

Lady, thou art so great and has such might
That whoso crave grace, nor to thee repair,
Their longing even without wing seeketh flight.

Thy charity doth not only him up-bear
Who prays, but in thy bounty's large excess
Thou oftentimes dost even forerun the prayer.

In thee is pity, in thee tenderness,
In thee magnificence, in thee the sum
Of all that in creation most can bless.


Dante, Translation: Laurence Binyon


Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

STAINED GLASS FLOWERS-LITTLE ACCOUNTS OF THE MIRACULOUS


Photo:R.Massaro(c)2013SpiritSinging
St. Peter Church N. Ridgeville, Ohio

From the life of St. Therese:

It was "Our Lady of the Smile" who miraculously healed her at the age of ten. She was so sick with a mysterious illness that there was little hope of recovery. In desperation three of her sisters, kneeling before the statue of Mary, pleaded for their sister, when "all of a sudden the Blessed Virgin appeared beautiful to me, so beautiful that never had I seen anything so attractive; her face was suffused with an ineffable benevolence and tenderness, but what penetrated to the very depths of my soul was the 'ravishing smile of the Blessed Virgin."



Virgin of the Smile-Lisieux, France

OUR LADY-THE EMBODIMENT OF ST. THERESE'S
 "LITTLE WAY"






Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Carmelite Saint of the Day





Bl. Baptist Spagnoli




Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Monday, April 15, 2013

CARMELITE QUOTE

Photo:R.Massaro(c)2013SpiritSinging
St. Alphonsus  Church Peru, Ohio

St. John of the Cross:

It is enough to have referred to the many imperfections of those who live in this beginner's state to see their need for God to put them into the state of proficients. He does this by introducing them into the dark night, of which we will now speak. There, through pure dryness and interior darkness, he weans them from the breasts of these gratifications and delights, takes away all these trivialities and childish ways, and makes them acquire the virtues by very different means. No matter how earnestly beginners in all their actions and passions practice the mortification of self, they will never be able to do so entirely--far from it--until God accomplishes it in them passively by means of the purgation of this night. May God be pleased to give me his divine light that I may say something worthwhile about this subject, for in a night so dark and a matter so difficult to treat and expound, his enlightenment is very necessary.
The Dark Night BK.1 Chap. 7, No. 5, The Collected Works of St. John of the Cross translated by Kieran Kavanaugh, OCD





Music: Loreena McKennitt, Dark Night of the Soul from the Mask and Mirror
Purchase on iTunes
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-mask-and-mirror/id67630175





Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Saturday, April 13, 2013

SATURDAY OF OUR LADY

LITANY OF THE LOVE OF GOD

Photo: R.Massaro(c)2013SpiritSinging
Our Lady of Charity
Regina Health Center Richfield, Ohio

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.
Christ, graciously hear us.
God, the Father of heaven, Have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, Have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Ghost, Have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, one God, Have mercy on us.
Thou Who art Infinite Love, Have mercy on us.
Thou Who didst first love me, Have mercy on us.
Thou Who commands me to love Thee, Have mercy on us.

With all my heart, I LOVE THEE, O MY GOD

With all my soul, I LOVE THEE, O MY GOD

With all my mind, I LOVE THEE, O MY GOD

With all my strength, I LOVE THEE, O MY GOD

Above all my possessions and honors, I LOVE THEE, O MY GOD

More than myself, and everything belonging to me, I LOVE THEE, O MY GOD

More than all my relatives and friends, I LOVE THEE, O MY GOD

More than all men and angels, I LOVE THEE, O MY GOD

Above all created things in heaven or on earth, I LOVE THEE, O MY GOD

Only for Thyself, I LOVE THEE, O MY GOD

Because Thou art the sovereign Good, I LOVE THEE, O MY GOD

Because Thou art infinitely worthy of being loved, I LOVE THEE, O MY GOD

Because thou art infinitely perfect, I LOVE THEE, O MY GOD

Even if you did not promise me heaven, I LOVE THEE, O MY GOD

Even if you should try me by want and misfortune, I LOVE THEE, O MY GOD

In wealth and in poverty, I LOVE THEE, O MY GOD

In prosperity and in adversity, I LOVE THEE, O MY GOD

In health and in sickness, I LOVE THEE, O MY GOD

In life and in death, I LOVE THEE, O MY GOD

In time and in eternity,I LOVE THEE, O MY GOD

In union with that love wherewith all the saints and all the angels love Thee in heaven,
I LOVE THEE, O MY GOD

In union with that love wherewith the Blessed Virgin Mary loves Thee,
I LOVE THEE, O MY GOD

In union with that infinite love wherewith Thou loves Thyself eternally,
I LOVE THEE, O MY GOD

PRAYER

My God, Who possess in incomprehensible abundance all that is perfect and worthy of love, annihilate in me all guilty, sensual, and undue love for creatures. Kindle in my heart the pure fire of Thy love, so that I may love nothing but You, until being entirely consumed by holy love of You, I may go to love You eternally with the elect in heaven, the country of pure love. Amen.  (Composed by Pope Pius VI)





Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS









Wednesday, April 10, 2013

THREE WORDS OF WISDOM

CHANNEL OF PEACE

Photo:R.Massaro(c)2013SpiritSinging
St. Henry Church Nashville, TN

The Prayer of St. Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;to be understood, as to understand;to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Amen.

A short, familiar prayer from a beloved and well-loved Saint: Francis of Assisi.

Recently, St. Francis of Assisi has made a great come-back of sorts in the modern world in which we live.  The election to the papacy of Cardinal Jorge Borgoglio has brought to light once again the remarkable life of St. Francis.


To me, the Prayer of St. Francis encapsulates the life of virtue and holiness in a few, short, masterful stanzas.  It is masterful in its homily of the soul totally forgetful of self.  It's a hymn of a soul who has died in Christ. It's a song of one who has been resurrected and become a new creation in Christ. It is the anthem of the Blessed in Heaven.


Do you know anyone who possesses such lofty and heroic virtue?  Do you know someone who walks the earth as though they did not exist?  These saintly souls walk among us with one foot already in heaven.  We only need to recall the life of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta. Her entire life was an open book of the Gospel.  She was totally transformed in Christ and gave witness to a life of virtue: a living icon of the Beatitudes.


We may declare, "Oh, yes," I know someone who is like this. But we must be careful in our discernment. Just as the church takes a long and in-depth study of a soul before they proclaim sainthood. We can make hasty judgments and put people on pedestals because they are nice or easy to get along with. But the true test of virtue comes with just that, testing.  The virtues are fashioned and made perfect through the Cross. Saintly souls have had the love of God born in their heart and they are willing to lay down their life for God and the conversion of their neighbor.


We have to be careful that we do not paint St. Francis in a light of sweet and romantic devotion, a serene and happy person who loved birds and the sky and nature.  He's not just a champion for the environment. We must see him in the depth of his excruciating and painful love of God, born of a mystical union between him and Christ that we will never comprehend. A mystical love and union that is born from the Cross.


He always lived upon the Cross, never seeking to avoid fatigue or trouble, concerned only in fulfilling the will of God in and through himself.

The brothers  who lived with him know how at every instant the name of Jesus was on his lips; and with what tender love and sweetness he conversed with him.
First Life of St. Francis by Thomas of Celano

How do we live out the beatitudes in our daily life?  How do we become a channel of peace?  It takes great courage and humility.  The saints make it look easy!  It is born from hard work of dying to our ego.  Virtue is born from prayer as St. Teresa of Jesus teaches us.  In practical terms being a channel of peace may be described in a person who:


*Listens 

This person listens with the heart to another.  They are not just "waiting" for the opportunity to speak when the other person is finished. This person may not have anything to say. They may just be at peace being present to the other person who needs to share.

*Forgives

This person forgives easily, quickly, and doesn't hold a grudge. They will treat the offending party as if nothing happened, even if they were deeply hurt. They reflect God's virtues of slow to anger and quick to forgive.

*Embodies Meekness

This person's whole being personifies gentleness and kindness. This attitude or beatitude, brings peace to the hearts of others.  A meek person brings peace to any tense situation. A meek person is humble and patient with himself and others. This is born from a soul that is docile, one who lets God form him in the life of virtue.
Recently, our Holy Father, Francis gave a homily about meekness. He stated,"Christians need to recover the value of meekness, particularly when they are tempted to speak ill of one another."A meek person is non-threatening to others. A meek person is a reflection of the peace that comes from the heart of God.

*Possesses Joy
This person who is a peacemaker is filled with joy. A joy that the world cannot give.  Sometimes people are suspect of people who are genuinely happy. It's because the world does not understand the deep joy that comes from a peaceful heart that is removed from all attachment to the pleasure of worldly goods.

*Loves

Love is the crowning glory of the heart of a peacemaker. It is sacrificial love. It is a heart of a martyr, ready to give all for God and neighbor. It loves when it does not make sense. It is a faithful and enduring love. It is a heart full of mercy and compassion for the sinner. It endures all things. As St. Paul says:

Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (I Cor. 13:4)


St. Francis is a model for all Christians, especially for us as Secular Carmelites, for he was faithful to his vows. He was  faithful to Lady Poverty, Sister Chastity, and Sister Obedience. He was faithful unto death.  This is the final prayer of St. Francis:


Praise be to Thee my Lord for our sister bodily death

From whom no living man can flee;
Woe to them who die in mortal sin,
But blessed they, who shall be found in Thy most holy Will:
To them the second death can do no harm.
(From his Canticle of the Creatures)

Our new Pope, Francis, has wisely chosen St. Francis as his patron. In our world of secularism, materialism and individualism, we are reminded of the humble little Troubador of the Lord. Only a person who is filled with the peace of God can bring this peace to others and go about their daily activities singing the praises of God.


From Death to Life


Each year on October 3, the Franciscan Order celebrates the Transitus of St. Francis. Let us pray for each other that God may give us the grace to die to our self and live a life of peace and virtue. May we be ready to welcome "Sister Death."
















Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

CARMELITE QUOTE


Photo:R.Massaro(c)2013SpiritSinging
Carmelite Monastery Cleveland, Ohio

The day chosen for my entrance into Carmel was April 9, 1888, the same day the community was celebrating the feast of the Annunciation, transferred because of Lent. The evening before, the whole family gathered round the table where I was to sit for the last time. Ah! how heartrending these family reunions can really be! When you would like to see yourself forgotten, the most tender caresses and words are showered upon you, making the sacrifice of separation felt all the more.

Papa was not saying very much, but his gaze was fixed upon me lovingly. Aunt cried from time to time and Uncle paid me many affectionate compliments...

On the morning of the great day, casting a last look upon Les Buissonnets, that beautiful cradle of my childhood which I was never to see again, I left on my dear King's arm to climb Mount Carmel.
The Story of a Soul




Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Sunday, April 7, 2013

DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY



(For prayers, chaplet, etc.)
Watch EWTN Live at Noon for 
Divine Mercy Devotions

________________________________

THE STATIONS OF LIGHT 
Photo:R.Massaro(c)2013SpiritSinging

Prayed from Easter until Pentecost

1.   Jesus Rises from the dead
2.   The Disciples Find the Tomb Empty
3.   The Risen Lord Appears to Mary Magdalene
4.   The Risen Lord Appears to Two Disciples on the Road to 
      Emmaus
5.   The Risen Lord is Recognized at the Breaking of Bread
6.   The Risen Lord Appears to His Disciples
7.   The Lord Gives the Power to Forgive Sins
8.   The Lord Confirms the Faith of Thomas
9.   The Risen Lord Meets His Disciples on the Shore of Lake 
      Tiberias
10.  The Risen Lord Confers the Primacy on Peter
11.  Jesus Entrusts the Disciples with the Universal Mission
12.  Jesus Ascends into Heaven
13.  Waiting for the Holy Spirit with Mary, the Mother of Jesus
14.  The Holy Spirit Descends




Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS


Saturday, April 6, 2013

SATURDAY OF OUR LADY



To Our Lady of the Scapular

Photo:R.Massaro(c)2013SpiritSinging
Carmelite Monastery Cleveland, Ohio


O most blessed and immaculate Virgin, ornament and splendor of Carmel, you who look with an eye of special kindness on those who wear the Blessed Habit, look down also upon me and cover me with the mantle of your special protection. Strengthen my weakness with your power; enlighten the darkness of my mind with your wisdom; increase in me faith, hope and love. Adorn my soul with such graces and virtues as will ever be pleasing to your divine Son and to you. Assist me in life, and console me in death, with your most holy presence, and present me to the most Holy Trinity as your devoted servant and child; that I may eternally bless and praise you in paradise. Amen.











Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Thursday, April 4, 2013

SPIRITUAL LIFE DICTIONARY

TODAY'S TERM: THAUMATURGIS


Icon: St Gregory Thaumaturgus
St. Gregory Thaumaturgis
Photo: Public Domain

Miracle worker. A title given to certain saints outstanding for having performed miracles during their own lifetime or since their death. Among others are St. Gregory (213-70), Sts. Cosmas and Damian (third century), St. Nicholas (fourth century), and St. Anthony of Padua (1195-1231). (Etym. Latin thaumaturgus; from Greek thaumatourgos: thauma, wonder + -ergos, "working," from ergon, work.)


Source: CatholicCulture.org









Carmelite Bishop, St. Andrew Corsini-Thaumaturgis

St. Andrew Corsini
Photo: Courtesy of Carmelnet.org

Learn more about St. Andrew Corsini















St. Anthony of Padua-Thaumaturgis
Photo:R.Massaro(C)2013SpiritSinging
St.Edward Church Parkman, Ohio


Learn more about St. Anthony




The Basilica of St. Anthony in Padua, Italy












Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Stained Glass Scapulars-Reflections on the Rule of the Secular Carmelites


Photo: R.Massaro(C)2013SpiritSinging

Just a few short days ago all of the members of the Catholic Church who were present for Mass at the Easter vigil or at Mass on Easter Sunday renewed their baptismal promises. It is fitting then, that the Order of Carmel asks each of its members to renew their promises during the Easter season.

Our Rule states:

Article 12:

By the promise made to the community in the presence of the Superior of the Order or his Delegate, the person becomes a full member of the Secular Order. By this commitment members strive to acquire the necessary training to know the reasons, the content and purpose of the evangelical lifestyle they are undertaking. The promise heightens and enriches the baptismal commitment in the Secular Carmelites. This includes those called to married life, both as spouses and as parents. This promise is renewed once a year at Easter time.


Members should prepare to renew their promises with prayer and reflection and thanksgiving.  It is also a good time to start this "new year' with an examination of conscience to see where we have failed to live up to our promises and the living out of the beatitudes in our daily lives.

It's good to celebrate the anniversary of our promises.  Do you remember the date of your promise?  This should be as important as remembering  and celebrating our baptismal date. If one is married, the wedding anniversary date should be remembered with joy and thanksgiving with the intention of trying to be more faithful to the vows more than ever.  Remember, when we made our Carmelite promises it was a spiritual marriage to the order and to our local community. We took on a new name (religious title) and made a commitment to the community that we would strive to help each other achieve union with God, just as husbands and wives make this commitment to help each other reach heaven.

Here are some questions for discernment:

*Have I been faithful to mental prayer?
*Have I been faithful to the obligations of the Secular Carmelite?
*Do I fast on the designated vigils of the Carmelite Saints?
*Have I missed meetings out of laziness?
*Do I foster fraternal charity within the community?
*Do I know the names of the members in my community?
*Do I pray for the members of my community on a daily basis?
*Do I pray for the superiors of the order on a daily basis?
*Do I pray for the deceased members of the order?
*Do I pray for the Carmelite missions?
*Do I pray for the priest I have spiritually adopted for the year?
*What is the date of my temporary profession? My final profession? My Carmelite vow?
*What is my religious title?
*What is my active apostolate?    Am I faithful to it?

These are just a few questions we can ask ourselves.  For Carmelites, we know that our main obligation is mental prayer.  If we are not praying, if we are not being faithful to the praying of the Liturgy of the Hours, we must strive to begin again. Remember, even our Holy Mother, St. Teresa gave up prayer for about 2 years.  She said this was one of the greatest mistakes of her life.  She tells us over and over again to never give up prayer.

Here is the promise formula. It's good to read it over while meditating to prepare to renew the promise/vow.


I, _________________, inspired by the Holy Spirit, in response to God's call, sincerely promise to the Superiors of the Order of the Teresian Carmel and to you my brothers and sisters, to tend toward evangelical perfection in the spirit of the evangelical counsels of chastity, poverty, obedience, and of the Beatitudes, according to the Constitutions of the Secular Order of the Discalced Carmelites, for three years (or the rest of my life). I confidently entrust this, my promise, to the Virgin Mary, Mother and Queen of Carmel.


Let us pray for each other!



Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, OCDS