Monday, January 27, 2014

CARMELITE SAINT OF THE DAY



HENRY de  OSSO Y CERVELLO

The following biographical sketch is from Meditations From Carmel:


Henry was born at Vinebre, Catalonia, Spain, on the 16th October 1840 and was ordained priest on 21st September 1867. He was an apostle to young people in teaching them about their faith and inspired various movements for the teaching of the Gospel. As a spiritual director he was fascinated by St. Teresa of Jesus, the great teacher in the ways of prayer and Daughter of the Church. (She is better known in the English-speaking world as St. Teresa of Avila.) In the light of her teaching, he founded the Company of St. Teresa (1876) dedicated to educating women in the school of the Gospel and following the example of St. Teresa. He gave himself to preaching and the apostolate through the printing press. He underwent many severe trials and sufferings. He died at Gilet, Valencia, Spain, on the 27th of January, 1896. He was canonized on 16th July, 1993, in Madrid, by Pope John Paul II.

From the writings of Saint Henry de Osso, priest

(A Month in the Heart of Jesus, Prologue, EEO III, Rome, 1977, pp. 456-458)
“Identification with Jesus Christ”
"This is our main endeavor: to think, to feel, to love as Christ Jesus, to act and to speak as He-in a word, to conform our whole life to Christ’s. No one can be saved unless they are formed in the image of Christ. To conform our life to Christ’s, we need, above all, to study His life, know it, and meditate upon it, not only in its outward appearance, but by immersing ourselves in the thoughts, feelings, hopes, and dreams of Jesus Christ so as to do everything in union with Him. In His goodness, Jesus Himself invites us, both in word and hi action, to do this. For example, if we do not know the sentiments of His heart so as to put them into practice, how can we learn from His gentleness and humility? Or how can we come into His presence each time we act in order to imitate Him? Christ lived, ate, slept, spoke, kept silent, walked, worked, sweat, got tired, rested, was hungry, thirsty and poor; in a word, He suffered and died for us and for our salvation. Why is it, then, that we cannot make or imagine Jesus as real and down to earth, but only in theory and as the ideal, which is the reason we do not love and imitate Hun in everything, as we must? Jesus is our brother, flesh of our flesh, blood of our blood, bone of our bones. This is who our Jesus is, true God and true Man, alive, personal, and intimate. He let Himself be seen; He lived and spoke with us. For our salvation, being the eternal Word of God, He descended from heaven, became flesh, suffered, died, rose, ascended into heaven, and remained among us until the end of time to be our companion, our consolation, and our food in the Blessed Sacrament. Eternal life, then, our only happiness in time and eternity, consists in knowing Jesus more intimately. How happy will be the person who learns this lesson and lives it daily. What an inspiring thought! I will live, sleep, speak, listen, work, suffer-I will do everything, I will suffer everything in union with Jesus, with the same divine intention and sentiments that Jesus had and with which He suffered, which is what Jesus wants of me. Whoever does this-and all of us are called to do it-will lives in this life the life of the world to come and will be transformed into Jesus, able to say with St. Paul: “I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me.”"


Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds





Saturday, January 25, 2014

SATURDAY OF OUR LADY

From the Imitation of Mary

Madonna of Humility
Source: Wikipedia

...If you become the least, you will become the greatest. The conviction that you are and can do nothing will humble you and in that very act raise you up to the God whom you acknowledge as sovereign source of all good.

Humility will free you from all the vileness into which ambition and pride lead men. What soul can be more base than that of the man who is ruled by pride and wants to be applauded at any cost?

Humility will free you from false respect for men and from the worthless ideas men have. You will be able to say with the apostle: "It matters little to me that you pass judgment on me...I acknowledge but one judge, and that is God" (I Cor 4, 3-5).

Humility will make you look with detachment at the world's honors, for behind the splendid facade lurk illusion and emptiness.

Humility will  teach you not to vie with your neighbor but to honor him, and to have no envy when you see him raise about you, whether in rank or in esteem.

The natural man regards humility as base, because he judges entirely according to the senses and perceives only sensible things. Yet humility is one of the virtues best fitted to form great and noble hearts.

Of all the virtues, humility is the one that most steadies the spirit and most strengthens the soul. 

Above all, it is the most beautiful element of likeness to Jesus, the God-man and source of true greatness and glory...Jesus was humble and loved humiliation because He knew how much He thereby honored the Father.


Here is an excellent homily on Humility:




Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Sunday, January 19, 2014

THREE WORDS OF WISDOM

ALL EARTHLY CARES


Icon of the Holy Trinity

In the Byzantine Catholic Divine Liturgy there is a beautiful hymn that is sung at the consecration, it is called the Cherubic Hymn. Here is the definition of this hymn from Wikipedia:

The hymn symbolically incorporates those present at the liturgy into the presence of the angels gathered around God's throne.[1] It concerns the very heart of the Divine Liturgy—the Anaphora, the earliest part which can be traced back to Saint Basil and to John Chrysostom's redaction of Basil's liturgical text.


The Hymn:

Let us, who mystically represent the cherubim, and sing the thrice holy hymn to the life creating Trinity, now set aside all earthly cares, set aside all earthly cares. That we may receive the King of All, invisibly escorted by angelic hosts. Alleluia,   Alleluia,   Alleluia!

At Holy Mass or at Divine Liturgy, it is the one place on the planet where time stops, we can truly set aside all earthly cares of our busy life.  It is the place where we, the people of God fall prostrate before the Lord who gave his life for us. We are present with the same Lord Jesus Christ who tells us to "Come to me all you who are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Yes, at the Eucharistic table, earthly cares need not exist, this is the time to be fed and strengthened and renewed and consoled. It is a time for tears of repentance, of renewal, of a holy resolve to go forth and be more faithful to Christ than when we walked in the door of the church.

What are your earthly cares?

For those in the world and for those who love the things of the world, it can be material possessions-nice things-expensive things. For those in the world, earthly cares can be an attachment to honor and title, as St. Teresa of Jesus (Avila) liked to call it.  Earthly cares can be an ambition to succeed in business at all costs. Working in the world and not offering one ounce of mercy, justice or compassion to clients or co-workers.

What are your earthly cares, dear Christian?

Do you seek to destroy the peace of your parish, or your religious organization by being overbearing and controlling? Do you seek to find fault with others while you yourself sit in the front pew, all the while holding uncharitable thoughts about your neighbor?

What are your earthly cares?

What do you spend time on?  Hobbies or distractions that keep you from praying and wasting time with the Lord? 

Life is short. Scripture tells us that death comes like a thief in the night. Are we prepared to meet him when he calls unexpectedly? Not just in the final hour, but when he comes unexpectedly throughout the day in the person who tries our patience. He comes when we have to sacrifice something we would like to do to be of service to others. He comes unexpectedly in the words of another that hit "close to home" in our heart. He comes unexpectedly in the grace of  a piercing and devastating sorrow for our sins. He comes unexpectedly to challenge us, yet he comes unannounced to love us and give us mercy. He comes unannounced and offers himself.

The Church is his voice. He extends an invitation everyday-an official announcement that he will be present at the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass-the Divine Liturgy. Will you respond with your "yes?"

What are your earthly cares?

Do you seek that God be adored and glorified in your life and in the lives of others?

Do you seek to spread the good news of the Gospel with others?

Do you seek the increase of the Holy Catholic Church?  

Do you desire to be a humble servant of God, offering mercy to all those you meet?

Do you desire to console others instead of being consoled?

Do you desire to be a peacemaker?

These are the earthly cares that God desires for us. These are the holy burdens we should be carrying as Catholics, as Christians.

Let us pray for each other.







Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

CARMELITE QUOTE

Note:  In January, it is a tradition in Carmel to choose at random a "Carmelite saint for the year."  My saint for the year is Bl. Francis Palau, priest.  I don't know much about him, so I am in the process of doing research on him.  I found his beautiful teaching on prayer at Meditations from Carmel. The photo is also from their website (click on photo to enter website)

Would you like your own "Saint for the year"? visit the website below and one will be chosen at random for you:


From the spiritual writings of Blessed Francis Palau


(Lucha del alma con Dios (Rome, 1981), 42-44, 135-136)

The power of prayer for the Church

God in His providence has ordained not to cure our ills or grant us grace without the intervention of prayer. He wishes us to help in saving each other by means of our prayer. If the heavens showered down dew, and the clouds rained the righteous One, if the earth opened to bring forth the Savior, it was God’s good pleasure that his coming should be preceded by the prayers of that singular Virgin who by the beauty of her virtues drew into her womb the uncreated Word of God. The Redeemer came, and by constant prayer he reconciled the world to the Father. If Christ’s prayer and the fruits of his redemptive work are to be applied to any nation or people, or if the gospel message is to enlighten them and they are to have someone to administer the sacraments, it is indispensable that someone or even many persons should have previously won them over and reconciled them to God by earnest entreaties and supplications, by prayers and sacrifices.

For this purpose, among others, the Eucharistic sacrifice is offered on our altars. This sacred Victim which we present to the Father every day, accompanied by our own petitions, is not simply destined to recall the memory of the life, passion, and resurrection of Jesus Christ, but also to oblige God in his goodness to show his graciousness in applying the graces of his Son’s redemption to the nation, province, city, village, or to whatever person or persons for whom the Mass is offered. It is precisely here that we plead with the Father for the redemption of the world, namely, for the conversion of the nations. Before the grace of redemption is applied to the world or, in other words, before the standard of the cross is lifted up among the nations, God the Father ordains that his only Son, made man, should plead with him by means of prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, in the anguish of death and through the shedding of his blood, especially on the altar of the cross that was raised on Calvary.

In order that God might give his grace to those who do not or cannot ask it, or who do not wish to ask it, he enjoined us to pray for one another, so that we might be saved. If God gave the grace of conversion to Saint Augustine, it was due to the prayers of Saint Monica; nor would the Church have Saint Paul, according to one of the Fathers, were it not for the prayers of Saint Stephen.

It is noteworthy in this context that the Apostles, who were sent to preach and to teach all nations, acknowledged that the results of their preaching sprang from prayer more than from their words. In fact, at the election of the seven deacons who were charged with external works of charity, they said: But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word. Notice carefully that they say they would devote themselves first of all to prayer and only afterwards to the ministry of the Word. For they would never convert any nation until prayer had first obtained the grace of its conversion. Christ prayed throughout his entire life, whereas he spent only three years preaching.

Since God does not distribute his graces to men except through prayer, because he wishes us to recognize him as the source from which all good things flow; in like manner, he does not wish to save us from danger, or cure our wounds, or console us in affliction, except by means of this same exercise of prayer."
Carmelite Prayer: 
O God, through your Spirit you filled Blessed Francis your Priest with singular gifts of prayer and apostolic charity. Through his intercession grant that Christ's beloved Church, refulgent with the beauty of the Virgin Mother Mary, may be an ever more effective universal sacrament of salvation. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit one God, for ever and ever.

Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Saturday, January 11, 2014

SATURDAY OF OUR LADY


From the Ten Books on the Way of Life and Great Deeds of the Carmelites (including the Book of the First Monks) A medieval history of the Carmelites written c. 1385 by Felip Ribot, O. Carm. Edited and translated by Richard Copsey, O. Carm.


The members of this Order were mindful, therefore, that God had especially revealed to their predecessors through the above vision that a certain baby girl would be born, who from her mother's womb would be free from all stain of sin, who like them would embrace voluntary virginity, and from her, though a virgin, the God-man would be born. Pondering all these things after they had been fulfilled, and the human race--through this virgin--had received from the Son of God the rain which they desired (that is the gift of grace), they undertook to serve this virgin with diligent devotion, long ago revealed to and awaited by their predecessors, and later beheld by themselves. and they strove to choose this virgin as their particular patroness because they knew that she alone was uniquely like them in being the first to embrace voluntary virginity.

For, as vowing voluntary virginity to God was first inaugurated by the early members of this Order and thus introduced among men, so the same virginity for God was afterwards first introduced and inaugurated among women by the Mother of God, as we have noted above.

Thus, as the Carmelites were the first among men to undertake voluntary virginity, so was the blessed Mary the first among women to vow virginity. This unique conformity from the beginning between the Mother of God and the Carmelites over the voluntary virginity, prophesied long ago and afterwards fulfilled, was the reason why the Carmelites, already in the time of the apostles, called the Virgin Mary their sister, and following this unique conformity, they called themselves the brothers of the blessed Virgin Mary.


Prayer to Our Lady of Mt. Carmel:

O beautiful Flower of Carmel, most fruitful vine, splendor of heaven, holy and singular, who brought forth the Son of  God, still every remaining a pure Virgin, assist us in our necessity. O Star of the Sea, help and protect us! Show us that you are our Mother!








Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds


Thursday, January 9, 2014

CARMELITE SAINT OF THE DAY

SAINT ANDREW CORSINI
BISHOP

Andrew was born at the beginning of the fourteenth century in Florence and entered the Carmelite Order there. He was elected provincial of Tuscany at the general chapter of Metz in 1348. He was made bishop of Fiesole on October 13, 1349, and gave the Church a wonderful example of love, apostolic zeal, prudence and love of the poor. He died on January 6, 1374.


In 1373, while Corsini had been celebrating the Midnight Mass of Christmas Eve, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him he would leave this world on the feast of the Epiphany. It came to pass as the vision had told him, and he died on that day.
Read more...



Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Sunday, January 5, 2014


Byzantine Cultural Center-Cleveland, Ohio
He stretched out his hand for our gifts. He wanted the pure GOLD of a heart detached from all earthly goods; the MYRRH of a renunciation of all the happiness of this world in exchange for participation in the life and suffering of Jesus; the FRANKINCENSE of a will that surrenders itself and strains upward to lose itself in the divine will. In return for these gifts, the divine child gave us himself.”
From the Hidden Life and Epiphany-From the Collected Works of Edith Stein


From the life of St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross 
(Edith Stein)

On New Year's Day 1922, Edith Stein was received into the Catholic Church and was baptized with the name of Teresia because it was the study of the life of this seraphic saint of Avila which led to her conversion. The details surrounding this event, particularly the reception of her first Holy Communion, filled her with intense joy. However, the subsequent disclosure to her beloved mother and family resulted in pain and alienation. Yet as a dutiful daughter, Edith remained some months at home and continued to accompany her mother to the synagogue as usual. The urge to pursue her desire to devote herself completely to God in a monastery was only partially fulfilled by a teaching position with the Dominicans in Speyer. During this quiet time she devoted herself to her work, to prayer and research. She translated John Henry Newman's Letters and Diaries up to his Entrance into the Church which was published in Munich as Volume I of his collected works. Her name spread far and wide beyond Germany with the publication in 1930 of  Thomas of Aquinas' Question of Truth.

Neither reputation nor honor could affect her modesty. The celebrated philosopher longed for the solitude of the monastery... 




Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Byzantine Catholic Cultural Center-Cleveland, Ohio

THE SOLEMNITY OF MARY
THE HOLY MOTHER OF GOD


Here is a wonderful explanation of the Church's teaching on the title of the Virgin Mary as "Mother of God" by Father Rod Kreidler, the pastor of St. Edward Parish in Ashland, Ohio.


 Fundamentalists are sometimes horrified when the Virgin Mary is referred to as the Mother of God. However, their reaction often rests upon a misapprehension of not only what this particular title of Mary signifies but also who Jesus was, and what their own theological forebears, the Protestant Reformers, had to say regarding this doctrine.

     A woman is a man's mother either if she carried him in her womb or if she was the woman contributing half of his genetic matter or both. Mary was the mother of Jesus in both of these senses; because she not only carried Jesus in her womb but also supplied all of the genetic matter for his human body, since it was through her-not Joseph-that Jesus "was descended from David according to the flesh" (Rom. 1:3).

     Since Mary is Jesus' mother, it must be concluded that she is also the Mother of God: If Mary is the mother of Jesus, and if Jesus is God, then Mary is the Mother of God. There is no way out of this logical syllogism, the valid form of which has been recognized by classical logicians since before the time of Christ.

     Although Mary is the Mother of God, she is not his mother in the sense that she is older than God or the source of her Son's divinity, for she is neither. Rather, we say that she is the Mother of God in the sense that she carried in her womb a divine person-Jesus Christ, God "in the flesh" (2 John 7, cf. John 1:14)-and in the sense that she contributed the genetic matter to the human form God took in Jesus Christ.

     To avoid this conclusion, Fundamentalists often assert that Mary did not carry God in her womb, but only carried Christ's human  nature. This assertion reinvents a heresy from the fifth century known as Nestorianism, which runs aground on the fact that a mother does not merely carry the human nature  of her child in her womb. Rather, she carries the person of her child.

     Women do not give birth to human natures; they give birth topersons. Mary thus carried and gave birth to the person of Jesus Christ, and the person she gave birth to was God.

     The Nestorian claim that Mary did not give birth to the unified person of Jesus Christ attempts to separate Christ's human nature from his divine nature, creating two separate and distinct persons-one divine and one human-united in a loose affiliation. It is therefore a Christological heresy, which even the Protestant Reformers recognized. Both Martin Luther and John Calvin insisted on Mary's divine maternity. In fact, it even appears that Nestorius himself may not have believed the heresy named after him.

     Since denying that Mary is God's mother implies doubt about Jesus' divinity, it is clear why Christians (until recent times) have been unanimous in proclaiming Mary as Mother of God.


Peace be with you!
Rosemarie, ocds